Reality Check: Server Insights
Get HP server news, technology trends, and product information to stay up to date with what is happening in the server world.

IT outages wear on profits & patience. Protect yourself with HP Serviceguard Solutions for Linux!

I’ve recently noticed many companies have been falling victim to repeated outages—outages that leave disgruntled customers and lost revenue in its wake. This raises an important question that each and every IT professional needs to ask themselves: Is downtime really just a part of doing business? When it comes to the mission-critical applications that dictate the survivability of a business, the answer should be a resounding “no”. 

Technically Speaking, the Awesomeness of iLO 3

By Doug Hascall (Firmware Engineering Manager, Integrated Lights-Out)

Today, Integrated Lights-Out 3 (iLO 3) makes its big public debut.  This is a huge step forward in iLO technology.  The ASIC and firmware teams worked many long hours to bring iLO 3 to completion.  It is my opinion that one of the strengths of the iLO product is that HP builds both the ASIC hardware and the firmware ourselves.  The ASIC architects and the firmware architects work together and collaboratively build a great product.  Because our firmware engineers are able to work side-by-side with the ASIC engineers, we can create highly-optimized and industry-leading features like the Integrated Remote Console and Sea of Sensors.  Our iLO firmware has the advantage of running on a custom-designed ASIC that is specifically made to be the perfect management processor for ProLiant.

The new iLO 3 ASIC features more horsepower for our firmware to exploit.  Both the original iLO and iLO 2 used the same 66 MHz RISC CPU.  I'm frequently amazed at how much functionality we squeezed out of those 66 MHz!  Now, with iLO 3, we have a 250 MHz ARM 9 core, DDR memory, PCI Express and USB 2.0 interfaces.  Just wait until our customers see what we can do with three times the horsepower.

With iLO 3 we have a Remote Console this is eight times faster than iLO 2 and Virtual Media that is more than three times faster.  Turbo-charged performance is one of the marketing talking points of iLO 3.  The Integrated Remote Console (IRC) for Windows is completely redesigned.  It uses DirectX for video rendering and is based on a .NET Framework.  One of the coolest features of the new IRC is how it can scale down the remote console screen to be as small as a thumbnail or stretch it across two physical monitors.  Let's see the competition do that with a little Java applet!  Also with iLO 3, is a new look and feel to the web-based user interface.  The iLO 3 GUI is based on Java Script Object Notation (JSON); it looks awesome and performs fantastic on a wide variety of web browsers.

We have been working on the iLO 3 ASIC and firmware for over three years.  I hope our customers agree that it is worth the wait.  To me, the only word to describe it is "awesome".  I'm very proud of all the engineers at HP who worked tirelessly to make this happen.

The product you can't live without just got better: Announcing the next generation of iLO Advanced (iLO 3), powering Insight Control

By Brad Kirby, iLO Product Marketing

Technology now lives in every corner of the organizations in which we work. Every remote office, every retail outlet, and every factory floor has desktops, laptops, servers, networking equipment, and even shared storage connected back to the corporate data center.   The employees in those locations and their customers depend on this infrastructure to be up and running - and when things go wrong, it's important to get everything up and running again quickly.  Case in point, there are few situations more annoying than waiting around at because of some technology issue.  Nobody wants to be told to "please be patient" because the server is offline; most folks want to make their purchase and then move on to their next item on the checklist.

But if you're an IT department, putting an IT administrator in each retail outlet, remote office, and factory location can be pretty costly.  Most of the time things work just fine, and hiring someone to sit around most of the day, or most of the year, just doesn't make sense.  That said, you can't afford to have your cash registers go offline or lose the ability to check inventory either.  You have to strike a balance.  How do you ensure that the servers on the outskirts of the network stay up, stay connected, and keep doing the work that they're supposed to be doing without spending a fortune?

If you're an HP ProLiant customer, hopefully you've discovered the answer already... Use Integrated Lights-Out, or iLO for short.  iLO Advanced - the cornerstone of HP Insight Control - is the IT Administrator that ships with every ProLiant server.  iLO is enabled through a management processor, or if you know the lingo, a baseboard management controller (BMC) that enables IT administrators working in a central network operations center to remotely control servers in far flung locations.  But unlike pedestrian BMC's that provide simple server power-on power-off capabilities, iLO and the iLO Advanced upgrade (part of comprehensive Insight Control server management) allow up to six IT administrators to view and share control of a remote management session.  It makes it easy to install software updates or even an entire operating system over the network.  It can capture and replay server boot and fault sequences, and it can be used to remove viruses and other malware (with some help, of course). 

iLO Advanced is also the brains behind ProLiant's industry leading power and thermal management with Insight Control power management. It captures power and thermal measurements; it regulates processor clock speed to optimize power efficiency; it can cap power at a specific wattage to make peak power usage more predictable and help IT departments fill their server racks; and it provides pinpoint control of fans to deliver airflow only when and where it's needed.

What's even better is that iLO just got a power-boost.  All of HP's new ProLiant G7 servers will ship with iLO 3 and support HP Insight Control.  With iLO 3, you can remotely install new operating systems and patches 3.6x faster than its predecessor and the turbo-charged remote console performance removes the need for any other remote management consoling software or hardware.  For the security conscious, iLO 3 now supports the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in hardware, so you gain the benefit of best-in-class encryption without the performance hit.  iLO 3 also supports IPMI-LAN and the new Data Center Manageability Interface (DCMI) to allow core management functions to be carried out in a consistent way across x86 server platforms.  And increased CPU and memory capacity, you can bet on more time and cost saving capabilities in the future.

Well, if you weren't aware of iLO Advanced (powering Insight Control) before today, you have now found a friend that will help you manage your servers from anywhere, whether they're across the hall or across the globe.  If you knew about and depend on HP Insight Control with iLO already, you'll definitely love iLO 3.  When you get your first ProLiant G7 server, we'd encourage you to give iLO 3 a spin and let us know how it goes.  We're positive it's going to pleasantly surprise.

A marketing VP's perspective on AMD's Opteron 6100 launch event in SF

By Jim Ganthier, VP, marketing, Industry Standard Servers, HP

This past Monday, I spent the afternoon at the impressive de Young Museum in San Francisco for AMD’s Opteron 6100 series launch event.

The event kicked off with AMD CMO, Nigel Dessau, taking us through a brief history of Opteron, with its rich and compelling message, before introducing attendees to AMD’s latest processor technology.

Nigel was then joined onstage by Christine Reischl, SVP & GM of HP’s Industry Standard Servers group, and Matt Lavallee, Director of Technology for MLS PIN, the northeast’s foremost provider of real estate listings to more than 30,000 subscribers. Matt spoke about his key IT challenges (cost, performance and energy) as well as the dramatic efficiencies in these key areas that he has enjoyed thanks to HP ProLiant technology. Matt has been an HP customer since our first generation of servers and is operating an entirely HP shop!

Christine Reischl went on to talk a bit more about the latest generation of ProLiant servers delivering customers like Matt a return on his server investment in just 2 months (less than a budget cycle) when compared to servers just a few generations old.  Christine also spoke about the 27x performance per watt boost these systems deliver, as well as the up to 96% reduction in power and cooling costs customers can reap with HP’s innovative Thermal Logic technologies built right in to our servers.

Here's a picture of Nigel, Christine and Matt on stage:

After HP, Nigel welcomed to the main stage a couple of other OEMs with their customers before thanking the OEM and software partners, customers and attendees for being there.

The event then broke to a very informal reception where press, industry analyst, customer and partner attendees could see the latest AMD Opteron-based platforms available. HP showed off our new ProLiant DL165 and DL385 rack-optimized servers, as well as our SL165z, “skinless” scale-out server.

At one point in the day, I found myself huddled in a near deserted shop next to several Nefertiti statues speaking to some business press reporters via phone on the news of the day. Later Monday evening, Christine and I enjoyed dinner with Nigel and Dave Fionda from AMD where we reflected on the day’s events, chatted about our long-standing partnership and the exciting road ahead.

Overall, our time in San Francisco was beneficial to both HP and AMD and we look forward to a continued partnership.

Here’s a photo of some of the HP team onsite:

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About the Author(s)
  • I am part of the embedded software management team doing UEFI, HP RESTful API & Scripting tools (STK, PowerShell, HP RESTful Interface Tool), etc
  • I am part of ISS Product Marketing, currently managing couple of dual processor ProLiant servers.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • Delisa Johnson currently leads successful, corporate events for HP Servers and is established as the go-to person for business unit communications regarding launches, executive meetings, wins and business updates.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Lead architect for Intelligent Provisioning and related HP products.
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • I work in the HP Servers marketing group, managing a marketing team responsible for marketing solutions for enterprise customers who run mission-critical workloads and depend on HP to keep their business continuously running.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • I am a Senior Manager managing external content & social media for HP Servers Awareness. Stay tuned for topics on Mission Critical Solutions, Core Enterprise & SMB Solutions, Next Gen Workload Solutions, Big Data & HPC, Cloudline and HPS Options! Follow me @RubyDatHP
  • I am a member of the HP Servers Product Marketing Group blogging on topics of interest for HP Server Options and Smart Storage products.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • HP Servers, Global Product Marketing
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.