• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

HP blade server

Aug 19, 20042 mins
Data Center

* The Reviewmeister tests HP blade servers

The HP blade chassis we tested takes up 6U worth of space.  A dual redundant configuration requires two 208V AC 30 amp feeds; one power distribution unit can power several full blade chassis and/or other gear, depending on configuration. Up to three may be needed for a maximum 42U configuration; the power distribution units are connected together via a back-of-rack bus. HP recommends 208V AC 3-phase power and “Telco-48VDC power” can be used in lieu of 208V AC.

HP makes several blades – we tested the BL20p G2 and BL30p blades. The BL20p G2 are full-height, compared to the half-height BL30p. Both blades contained dual 3 GHz Intel Xeon CPUs with 2G-bytes of DRAM and an onboard hard drive. Both blades can be connected through optional dual-channel fibre channel boards to a SAN. Except for a slightly better disk I/O performance on the BL30p, we found the blades performed identically.

The enclosure we tested contained two Gigabit Ethernet switches, along with SAN switches. Blades within the chassis are networked together via the GBE switches through the chassis backplane. We found the switches don’t produce a bottleneck. Using the switches contributes to fewer connecting cables.

HP’s Integrated Lights Out Advanced (or “iLO”) management tool set is a well-known HP/Compaq server management application that connects systems via an often-dedicated Ethernet port on an HP/Compaq server. This feature is extended to other server products in HP’s line, so that an in- or out-of-band network monitoring and management system can be put together. There are no KVM connections to the servers – they are all managed by remote control applications (included in iLO) via Windows Terminal Services.

HP offers a rack configuration application that produces a pictorial view of the rack and its components. This is a vital application, as the number of potential options, devices, slots and ports that need to be tracked can be staggering

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