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Just in time for a new project for a Dutch municipality, involving HP c7000, HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8, HP StoreVirtual 4000 Storage and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, HP released a new firmware ISO and a new HP ProLiant Service Pack. With version 2013.02.0 (19 Feb 2013) HP adds Windows Server 2012 support for the following HP ProLiant servers:
- HP ProLiant BL460c G6 Server .
- HP ProLiant DL380 G6 Server
- HP ProLiant DL360 G6 Server
- HP ProLiant ML350 G6 Server
Click on picture for link to PDF.
Additionally a number of new HP ProLiant network adapters are now supported:
HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 366FLR Adapter
HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560M Adapter
HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560FLR SFP+ Adapter
HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 530T Adapter
Download HP ProLiant Service Pack 2013.02.0
Today was the first of a 2-day HP ProLiant Gen8 Tech Day in Houston. The ten bloggers who were invited are all from the US except for me. Some of them I have met from other HP events like HP Discover in 2011 and an event in Madrid in the same year. Since I moved to Inovativ which is a 100% System Center & Hyper-V consultancy firm, hardware hasn’t been so much of an issue for me. You deal with whatever server, network or storage hardware the customer has. When I worked for a system integrator, HP was the one and only vendor we worked with, so I can say I know the product range quite well. It was surely a fantastic opportunity to come to Houston and be brought up to speed on the new HP ProLiant Gen8 server family.
We had a couple of really interesting sessions today, both from marketing and technical folks at HP. One good introductory presentation was by Gary Thorne (VP Strategy Industry Standard Servers and Software). Gary’s presentation was on Transforming the server experience with customer-inspired innovation. Most of the changes you will see in the Gen8 stem from over 100.000 customer interactions. Whenever there was a server down situation, HP would ask the customer to detail the problems so HP could learn from them. After all, the aim is to get the most amount of uptime with the least amount of effort, speed deployment of systems and deliver the desired performance. This is not something you get after just one round of interviewing customers. It is more like a multi-year project and it takes a large budget for R&D. HP spent $300M on R&D which is at least twice the amount spent on the previous generation.
Tomorrow I will fly to Houston from San Diego where I have been staying for a few days after a great TEC2012 event. HP asked me to join them for their HP ProLiant Gen8 Tech Tour. Coming all the way from Europe just for the 2 days would have been crazy, but as I was in the neighborhood (3 hour flight) HP’s invitation was a good opportunity to find out about the latest HP ProLiant server generation.
I have quite a history with HP servers, dating all the way back to the first true PC based server, the Compaq SystemPro back in 1989. The first HP ProLiant generation I remember is the ProLiant 1000 ranging to the ProLiant 5000 which supported nothing less than 4GB of memory. Without going into too much of history, many readers are more likely to remember the DL/ML/BL series which up-to-now has known seven generations. I recall the HP ProLiant G5 series was the first server to support Hyper-V as it required hardware virtualization support. The G6 introduced SLAT capable processors which made virtualized memory management a lot more efficient. The G7 arrived relatively quickly after the G6 for a reason I can’t recall.
HP has already formally announced its new HP ProLiant Gen8 server series. Hey … that sounds different! Why didn’t they call it G8? Well I might be able to find out on May 7th during the Tech Tour in Houston. If you have any questions you want me to ask, just leave a comment at the bottom of this blog.
Assuming the HP ProLiant Gen8 series will play an important part in the building of many new private and public clouds, and also the upcoming release of Microsoft Windows Server 2012, makes this a really interesting topic. I will be writing a few blogs and might publish a video or two depending on what crosses my path. I’ll keep you posted.
Blog Hans de Leenheer:
Technical Deep Dive – http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.com/2012/03/hp-proliant-gen8-technical-deepdive.html
Tech Q&A – http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.com/2012/02/hp-proliant-gen8-tech-q.html
Many of us have delayed installing Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 on HP ProLiant Servers until guidance from HP became available. While writing my blogpost Preparing for upgrading your Hyper-V R2 cluster to SP1 about two months ago I was unable to find any details. Searching for an updated BladeSystem Matrix Compatibility guide, I stumbled upon the long expected HP Integration Note: Implementing Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 on HP ProLiant and Integrity servers.
Instead of one big article, I decided to split the Bare Metal Deployment blog in a number of smaller pieces to reach the final goal: automating the creation of a Hyper-V cluster. If you go back a few articles you’ll see several other blogs about SCVMM 2012. Although only recently in beta, it is a remarkable piece of software with a great number of new and astounding features aimed at creating and managing what we have come to call the private cloud.
Let me first point out that although SCVMM 2012 is well equipped to manage Hyper-V, VMware and XenServer hosts, some features are currently focusing on Hyper-V as its primary citizen. In the current version Bare Metal Deployment and Cluster Creation can only be done with Hyper-V R2. The primary reason for this is the technology used: boot from VHD which is an R2 feature not seen in VMware or XenServer.
In my previous blogs I explained the concept of Run As Accounts/Profiles, Out of Band Management, adding HP iLO2 to OOB and Host Profiles in SCVMM 2012.
I you are not the typical RTFM installer, you probably install your Hyper-V server by throwing in a HP SmartStart DVD and do the guided install that prepares your System Configuration, OS installation and HP ProLiant Support Pack. Well if you are that kind of person: be careful!
If not treated well, you would end up with problems stemming from a wrong installation order. If you want HP ProLiant NIC Teaming to work properly, you always have to enable Hyper-V with latest updates and hotfixes before you install the HP ProLiant Teaming Software. If you don’t, the network team may stop passing traffic.
I read a tweet from Virtualization MVP Kurt Roggen. In his blog Kurt mentioned that HP had published an update on the proper use of HP NIC Teaming.
The HOWTO document explains what happens if you create or dissolve a team if a Hyper-V virtual network was already configured and more importantly how to get rid of this.
The other topic discussed is the use of VLANs with Hyper-V. Last year I wrote a couple of blogs on native Hyper-V VLANs and the new promiscuous mode introduced in the NCU 10.10.xx version. I suggest you use the newer 10.20.x.x versions for reasons I mentioned in one of my previous blog.
The 4th edition of the HP document dated December 2010 can be found here.
Related blogs about HP NIC Teaming:
From the following location you can apply for downloading the e-book
HP Virtual Connect for Dummies:
Especially the Virtual Connect Flex-10 version has been invaluable for us in many Hyper-V projects where high bandwidth, flexibility and abundance of network adapter ports is crucial. Many of our customers have become convinced of using this very flexible network product in HP Blade Enclosures. I can very safely recommend this wonderful piece of technology (No, I don’t work for HP but I do work for a longstanding HP Partner in the Netherlands). We have built our Nobel Cloud Services based on this technology. We also help customers build their own private cloud for which HP Virtual Connect can be major building block.
New generation: HP virtual Connect FlexFabric
The future has even more flexibility in store: HP FlexFabric which can be used in HP’s Converged Infrastructure Architecture which is based on emerging industry standards like Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FcOE) and Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregation (VEPA):
Using VLANs in Hyper-V virtual machines has always been a bit messy with HP’s teaming sofware, aka HP Network Configuration Utility for Windows Server 2008 R2. Until now a lot of steps had to be taken:
- Prepare trunk/channel between Hyper-V host and core network switch(es) and add all possible VLANs
- Create NIC Team with HP NCU
- Create VLAN’s on the NIC Team
- In Network Connections additional NICs are created which each represent one VLAN.
- Create a Hyper-V Virtual Network connected to an external network adapter representing a specific VLAN and remove tick in front of Allow management operating system to share this network adapter because we don’t want to see even more NIC’s under Network Connections.
- Add VLAN id to virtual network adapter in Virtual Machine, start the machine and add an IP address to the virtual network adapter that belongs to that VLAN.
A NIC Team with VLANs is recognized by a V in front of the team name.
Recently HP upgraded NCU to version 10.10.0.0 (9 Sep 2010). Apart from additional support for a new Converged Network Adapter (CNA), one of the notable improvements is that it now formally supports VLANs created in Hyper-V Virtual Machines.
The help file that goes with the new NCU version states that a new VLAN Promiscuous property allows a team to pass VLAN tagged packets between virtual machine and external networks only when there is no VLAN created on that team in the Host operating system. If a team is assigned to a virtual machine, the NCU disables the VLAN button to prevent VLANs from being created on the team in the host operating system. This property is available only on Windows 2008 x64/R2 and only when the Hyper-V role is installed.
VLAN Promiscuous is disabled by default.
If the VLAN Promiscuous property and the VLAN button on the NCU GUI are mutually exclusive. If one is selected or configured, the other is hidden or disabled.
If Hyper-V is installed and VLANs are created on the team in the host operating system, the NCU either hides the VLAN Promiscuous property or disables it.
If we interpret correctly a NIC Team is now transparent for VLAN tags. It now allows us to use more than 64 VLANs when the Virtual Connect is switched into tunneling mode. The only thing to do is create a team from multiple network ports in a ProLiant server, use the teamed NIC as an external adapter for a Hyper-V virtual network and add a VLAN tag to the virtual network adapter in a virtual machine.
As soon as I have been able to test this setup, I will write an extra piece to this blog. After all, the proof is in the pudding!
HP ProLiant Servers have been there for ages and ages. For twenty years in fact. I can’t even remember when Insight Lights Out was introduced. After iLO came iLO 2 and now we are at iLO 3.
At HP’s website iLO is described as a remote management technology that
delivers precise control and web-based remote management that is always available. ProLiant iLO products… make it easier to remotely manage your servers from just about anywhere in the world. HP iLO solutions use a common management interface for both Integrity and ProLiant servers which means you can use similar tools and processes to manage all your HP Servers.
It is exactly the word precise control that still puzzles many server admins. The first thing they do is turn on Remote Desktop to remote control the server via Windows. During remote management with iLO they often see an irritating distance between two mouse pointers.
If you recognize this problem, this blog is for you.
Because I come across quite a few people who don’t know how to solve this problem, I will explain the steps:
Either in the HP Blade Onboard Administrator Console or in the iLO console goto Web Administration.
Login with an administrator account are accept the automatic pass-through from the blade enclosure administrator.
Select the Remote Console tab and Settings from the menu on the left. Just change the High Performance Mouse from to the Enabled value and you are done! Enjoy a synchronized pointer in your iLO management screens.
Somebody was twittering his TweetCloud the other day. This inspired me to do the same. Just register at http://tweetcloud.com/ and see what you have been up to in Twitterland. Since I use Twitter primarily for business use there are not many words in it that I have to be sorry for. Ok, maybe a few