The HP C3000 is an entry level Blade System with a price point that allows it to compete with rack mount servers for medium sized businesses. Blades offer better management, lower power consumption, need less space and help reduce the cabling nightmare in your computer room. Here is a brief overview of the system.
HP C3000 enclosure is the base component of the blade system with slots for up to 8 blades, shared power, shared cooling and high performance interconnect bus. In addition to 8 Blade slots and connectivity slots for a range of ethernet and fibre interconnect modules and switches. An optional KVM modules allows the enclosure to connect to an external KVM switch for local access, while iLO2 provides remote connectivity to blades.The enclosure itself is either a 6U rack mounted box or a wheel mounted unit.
The Blade enclosure can be managed using the HP Online Administrator web interface which proves a graphical view of the enclosure and all components, allows configuration and management of enclosure components, firmware updates and email alerting. This combined with iLO2 gives you complete remote management of the entire enclosure and components including the ability to power servers on from cold.
A wide range of Intel and AMD based blade server options are available ranging from the low end SATA based BL200 series, mid-range SAS based BL400 series and high end blades for those needing a great processing power and memory support.
Ethernet pass-thru and switch modules are available in both 1Gbit and 10Gbit speeds, providing options for very high performance networking. Optional mezzanine cards for the blade servers support up to 4 NIC’s per server.
Fibre Channel modules are available from both CISCO and Brocade support up to 8GBit FC. Blades must have an optional FC HBA mezzanine card to utilise these modules. This option will appeal to those wanting to connect the c3000 to a SAN solution like the HP MSA2000FC or EVA series SAN’s.
The interconnect bus on the enclosure has enormous bandwidth and won’t be a bottleneck for networking.
Blade slots are paired and an optional storage blade can be inserted into a adjacent slot to any blade to provide direct attached storage providing up to 6 SATA or SAS drives (2.5inch) which can be configured in a RAID array using HP’s Array Configuration Utility.
A low end iSCSI SAN solution is available in the form of the SB600c Storageblade. This blade takes up two slots, 1 contains a BL460C running Windows 2003 Storage Server and the second slot containing the storage blade detailed above. Window StorageServer allows access to the storage in several ways include iSCSI. HP also have a storage appliance option which moves the supporting StorageServer software from a dedicated blade to a Virtual Machine.
A tape blade is available containing an LTO3 tape drive allowing tape backup within the enclosure.
If the C3000 isn’t large enough, the C7000 option provides 16 Blade slots in 10U of rack space.
A number of blades support VMWare ESXi booting from an internal USB key with the option of using SB600c iSCSI targets to store disk images.