Last week I got my hands on yet another HP C3000 Blade system and spent a bit of time trying out some of the features and functionality provided via the Onboard Administrator (OA). The OA is a powerful web based management interface to the c3000 and all the attached blades.
One of the nicest features is the graphical view of the devices in the enclosure. At a glance you can tell if all your power supplies are connected, how much load they are under and even view a power consumption over time. You can also view cooling fans, check the internal temperature and overall cooling performance. Unplugging one fan causes the system to rebalance the cooling and you can watch it happen via the OA.
Asset management is made easy by being able to quickly identify any device in the enclosure and view serial numbers and part numbers. This is particularly useful when managing the c3000 from a remote location. Custom asset tags can be assigned to devices allowing easy tracking in your asset managment system.
Last and certainly not least is the small LCD display used to configure the initial enclosure settings is colour coded. Insert your blades and then check the display and it will assist you with the basic configuration. The screen itself changes colour to indicate configuration issues and then tells you how to fix it e.g. iLO not configured on a device, incorrectly inserted blades or power supply failure.
Of course I like quite a few other things about blade technology including reduced cabling, savings on the power bill, nice solid design, hot swap fans and power, flexible networking options and performance, HP ICE and iLO remote console. More on that later…