Virtualization the new norm
Everyone is talking about virtualization. Virtualization is where you capture or copy an existing server or spin or load up a new server in a virtual machine on a single server. This single server if equipped correctly can contain multiple servers. Many small businesses need multiple virtual servers but like the idea of hosting them all on one physical server.
Hypervisor = Host for Virtual servers
One typical solution is to build a very fast HP server and install HyperV as the hypervisor operating system. The sole job of the hypervisor is to prepare the server to act like host for the various servers it will run. Typically the small business will have one physical server acting as a host for virtual servers running domain controller, possibly an exchange or mail server and possibly a SQL or Line of Business application.
HP G8 Server for Virtualization
HP Generation 8 (G8) Server changed more than the fancy faceplate. Here are a few of the most notable changes.
Proactive Hardware Monitoring
HP is now proactively monitoring the server hardware and automatically start processing a RMA replacement for a failed part before you even contact them to request one. No more answering questions and gathering logs to send to support (like Dell) the server can notify HP with all the pertinent information. HP can already start processing the RMA for the failed part and getting your replacement into your hand.
HP added “smarter intelligence” to many components on the servers to allow each component to save logs about possible issues or operating conditions to each piece of hardware, instead of on each specific controller. If a RAM chip starts failing, the software doesn’t just show that the RAM slot has a bad chip but saves this information onto the RAM module itself. This way if the module is accidently placed in another machine it will show immediately as a failed chip instead of running and possibly causing problems.
This same functionality is also built into the new hard drives. With Gen8 HP has put a “dummy” LED that gives the user a little reminder that bad things may happen if you pull this drive. .
HP has also re-designed the way the CPU chips are installed to the servers. It is called it a “Smart Socket”. This new socket allows for you to slip in an Intel CPU and install it without worrying about bending the pins on the system board.
The majority of servers never get a firmware upgrade because the business are afraid of the worst case scenario, where the server never recovers or boots back up after a firmware upgrade to a server motherboard. This can cause problems down the road as well as security concerns. With HP’s new Smart Update Manager, they make this a fairly pain free automated process. It will download the updates, check dependencies, apply them in order and if one of them fails, roll back to the previous versions. This make the process painless, fast and nearly foolproof and this can be done painlessly in minutes.
HP released a mobile iLO application back in February for iOS/Android phones and tablets. iLO allows our engineers to reboot, watch the boot process and rebuid drive arrays remotely via the Integrated Light Out monitoring application. Our technicians can now perform these server reboot and monitoring duties from a very mobile friendly app and can be done on your portable tablet or phone.
Local Virtual Servers
Many people think that a virtual server need to be in the “Cloud” or at a data center located in some distant data center. Small and medium businesses that we deal with like having the Physical Server locating in there building where they can see it and touch it and reboot it if necessary.
Micro Doctor has the expertise to build these next generation HP servers into a fast efficient solution for your next server upgrade. We build in the fastest drives, smart power backup and disaster recovery solutions in a economical server solution for even the most modest of budgets. Call us for a free consultation today.
Written by Mark Richmond, President, MCSE of Micro Doctor Inc. Warren, OH
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