Building a PXE boot environment for ESXi

In our environment we run ESXi primarily on HPE Proliant servers. We use OneView for managing the hardware it self (i.e. monitoring, firmware), but for provisioning ESXi to the servers we have been doing some of it manually and some of it with HPE Insight Control Server Provisioning (ICsp).

When preparing for deployment of a new batch of servers we found that Proliant Gen10 servers is not supported by ICsp. Furthermore after an unofficial chat with a HPE employee it seems that it won’t be anytime soon either. There is a new major version of OneView coming, version 4, which has more features and integrations than before, but from the publicly available FAQs I can’t find anything about it supporting OS deployment

With that we decided to look into building a small deployment solution ourselves. ...  continue reading

Automating iLO config and OneView setup for HPE servers

We have quite a few Blade Enclosures with BL460c server blades in them and have been happy with those. For managing these we are primarly using HPE OneView and in some cases the Onboard Administrator (OA).

Our latest batch of new hardware however was DL360 and DL380 rack servers. These will also be managed by OneView primarly, but initially we need to do some iLO config on each server which in the case of blades are done by the OA. They will also have to be added to OneView manually while the blades would be brought in automatically from the chassis. With lots of new servers to configure this is a tedious process, and there are risk for errors and inconsistency when doing it manually.

To the rescue comes the APIs provided by HPE and our favourite tool, Powershell. ...  continue reading

HPE OneView 4 – First look

HPE released it’s 4th version of their OneView management appliance late in December. While version 3 was a great deal better than v2 and v1 I have some expectations on this release as well.

I think all versions have had value and the new features and functionalities presented has been for the better. Still it wasn’t until version 3 I really felt that it was a solid product.

We’ve run v3 for almost as long as it has been available and have been happy with it. But, as always, there have been some features missing which we would like to se in the product. Our primary needs would be: ...  continue reading

Firmware update HPE Onboard Administrator

In our environment we have several HPE Blade Chassis systems. The chassis is managed with the Onboard Administrator (OA) which consists of one or two management modules.

Like all other hardware these modules have components that needs firmware to run. And firmware needs to be kept updated to fix bugs, add features, new hardware compatibility and mitigate security risks. It’s also a good thing to keep it pretty close to the iLO version updates on your blades as I suspect HPE might not test newer iLO against a lot of old OA version. However I haven’t found that kind of compatibility matrix.

Normally you need to restart the specific hardware after doing a firmware update. This means downtime, but how can you do this on a blade chassis containing up to 16 blade servers running your production load? ...  continue reading