Today is my rant day about the supporting software which HP delivers with it’s Proliant servers.
There’s different kinds of software downloadable for use with HP Proliant server:
- HP SmartStart
According to HP this is a deployment tool to simplify server setup.
- HP SmartStart Scripting Toolkit
A toolkit to use for multi-server deployments
- HP Service Pack for Proliant
A system software and firmware release.
So what about this software, which is all related to each other.
The trouble is confusion and inconsistency. I’ll give a few examples:
- PXE Booting
The HP SmartStart Scripting toolkit is officially PXE bootable to deploy multiple servers. It is unclear if the normal SmartStart of the HP Service Pack for Proliant is PXE bootable.
We tried PXE booting all these software options, some seem to work, some don’t. All options are based on Linux, but their configuration (used kernel and initial ramdisk) are not the same, though all software does kind of the same thing.
Why isn’t the SmartStart integrated with the Service Pack for Proliant? The current SmartStart (8.70) has a version the Proliant Support Pack (the predecessor of the Service Pack for Proliant) integrated, this is not the same as the version used in the Service Pack for Proliant.
Why not just make a quarterly software bundle for the Proliant Servers? One which is made to be bootable from different media (I personally would LOVE PXE booting). One which is made to be complete, with features like multi-server deployment (Scripting Toolkit), hardware diagnostics (SmartStart) and firmware updating (Service Pack for Proliant).
Multiple software products with their own development and release-cycles make me crazy. I just read that the latest release of SmartStart, version 8.70, will be the last release. What will be the successor of the product, will there be integration with other software products.
Give me something which I can use on all your server products, even older ones like G4 and G5 models.
Why this rant?
Simply because it takes a LOT of time just to find out which servers and products are compatible. Why aren’t all products for the Proliant the same, I would be a lot easier to work with. Why aren’t the support cycles the same, some products are supported longer or shorter than others!
Don’t get me wrong, these products are needed and we used every bit of functionality out of all these products, but please make them more universal and easier to use!