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HP Insight Control Server Provisioning + Windows Server 2012


HP Insight Control is essential server management that unleashes the management capabilities built into every HP ProLiant server. This past February, when HP announced Insight Control v7.2, they also introduced a capability called HP Insight Control server provisioning.


Designed to help customers dramatically simplify and reduce the time associated with server provisioning tasks, HP Insight Control server provisioning is ideal for provisioning Microsoft Windows Server operating systems into multi-server environments such as large datacenters running HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers. The core benefit of HP Insight Control server provisioning is definitely the time savings gotten from using an automated, error-free provisioning tool, which can speed deployment 12X faster than manual server deployment techniques.


Eliminating complexities of server management is a guiding principle of HP Insight, therefore we are excited about Insight Control server provisioning and how it is optimized for HP ProLiant Gen8 servers that can operate in a pre-boot Execution free (PXE-free) environment.


Wondering what a PXE-free environment is or how it works? Let’s take a minute to explain. PXE, short for pre-boot Execution Environment, plays a big role in the deployment of Microsoft Windows Server operating systems. Many of you are probably already familiar with the drawbacks associated with PXE technology. Because of these drawbacks, you are very likely choosing to do PXE-based server deployment in an isolated lab or separate network from your production environments.


HP Insight Control server provisioning takes advantage of ProLiant Gen8 servers to provide a PXE-“less” approach for over-the-network remote installation and configuration of a server. The key enabling technology behind this is the built-in Intelligent Provisioning in HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, which provides a self-contained bootable environment capable of running the standard OS installation tools for Windows.


HP Insight Control server provisioning works with this built-in environment to download, install, and configure the operating system without the need to boot the server over the network to a PXE-hosted intermediate environment. Eliminating the intermediate network boot improves security, speeds up the installation process, gets around limitations to routing of the PXE protocol, and eliminates the complexity of creating and maintaining the PXE-boot infrastructure.


Now that you understand how Insight Control server provisioning and how it is optimized for HP ProLiant Gen8 servers that can operate in a PXE-free environment, let’s look at a common customer concern with infrastructure management tools and how HP addresses it. The customer concern I am talking about is that the set-up of infrastructure management tools can be complex and time consuming. HP Insight Control server provisioning has addressed this concern. In fact, a new installation can be up and running in just minutes due to its fast and simple virtual machine appliance installation.


HP’s solution is delivered as a “software virtual appliance” that is capable of running as a guest on Microsoft Hyper-V hosts. Installation consists of little more than importing the appliance OVF image, and running first-time setup to do things like setup networking. All drivers and tools you will need to deploy HP ProLiant Gen6, Gen7, and Gen8 servers have been pre-integrated, and the appliance is easily updated as new HP servers are introduced in the future.


HP has taken great steps to ensure that HP Insight Control server provisioning is secure, simple to use, and will easily integrate into the largest or smallest customer environment.


For more information, watch this Coffee Coaching Video Session, where John Schmitz, the HP's WW Insight Server Management Lead, will tell us more valuable information about Insight Control v7.2.





To learn more about HP Insight Control server provisioning and HP ProLiant Gen8, join the Coffee Coaching community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn

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