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Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

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Regular Advisor

Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

I'm looking into getting some of the above Blade servers to consolidate some of our space and cabling instead of just buying more DL380s.

Anyone have experiences, recommendations, testimonials, lessons learned or warnings about these and/or the Rapid Depoloyment Pack software?

We're looking into getting some of these on "try and buy" eval from HP (to make sure the BL20 connects to our SAN and doesn't have problem with fibre device drivers, etc).

Linux for Oracle on the BL20's is also something we wanna try.

cheers (and points) for any feedback!
David Paulson_3
Occasional Visitor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?


My organization installed a mix of about 35
BL20p, and BL20p G2 blades, and 12 BL10e
blades one year ago.

If you're going to use blades, be prepared
to do everything via software in
a 'virtual' world. There are
no keyboard, monitor, or mouse ports.
No CD-ROM or floppy drives. It takes a long
time to learn how to operate the equipment.

The software and hardware are proprietary
and expensive.

The marketing folks at HP have done a good
job of hyping these products, but I would
not buy blades again if it was up to me.

They have made matters worse in my shop.


Regular Advisor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

Interesting feedback David, I'm aware that they're administered via their own software and the deal with the keyboard/mouse/cdrom, but you're the first person I know to go on record with a negative experience.

Do you happen to use Linux on any of these blades?

Prashant (I am Back)
Honored Contributor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

Hi David,

Since you are working with blade server i have seen one. but i want to know few thing if you reply back or provide me you mail address. so i can intract.

Prasahnt S.
Nothing is impossible
Michael Matthews_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

You may be interested to hear that our current versions of the Bl-p series products have a KVM dongle available.

It has a video connector and 2 USB connectors.

You can connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, as well as a USB floppy, or CDROM drive.

We're listening :)

Just be sure to have your sales rep verify that your models support this dongle and you should be all set.

I'm kind of partial to remote access myself, but you're absolutely right about it. Remote access is supposed to be a convenience that saves time and cycles. If at any point, it is doing the opposite of that, then there is a need to be able to connect directly.

David Keirns
Occasional Visitor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

The blades are managable via the RDP software, though I'd recommend getting one of the KVM dongles, because sometimes you just need local access. However...

We've had a BL10e chassis and 10 blade units deployed for just about 18 months. So far we have had 3 hard drive failures of the first 10 units deployed. I'm not too happy about the 30% failure rate.
Regular Advisor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?

Interesting. I would have hoped the technology would be mature enough to have worked out these kinds of teething problems. Thanks loads for the feedback David (and others)
Asgeir Nilsen
Occasional Visitor

Re: Blade BL20, BL10e Real Life Experiences?


I am currently managing 40 blade servers (20 BL10e and 20 BL10eG2) running 2000 Server, XP Pro, 2003 Server, and Red Hat Linux.

The first enclosure was bought when BL10e was released more than three years ago. So far, the only failure has been one hard drive.

Managing servers headless takes some time getting used to, and the Altiris Deployment Solution, with it's PXE and DOS-based magic can be challenging to handle.

As for KVM, I have one diagnostic adapter attached to a Raritan UKVMPD, so console is just four floors down and a couple of Scroll Locks away.

The only two shortcomings I have experienced has been:

1. The serial console BIOS' inability to display progress from the DOS-based parts of installations and imaging
2. Lack of support for more than 1 GB of RAM