Issue #15 January 2006

Red Hat and HP partner to provide maximum benefits of Linux on Blades servers


To address the growing popularity of Linux on blades servers, Red Hat and HP have joined forces to provide a software bundle that offers added efficiency, flexibility, and manageability for customers deploying Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® on HP® BladeSystem™ servers.

The intent with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Management Bundle for HP BladeSystem is to make it easy for customers who buy a new HP BladeSystem to make one additional purchase that gives them everything they need to run and manage Linux on all the blades in their BladeSystem.

The bundle combines eight instances of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 operating system; eight instances of the Red Hat Management and Provisioning modules, and the Red Hat Network Proxy server software--all under one subscription number. In addition, HP includes tools specifically developed for the Red Hat Network to ease deployment of multiple servers within an HP BladeSystem enclosure.

In one solution, customers get:

  1. A dependable, secure, high-performance Linux platform that can handle any workload.
  2. Provisioning tools that make it easy and quick to redeploy a blade with a new workload
  3. System administration tools that reduce the time spent keeping the systems up to date with the latest patches

The Linux subscriptions are portable. They are not locked to individual blades servers or enclosures. This means that a blade loaded with Linux can be moved and used in other enclosures. It also means that the Linux subscription can be removed from one blade and transferred to another, and rapidly provisioned as additional blades are brought online. This allows the customer the flexibility to get the most out of their new BladeSystem deployments.

The HP BladeSystem Integration Toolkit that comes with the bundle provides:

  • Automatic detection and configuration tools supporting HP's Integrated Lights Out (iLO) for remote management, incorporated into Red Hat Network
  • Channel Setup Guide, allowing customers to create their own HP channel in Red Hat Network providing "Up2date" access to 's drivers and management stack for Linux

The Red Hat Network Provisioning Module is a web-based tool that allows a system administrator to rapidly provision new systems and quickly redeploy an individual blade server by removing a completed workload and installing a new one. The provisioning module allows users to more easily match and install the correct configuration files needed to run an individual workload.

Proxy Server, which comes with the bundle, assists with the way patches are managed for the individual blade servers. Without Proxy Server, a system administrator would have each blade server communicate with Red Hat Network servers across the internet to download the latest updates. With Proxy Server, however, only one machine communicates across the internet with Red Hat Network to download the latest updates.

The Proxy Server caches these updates locally behind a company's firewall, which improves security. The other servers connect to the Proxy Server to get their updates. The included Red Hat Network Management Modules also help to reduce the burden on system administrators by allowing blade servers to be grouped together and updated as if they were one system.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Management Bundle for HP BladeSystem marks the first time HP will offer Red Hat Network worldwide, demonstrating HP's commitment to building a Linux solution stack using Red Hat management components. The architecture of RHN contains management tools to help administrators keep systems up-to-date with the latest Red Hat security patches and errata changes. RHN also allows for rapid provisioning of HP BladeSystem servers as additional blades are brought online.

This new joint solution, available only through HP and only with the purchase of an HP Bladesystem, marks the first time HP is offering and supporting RHN worldwide, again demonstrating HP's commitment to building a Linux solution stack with Red Hat components

For more information, including an HP and Red Hat video-webinar which further describes HP's Linux and BladeSystems offering, and this specific solution, visit http://www.redhat.com/blades.