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HP unleashes OneView admin tool on lazy, uncooperative servers

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IT admins, polish up those online gaming skills because HP is coming for your job. Again.

The new OneView management platform for HP BladeSystems, and Proliant Generation 8 and 7 servers was announced by HP on Wednesday with bold claims of dramatically shortened provisioning times and easier management than ever before.

The software has been in the works for around four years and many of its features are based on demands from some 30 customers that helped develop it, HP said.

Over time, OneView will "consume legacy tools such as Virtual Connect Enterprise Management, Insight Control, Systems Insight Manager," HP director of converged systems management Jeff Carlat told El Reg. "The problem we have in the world with legacy tools is that they manage devices, versus doing what administrators need to do and enable tasks."

We're fairly sure that managing devices is exactly what you want a management piece to do, but HP has caught the bug of dressing up software in easy-to-use user interfaces and adding in social features, so apparently the way of the future is a mixture of templating and live analytics, with typical management as well.

OneView uses "agentless analytics" to pull in information from its servers. The monitoring works via the integrated lights-out (iLO4) software on the Gen8 ProLiant servers, which forwards the server SNMP traps without any agents installed on the OS.

OneView can also provision VMs and software onto the servers, and includes a technology to let admins grab information on specific servers or events via a Google-like search engine that makes suggestions as you type.

"You can optionally install the Agentless Management Service on the OS to push additional OS specific data down into the iLO, but HP OneView only communicates with the iLO4 via the management network, never directly to the OS" Bryan Jacquot, chief technologies for HP Converged Infrastructure, told El Reg via email.

The company has also built a mapping technology named MapView that lets you do for on-premises infrastructure what Madeira Cloud does for Amazon Web Services: map out your gear and the connections between it, with some light controlling possible as well.

OneView has a search technology named SmartSearch built around Apache Lucene to help admins rapidly search for information about their server fleet. Like Google, the OneView search will offer suggestions as admins type, and HP claims it will be capable of a 200ms latency.

It wouldn't be a new, "consumer-oriented" technology without a social component, so HP has added in a forum where admins can come together and share tips and tricks with each other on how best to deal with problems and get the most out of their gear. The difference between this and the myriad other ways of getting this information online, such as StackOverflow, is the direct integration of uploaded provisioning templates and help guides into the forum.

"There's a robust IT forum," Carlat says. Users will be able to access SDKs, HP-developed Powershell kits, templates, and such.

The ultimate plan is for OneView to be used by IT bods to gin up fleets of servers in a hurry, share these provisioning templates within their organization, and – if appropriate – up into HP's forum as well. "We are building and fostering an ecosystem around this for companies to integrate this into their workloads and integrate with third party tools and we're even using it internally to better integrate with HP software," Carlat said.

Pricing for a single OneView ​license for one ProLiant Server starts at $799 and ranges up to $1,249 for a standalone license including the iLO Advanced technology. ®

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