HP Systems Insight Management – who uses it?

I just want to mention that I love HP (and previously Compaq) servers. I love installing Windows 2003 with a Smart Start DVD and all of the HP Insight Management agents, the Windows drivers for the various systems components being installed when it’s all said and done.

I’ve been playing with the HP Systems Insight Management Console for the last few months. It’s a great tool and lots and lots of granular monitoring, patch and firmware deployment, etc.

I just realized this week that you could go to HP’s website and install what’s called a Proliant Support Pack.

make sure and set some settings in SNMP or the agents won’t work when you load up HP Systems Management Homepage.

You’ll need to go to the Service Panel and right click on SNMP Service. On the Traps Tab, you’ll need to specify a community of public (or whatever might be the standard at your organization).

Go to the security tab, and check the “send authentication trap”
For public rights should be “READ ONLY”
for private rights should be “READ CREATE”

In the “Accept SNMP Packets from these hosts” you will need to specify and localhost.
If you have a HP Systems Insight Management Console setup, you’ll need to specify the hostname or the IP address of your HP Systems Insight Management Console server.

These settings may be set for you if you use the HP Smart Start DVD to install Windows 2003.

If you need to install SNMP after you install Windows, be careful as it automatically selects IIS server when you select SNMP when adding programs to get the SNMP service installed.

I also had a bit of trouble installing SNMP after Windows 2K3 Service Pack 2 had been installed. I had to insert a Windows 2003 Server CD, and also download and extract the SP2 install image to a directory because the SNMP installation required files from both install packages before it would install.

I tricked SP2 by clicking on the download image and letting it expand, and then copying the expanded folder to another location and then clicking cancel, which then deleted the original expanded SP2 install directory.

I have since found out that there is a command to expand it.
WindowsServer2003-KB914961-SP2-x86-ENU.exe -x:c:\temp\sp2\
to expand it into the c:\temp\sp2\ directory.

Now that you have SNMP and HP Systems Insight Management Home Page working…you can check to see if your hardware has any problems, what type of HP system you have and what and how many of each component you have.

If you have a HP Systems Insight Management Console, Version control agents (on the client server), and an up-to-date Version Control Database (on the Management Console server), you can determine what version of ROM and drivers you have compared with what has been downloaded from HP on your Insight Management Console and is available for install from your Insight Management Console server.

This is a great way to keep your server up-to-date.

Additionally, you can “push” the latest updates to a single or list of (client) servers from the HP Insight Management Console servers. It works very well, and its very simple once the whole thing is already setup. Sometimes discovery can be a little flaky and you need to specify your servers on the HP Systems Insight Management Console, but otherwise, it’s very good.

But what if you don’t have a spare server laying around to use as a HP Systems Insight Management Console, with the Version Control Database on it?

You can download the Prolian Support Pack as mentioned above for your server and apply all the latest baseline HP software and Windows drivers to a single server or even push that to a group of local servers.

It’s kind of the same concept without the dedicated HP Systems Insight Management Console server.

One thing to note is that after you download and install the Proliant Support Pack from HP, you’ll also need to download the ROM updates for the CPU, ILO and ILO2 Boards, and Array Controllers seperately from the Proliant Support Pack. Once you have downloaded the correct ones, you can put them in the same directory with the other Proliant Support Pack files and apply them all at once.

Very cool stuff.

One thing that I have to complain about though is that it is VERY VERY difficult to find individual downloads on the HP site. It’s almost impossible even using google and their own search engine.

Here’s a very useful URL. START HERE -> http://h20180.www2.hp.com/apps/Nav?h_pagetype=s-001&h_lang=en&h_cc=us&h_product=241435&h_client=S-A-R163-1&h_page=hpcom&lang=en&cc=us

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