State of xCAT on HP Blades

I had the opportunity this week to test drive xCAT on HP blades. I had a c7000 chassis with some spiffy BL460c G6s. The configuration is very straight forward. We’ve updated the xCAT Install Guide to include how to configure the blades and I think we’ll be doing a lot more.
Currently on these blades the following seems to work well:

  • getmacs
  • rinv

rpower works but there are some glitches where it doesn’t return status correctly.  We’ll be fixing that to make sure it does.  rpower <noderange> boot (which we rely on a lot) is non functional.  (Mostly I think because rpower off and on don’t work all the time as expected.)

rvitals is not set up either.

Its been good to see how xCAT is able to function on many vendors platforms.  I think this is one of the things that makes it uniquely positioned among data center management solutions is that it is able to excel in heterogeneous environment.  I hope this also dispels any myths that xCAT is an IBM product.  While its legacy is IBM, it has evolved into an open source project that can be used by many organizations desiring data center management without vendor hardware lock-in.

  • Ender Guler

    I know it’s been long time but I try to install xcat on a hp blade system with bl460 g8 nodes. And want to ask you some questions. I read the document that you provide above and found it much more useful than the official xcat documentation.nnIf you still follow this post’s comments and answer my questions, I would greatly appreciate.nnHP bl460 g8 has ilo4 as management module. And the official xcat documents claim that xcat can play nicely with HP onboard administrator and ilo. But in my case it does not seem like this. I’m receiving lots of plugin related errors while try to run xcat commands to power on/off the nodes. Could it be related to ilo version? The lates ilo is version 4 and maybe xcat does not support it, right?nnI have one more question: Is it possible to prepare a golden client for state-full installations with xcat and then deploy it to nodes like in HP CMU or open source system-imager tool? There is no direct pointer in official xcat documentation (as far as I read) for this kind of functionality. If there is a document about the functionality that I want could you please give information about that document?Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous

      It could be the firmware is the issue. Looking at the SVN tree, it doesn’t look like the module has been updated since 2010: nI don’t know of any document that shows how to do the golden client. We had an old document for using system imager to blast a golden image. Really xCAT has taken the philosophy to just build the image instead of taking vanilla images. If you look under the claws section of the xcat.orgpage, you’ll see how we used partimage to do this in the past.

      • Ender Guler

        Thank you Vallard. Your answer helped me so much.