Big Blue Rolls Out New HMC For Power Control Freakage
May 5, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Look out system administrators, there is a new Hardware Management Console in town. Or, if you are not fond of the HMC, perhaps you call it the Hardware Mangling Controller. No matter what you call it, there is a new one of them, and this one is better than its predecessors.
The 7042-CR8 rack-mounted HMC was tucked into the April 28 announcements, which included the new Power8 entry machines as well as IBM i 7.2, as we reported on elsewhere in the issues last week and this week. In announcement letter 114-060, you canâ€™t really see much about this new HMC beyond the fact that it has RAID 1 mirroring for its own software, supports the latest Web browsers, and supports the management of up to 16 concurrent live partition mobility (LPM) live migrations on the Power Systems machines that it is tasked with ordering around as they run IBM’s own PowerVM hypervisor.
I did some digging around and found this graphic, which shows it is just a System x server, as you would expect, in this case equipped with the HMC version 8 release 8.1.0 software. (Yes, that is 22.214.171.124 for the software name).
The earlier 7042-CR6 and 7042-CR7 HMC units are also now supporting RAID 1 mirroring across their disks with the updated HMC software. The new 7042-CR8 unit does not have support for a modem. (That is so retro.) The current HMC 126.96.36.199 release can be used to control freak any Power6 or higher system.
The 7042-CR8 HMC has two “Ivy Bridge” Xeon E5 v2 processors from Intel running at 2 GHz. It comes with a mere 8 GB of memory and two 500 GB disk drives that are mirrored. It has four Ethernet ports running at 1 Gb/sec, which is plenty fast enough for system management. It will be available on June 10, and it costs a stunning $5,800. That is pretty costly for such a modestly configured two-socket X86 server. IBM wants $425 for an additional 8 GB of memory if you want to boost that.