Just completed a week of blade system training by HP. They take blade technology to a whole new level. The keyword here is Integration. Everything is integrated here except the kitchen sink. And then maybe next time.
The c class blade servers are very much smaller than the old p class, eg no more double slots or sleeves. They are available either as full height or half height single slot servers, giving a total of 8 or 16 blades in a 10U chassis. Coupled together with wide range options, HP has a winner. And the market agrees. In summer of 2007, HP BladeSystem now has the largest market share.
The road to being certified as an ASE with c class specialization is a rocky one. With a prerequisite of MCSE 2003, all I need to pass are three papers, AIS HP0-055, ASE HP0-053 and c class HP0-064.
24 Aug 07.
Finally passed HP0-064. Now ASE-Specialty in HP ProLiant Servers c-Class Blades. Yippee.
Some of the questions were pretty brain dead, some are really weird like when adding a second enclosure, what should I install? It seems the answer is the rear module. There were no questions on details of each blade servers and differences, eg mezzanine slots are the fastest for BL465 and it is the only one that supports Novell. Mezzanine port mappings are not there too, presumably, they wanted to keep the exam questions hardware version, independent.
22 Aug 07
Passed the ASE HP0-053. It focuses on using the HP servers in the enterprise environment. This means lots of questions on how to manage several servers iLO, how to use iLO, the security of iLO, where to install SIM and its modules eg VCRM, VPM. You must also be familiar with stuff found in the enterprise environment eg clusters, and how the different clusters work, eg Linux, Microsoft, Netware, HP-UX etc. Not to mention there are questions on HP Care Parks and to make life even more interesting, there are a few on p and c class BladeSystems.
The textbook for ASE is again HP ProLiant Servers AIS : official study guide and desk reference by Bryan Weldon, Shawn Rogers. It is a bit outdated for the enterprise, which means that most of the stuff that comes out in the exam is not covered by this book. HP.com is now your only reference available.
25 July 07. Passed AIS exam. This paper is simple enough, though the tricky bits are with the MSA and HP warranties. Needless to say, you must be familiar with Proliant Essentials, eg RBSU, ORC, ADU, ACU, SIM, System Management etc. The textbook which covers everything and more is this
HP ProLiant Servers AIS: official study guide and desk reference by Bryan Weldon, Shawn Rogers.
It helps if you have been playing with HP servers for a few years.