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HP nPartition Server Overview

HP nPartition servers can be configured as one large single system or divided up into multiple separate systems; the latter is the more common configuration. Each of the separate nPartitions provide both hardware and software isolation from one another. Therefore, no activity on one nPartition can affect the operation of another nPartition. As the foundation for a VSE, HP's nPartition servers provide a flexible yet robust solution for data center consolidation. nPartitions are also commonly referred to as hard partitions.

Figure 4-1 is a block diagram of an HP nPartition cabinet. The diagram shown closely resembles an HP SD32A cabinet, but the intent is not to represent any specific model. There are differences in the physical layout of the various HP nPartition cabinets, but the overall concepts presented in the figure and the accompanying text generally apply to all HP nPartition cabinets.

04fig01.gif

Figure 4-1 Block Diagram of HP nPartition Server Compute Cabinet

The following list describes the major components of HP nPartition servers, most of which are shown in Figure 4-1.

  • Complex: HP nPartition complexes contain a minimum of one and a maximum of four cabinets cabled together. The minimal configuration for a complex is a single compute cabinet. The maximal configuration for a complex consists of two compute cabinets and two I/O expansion cabinets.

  • Compute Cabinet: A cabinet containing CPU, memory, and I/O resources is called a compute cabinet.

  • I/O Expansion Cabinet (IOX): An I/O expansion cabinet contains I/O resources but no CPU or memory resources.

  • Management Processor: Every complex contains one active service processor that is referred to as either the management processor or the guardian service processor.

  • Cell: The physical hardware board that provides CPU and memory resources. A cell can be added, removed, or upgraded without disrupting the operation of the other partitions in the complex. Cells are the fundamental building blocks of HP nPartition servers.

  • I/O Chassis: I/O chassis contain peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slots suitable for installing networking and storage adapters. Both compute and I/O expansion cabinets contain I/O chassis. In order to be usable by an nPartition, every I/O chassis must be physically connected to a cell. An I/O chassis can be connected to exactly one cell. Note that a cell need not be connected to an I/O chassis to be usable by an nPartition.

  • Core I/O Card: Within each I/O chassis, slot 0 (zero) may contain a core I/O card. At least one core I/O card is required for every nPartition. The core I/O card provides console access and other fundamental nPartition services.

  • nPartition: An nPartition consists of one or more cells and at least one of the cells must be connected to an I/O chassis. In addition, at least one of the I/O chassis must contain a core I/O card. When a cell is assigned to an nPartition, the connected I/O chassis is automatically assigned to the same nPartition. nPartitions can be created, modified, and deleted without changing the physical hardware in a complex, which allows for flexible configuration over the life of the system

There are three generations of HP nPartition servers. Table 4-1 lists the generations along with the supported operating systems, processor types, model numbers, and the maximum number of cells and I/O chassis for each of the servers. The external I/O chassis listed in the table reside within an I/O expansion cabinet. Along with the maximum number of I/O chassis listed, the number of PCI slots is also shown for each configuration. The total number of PCI slots available for a given configuration is the sum of the slots in internal and external I/O chassis.

Table 4-1. HP nPartition Server Models

Generation

Supported Operating Systems

Processor

Model Numbers

Max Number of Cells

Max Number of Internal I/O Chassis (and Max PCI Slot Count)

Max Number of External I/O Chassis (and Max PCI Slot Count)

First Generation

HP-UX

PA-RISC

HP 9000

rp7410

2

2 (16)

0 (0)

HP 9000

rp8400

4

2 (16)

2 (16)

HP 9000

SD16000

4

4 (48)

0 (0)

HP 9000

SD32000

8

4 (48)

4 (48)

HP 9000

SD64000

16

8 (96)

8 (96)

Second Generation (based on sx1000 chipset)

HP-UX

PA-RISC

HP 9000

rp7420

2

2 (16)

0 (0)

HP 9000

rp8420

4

2 (16)

2 (16)

HP 9000

SD16A

4

4 (48)

0 (0)

HP 9000

SD32A

8

4 (48)

4 (48)

HP 9000

SD64A

16

8 (96)

8 (96)

HP-UX, Microsoft Windows, Linux

Intel®

Itanium® 2

HP Integrity

rx7620

2

2 (16)

0 (0)

HP Integrity

rx8620

4

2 (16)

2 (16)

HP Integrity

SD16A

4

4 (48)

0 (0)

HP Integrity

SD32A

8

4 (48)

4 (48)

HP Integrity

SD64A

16

8 (96)

8 (96)

Third Generation (based on HP super scalable processor chipset sx2000)

HP-UX

PA-RISC

HP 9000

rp7440

2

2 (16)

0 (0)

HP 9000

rp8440

4

2 (16)

2 (16)

HP 9000

SD16B

4

4 (48)

0 (0)

HP 9000

SD32B

8

4 (48)

4 (48)

HP 9000

SD64B

16

8 (96)

8 (96)

HP-UX, Microsoft Windows, Linux

Intel®

Itanium® 2

HP Integrity

rx7640

2

2 (16)

0 (0)

HP Integrity

rx8620

4

2 (16)

2 (16)

HP Integrity

SD16B

4

4 (48)

0 (0)

HP Integrity

SD32B

8

4 (48)

4 (48)

HP Integrity

SD64B

16

8 (96)

8 (96)

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