For many server workloads, processor speed has not increased enough to justify the retirement of certain server lines. Many of us who also provide server support to Development and QA teams need to deal with retired and end-of-life products. Consider the broad selection of perfectly serviceable HP blade enclosures and really affordable blades in the aftermarket. With 220 volt supply and a storage unit you can cheaply provide 16 hosts in a 10U space to your teams.
The problem is that in order to use blade enclosures and their blades you are most likely going to be forced to use HP ILO 2 or ILO 3 for occasional console access, but in order to use those you'll need to use a long-dead release of the Java Plugin.
Modern Windows 7 and 8 workstations and Windows Server 2008 and 2012 servers will run these older Java releases with certain really old browser releases and certain questionable hacks but leave your workstation in an undesirable state while only realizing partial functionality. MacOS won't even let you try. I attempted several solutions, such as installing the required Java 1.4.2, but those who've tried note the lack of a 64-bit version of this release. Java 1.5 results in somewhat working remote console but a completely dead and nonfunctional virtual media device window (for booting from CDROM ISO images). In a pinch, the SSH interface available as far back as ILO 2 will get you going, but only the paid Advanced version enables virtual media devices via SSH, leaving you in the lurch again.
The solution I came up with, as it turns out, is to create a 32-bit virtual machine with Centos 6.5 i386 (32-bit) edition, Java 1.5 from java.sun.com, and Firefox 3.0.18 from ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/. Extract java to
Keep this virtual machine handy whenever you need to access the console and mount ISO images an old server using ancient HP ILO. I wish that HP, Dell, and Cisco would move to a standardized IMPI that doesn't use any Java.
Until then, get access to your HP machines long enough to install a plain text console Unix or, if you can get the approved network drivers for your old server, VMware vSphere ESXi, and say "goodbye" to that ancient HP ILO interface.