This white paper provides an overview of the first generation Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Interconnect Kit
options for the ProLiant BL p-Class system. Each GbE Interconnect Kit includes a pair of industry-
standard Ethernet switches that dramatically reduce the number of Ethernet network cables attached to
the rear of the ProLiant BL p-Class server blade enclosure.
The intended audience for this paper includes engineers and system administrators familiar with the
overall network design of the ProLiant BL p-Class system. For readers not familiar with this overall
network design, please see the
ProLiant BL p-Class Networking Overview
The HP ProLiant BL p-Class system includes a portfolio of ProLiant BL p-Class server blades, the p-Class
server blade enclosure, and four interconnect options.
The ProLiant BL p-Class server blade family includes the dual-processor ProLiant BL20p and BL20p G2
server blades for mid-tier applications and the quad-processor ProLiant BL40p server blade for back-
The 6U (10.5 inch) p-Class server blade enclosure has eight server bays, and two outermost
interconnect bays for collection of the network and storage signals. The signals are routed from the
server blades, across the server blade enclosure backplane, and to the interconnect blades.
HP offers a family of interconnect options so that customers can choose how the Ethernet network
signals exit the server blade enclosure. Interconnect options include two patch panel pass-through kits
and two integrated Ethernet switch kits (the GbE Interconnect Kit and the GbE2 Interconnect Kit). The
two patch panel options allow all Ethernet network signals to pass through to third-party LAN devices,
thus giving customers flexibility in choosing their own switches. The GbE and GbE2 Interconnect Kit
options include managed Ethernet switching technology that provides up to a 32-to-1 reduction in
network cables at the back of the BL p-Class enclosure. This cable reduction significantly reduces the
time required to deploy, manage, and service ProLiant BL p-Class systems.
Please see the ProLiant BL p-Class Networking Overview white paper for a summary of all four
interconnect options along with an interconnect decision chart to assist in choosing the appropriate
type of interconnect switch to use.
This white paper describes the GbE Interconnect Switch. The GbE Interconnect Switch is intended for
applications that require 100 megabits per second (Mb/s) Fast Ethernet network adapter (NIC)
consolidation to Gigabit Ethernet uplinks.
Available at http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/proliant-bl/p-class/bl-p-interconnect-switch.html.