RHEL 5.3 + HP = kernel panic

So I was upgrading an HP server to the latest Redhat Enterprise Linux 5.3 today. However I rebooted the machine after the kernel upgrade it died with a kernel panic. I wasn’t anticipating this since RHL5.3 has been in beta for months and the kernel is over a month old which should have shaken all the bugs out.

It turns out there is a Redhat Knowledgebase article for it. The problem is that the ProLiant Support Pack (PSP) tools which we used to monitor the hardware ( raid, fans, heat etc) from the OS use binary kernel modules. So when the HP daemons run and load the modules into a different kernel than what they are written for everything dies.

Even worse HP have yet to release updates to PSP which supports the new kernels. Pretty slack and some people in the HP forums are not impressed. So roughly speaking I now have high-price enterprise hardware that won’t run the current version of the most common enterprise Linux distribution unless I disable all the software that lets me talk to the “value added” hardware.

Makes me wonder what I’m paying the extra 50% per box for.