$70 for a USB stick?
System administrators who have HP blade servers in their environments probably know all about the pain of paying for HP-branded USB sticks for use in their BL490's. But why pay $70?
Yes, any old 2GB or bigger USB stick will do. I've used a knock off in the past, just to see if it would work. HP-branded sticks don't appear to hold any special kind of magic. VMWare ESXi loaded onto the stick just fine, booted, and no problems were encountered for the entire 45-day trial.
However, let's say that you have a problem with one of your blades that boots from USB. Maybe it won't boot, or maybe you can't even get an OS to load.
You call HP tech support, and the first thing they are going to ask you is what USB stick you have in there. If it is not the HP-branded stick, then they're going to tell you to buy an HP stick, and call back if the problem persists.
I have a real problem paying $75 for a USB stick, which is the price that HP quotes you on their website. I've checked with a couple of my VARs, and they could only get them to me for $70. Woohoo! Five dollar savings!
Now you might be saying, "What's the big deal? It's only $75." Sure, it's only $75, for one. Buy 100 of them. The cost is now $7500. Can I get another Woohoo!
Good news, though. The geeks friend, newegg.com, sells the exact same HP-branded media, which by the way is actually made by PNY, for a the low price of $7.99. That's a picture of the actual stick over the there on the left, that I got from newegg.com
HP FD4GBHP100-EF 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
The 2GB version doesn't appear to be available as a sanctioned HP part number anymore. However, if you really want to step back to 2GB, you can find them on Amazon pretty cheap.
Also note that there is another part number for this: v100w. Seems to be a generic part number, though, which covers 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and even the 16GB versions of the HP-branded USB sticks.
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