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BL460 and AiO question

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Kevin Quealy
Occasional Visitor

BL460 and AiO question

I'm working up a proposal to move my company to blades, either the c3000 or more likely the c7000.

1. Is anyone using a BL460 blade without internal hard drives? Will a storage blade (SB40c) or external SAN provide quick enough response to not have the OS on the actual server blade? We'll be running a Citrix server, RBase server, and Exchange along with a dc, file & print, etc.

2. The AiO storage devices seem like glorified NAS's capable of only holding files and not running applications. Am I right?
3 REPLIES
Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: BL460 and AiO question

The SB40c is a Smartarray P400 with 6 disks and it's connected directly to the BL460c motherboard. It will appear as internal storage to the blade.
Booting from a SAN device is often done with blades, FC connections are currently 4 Gbps, so it's as fast as internal SCSI.
AiO servers can serve disks through iSCSI, and the blade can boot from there, but it's slower than fiber, of course.
Also, often servers have a local hard disk for the swap file, having that on a remote device can generate a lot of non-essential traffic.
Kevin Quealy
Occasional Visitor

Re: BL460 and AiO question

Thanks for the reply. Good information there. I have a couple of other questions, though.

1. Does a SAN have the ability and/or software to slice it up for different servers? (We would have several instances of Windows 2003 ... one of each server blade.) Or would we need a 3rd party software such as VM Ware?

2. Does the SAN show as one big drive to all blade servers attached to it?
EPaul Richards
Occasional Visitor

Re: BL460 and AiO question

Hi Kevin, to answer your follow-up questions:

1. Does a SAN have the ability and/or software to slice it up for different servers? -- Yes, it does.

(We would have several instances of Windows 2003 ... one of each server blade.) Or would we need a 3rd party software such as VM Ware? -- You can just install ESX on each blade, then run your Windows 2003 instances on them. You gain a lot of flexibility since you can Vmotion the Windows VMs around for maintenance and such. Not to mention you can maximize your resources/equipment by using VMware.


2. Does the SAN show as one big drive to all blade servers attached to it? -- That's not typically a best practice unless you are working with clusters. In most cases, you would create and assign a LUN (or group of LUNs) to a server. You can assign those LUNs to multiple hosts (such as a W2K3 cluster and even ESX servers in a farm.)
Best bet is to speak with your storage vendor on this and they will be able to assist you further.