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BladeSystem c7000 Enclosures Emulator / Simulator

 
Brett_Ozforex
Occasional Contributor

BladeSystem c7000 Enclosures Emulator / Simulator

Hi There

 

I was just wondering if you can get a Emulator / Simulator for the c7000  Enclosures?

 

We are looking at making some infrasturcture change to the blade enclosure but would like to run this Simulator first before making the changes.


Cheers,

 

Brett Wright

3 REPLIES
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: BladeSystem c7000 Enclosures Emulator / Simulator

What aspects of the c7000 you feel uncertain about?

 

A Proliant blade in a c7000 enclosure is quite similar to a stand-alone Proliant server in most respects - only the hardware packaging and some hardware details that necessarily follow from that are different. For example, the fan & power supply monitoring results will certainly be different. But nevertheless, it's the familiar x86 processors running the same versions of OS, using the same NIC, HBA and SmartArray controller chips as comparable stand-alone Proliant server models. Because of the different hardware form factor, NIC/HBA model numbers and similar hardware identifying data will be different, so old driver versions from before the introduction of the c7000 cannot be used.

 

In a similar vein, an Integrity blade in a c7000 enclosure is quite similar to a stand-alone HP Integrity server with a Itanium CPU.

 

For most application software, a Proliant blade is not different in any meaningful way from a stand-alone Proliant server (or any generic x86 server, for that matter). Likewise for Itanium blades.

If your application is unusually hardware-sensitive, I would not trust simulators anyway: such applications should be tested on the actual hardware.

 

It will be much more important to understand the limits placed on the I/O configuration of individual server blades sharing an enclosure.

 

In the c7000 architecture, NICs and HBAs conceptually split down the middle: one part goes to each blade in the form of a mezzanine card, another goes to the back of the chassis in the form of an I/O module... and each I/O module is shared by all blades in the chassis. The mapping between mezzanine card slots in the blades and the I/O module slots in the chassis is hardwired: if you don't need some I/O functionality in one blade, you can omit the mezzanine card... but you cannot place a conflicting mezzanine card in its place.

 

For an old example from the first-generation c7000 blades: if you want 7 full-height blades with 2 FibreChannel connections and 6 separate physical NICs, and a 8th blade with no FibreChannel but more physical NICs, you cannot have both in the same chassis because the the lone blade would require a different I/O module configuration than the others. (The 7 blades will want HBA-type I/O modules in specific slots, while the 8th would require replacing them with NIC-type I/O modules.)

 

The 10G FlexNICs modify this picture somewhat, but I hope you got the idea.

MK
Brett_Ozforex
Occasional Contributor

Re: BladeSystem c7000 Enclosures Emulator / Simulator

Hi Matti

 

We are looking at implementing a fibre network for our storage/backup solution apart of this we need to replace the cisco catalyst blade switches in the back of the chassis in bay 1 & 2 and replace these with a HP VC Flex Fabric device.

 

I’ve been told once we remove the Cisco Switches we lose config setting it nice if we could run though this in a simulator beforehand and work a config script for ease of implementations.

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: BladeSystem c7000 Enclosures Emulator / Simulator

As far as I am aware, there is no "Simulator" for the backend of a c7000.

 

Best you can probably get is a demo of the Virtual Connect Manager, preferably with FlexFabric Modules, though it is not abolutely necessary for the demo to have FlexFabric available.  Flex-10 and VC-FC would work just the same.

 

Your reseller should be able to do this, or at the very least get you a demo of the interfaces via their distributor and/or HP direct.

 

If they can't, maybe others can help.  I have a Demo Lab, but I am not your reseller ;o)

 

 

Here is what will happen when you replace the units:

 

1. If you DON'T configure a Virtual Connect Domain, simply connecting the units to your external switches should be enough to pass traffic from the servers to the network... basic connectivity.  I know this used the be the default operation, but that may have changed.

 

2. If you log in and configure a VC Domain, all of your servers will need to be shutdown so that you can configure server profiles for them.  You'll also need to configure Network profiles.

 

 

If you can get a Demo... that would be the best thing probably.

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)