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HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Revantha Udugampola
Occasional Advisor

HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Hi All,

I am trying to build a HP blade solution based on the c7000 chassis together with the HP BLc 1/10Gb VC-Enet Module as I am interested in exploring the HP virtual connect solution to connect to the iSCSI based HP LeftHand P4500 SAN.. the connectivity with the SAN would be via Brocade's new GigE Switching Platform the FastIron CX 624S..


Would be grateful for any advice and knowledge could be shared with me in this regard. The client is primarily into media as such heavy graphic files would be flowing across the blade to the SAN apart from normal file shareing and email...

Thanks in Advance...

revantha..
6 REPLIES
Adrian Clint
Honored Contributor

Re: HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Ok Revantha... here goes.
First - the iSCSI card does not say it supports Virtual Connect in the quickspecs. The similar NC373m does say it does. So you need to get that confirmed as it may just be missing from the quickspecs doc.

On your kit list....
1. You can cut the 2400 PSU down from 6 to 4. The power you will consume initially will only need 1 PSU worth. Use 4 for redundancy and you can always add the other 2 later.
2. Up the fans from 6 to 10. You will need them where you are.
3. Id recommend you up the OAs BLc7000 DDR2 Encl Mgmt Option from 1 to 2.
4. Are you building the rack onsite? If so you dont need the 433718-B21
5. Remove the 2x 252663-B34 and change one of the 252663-B31 to a 262553-B33. Too complicated to explain. Gives you best power and some C13 sockets for anything else in the rack.
6. You dont want a KVM, IP Console cables or IP CAT5 cables. You should be using the Blade iLO interfaces from a desktop/server with a screen. Why not add a simple DL100 series server and use the TFT screen on the list or a Desktop to sit on top of the blades. Simplest option is to forget the TFT as well and just manage it from a Desktop/workstation.
7. If the blade enclosure is going in the bottom of the rack remove the AF062A.
8. The filler panel kits should be 3 or 2 if you have a desktop in the rack.
9. Add a couple of 444477-B21 0.5M CX4 10Gb cables to the order - these are to connect all Virtual Connect modules together.

Thats so far

Revantha Udugampola
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Hi Adrian,

Thanks this is lots of information, specially on the virtual connect front, I will have a look on the NC373m will change the BOM and will revert back to you...

Also my agenda is to consolidate more that 12 servers with the client ,primarily on windows 2003 and file sharing and Email are are key applications (he is into the media business) and that's the primary reason I chose iSCSI based HP LeftHannd SAN.. I would like to see the possibilities of pushing 10GigE from the Blades to the Brocade CX GigE Switch which connect to the iSCSI SAN so any bottle necks could be avoided.. you got any advice for this please..

thanks,

revantha
JonathanT
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Are you even going to have enough spindles running in the Lefthand SAN to worry about 10Gb ethernet with random I/O?
Revantha Udugampola
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Hi Jonthan,

You made me look more deeper into the LeftHand P4500 box... yep I guess it does not have enough spindles to handle the 10GigE.. any advice from you on this...

regards.

revantha
JonathanT
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Well the first thing I think you have to ask yourself is what kind of work load are your servers going to be doing?

* sequential I/O on large files
* lots of random I/O on little files

Most workloads that I encounter are a lot of random I/O operations. There is simply a limit to how many IOPS a physical drive can produce and caching can assist in. If you're going to go down the physical drive route you're going to have to use a lot of spindles.

What I'm planning to build is centered around DataCore's SanMelody. This is a software SAN solution (what SAN isn't really software under the hood anyways). It takes the physical storage attached to the server and presents it as well behaved iSCSI LUNs to other services. I'm planning a two tier solution for the storage. The 1st tier is a high performance storage for an OLTP database. The second tier is mass storage more suitable for the virtual machine OSes, etc. My current hardware plan looks like this:

2 - BL490C G6 servers with 32GB of RAM

Each of the blades will have

1 - SB40C with 12 OCZ SSD (250GB) in a RAID 1+0 configuration.

1 - SAS connection to an MSA2324sa with 24 500GB 2.5" Seagate Savio drives (2 hot spairs with the rest of the drives carved up into a couple of RAID-6 virtual disks and then partitioned into LUNS and presented to the storage server).

I'm hoping this configuration will give me 750GB-1.25TB (depending upon the RAID setup) of super high performance and super high availability storage for the database. Then on the lower performance requirement applications, backups, etc. 5 TB of bulk storage. If I end up needing more space I can tack MSA shelfs off the back of the MSA2324sa and add them. Hopefully the SSD storage will be able to drive the 1100MB/sec that is theoretically possible with 10Gb iSCSI.

The other thing I like about putting the SSD into the SB40C is that the SB40C simply contains an HP P400 raid controller card. In some of these scenarios that raid controller card can limit over throughput. Hopefully I would be able to replace the card with something high performance from LSI or Intel if necessary. Honestly I would be perfectly happy with 500MB/sec of random IO performance.

Also it's worth noting that I'm choosing the MSA2324sa over a regular MSA70 or something because I still want to be able to attach to some LUNs on the MSA directory from some of the blades and have the ability to have the LUN in an HA pair as well.

Anyone please feel free to comment on this setup.
Revantha Udugampola
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP LeftHand on iSCSI, HP Blades and Brocade FastIron CX 624S

Thanks Jonathan this is humongous amount of information and i am still buried deep inside the same reading each single word of the setup will come back to you soon...

regards,

revantha