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Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

 
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Randy Hinds
Occasional Contributor

Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

I've perused the forums and have found similar but not exact info on this configuration. Basically, what I'm after is a fully-populated C7000 chassis (BL-460's) with 4 NICs in each blade. I want each of these 4 NICs to be present on the network via some sort of simple "pass-thru" module(s). No switches or anything fancy, just each blade having 4 NICs presented to the exterior network. I've determined that I would need a dual-NIC mezzanine card to bring each blade up to 4 NICs, but I'm unsure about what "interconnect" modules I would need and how many.

I'm familiar with this concept on the p-series chassis, which worked fine for us. But with the C7000 having the capacity of 16 half-height blades, there would be twice as many jacks in each of the pass-thru modules as compared to the p-series full-height, consequently I'm unsure of what I need to purchase.

Any recommendations for a solution?

Thanks!
7 REPLIES
Terri Harris
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

Sounds like you are looking for a Ethernet pass-thru as the Interconnect switch in the c-class (and not an actual Ethernet switch).
1. With a dual-NIC mezz card in each blade, you would need a pair of Ethernet pass-through Interconnects to handle the port 1 & port 2 NIC traffic. The BL460c blade servers have integrated dual-port NICs. So with the integrated NICs & one dual-port NIC mezz card, you could get 4 NIC ports per blade server.

HP 1Gb Ethernet Pass-Thru Module for c-Class BladeSystem:

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/blades/components/ethernet/pass-thru/index.html?jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN

HOWEVER: This would require 4 x Ethernet-Pass Thru modules since you would need to install in interconnect bays 1, 2, 3 & 4. This is because of the port mapping in the c7000.

For port mapping detail, see the C7000 Quick Start Guide: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00698534/c00698534.pdf

page 7 "Mapping Half-height blades"

With BL460c and a dual-port NIC in mezz slot 1:
Integrated NIC port 1 -> Ethernet Bay #1
Integrated NIC port 2 -> Ethernet Bay #2
Mezz 1 NIC Port 1 -> Ethernet Bay #3
Mezz 1 NIC Port 2 -> Ethernet Bay #4
rick jones
Honored Contributor

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

Pass-through is nice and all, but with four ports per blade and 16 blades per chassis, that's 64 cables. Do you _really_ want that?

Just how much bandwidth do you need per blade? Might going with four of the 1/10G VC Enet modules and using 4x10G uplinks suffice? It certainly would mean fewer cables...
there is no rest for the wicked yet the virtuous have no pillows
jackK_1
Occasional Visitor

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

Hi all;

I have sort of the same question. I just boought Hp blades c7000 enclosure and 16 half 460c server and I am a little confuse in term of connecting these servers to the network. I have a total of 4 Pass-thru ethernet modules( bay 1,2, 5, 6). I also have 2 Mezzanines module in bay 3 and 4. Does that mean I have a total of 6 nic available for me to use(2 embeded according to previous reply + 2 in bay 1&2, 2 in bay 5&6)? Also, I don't see any switch on the back of the Enclosure, does that mean I need another external swithc to hook all these server to the network?

Sorry guys, I am new at this and would like to learn from you all.

Thanks!
Terri Harris
Honored Contributor

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

JackK,
Using the Ethernet Pass-Thru, you can connect your c-class blades to your existing Ethernet network.

I am attaching a single PowerPoint slide that diagrams in color the way the port mapping works on the c7000 enclosure with just half-height blades. This describes the integrated NIcs (dual-port in the half-height blade) and how each mezz card in slot 1 and slot 2 would map out to the respective interconnect bay number. This port mapping cannot be changed.
Not sure what you mean by having mezz modules in bay 3 & 4. I assume you mean interconnect modules. What kind?
Randy Hinds
Occasional Contributor

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

Terri-
Thanks very much for the links and information. This is exactly what I'm going to need to digest.

Rick-
The more I think of it, the more I'm skeptical of my original plan. 64 cables does sound like quite the spaghetti farm. I had heard that the Ethernet Interconnect Switches had some problems, but I think it was in reference to advanced configurations (multiple paths onto a single logical network, or somesuch). I'm still weighing this decision - bandwidth isn't necessarily an issue.

The next question is "Can I mix 2 full-height Integrity blades (for HPUX) in the same C7000 chassis with half-height Proliant blades, and does that change any configurationrecommendations, interconnect or otherwise?".

Thanks for the great info!
rick jones
Honored Contributor

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

Integrity and ProLiant blades can indeed co-exist together in the same c7000 or c3000 chassis. The "this mezz slot routes to this I/O module" rules are based on chassis type (c3000 vs c7000) and mezz slot number, and not Integrity vs ProLiant so all the same rules apply.
there is no rest for the wicked yet the virtuous have no pillows
WFHC-WI
Honored Contributor

Re: Half-height blades with 4 NICs each

Rick has the right idea, Virtual Connect modules are simple to set up without a lot of network knowledge and very easily sizeable to accomodate the actual bandwidth needed on the blades. You can also very simply present a different network to each VC module so that each NIC on the blade points to a different VLAN or subnet.

Side note to jackK: if you wish to use all six interconnect modules you must have blades with mezzanine cards in slots 1 and 2.

Good luck to you both.