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Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

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Banibrata Dutta
Frequent Advisor

Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

Hi,

Consider this a question from a Blades n00b.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to mirror a Proliant (rackmouts) based largish solution (about 20 servers), onto c-Class blades. My question today, is more about the networking aspects in c-Class.

All these servers need to communicate with each other, and in "Proliant rack-mount" based solutions of similar dimensions, we generally have 2 sets of Gigabit Ethernet conn. towards a pair of redundant switches (which are interconnected) from each server for this purpose. Also, we have 2 sets of Gigabit Ethernet conn. towards the external world -- again thru a pair of redundant (& interconnected) switches.

One additional (important) requirement is that the external connectivity must have a "fan-out" of 64 ports of 10/100Mbps.

The question is, how do I mirror this solution on c-Class blade architecture, without compromising on redundancy (s.a. duplicate LANs for both internal & external usage), and yet have that 64 ports of fanout for external Ethernet connectivity ?

My current understanding is that I'd need:
- 2 units of 16-port Gigabit switches per chasis, for internal connectivity, that would be interconnected. (10 ports each for servers, and 2 each for switch interconnects).
- X? units for a total of 20 ports (redundant 10) of Gigabit Ethernet Pass-Thru modules, per Chasis (all of which terminate on "external", standard ProCurve 24-port switches (eg. 2480s), which have auto-sensing/auto-negotiation s.t. they'd then be used for 10/100Mbps fanout.
- And, how do I interconnect the enclosures ?

My main confusion is around what all to put on inbuilt Switches, add-on Switches, external Switches, what all needs to go thru Ethernet pass-thru.

Appreciate any guidance in this regard.

Thanks & regards,
Banibrata
11 REPLIES
Raghuarch
Honored Contributor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

I will suggest you to Go with the 2 Virtual Connects Ethernet modules Per-Chasis.

Please go through the below Docs for Further info.
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA0-5821ENW.pdf
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00814156/c00814156.pdf
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01386629/c01386629.pdf

how do I interconnect the enclosures ?
There is a Enclosure Link Option Available in OA Through which you can Connect the Enclosure together.

Banibrata Dutta
Frequent Advisor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

Thanks for the links and suggestion about including 2 Ethernet VC modules/chasis. I am yet to go though them, so I might add few more question on this thread.

Regarding Enclosure interconnect via the OA's ethernet ports isn't the kind of interconnect I was thinking of. Indeed it's a useful feature I'd include in the solution. To re-phrase my question, I was thinking as to how, I could provide interconnectivity between the services accross 2 chasis, while ensuring that there's enough bandwidth, and enough redundancy ?

I'll read those docs, they might already have answers for that question.

Thanks & regards,
Banibrata
Lmm_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

Hello Banibrata,
Im not sure if im getting your question, but anyways... here are my toughts

You can make OA stacking, there are 2 dedicated ports for that on each OA, basically it will be only for management porpuses... if you use blade switches there will be 1 internal dedicated port connected to the OA, then you will have 1 single solution for enclosures and interconnects management.

Regarding ethernet connectivity, you can use blade switches, most common configurations that I´ve seen are 2 blade swithes (Cisco 3020, BNT GbE2 or VC), those will get all the embeedde NICs on their 16 downlinks, then you can use 2 sets of etherchannels to get all your vlans communicating to the external switch. Depending of the Blade, Switch and cabling configuration you will get a fully redundant solution.

Sometime important to mention, Cclass enclosures will work only 1000 full duplex.

Rgds,
lmm

Banibrata Dutta
Frequent Advisor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

Thank you Lmm.

You do mention an important point about c-class being predominantly 1Gbps full-duplex only, however, the moment we connect it to external Auto-sensing, Auto-negotiating L2 Switches s.a. the Procurve 2480 etc., we are able to interconnect to any 10/100Mbps device as well, right ?

I've read the VC document. Based on my understanding after the quick initial read, I believe it acts as a L2-switch & a patch-panel, but instead of hard-wired copper connection, the patch-panel's cord-patching can be changed thru the VC mgt GUI. Is that a correct (if rough) understanding ?

Although this might hv been already answered above (in raghuarch or lmm's mails), but I guess I'm too n00b to notice it... what are the best practices for carrying bulk amounts of application network traffic (& not just chasis/shelf management -- as in OA traffic), between multiple chasis. Say for instance, I want about 4Gbps of full-duplex bandwidth to be available between 3 set of Enclosures/chasis, how do I manage it ?

thanks for the answers.

regards,
Banibrata
Banibrata Dutta
Frequent Advisor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

To refine my following question a bit more:

... what are the best practices for carrying bulk amounts of application network traffic (& not just chasis/shelf management -- as in OA traffic), between multiple chasis. Say for instance, I want about 4Gbps of full-duplex bandwidth to be available between 3 set of Enclosures/chasis, how do I manage it ?


Would the embedded L2-switching functionality of VC, be available to also interconnect 2 different chassis/enclosures, in any way ? Or, I must use a Switch-blade ? Effectively, how do I interconnect the VC's in 2 different enclosures ?
Lmm_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

The VC will be an expensive solution, with those you are not able to create a VC Domain with multiple enclosures, not yet at least. I think that feature will be included on next VC Firmware release.

You can accomplish your goal using blade Switches... it will depend only of the configuration, take a look on the attached document, it has some examples of Gbe2c Blade switches and Cisco Core Switch.

Rgds,
rick jones
Honored Contributor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

The (non 10gig) NICs in the blades themselves are "always" 1000 Mbit/s full duplex. If you use pass-thru modules then the external connections will also be 1000 Mbit/s full duplex. When using switches in the chassis, the connection from the blade to the chassis switch will be 1000 Mbit/s full duplex. I _believe_ that the external ports on the chassis switches will negotiate to whatever the peer will do. However, I've not even tried to run anything down at 10/100 for years...

Can you expand a bit on why the external connectivity "must" be 64 ports of 10/100?
there is no rest for the wicked yet the virtuous have no pillows
Banibrata Dutta
Frequent Advisor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

Hi Rick:

The solution is a Telecom-solution that must inter-operate with the Telecom-operators' existing network infrastructure, which is all 10/100Mbps as of date. That's where the 10/100Mbps port requirement comes from. The 64 is based the the effective throughput required out of and into the solution from other network-nodes/entities in the Operator's network -- ~6.4Gbps effective, full-duplex throughput.

Thanks for the information.

cheers,
Banibrata
rick jones
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

I'll probably miss some of the requirements, but going with some of the 1/10G VC Ethernet modules, using the 10G uplinks to some external ProCurve switches sounds like one way to go. You don't have to use the "VC" part of a "VC module" if you don't need/want to.

That way you would have either two or four 10G links to the external switches and then your 64 10/100's from there.

For interconnecting the enclosures you could go with an all-10G external ProCurve switch (iirc the 6400 is such a switch) and then connect from that to 10/100/1000 switches with 10G links. (iirc that could be the 3400 series or perhaps others).
there is no rest for the wicked yet the virtuous have no pillows
Banibrata Dutta
Frequent Advisor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

Hi Rick,


You don't have to use the "VC" part of a "VC module" if you don't need/want to.


Isn't the "VC" part of "VC module" the only thing that sets it apart from the GiB Ethernet Switch blades ? In which case, I might be meet the other objective of reducing Hw cost by going for one of those, as Lmm suggested. What do you say ?

thanks,
Banibrata
rick jones
Honored Contributor

Re: Need advice on c-Class blade networking configuration

At this point I'll cop to not being at 100% familiarity with the breadth of the switch module offerings to know if there is one (other than the double-wide 10G only module) which offers 10G uplinks other than the 1/10 VC Ethernet Module. I happen to have a few of those and so know they exist. Others may exist and be usable here too.
there is no rest for the wicked yet the virtuous have no pillows