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Newbie Questions

 
DHerrick
Occasional Contributor

Newbie Questions

All we have right now is a rather vanilla C3000 rack with 6, BL460c Servers, an XW460c Workstation Blade and an ethernet pass-through. I'm planning on setting up a second C3000 for a project that demands quite a bit more in network and disk I/O. I was thinking of using one of those Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Modules and one of those Virtual Connect 20 Port 8Gb Fiber Channel Modules. I looked at the supported configurations and it looks like I will need 2, 10Gb ethernet modules in Interconnect Bays 1 and 2 and 2, 8Gb FC modules in Interconnect Bays 3 and 4. We don't have a lot of money. Do I really need 2 of each? And one more question. Are these real ethernet switches and fiber channel switches or just passthrough devices that support intelligent provisioning? I think I saw something mentioned about the FC module not even appearing as a switch on the SAN. Will Blade Server 1 be able to communicate with Blade Server 2 internally throught the 10Gb ethernet module or will I need a real external ethernet switch for this? The marketing stuff online isn't clear to me.

Dennis_Herrick@hotmail.com
10 REPLIES
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

Do I really need 2 of each? NO, and with c3000 that it is not possible without any extra mezz NICs and FC HBAs. c3000 routes all embedded NICs to interconnect bay 1

Are these real ethernet switches and fiber channel switches or just passthrough devices that support intelligent provisioning? You got it right, maybe a port aggeragator or something like that would be correct. Devices look like pass-through devices from SAN and from LAN

Will Blade Server 1 be able to communicate with Blade Server 2 internally throught the 10Gb ethernet module or will I need a real external ethernet switch for this?

They communicate internally (if You have not denied that feature).


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JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

here is a good place for documentation.

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/blades/components/c-class-tech-function.html
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Dan Robinson_4
Regular Advisor

Re: Newbie Questions

The first 2 Interconnect bays on the chassis connect to the OnBoard NICs on the Blade.

The 2nd 2 Interconnect bays will map to the Mezzanine slot inside each Blade.


If your planning on deploying any of the G6 Blades that have the Flex-10 onboard, AND you need more than 1-2Gbps of network bandwidth on those blades, then the VC Flex-10 is a good choice.

As for the SAN, it really depends on how many of the 8 blades you plan on connecting to the SAN. If only a handful, use a FC Pass Through module and then just wire the machines to an existing SAN Fabric Switch in your environment. If every single one of the 8 blades will use SAN, then you might want to consider the VirtualConnect SAN Module which can help you reduce the amount of ports you need on the external Fabric Switch mentioned before.


Now as for do you really need 2 of each, that all has to do with redundancy.
Interconnect 1 and 2 work together mainly to provide redundancy. So if you only want 1 NIC (older Blades) or up to 4 vNICs (Flex-10 enabled G6 blades) then you can get away with only 1 Network device in Interconnect Bay 1, but keep in mind if it fails, you lose network connectivity to ALL blades in that chassis.
Same goes for the FC side and Bays 3/4.

So if you just need bandwidth and speed, but not necessarily redundancy, then you only need 1 of each.



Part of the problem is the Interconnects you mentioned are both designed for the c7000 chassis where you have 16 Blades. Putting them in a c3000 means your basically wasting half of the internal-facing ports even though your paying for them.



If you could post back with what blade servers you plan to put in this chassis and what connectivity requirements you have, some of us might be able to make recommendations on something more cost effective.
Dan Robinson_4
Regular Advisor

Re: Newbie Questions

Subscribing to thread - forgot last time
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

"The first 2 Interconnect bays on the chassis connect to the OnBoard NICs on the Blade."

Dan That is WRONG, might be so in c7000 but not in c3000.

All the other questions are answered above.
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Adrian Clint
Honored Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

The attached diagram is the best one so far for looking at how everything connects in c3000 and c7000.

I think VC-Flex10 is not cost effective in a c3000 chassis. Go for the Procurve 6120G/XG which is 10Gb uplink/downlink and a full switch. Though you would probably ok with the 6120G.

DHerrick
Occasional Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

Can we take this offline? email: Dennis_Herrick@hotmail.com

I got my ass reamed one time for trying to troubleshoot a customer problem on a public forum. Seems one of our customers was researching the problem too. They discovered my post and felt I had revealed sensitive details of their "unique" situation with the entire world. No customer names were used in my original post,
I never mentioned my employer by name or the industry and I tried to generalize as much as possible to protect the innocent, me. As it turned out, I was trying to fix a problem at an entirely different customer site and they thought I was writing about them. In reality, I was trying to solve a pretty common problem in IT with off-the-shelf tools and utilities, nothing proprietary. Well that didn't stop them from contacting our CEO directly. I knew something was up when an email propagated through the company reminding folks about company policy on use of public forums. My manager called me into his office about 15 minutes later and you know how that went...
Dan Robinson_4
Regular Advisor

Re: Newbie Questions

@Jarkko K. - Did I say the onboard NICs are the ONLY thing connected to interconnect bays 1 and 2? No. I said that's what they connect to, which according to the PDF posted by Adrian is absolutely correct.

The simple fact is you only use 8 out of 16 ports on the Flex-10 module UNLESS you add in an extra NIC in Mezz-1. But if you don't need 4 NICs per machine, then you're wasting half the internal ports on the Flex-10

Next time you call someone out, perhaps you should explain why you think they are wrong and how it really works. Adrian did a better job of that and did so politely in the process.
JKytsi
Honored Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

Dear Dan,

Here is a few examples (with explains).

"Part of the problem is the Interconnects you mentioned are both designed for the c7000 chassis where you have 16 Blades. Putting them in a c3000 means your basically wasting half of the internal-facing ports even though your paying for them."

NO, you don't waste anything. All internal-facing ports are there and blades use all 16.

"Now as for do you really need 2 of each, that all has to do with redundancy.
Interconnect 1 and 2 work together mainly to provide redundancy"

NO, not in the c3000.

"If your planning on deploying any of the G6 Blades that have the Flex-10 onboard, AND you need more than 1-2Gbps of network bandwidth on those blades, then the VC Flex-10 is a good choice"

OR, 10Gb switch,10Gb pass-through. Flex-10 is expensive.

"The first 2 Interconnect bays on the chassis connect to the OnBoard NICs on the Blade"

Still NOT true in c3000

"Part of the problem is the Interconnects you mentioned are both designed for the c7000 chassis"

No, there is no such interconnect that it would be designed to c7000

"The simple fact is you only use 8 out of 16 ports on the Flex-10 module UNLESS you add in an extra NIC in Mezz-1. "

No,no,no ... flex-10 in interconnect bay1 in c3000 enclosure, all 16 ports used and no mezz cards needed.

I might be wrong, but You have to proof it =)

PS. No hard feelings
Remember to give Kudos to answers! (click the KUDOS star)

You can find me from Twitter @JKytsi
DHerrick
Occasional Contributor

Re: Newbie Questions

Well, this note is starting to take on a life of its own. Here are my latest troubles.
Was hoping to be able to test 10Gbe networking and 8 Gbit FiberChannel switches in the same C3000 enclosure. However it doesn't look possible. The 445860-b21 10Gbe switch needs to be in Interconnect bays 3 and 4. I was hoping it could go in 1 and 2. And the AJ820A FC switch needs to go in 3 or 4 too. I had so hoped, my little proof of concept would fit in the C3000 pedestal enclosure and would be portable so I could take the whole thing home after the tests. Looks like I'll have to get one of those C7000s and make it fixed at work.
None of the 8 Gbit FiberChannel HBAs Mezzanines cards are supported in the BL680c G5 only in the newer G6 so I'm stuck with 4 Gbit FiberChannel, which is a negative. I thought I might be able to add one of those PCIe BladeSystem Expansion Blades and try running 8 Gbit FiberChannel HBAs in front to get around this, but the docs specifically say the expansion blades are for 3rd party cards not HP cards. Using HP mezzanines and the blade enclosure's backplane is the only supported method.
There doesn't seem to be a 10Gbe network mezzanine that will work in the XW460c Workstation Blade.

I still have all my hair and a smile.

Dennis