BladeSystem - General
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

 
SOLVED
Go to solution
PJG1
Advisor

What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Been researching this for a while and need help from the experts. I'm trying to find how to get started on setting up a simple cluster between 2 blades. Here's what we have. We already have a full c7000 enclosure which we have been running since the beginning of the year. We just recently purchased another c7000 with 4 bl460's and 2 GbE2c switches. What are the mininum items I would need to set up a simple cluster between 2 of the blades. Obviously shared storage, probably use iScsi, etc. I know you reccommend the bl480's, but if there is a way to get it working with the bl460's, I'm sure the boss would be happier. Thanks.
11 REPLIES
Lmm_1
Honored Contributor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

I guess that will be a windows cluster, Please check the attched file, it will help a lot. And yes, you should be able to do it using BL460c

rgds,
lmm
PJG1
Advisor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Thanks Lmm. The doc will help, but I'm looking more from a hardware standpoint specically to the blades. I have set up Windows Clusters using ProLiant Rack Servers and MSA units. I'm just a little lost on what I need using a c class blade system.

Thanks.
Lmm_1
Honored Contributor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

That will be prety much the same, 2 nodes, Shared Storage(NAS), DC, you can get the heartbeat using internal GbE2 crosslinks, requirements are the same, the guide on the link below will show you some blade cluster plataforms examples.


http://docs.hp.com/en/A-XCHWP-321/ch01.html?btnPrev=%AB%A0prev
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Hi PJG1,

Is it Windows Server 2003 or 2008?
There's a big difference between them because Microsoft completely revised the core architecture for clustering services in Windows 2008.

To have a real cluster you should not have any SPOF (Single Point Of Failure).

Do you plan to have one node on each c7000 enclosure? What type and qty of interconnects do you have in each enclosure?

What additional hardware do you have on your blade servers (Mezzanine Cards)?
PJG1
Advisor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Bruno,

It will be Windows 2003 Enterprise. The first enclosure will not be involved in the cluster. That enclosure is pretty much set with the servers we need. The new enclosure right now only has 4 bl460's, no mezzanine cards and 2 GbE2c switches. It's not going to be the most mission critical cluster, so I understand about single point of failure, but willing to make some sacrifices, based on budget.

Here's what I'm thinking so far and let me know where I am wrong.

First, I'm thinking of going iScsi for the connection to the storage. Maybe an MSA2000i for the storage. I know I'm short Nics on the bl460's, so I'm thinking mezzanine cards for additional nics. One iScsi connection to the storage device. Maybe create a vlan on the switches for the heartbeat. Then a third nic for regular network connectivity. I know it's not optimal, but is it a start? Once I have the hardware figured out, I have no problem creating a Windows Cluster.

Thanks.
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Ok, you're heading the right way... The only question here is the internal mapping of the c7000 enclosure (see attached image -
It's the same in Eric's thread regarding C7000).
On your BL460c you have 2 embedded Ethernet controllers which are mapped to interconnects 1 and 2. So, adding more NICs in the form of mezzanine cards will require you to add more interconnects to the back of the enclosure. This could be Ethernet Switches, Ethernet Virtual Connects or Ethernet Pass-Through.
Since you're going for iSCSI I would advise you to add 2 more switches, like the ones you already have, and a Dual-Port Ethernet Mezzanine Card to each of your blade servers (at least the ones that will form the cluster).
Then configure 3 VLANs: The first one for the production network, the second one for the cluster heartbeat and the last one for iSCSI.
In this case, you will have 4 NICs so you could use HP NIC Teaming on the Production or iSCSI networks.

HTH
PJG1
Advisor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

That helps a whole lot. One question on your scenario though. Since I'm only doing a 2 server cluster, do I really need 2 more switches. Would 1 more with 2 vlans suffice? One for the heartbeat and one for the iSCSI? Or do dual port mezzanine cards also have to map to ports on 2 more switches. Thanks again.
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

One more will suffice in order to have 3 network connections but your server will show 4 NICs when you add the Dual-Port Ethernet Mezzanine Card.
In that case you'll only have connectivity on one of the ports of each mezzanine card because the other one maps to the redundant bay.
Perhaps if you open the Port Mapping under a Device Bay on the Onboard Administrator web interface you can understand it more clearly.

HP BladeSystem c-Class is designed to work with redundant I/O so if you go for this scenario be prepared for warnings that might be triggered by the OA regarding lack of redundancy or incorrect hardware configuration/positioning.
PJG1
Advisor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

OK - I think we're getting there. If we're going to go this far, probably not worth it to skimp on the last switch. So let me know if I have this right now:

4 switches

BL460 in bay 1 with a dual port mezzanine card.

NICs 1 and 2 on the blade in bay 1 map to ports 1 on switches 1 and 2 (I would team these nics?)

NIC 3 on blade 1 maps to port 1 on Switch 3. Let's say we create a vlan on switch 3 for the heartbeat

NIC 4 on Blade 1 maps to port 1 on switch 4. Let's say we create a vlan on switch 4 for the iscsi network.

Same for the blade in bay 2, etc.

Do you like the MSA 2000i as the mass storage in this scenario or do you suggest something else.

Thanks again. You've been an unbelievable help.
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor
Solution

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Yes, that's correct.
One detail I'd like to add, since the first 2 NICs are onboard and the other 2 are on a Mezzanine Card why not team one of each?
Ex:
NIC1+NIC3 HP Team (Production Network)
NIC2 (Heartbeat Network)
NIC4 (iSCSI Network)

Regarding the storage system, there are many factors to consider before purchasing a storage system. It really depends on what you want to do with it.
For a two-node cluster I think you'll be fine.
PJG1
Advisor

Re: What's needed to get started on a blade cluster

Great point and I think I will try that. Next step is to get the hardware. I'll post again if I have any trouble during the setup but I should be good to go. Great forum and you've both been a great help.

Thanks.