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virtual connect vs cisco blade switches

ptrdnls
Occasional Visitor

virtual connect vs cisco blade switches

I am evaluating HP VC for my blade environment. Cisco is saying that their internal blade switches are a better solution. Thoughts? Thanks
3 REPLIES
chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

virtual connect vs cisco blade switches

Just a few thoughts. 1. VC is not a switch. If you need switch functions then use a switch. 2. If you are connecting to external switches then VC offers some great advantages. a. Aggregation of the blade server connections into VC and then reduced cabling requirements to send that traffic to external switches. Also reduced number of switche ports needed and that also reduces cost, complexity, power, etc. b. VC Flex-10 allows you to divide and manage the bandwidth of the mezz Ethernet cards or the onboard NICs into 4 separate Flex-NICs per NIC. Allows you to allocate bandwidth per application or VM. Get more connections without addition hardware, i.e. lower costs, lower power consumption, easier network management. c. VC also allows for BladeSystem interchassis communication without the need for a switch, thereby reducing equipment needs. d. VC working in conjunction with HP Software ID-VSE and HP-Insight Orchestration, does allow for true physical server workload migration in the event of server issues or workload management. Great for a Software-as-a-Service implementation or "Cloud Computing" environment. e. VC also also for the abstraction of the network connections to the server and does allow for movement of physical servers without LAN configuration issues. We have a great BladeSystem Pre-sales organization that can help you with deciding if VC is right for your datacenter.
cjheimantx
Occasional Advisor

virtual connect vs cisco blade switches

A similar post - https://h30340.leveragesoftware.com/group_discussion.aspx?discussionid=4ebbed0bef0e461fb94295d748c1fdbc Be careful with the HP vs. Cisco discussions and do not forget SAN connectivity considerations if it applies. Both have excellent solutions but you need to make sure that considerations are made regarding your current and future needs. One of our biggest concerns at this time is the pending standards for FCOE. Both vendors have proposed solutions\standards that are not the same. Obviously we cannot wait for the world to make up its mind so careful ananlysis of several solutions should be made. 1. Do I move my existing network and network support infrastructure up to the blade backplane by using Cisco or Procurve modules? 2. Virtualization and port aggregation using Virtual Connect? 3. Pass through devices leveraging existing infrastructure or new intermediate access switches (i.e. rack mounted access switches), either Cisco or HP? Consider cost and fit for each solution for future and current needs. If you do not manage the network infrastructure directly, include your network architect in the design review process. If you want to reply with other information, it might be handy to ferret out very specific comments. - what is the driver for moving to a Virtual Connect solution for your existing environment? - what type of blades are you using? - are any of the servers considered mission critical or highly impacted by network downtime? - do your blades support virtualization infrastructure such as VMware or MSFT hypervisor?
Liam Dixon
Occasional Visitor

virtual connect vs cisco blade switches

Also do not forget about your network achitecture in all this. With the rebadged 3020's which run on a cut down Cisco IOS you're essentially pushing in another layer 2 level of which you'll have to take into consideration SPT, ULD and your broadcast domains. This is essentially elminated with the VC modules and once you're co-ordinated the design with your Network Engineers any changes outside of that can be made without their involvement and retains their peace of mind as you can get any VLAN's communicating within the VC modules without going through the uplinks. So if your environment would be heavy with layer 3 routing then the VC's are possibly a better option.