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Setting up first C7000 Blade center with VMWare

Michael A. McKenney
Respected Contributor

Setting up first C7000 Blade center with VMWare

Need some help on the configuration.



Two Flex-10 modules

Two Brocade 8/24c modules

6 blades: dual 10 Gbps onboard for Flex-10s and dual 8 Gbps for the Brocade modules


The two Flex-10s will have all 16 SFP+ DAC connections to an A5820 10 Gbps switch.


Each blade will have two 10 Gbps connections, one to each Flex-10, 160 Gbps from Flex-10s to the A5820. 


A5820 has four VLANs configured: 8.10,20, and 192.


I have been reading HP Virtual Connect Ethernet Cookbook: Single and Multi Enclosure Domains.


What is the best practice to configure the modules.   I want VMWare to be able to have servers on any VLAN on any blade.

On the A5820, VLAN 20 is primary.  Do I untag it on each port and tag VLAN 8,10, and 192?


I would create a separate VLAN for each Flex-10.  I want to be able to have up to 6 virtual servers per blade and use the full 20 Gbps on each blade.   I saw each Flex-10 port can have up to 4 NIC configurations.   I will have two NIC ports per blade.   What are some best practice tips and things not to do tips for my configuration.  















Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Setting up first C7000 Blade center with VMWare

Here is what I've been doing regarding this and similar configurations...


Question 1:  You only have 1 A5820 Switch?


Question 2:  Will you ONLY ever have VMware ESX on your blades in that enclosure?



For the most flexibility, you would want to create 2 LACP Trunks on the A5820, each with 8 ports.  In the beginning, you may want to start out with only 2 ports per Flex-10 Module as you will not likely need ALL of the available bandwidth immediately....  Get it configured and working, then add the additional ports later.


All of your module 1 connections should go to the first LACP trunk and all of the your module 2 connections to the second trunk.


In the VCM, depending upon if you will have other OS's on blades in the enclosure, you may want to use Tagging vs. Tunneling.


Tunneling allows you to rely on the host and the network for appropriate communications (In VMware, it is very easy to do this.)  Tunneling is only available when creating individual Network Profiles.


Specific Tagging is a little more work, but allows you more flexibility and security. Creating specific VLAN tagged networks is only available with a Shared Uplink Set.


For such a small VLAN configuration, it would be very easy to set up a Shared Uplink Set.  With the newer VC Firmware, configuration is a lot easier with server profiles as well.


In your VMware environment, you should consider adding more than 2 nic's to your profiles.  Since you have the availability, you should use it.  Typically you would want to separate your management traffic from your VM Network traffic from your storage traffic from your vmotion traffic from your fault tolerance logging traffic..


For your environment, you can probably get by with 2 nic's where all your traffic is combined, but be fore-warned that 1. It is not Best Practice and 2. You may run into issues with Support if you need to make that call.



Post more about the environment if you'd like to hear more.  There are many things to consider.



Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Super Advisor

Re: Setting up first C7000 Blade center with VMWare

Wow this is a nice article / post to know :-)


Thanks for sharing.