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Virtualization on c3000

smartswitch
Occasional Visitor

Virtualization on c3000

I have been using the ‘free’ VMWare software for several years but I am new to HP Blades. In reading all the comparisons between IBM, Dell and HP, I chose HP as the platform on which to build. I want to start consolidating the 30+ servers we have to save space, operating cost and management time. I must admit up front, I did not do my due-diligence in learning about the c3000 and what it would take to setup a VM environment. I went with most of what the ‘sales’ person suggested I would need for hardware and decided to purchase the VM Software through a less expensive reseller. So, now I have the c3000 chassis, 2 BL460 servers, HP GbE2c Layer 2/3 Ethernet Blade Switch, SB40c and SB600c (6x146gb). My first baby step was to migrate 4 Accounting servers to this setup. I thought all the bases were covered with a group of servers, connectivity, storage and backup. However I was not familiar with the “partner” slot and do not understand how that is conducive to a VM environment. I have using the ‘free’ VM ESX software to create VMs because I do not want to spend more money if this will not fulfill our needs. How do I setup the BL460s, SB40c and SB600c for VM servers, storage and backup? With what I have now, who can help guide me in getting a VM setup?
4 REPLIES
smartswitch
Occasional Visitor

Virtualization on c3000

CORRECTION: I do NOT have a SB600c - The tape blade is a 448c.
chopper3
Frequent Advisor

Virtualization on c3000

Ok, the answer to this is simple, but you're not going to like it I imagine. Each odd-numbered blade slot has a few special dedicated traces to the even slot one number higher than it (i.e. 1+2, 3+4, 5+6...15+16). These extra traces can be used to transmit data of any type. In both the SB40c (disk) and 448c (tape) cases this allows these devices to sit in an even numbered slot and server the server in the odd numbered slot one number lower than it (i.e. if it's in slot 2 it serves the server in slot 1) - and ONLY this server, i.e. it's not shared amongst all of the servers in the enclosure. Now then, what does that mean in a VMWare environment? well as you know it's perfectly ok to have VMWare installed on any server's local disks and also to store the VMs to be ran on that server from the same physical disks - that bit's easy. Now what many people want to do is to run VMWare off the server's local disks but store and run the VMs in some form of shared storage (managed using VMFS) so that any of the physical servers can run any of the VMs (and move them with VMotion if available too). This solution requires some form of block-level shared storage such as shared-SAS/SCSI, iSCSI, FC, FCoE etc, but it DOES need this shared storage. What you've bought isn't shared storage, it's directly linked to a single server. So you can run the VMs on the server's local disks but you can't store, and backup, them centrally. I'm also not sure that VMWare could backup to that tape drive anyway to be honest as I've never tried as I backup directly from SAN myself via snap-shoting. So depending on your expectations you may think you've wasted your money - BUT if you do feel this way there may be a way out for you. What you could do is buy another BL460c, connect it to the SB600c next to it, install one of the various flavours of Linux onto it that will allow you to share its local disks as an iSCSI target, then store your VMs on that shared iSCSI volume - that's basically all the SB600c is really. I hope this helps you, if not then drop me a line at phil@buckley-mellor.com or philip.buckley-mellor@bt.com ok.
smartswitch
Occasional Visitor

Virtualization on c3000

Yeah...I am being told the same thing now by a different sales rep (the other one...disappeared). They are suggesting a 2000i (more $). Oh well....So without a 'dedicated' server the SB40c (6 disk) and 448c tape blades are pretty much useless. Hmmmmm. What makes this more difficult is the hardware was purchased before I was ready to work on this project, over 6 months ago, so now it can not be returned. I will contact you if I have any more question. Thanks!
vhe9606
Occasional Visitor

Virtualization on c3000

VMWare ESX can also use NFS based NAS storage , in addition to the traditional block level SAN based storage. So if you configuration can serve up NFS you may be able to get it to work. A nfs based solution will support VMotion and DRS