HPE EVA Storage

HP SAN + HP Blades + ESXi

 
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Tyler S
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HP SAN + HP Blades + ESXi

Hello,

I have been tasked with a rather ambitious project and i need to configure our HP SAN to host a virtual network of VMs using VMware ESXi. We have 4 ProLiant BL460c blade servers, 3 of which will be used to host VMs on the SAN (the 4th one we can ignore). Our SAN enclosure contains 12 SAS drives.

Using the HP Storage Management Utility, i have created a large VDisk spanning all 12 drives (11+1 for RAID5). From what i can tell, i need to create separate LUNS (are LUNS the same as volumes?) for each blade and install ESXi for each blade in its respective install LUN, and hopefully when a blade is powered up it would boot from its own LUN. Is this optimal, or is there some way to link the 3 blades together for one install of ESXi?

I will be creating x number of VM workstations on the SAN, all of which will be managed by the ESXi installation(s). There will also be server VMs and database VMs. I'm unsure how many LUNS i should set aside for all these VMs. I'm thinking that the workstation VMs will be on a LUN, the servers on a LUN, and the databases on their own LUNS.

My background is almost entirely in programming and i have no experience in server/SAN configuration. Any tips or comments are welcome.

Thanks.
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bolsen
Occasional Contributor
Solution

Re: HP SAN + HP Blades + ESXi

Sounds like a fun project!

First - ESXi on the blades. Download ESXi4 customized for HP. Make sure you update all blade firmware and enable all virtualization settings in the bios. Google around for HP bios settings for VMware.

Second - EVA. Put all 12 drives into a single diskgroup. Create several vdisks within this disk group and present them to the hosts. Don't get too granular with the vdisks. Go for a standardized vdisk size (like 500GB) and present them to all the hosts (if you're using vCenter). Create the datastores within the VMware console. See this for more info http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/partners/hp/hp_EVA_vmware_SRM-4AA2-8848ENW.pdf

Finally - VMs. Multiple VMs can reside within a datastore. Size VMs for the performance they USE... not the performance you THINK they'll use. Start with 1 vCPU. Lots of information here: http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/
Tyler S
New Member

Re: HP SAN + HP Blades + ESXi

Thank you very much for your helpful reply. I wish i had known about the HP Proliant version of ESXi 4.0 yesterday morning when we were having trouble getting ESXi4 communicating with our Flex-10 controller. Only after several hours of painful researching and trial-and-error did i come across the special HP installation.

I ended up using a fair amount of granularity in the LUN allocation, but this is fine because there are only 10 LUNs to manage. Each Blade can only see the LUNs that it's running VMs on and each Blade has a small LUN on which its ESXi installation resides on (the Blades are booting from the SAN).

So far this setup is working; the Blades are configured with ESXi4 and running VMs without problems.