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Blade and FC HBA

 
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Delrish
Trusted Contributor

Blade and FC HBA

Hi Everybody

I am newbie in blade world. I wonder how a blade server can connect to a Disk array. I read somewhere that a blade chasse has a FC HBA and all the servers connect to san throw that. I think a 2Gb/s HBA is not enough for 10 servers at all!! What happen for the servers? Does I/O really be a bottle neck or I should use separated HBA for each of servers as like as we do for singular servers? Please Advice.

Alireza
4 REPLIES
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Blade and FC HBA

Alireza:

Each BL20p or 25p has it's own Fibre Channel adaptor. Each BL30 and 35 has it's own HBA as well, but they share the backplane connection via a 2port Fibre Channel Loop Hub.

Depending upon the interconnect that you have, you can have 8 passthrough ports... that directly connect to each bl20p or to each fibre hub connecting up to 16 bl30's.

Optionally, you can have a fibre switch as part of your interconnect where you can directly connect it up to another existing fibre switch to access your existing SAn, if you have one.


You will have to use seperate HBA's per blade as there is no other way to share the connections.

The only major difference is that the servers have dual port HBA's where your regular servers probably have single port hba's.


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

Re: Blade and FC HBA

Thank you Steven,

Let's talk with an example.Thete is a Disk array. We want to connect a Blad enclosure and 16 servers to it.I wan to know is it possible each of servers in blade enclosure access to disk array on a dedicated 2Gb/s or all of them use a shared 2Gb/s connection to array?

Alireza
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Blade and FC HBA

Alireza:

Well, first thing we need to know is what type of Disk Array Thete is.

Assuming she is either an EVA or an XP System, then I would say yes to the fact that it is possible for all the servers to access the array on a somewhat dedicated link since each server technically has a 2GB link to the SAN infrastructure with each bl30 in the same enclosure slot sharing the pipe.

Keep in mind that the Array probably only has 2 or 4 or maybe even 8 2GB fibre connections so the potential bottleneck becomes the array.

Now, it is not likely that all the servers will EVER utilize the full bandwidth of their connections to the SAN so it is not likely that the array will become a bottleneck. Unless you creating 2 8node clusters that host a varity of SQL databases and Exchange virtual servers and all the nodes boot from SAN and... see where I am going?


In short, each server has a 2GB link to the SAN, but it is shared by 2 servers (8 total connections, 2 servers per connection). The array may have 2 or 4 2GB links which you should be able to load balance, depending on the actual equipment and software your using.



Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Florian Heigl (new acc)
Honored Contributor

Re: Blade and FC HBA

Let me be frank:
blades are for computing.
If You need to able to sustain 2Gbit/s for 10 hosts, the arbitrated loop hub will definitely limit You too much. In+Out that's 40Gbit every second, or 140 Terabyte per hour - are You sure You need to invest in this much peak capacity? ;)

I think for most regular tasks You'll be just fine.

[As I'm not an HP employee, I may point You to the CompactPCI (industry standard) blade world, which is a bit more friendly in IO capacity, but less friendly in pricing.]

Get blade servers for
quickly fullfilling demand (replacement servers, new servers, testing/integration), or things that can be consolidated (i.e. legacy applications that just *need* their own box).

systems like database-/fileservers aren't really something to put in a blade.
yesterday I stood at the edge. Today I'm one step ahead.