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Entry level 64 bit MSCS cluster that can run VMWare?


Entry level 64 bit MSCS cluster that can run VMWare?

Hi guys,

I'm looking to replace a CL1850 with a new "entry level" 2-node cluster. I would like it to be 64 bit capable so for example I can run the next version of Exchange (which is 64 bit only).

I would also like to be able to run VmWare on one of the nodes in case I have to host a 32 bit virtual server for a bit (under VmWare on a 64 bit OS you can run both 32 bit and 64 bit guests; Microsoft Virtual Server has no such capability).

VmWare says that to do this I can't use just any 64 bit processor, I need either an AMD64 rev D or later, or an Intel EMT64 processor that is also VT (Vanderpool) capable. See for more information on this.

So my first question is, do either of the Proliant DL380 Packaged Clusters come with an Intel EMT64-VT capable processor? I don't think so but it's really hard to tell from the HP web site.

I see that the AMD-based DL385 system will meet the processor specs I am looking for. So my second question is how can I order 2 of the DL385's with the appropriate shared storage etc to build a supported low-end cluster? I'm not looking for an outrageously expensive enterprise class Fibre Channel-based MSCS system, just a basic AMD/SCSI-based cluster.

I administer a CL1850 so I know the basics of a cluster but I also know that it needs the right hardware, drivers, etc., so I don't want to just start ordering scsi controllers, network cards, etc at random and hope the result will work. Ideally I'm looking for a white paper or configurator to help me, so when I call HP support they won't say "MSCS is not supported on your system."

This purchase is actually a few months off. So my third question is, does anybody know whether the forthcoming DL380 G5 or any other soon-to-be-available products will provide me with more options, for example an EMT64-VT Xeon system?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Entry level 64 bit MSCS cluster that can run VMWare?

It should be very easy for your vendor to put together a Cluster Package based on Dl385's. HP offers Packaged DL380 packages for ease of ordering. You get everything you need in one basic package.

All the parts you get are all orderable separately, you just need someone to piece it together and let you know what they are.

From what I can tell, all of the DL38x line are "tested" and "Certified" for Microsoft Clustering so you should not have a problem with a custom package.

The Dl380G4 uses the latest Intel XEON processor with the EMT64-VT and come in Single and Dual-Core packages. (Almost sure that is has the VT, but I could be wrong.. Definitely EMT64 based.)

So your order would be...

2 DL385's + other options (memory, HDD's, etc)
1 MSA500G2 Package (ordering the right package scores you all the necessary other components (SMart Array 642 cards, Cables, Crossover Cable, etc)
1 MSA500G2 High Availability Kit (if you want multi path... comes with extra adaptors, 4port i/o card and multipath software)

If you do not have a vendor to buy from, you can contact HP and they will set you up, or you can let me know and I can deliver a listing of materials you need with part numbers and you can use it to get pricing.

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