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HP Storages for DR and features needed

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alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

HP Storages for DR and features needed

 

 

Hi,

 

 We want  to virtualize our system, and create a DR site.  I would be thankful on any advise on what HP hardware and license we need to accomplish this.

 

1. We want to have 2 storages mirroring each other in the centre, and 1 storage in the DR center replicating with these 2 in the HQ (if this option is possible). 

 

We don't have much load, having now 2 Exchange on DAG, 5 SQL Server ( moderate load, largest database 25 GB, increasing by 200MB a day), file server (total 100 GB), 2 DC, etc, total of 25 servers . Which HP Storage would you recommend which fulfills these requirements and load, and what HP servers are the best to connect with storages to process virtual machines. I would aviod enclosures due to redundancy.

 

In addition what you would recommend for virtual platforms (from your experience), which is better Hyper-V, or vmware to perform automatic failover in case of any issue.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

P.S. This thread has been moved from Storage Area Networks (SAN) > Storage Area Networks (SAN) (Small and Medium Business)  to HP StoreVirtual / HP LeftHand Storage. -HP Forum moderator

 

14 REPLIES
David_Schwartzs
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

I'd recommend HP StoreVirtual 4000 (formerly known as LeftHand P4000) products to help you out in this instance.

 

Here are my reasons:

 

1) LeftHand's exclusive Network RAID mode - HP StoreVirtual products are installed in pairs in best practices because they utilize "Network RAID 10" - essentially, every node has a corresponding node that is identical.  Just as RAID 1 mirrors two hard drives (and RAID 10 mirrors two sets of hard drives), Network RAID 10 mirrors sets of nodes in real time.  Each node itself uses RAID 5 to protect against individual disk failure, so you have redundancy at both the chassis and disk failure levels.

 

2) All inclusive, non-confusing licensing - all features of StoreVirtual are included.  If you want to use Network RAID, it's included.  If you want to do remote copy replication to disaster recovery site, it's included.  Thin provisioning, included.  Snapshots, included.  Nothing separate needs to be purchased.

 

3) Integration with VMWare - StoreVirtual is fully compliant with VMWare management standards and can be managed directly from vCenter Server to limit manual intervention requirements in a fully virtualized environment.

 

4) Scale out - With your growth pattern, the ability to easily add more storage and performance later is important.  StoreVirtual makes it incredibly easy - you just purchase additional nodes and add them to the clusters.  When you add nodes, you add not only extra disk capacity but extra processing and network capacity that comes with each node, scaling performance too.

 

For best performance, I'd recommend that you operate your nodes on 10 Gigabit ethernet. 

 

I personally strongly believe in HP Bladesystem as the best solution for virtualizing servers if you're looking to purchase multiple servers (4+ to start).  Combined with HP VirtualConnect technology, you'll reduce your cabling complexity and manual intervention to manage networking tasks since VirtualConnect marries so well with VMWare management.  The Bladesystem has redundant infrastructure throughout, from management modules to fans to power supplies, so you really shouldn't be worried, they're rock solid.

 

If you truly don't want a chassis base system, though, I'd go with the DL385p Gen8 for servers.  I like AMD based servers because you get more physical cores, and therefore higher virtualization density, per server than Intel.  AMD processors scale up to 16 cores per socket, so a DL385p delivers 32 physical processing cores.  The 2U form factor also leaves plenty of room for adding things like additional network ports which are important in a virtual environment.

 

In my experience, VMWare is definitely the better software for limiting manual intervention in failover scenarios.

 

This is a good base of information for you to start - but I'd strongly suggest you seek the advice of a HP Storage Specialist reseller that can fully configure, and possibly even help you implement, the solution.  And keep in mind this isn't the only available option either - I personally like the HP StoreVirtual solution based on information you've provided, but depending on your budget and other factors, there are possible solutions that can be built using other products such as 3PAR StoreServ 7000 or MSA P2000 that may not have the features I outlined above but may have other features that help you stay in budget or improve your management experience.

 

Hope this helps!

Regards,
--
David Schwartzstein
IT Channel Sales Expert / Solutions Architect

Currently looking for my next opportunity - http://www.linkedin.com/in/pctechyoda

If my post solves your problem, please kindly take a moment to mark my post as a solution. Thank you.
alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

How these storages are mirrored with each other, through a direct cable, or network switch?

David_Schwartzs
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

The StoreVirtual solution works entirely over 1Gb or 10Gb Ethernet, through a switch. It's typically recommended that you have at least one, preferably two (for redundancy) dedicated ethernet switches for the storage network.

Since iSCSI is IP-based, it allows for both local functionality (i.e. nodes replicating in the same site) as well as for remote functionality (i.e. nodes replicating to a remote DR site) quite easily. There are, of course, some functionalities that will work better locally (for instance, synchronous replication only works well with very low latency high bandwidth connections, which may not be available for a DR site).

Hope this helps
Regards,
--
David Schwartzstein
IT Channel Sales Expert / Solutions Architect

Currently looking for my next opportunity - http://www.linkedin.com/in/pctechyoda

If my post solves your problem, please kindly take a moment to mark my post as a solution. Thank you.
oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

alfa, if you are trying to do a remote DR site, you have to figure out if you want syncronous (live active/active) or asyncronous (snapshots).   Given you imply a weaker SAN at the DR site this should mean that you will need to stay asyncronous.  Read up on the HP documents about DR solutions, but unless you plan on having exactly even power on both sites and you have a great connection with minimal latency between sites AND a third site for your failover manager, you should be sticking with remote snapshots...  thats what most people do because its simpler and cheaper. 

 

beyond that, david really did some great explainations.

alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

oikjn,

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

We need a DR site to start whenever necessary in short time (1-2 hours), money is not an issue, but we don't want to spend  more than necessary. I'm thinking to install 1 same storage like 2 others in the HQ, and 2 servers as hosts only because I don't think we need more. Link will be a VPN of whatever speed in needed.

 

But why we should have a third site for failover manager. Can we just failover from DR site?

HPstorageTom
HPE Pro

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

The FOM in the third site is required for an automatic failover even in split brain situations. Split brain situations can occur when both sites are still up and running, but the intersite link is down/interrupted. The FOM should then still be able to communicate via a different route with both or at least one site to decide which one will survive. Hence yuo will need to take care of you network layout too.

 

If you do say, that you don't need an automatic, transparent failover, then the Virtual Manager can be used instead of the FOM. But then it is the responsibiity of the administrator to start (and stop) the Virtual Manager accordingly.

 

Generally, you need to have the majority of managers available to have access to a StoreVirtual cluster volume. In a multi-site configuration with 2 sites you are usually running 3 (if you only have 2 StoreVirtual nodes) or 5 manager (if you have 4+ StoreVirtual nodes; 1 of them is the FOM or the Virtual Manager and the other ones are running on StoreVirtual nodes).

alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

Can VMWare  (Site Recovery Manager) accomplish manual activation in 2 site scenario, first site with 2 Storages mirrored, and replicated in the snd site, it can be asynchronous, but let say 1 hour lag? We need a scenario with 2 sites with whatever  hardware and software involved.

HPstorageTom
HPE Pro

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

VMware SRM in combination with StoreVirtual/LeftHand systems is only used for RemoteCopy configurations - i.e. for asynchronous replication. If you do use the StoreVirtual Multi-Site SAN capability (i.e. the synchronous replication based on NetworkRAID 10), then you either use FOM or the Virtual Manager.

The StoreVirtual SRM Adapter is only for RemoteCopy configurations.

alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

I read some documents from HP about implementing DR with HP Storages and VMWare SRM, and checked our internal requirements, and finally we have to go asynchronous, it will suffice our needs.

 

Just to make sure: will it be enough to achieve our plan : 2+1 HP StoreVirtual 4000 storage, and VMWare with SRM (plus servers needed).

 

In addition which type of HP 10Gbit switch would you suggest to mirror (cluster) 2 storages in main centre in NetworkRAID 10.

 

Thank you

HPstorageTom
HPE Pro

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

I am not sure what you do mean with 2+1 StoreVirtual ... If you want to use asynchronous replication, then you will need to use two independent StoreVirtual cluster. Hence you would need to have at least 4 nodes (2 per cluster).

 

I am currently using the HP 5920 switch for my 10GbE backbone. This one has for sure sufficient amount of port buffer.

alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

I want to have 2 storages in the HQ to be in the mirror (cluster), so if one fails, we don't want to start working from DR site, and only one in DR site to be replicated with HQ.

oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

tom,

 w/ async, you don't need two nodes on the remote site, but I definietely agree that you should have a 2nd management group for the 2nd site so there is no dependency for quorum w/ the primary site during a failover event.

 

OP  -   I think the direction you are going sounds correct and the most reasonable.  two VSAs on the primary site with LUNs in NR10 provide you with the updtime for maintenance at that side and as long as you have the remote bandwidth to handle shipping the change-data over to the DR site and are you comfortable with the potential data loss between snapshots in a DR situation, then the setup you have is perfect....  its actually the exact setup I run (but with hyper-v and not VMWare so I won't comment on the VMWare side of the setup).  I would suggest that you still install a FOM at the primary site (or the management group would be a single cluster with two nodes and a FOM) so that you don't have to manually deal with quorum if the VSA w/out the virtual manager goes down for whatever reason.  Then on the DR site, you just have a management group with a single cluster and a single node.

alfa2100
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

oikjn,

oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Storages for DR and features needed

sorry I don't have any good papers offhand other than just the standard microsoft webpage for hyper-v and the HP setup guides on the subject for storevirtual. 

 

Hyper-V is good (even better for server 2012), but I would only suggest it if the vast majority of your servers you plan to virtualize are windows servers.  If this is the case, then it could be for you, if not, VMWare is the defacto-standard.