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New virtualisation setup - advice needed


New virtualisation setup - advice needed

I'm currently looking at new hardware for our in-house virtualisation setup. The new setup will be spanned across two datacentres and I'm set on using Veeam for backup and replication (already use the backup part, amazing software); Veeam will have its own DAS storage.

FYI, all hardware will be HP as we are an HP partner here. The virtualisation stack will be VMware.

What I'm not set on yet is the virtualisation hardware. My options are:


  • 3 or 4 rack servers per datacentre (DL360 Gen9), with a further rack server for Veeam
  • blade chassis with 3 or 4 blades per datacentre (BL460c Gen9), with a further blade for Veeam

As for networking, rack servers will require significant redundant switching (it's what we have at the moment anyway). For blades, a pair of 1GbE modules will connect directly to our Cisco ASA firewalls - everything else can use the internal 10GbE backbone.

Other info, for reference:


  • Shared storage will be HP MSA2040 SAS units, cabled either directly to rack servers or, in the case of blades, to a pair of SAS switches in the chassis. Disks will be a mixture of SAS + SSD to create storage tiers.
  • DAS storage for the Veeam infrastructure will be D2700 disk enclosures, direct-attached via SAS. SAS or SAS-MDL drives for this, probably SAS.

The bonuses I can see in favour of blades is future expandability - I'll have at least 3 blade slots free in an 8-slot chassis. Furthermore, a blade setup will let us go for a smaller rack (quarter rack probably), lowering colo costs; we'd need a half rack if we go the rack servers route. Storage will be expandable in any case, by chaining DAS boxes off the MSAs.

Pricing for both options is very similar, so I'm looking for pros and cons of each before I commit. So please offer your opinions and experience. Another question is: in the base of going for blades, do I need a mezzanine card in each blade to expose SAS connectivity from the blades to the SAS switches in the chassis?

Occasional Advisor

Re: New virtualisation setup - advice needed

Going with rack based servers will require more cables, transceivers and power, especially as you start to grow the solution.  Each server will have to be wired and setup on a one-to-one basis, and as you grow you will repeat this process over and over. 


Most co-locations charge on certain power bands, so the more servers you can get inside of the chosen power band the better return on your investment.  This is where choosing a blade system will benefit you in the long run.  You will only need to wire up the enclosure once, and adding additional blades will involve minimal interaction at the co-location. Most customers have the co-location “hands on” person just slide in the blade and configure it from the main office. 


The choice now is which blade enclosure is right for you, the C3000 or the C7000. You’ll need to choose how you’ll manage this environment moving forward, as well as the SAS based solutions. For example, HP OneView is supported on the C7000. Have you looked at the storage blades?  Do they provide enough capacity and minimize the need for SAS switches and external storage?  Let us know if you have other requirements or questions so we can help you make the right choice!


And, yes, each blade would need to have a P741M to support SAS connectivity.


Becca Taylor
HPE Influencer Marketing Manager


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