PxPx
Contributor
Contributor

HP Blade C7000 & Boot from SAN

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Hi,

I have been hearing mixed results from HP on whether I can boot from SAN.

The Blades I am getting are BL460C with two Mezzanine Cards: HP NC373M & HP NC325M

This is what they told me. They said I can boot from SAN if the OS is Linux not Windows. They also said I could boot from SAN only if ESX was installed on Local Disk while the VM's are on the SAN.

So I am wondering was anyone able to successfully boot from SAN with ESX installed on the SAN?

If we have to install ESX on local disk what are the CONS/Pros?

Thanks for your help.

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Jae_Ellers
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hardware iSCSI isn't supported on HP blades, only SW initiator. Therefore you cannot boot from the iSCSI SAN. Some of the HP iSCSI TOE features may be supported in the next release of ESX.

If you had FC HBA you could boot from SAN.

Generally no benefit is seen from boot from SAN unless you are running a lot of identical blades. In this case you could deploy images very quickly using boot from SAN, but ESX is still better deployed from kickstart.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://blog.mr-vm.com http://www.vmprofessional.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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Jae_Ellers
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hardware iSCSI isn't supported on HP blades, only SW initiator. Therefore you cannot boot from the iSCSI SAN. Some of the HP iSCSI TOE features may be supported in the next release of ESX.

If you had FC HBA you could boot from SAN.

Generally no benefit is seen from boot from SAN unless you are running a lot of identical blades. In this case you could deploy images very quickly using boot from SAN, but ESX is still better deployed from kickstart.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://blog.mr-vm.com http://www.vmprofessional.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
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PxPx
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your response.

If I install ESX on local disk I am assuming I can still have my VM's on the SAN and boot them that way?

What RAID do you typically want if your installing ESX locally? I know our blades only come with 2 disks. Would RAID 1 cause performance issues?

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BUGCHK
Commander
Commander

Yes, sure. A VM just boots from an emulated parallel SCSI adapter (Buslogic or LSI Logic). It does not 'know' if the data is on a local disk or a SAN LUN.

RAID-1 for local disks is fine, too.

Jae_Ellers
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Of course, from a design standpoint, raid-1 isn't optimal. However, I think you'll be hard pressed to do more with an HP C-Class blade.

Those local disks are plenty good for the local file system.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://blog.mr-vm.com http://www.vmprofessional.com -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
BUGCHK
Commander
Commander

Well, which RAID level do you consider optimal ?

Those different levels serve different purposes.

What is best for one, might not work well for somebody else.

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PxPx
Contributor
Contributor

Well my only concern is that that if I install ESX on local disk in a RAID 1, there might be performance bottlenecks. If there are no performance issues then I will plan on installing ESX on local disk.

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VirtualKenneth
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Don't be concerned, I always deploy with RAID1 on the local system disks

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