We're looking at a transition for our ESX environment from DL series rack mounts to c7000 and BL620C G7 Servers and I'm still trying to get my head around it. We'll be connecting to a Nexus and I am trying to understand the Flexfabric interconnect implications.
(1) Am I right to assume I'll need 2 "HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Modules" per c7000 chasis to eliminate that as a single point of failure?
(2) Is it true that I can connect (at most) 2 FlexFabric ports to each BL620C G7 Server Blades? Each can be split up into 4 seperate Flex NICs. In which case, I would choose one physical port from each VC Flexfabric module.
(3) My plan is to carve those 2 FlexFabric Ports into 3 pairs of Flex NICs (2-Management), (2-VMKernel), and (2-VM Networks) as well as 1 pair for storage(2-FCoE for FC storage). Each pair split across the Flexfabric Modules. This make sense?
(4) I read something about VLAN limitations which I didn't fully understand. We currently have 40+ VLANs going across our VM network trunks. Will I be able to do that on the VM Networks as defined above?
(5) Lastly, ideally I'd like a 5th pair to carve out for Fault Tolerance but, that doesn't seem possible so, I suppose I will just share the VMKernel for VMotion and Fault Tolerance. Just curious what others are doing.
I am going to try to answer as much as possible here.
1) You are correct about needing two FlexFabric modules for redundancy.
2) The BL620c is a full height blade, so you actually get four on-board CNAs.Since each CNA can be split into UP TO FOUR FlexNICs, you have a total of eight pairs of channels available. See the quickspecs here -> http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13747_na/13747_na.HTML
3) Makes perfect sense. With the additional FlexNICs, you can have your FT on a separate network. JUST BE CAREFUL with your planning. If you are using FCoE, they automatically get tied to FlexNIC "B" on each physical port.
4) I am not aware of any VLAN limitations with the latest firmaware, but I am not a network guy. Maybe you could specify?
5) See items 2 and 3.
Thanks for the reply Dave. Exactly what I was looking for. Regarding the VLAN limitation it was this note I read in the "Virtual Connect Ethernet Cookbook". I'll need to read a bit more to understand the virtual connect terms but the "Server Profile Network Connection" limitation was my main concern.
The following Shared Uplink Set rules apply per domain:
I also saw this discussion:
I am realtively new to HP Blades and Virtual Connect but, we are going to purchase one and I want to make sure I had basic design principles straight so I order properly.
I've been compiling some information on Flex-10 and ESX.
What you do need to ensure though is you are up to date with all HP firmware and ESX Nic Drivers.
Have a look at my blog posts which goes into this in more detail: