3.5 inch HDD storage blade for HP c7000 enclosure

Discussion in 'Chassis and Enclosures' started by STK439, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    Greetings,

    I got a c7000 enclosure and some BL460c gen8 blades. I also have some 3.5 inch HDDs for storage, but they don’t fit in the blades. From google I can only find D2200sb for additional storage, but it also only takes 2.5 inch drives. Any thoughts on a storage blade that works in this situation? Thanks!
     
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  2. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Without looking at the quickspecs and I suggest you do “google c7000 HPE quickspecs” I don’t remember internal options other than 2.5”
    Generally I would put 16x HH blades and then use the fiber channel adapter and brocade blade switch to connect to SAN but I am aware of the direct connect local disk options as you mentioned.
     
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  3. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    What I was hinting at is unless you fill the enclosure full with blades then I don’t think blade centers make much sense.
    Rack servers are just easier if not setting them up properly.
     
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  4. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    Thanks. Rack servers are not really an option for me. I got the blades and enclosure cheap therefore I decided to try them. They have amazing computation power packed in a small space. I have some CPU-bound computation to do with small amount of data stored on local disks. The 3.5 inch HDD contains other large files that I want to check infrequently.
     
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  5. hhp

    hhp New Member

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    I would not use in-chassis storage, all of my blades just have boot thumb drives locally. Which modules do you have installed in the chassis? If you already have FC or VC-Flex 10 modules I would go with a SAN solution. There are many affordable iSCSI solutions out there for storage (or build your own), in nearly all use cases you wont be limited by 10G to storage, it will be IOP's of the underlying physical storage that will limit you (assuming you will be using this for virtualization). Do you have rack space available for external storage? Even a used R510 or 12LFF g6 /g7 etc could be used to pool your 3.5 inch drives for a quick/cheap, non prod. solution. Add some flash cache via SSD's or PCIe add-in and a 10gb ethernet card if not equip'd and your up and running with little expense. To save yourself some pain I would make sure all of your firmware etc. is up to date in that chassis before going to town.
     
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  6. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    I only have the c7000 and don't have room for a rack. That's why I was hoping to find something that can be fit in c7000. But still thank you for the recommendations. I'm really new to blade system. Steep learning curve:)
     
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  7. rune-san

    rune-san Member

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    The C7000 ONLY supports SFF Storage Blades via the DS2220sb. Even then, the Storage is Direct Attach. You need to install a blade directly adjacent to the adjacent blade that gets sole access to the blade (it pipes PCI-e directly to the Storage Blade to a built-in Smart Array RAID Controller).

    There's no LFF Blades for the c7000 Blade Enclosure. You'd need to swap over to 2.5" drives to make the C7000 architecture work for you.
     
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  8. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    Thanks. That was what I found, too. What do you think is the downside if I use a DS2220sb and then share the files to the rest of the blades via NFS, compared to using a SAN? I'm mostly concerned with access speed.
     
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  9. hhp

    hhp New Member

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    You could just use one of the adjacent blades to install FreeNAS or similar and offer a full range of connectivity options (iSCSI, NFS, SMB etc. ) and other infrastructure or virt related services (even purchase an old blade for $1-200 to fill the role, many dirt cheap options out there). Thats assuming you go with 2.5", I just think it would be cheaper to buy a used 12 or > LFF server and use your stack of 3.5 inch drives. You would probably spend less than purchasing a storage blade and the 2.5 inch drives to populate it, plus gain the additional capabilities and expansion options vs. a pass through interface to slow spindles with limited capacity.
    Which interconnect modules does your chassis have, also, does it have a full compliment of fans and power supplies?
    I am assuming since you don't have a rack this may not be in a climate controlled environment, using spinners will generate a lot of heat in the chassis and it will start shutting things down if it detects an over temp condition. If you got it cheap because the vendor only provided a couple PS and minimum FANs, the storage blade or other components may not be able to draw enough power or cooling. A loaded out blade center can draw up to 14.4 kw (?from memory), most of mine have run from 6 -10kw on avg., my smallest config of 5 bl460c G8's, 2 VC-Flex-10 interconnects and 2 OA's draws 3 avg to a peak of 5kw. I have never used a storage blade so I cant provide specifics, just make sure your chassis has the required cooling and power for what you are attempting to configure.
    Have you actually powered it up yet? Just thinking I have never seen anyone use the 110v option, just 220 or DC, anyway - just one more thing to check if you have not already.
    I don't know of any solutions that would allow you to use 3.5" drives internal to the chassis, it sort of goes against the blade center "smaller and smushed together design principle.
     
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  10. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    My c7000 enclosure comes with 10 fans and 6 power supplies, but I'm currently using only 6 fans and 2 power supplies to save power. It's running on 240V, and I currently have 8 blades installed. I have installed Ubuntu server 18.04 on one of the blades and it seems to work fine. The rest of the blades don't have HDD yet, but I have turned them on and reset the BIOS. @hhp You mentioned that you use thumb drives to boot the blades. Does that mean the blades will always load the same OS on boot? How does the OS get configuration changes or security updates?

    I have a few interconnect modules, including HP VC Flex-10/10D, HP 4Gb VC-FC, CISCO 8Gb FC switch, and HP VC Flex-10 Enet. At this moment I just need ethernet connectivity to the blades and I'm using one HP VC Flex-10/10D for that.

    I plan to have one blade always running for some cron jobs and virtual machines. Rest of the blades are powered on as needed (wake on LAN). I don't think the duration when all blades are on would exceed 3 hours a day on average.
     
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  11. hhp

    hhp New Member

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    You can access anything in the chassis through the active OA management port, once you log into the chassis admin UI you can open the ILO for the blades. You should have assigned the blade, inter connect modules,etc. IP's in the chassis setup. If you are using the flex-10 interconnect modules you set up your virtual connect domain, uplink sets, VLANs, SAN fabrics etc. in the virtual connect admin UI. You have a lot of options as far as network config, my usual setup would be using the VC-Flex-10 modules in the chassis and the flex-10 LOM's on the blades providing 8 10g ports to the OS (you get 10gbps A -4ports and B 10gbps 4 ports ) to split the uplink capacity. So blade 1 for example, will have A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4 sharing/splitting 10gbps uplink you assign and the same for the second set of 4 ports. I am trying to condense this but there are literally hundreds of configurations you could set up, short and sweet answer is this. If you have assigned the various chassis/ilo IP's and configured your chosen interconnect solution you should be able to access iLO to any of the chassis H/W on your network. Once you can access the ilo of a blade, you can open a remote console from the mgt UI and map virtual OS ISO's to the blades virtual cd/dvd for install and setup. If you have everything connected and cant ping any of the assigned IPs you missed something in setup, the OA mgt port is your best friend. Through that one IP you access the console of anything in the chassis and fix your config. If you dont want to put local storage in the blades you can pull them out, pop the cover and use one of the small thumb drives in the USB port, it is towards the very front. If you are not using them for virtualization then this wont matter to you but nice to know anyway.
     
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  12. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    Thanks for the detailed information. Could you comment on my question regarding boot thumb drives: How do you make persistent changes to the OS, including config changes and OS updates?
     
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  13. hhp

    hhp New Member

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    You wont want to put an actual OS on a USB drive, it will die rather quickly if you run windows or linux from it. I just use them to boot and load the hyper-visor, once the blade is booted it uses the SAN for all storage etc.
    To answer your specific question, you need to access the blade ilo directly or through the OA, once you are on the blades ilo you can launch the HP virtual remote console. In the remote console window there are menus/drop downs to select a boot image (virtual CD/DVD), you can even select an iso on your local drive.
    Thats probably the simplest way for someone new to the platform. Since you dont have network access to the blade (I'm assuming), log into the chassis OA web interface. In the blade list, click the one you want to work on, then either open the blade ilo (if you want to tweak blade settings etc.) or launch the remote console from the OA, there are console links in the blade ilo as well. You may have to install a java applet or .net version of the HP remote console but it should prompt you along. If you use the thumb drive, changes to config etc. will just be like any OS, it would be your C: drive I guess. It is still available and mounted in my hypervisors, just doesnt get used after it is up.
     
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  14. Robert Fontaine

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  15. rune-san

    rune-san Member

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    G6 blades are long out of support and G7 blades EOSL'd earlier this year. G8 blades are the only thing that currently supported (v2 Xeon and up). Likewise ESXi 6.7 is only supporting v1 Xeon (G7 blades) and up. Expect this equipment to keep getting cheaper as big companies work to refresh before EOSL. I'd expect quite a bit of equipment to get refreshed after the ESXi 5.5 End of Support next month.
     
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  16. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    Interesting. I like the approach of diskless servers a lot. I did some research and found some using PXE boot to achieve that goal. I have not used PXE or the thumb drive approach, but I think they have some in common. One question for @hhp, does each of your blades have its own file system stored in SAN? If the blades all use the same type of OS, I really don't want to store more than one copies of the OS as most of the content is the same, but I still would like to be able to have customized configuration for each individual blade (e.g., static IP address). Does your system support that?
     
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  17. STK439

    STK439 New Member

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    I read this guide DisklessUbuntuHowto - Community Help Wiki and decided to give it a go. More specifically, I plan to connect the NIC1's of all blades to a local network restricted to the enclosure, and run DHCP, TFTP, and NFS servers on one of the blades, i.e., the master blade. The rest of the blades (slave blades) will then perform PXE boot from the master blade. All slave blades share the same copy of the OS, making OS maintenance a lot easier.
     
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  18. hhp

    hhp New Member

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    No, the hypervisor still technically stores confg to the flash but temp/swap etc is mapped to SAN storage on boot. PXE would be a better solution for you (I think). I use puppet, ansible, templates etc for host and VM management. To me it doesn't matter if there is a problem with the thumb drive, if its corrupt or has issues its just re-imaged or replaced and another blade picks up the workload if it was operationally affected.
     
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