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HP VirtualConnect and Fibre SAN

Posted on 2013-06-27
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Last Modified: 2013-07-23
Hi All,
I hope someone can help with this.
I am trying to setup fibre SAN access and/or boot from SAN for the following blades

The hardware is
HP P2000 FC SAN
HP C7000 Blade Enclosure
HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 with Hp FlexConnect 554FLB Adapters
HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24 Port Module

I have the FleFabric connected by fibre to the P2000 SAN and its showing as sync'd and online. I have created a SAN Fabric Zone and also Server Profile on the Virtual Connect to pair the balde with the fibre ports.

But from the Adapters BIOS I can't see the SAN or find any way to setup the boot from SAN option, the adpater is the HP 554FLB LOM which is installed. Can someone advise on how I get this adapter to boot from a connected Fibre SAN???

Thanks In Advance,
Mark
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Question by:IrishLadLive
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39283853
Boot from SAN is set in the server profile, see page 117 of the cookbook.

http://bizsupport2.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01702940/c01702940.pdf
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39284037
Hi,
Thanks for the reply, I checked that page but the FC HBA section mentioned on that page is ghosted on for me.
I only have Ethernet, iSCSI and FCoE options available?
Is this related to the 554FLB Card, as it should support booting from an FC SAN??

Thanks Again
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39284065
Hmm yes, the 554FLB doesn't do FC, only FCoE. That means quite a lot of extra equipment needed to use FC; HBAs for the blades and SAN switches or flexconnect SAN modules for the enclosure. Might make more sense to use iSCSI since that would only require changing the controllers in the P2000.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39284126
Hi,
That's a major problem :(

From the spec I though the adapter supported FC directly, I plan now on installing ESX5.1 using the HP image locally to the micro SD card, assuming that works can I get direct access to the FC storage using the 554FLB?

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39284240
I don't think so, FlexFabric only supports direct connection to 3Par, you would need external SAN switches to direct connect it to a MSA2000 (page 13 of the cookbook). If you do have external SAN switches available then scenario 5 starting on page 69 is the way to configure it.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39284371
Hi,
Not the news I was hoping for as we bough the kit all new and installed it already.
Can you recommend a card that can be used inside the BL460c with the Virtual Connect that gives us FC and Ethernet connections using the existing VC's in the chassis, FCoE isn't required.

Our understanding was that the FCoE element was used inside the chasis, which allowed direct FC connection using the external ports, so the 554FLB is no use without special external fiber or FCoE switchs?

Thanks again for your help in clarifying this.

Mark
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39284560
That Virtual Connect doesn't like direct connection is the real problem, you'll find that out if you tried to plug a router into one of the LAN connections for example, and on the SAN side direct connection to 3PAR is an exception to the rule that was only recently introduced and that needed a tweek to the 3PAR software.

A pair of external 8/8 SAN switches would cost about £6,000, a pair of 10Gb iSCSI cards for the P2000 G3 would be similar priced. SAN switches for bays 3&4 plus HBAs for each blade would cost even more but at least that would give you much more bandwidth free to the LAN side.

Sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear, did you get this through a reseller? If so they should have warned about the VC direct attach problem.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39284618
Hi,
No we bought this in direct with advice from various people and thats the issue unfortunately I'm the one to get this working.

So what do you advcie would be the best option based on what we have right now, add 2 fiber switches and would that work on its own by connect the VC's and the P2000 SAN via fiber to this, and then allow the blades to access via fiber using the 445FLB?
Or is replacing teh 445FLB with a Network/Fiber HBA that using teh VC a better option, I assume not if direct connect is an issue?

First time working with these VC's so questions are very generic I'm afriad :)

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39284728
You can't replace the 445FLB with anything, but you can add mezzanine HBAs to each blade, HBAs are about $1000 each and and the 12 port SAN switches are $5000 each so for 10 blades that would be $20K but at least all the current bandwidth would be for the LAN.

I think I'd buy the external SAN switches or use iSCSI instead since much cheaper. You could get away with 4Gb SAN switches, they would be cheaper and the make doesn't matter. You could actually use blade based SAN switches without them connecting to the blades I think, just the external ports would be inserted between the VC module and the P2000 same as for external switches.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39285184
Hi,
So if I get the Mezzanine HBA's into the blades how could they connect to the external fibre switchs as would that not need a blade elclosure switch to connect the internal path or am I missing something?

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39285270
Something got lost in translation there, Mezzanine HBAs are about $1000 each and blade based SAN switches are about $5000 each, that option would not need external SAN switches since you would have SAN switches rather than virtual connect modules in bays 3 and 4 of the c7000.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39285477
Hi,
Sorry yes you mentioned that you would get 2 external SAN switch's, I have 2 4Gb external SAN Switch (QLogic), so just trying to understand if I can use these with what we have now, being 2 Virtual Connect modules and the 455FLB in each blade?
If I can get this working with the P2000 FC San using what we have along with 2 external SAN FC Switches could you explain if that would work, or would I need C7000 SAN Switches and Blade FC HBA installed?

Sorry it might seem like a dumb question..

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39285481
With a couple of QLogic SAN switches in between the Virtual connect and the P2000 it should work OK as it is, the flexfabric talks fibre channel OK, it just has to talk through an FC switch.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39285504
Ah ok, that's great news.

So I'll connect the external FC ports on the VC and the P2000 FC ports into the switch and test the connection again, nothing special is required on the adapters to use the Fiber Channel.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39285508
This is what I mean about the adapters, I don't see a the section for FC HBA, its ghosted out?

VC
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Accepted Solution

by:
andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 39285546
As I understand it you would configure the card as FCoE since it isn't until it reaches the FlexFabric module that the Ethernet is stripped off and it becomes native FC, but admittedly I haven't set this up myself. It may be that you have to configure the uplink ports as FC and connect the switches before the FC option is available.
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Author Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39285566
No problem thanks for your help so far, I am going to get the 2 QLogic switchs and connect to the Virtual Connects along with the P2000.

Will then see if the FC option opens up, as right now I'm lost as to why it won't work, we where assured the FCoE Adapter runs Ethernet, iSCSI and FC no problem, but its a lot more completed that first though.

Hopefully the switches will get the FC option working, even with ESX installed on the blade I only see 6 NIC's and no HBA's which isn't what I expected.

Thanks will update this thread once I get testing with FC switches.
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Author Closing Comment

by:IrishLadLive
ID: 39349969
Hi used a fibre switch that support NPIV and its all working as we need now.
Thanks
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