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HP StorageBlade config best practices

Posted on 2014-12-17
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Last Modified: 2015-01-02
Hi All,

We are looking to move away from our existing storage in the new year, and want to take advantage of the 4 spare blade slots that we have on our HP C3000 chassis.

We have 4 x BL460c Gen8 blades, so I think we could use the D2220sb storage blades, which have 12 disk slots per blade, and I believe a max disk size of 800GB - Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - And I envisioned making use of the HP VSA, which we got when we originally bought our existing SAN, to consolidate the storage blades (as I think the C3000 will present them as DAS to the adjacent BL460c in this configuration) into iSCSI storage.

If my calculations are correct, we would have:

12 x 800GB in RAID10 = 4.8TB per storage blade

Now, I'm wondering about the capabilities of the HP VSA when it comes to stuff like Network RAID... Can it do it? Our current SAN is in RAID10 on each node, and then Network RAID10 between the 2 nodes also.

What are my options here, realistically?

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:Ramsden-International
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andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 40504438
12 disk slots is correct, you can use 1TB SATAs or 900GB or 1.2TB SAS disks, there aren't any 800GB disks but that's fairly close to what you see from a 900GB disk (838GiB). If you're running VMware from SD card you can use the two disk slots in the server blades as well but they're on a separate controller so you would have two separate arrays.

VSA does exactly what the LeftHand appliances do, so yes you get network RAID. Not sure what capacity the VSA license is limited to.
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by:Ramsden-International
ID: 40505023
Great stuff, thanks Andy. I had got the 800GB limit from my reseller, so thanks for the heads up.

I seem to recall a 10TB limit on the VSA or something like that... As to whether that would be 10TB per 'node' or what, I don't know.

Perhaps I'd be better off looking at something like VMware VSA, or VSAN or something...
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by:andyalder
ID: 40505069
Quickspecs for VSA say 50TB limit per node but that may not be the version you have, would need the part number to confirm. It has more options than VMware VSA, not that Network RAID 5 or 6 are used very often. One caveat though, when VSA is bundled with P4x00 the VSAs get their licensing managed by the hardware nodes so you still need the P4500 to be connected.
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Author Comment

by:Ramsden-International
ID: 40505081
Hmm, the 10TB is probably applicable to the one which came bundled with our P4000 series then, to be fair. 50TB sounds much better to me.

I think it's looking like 2 x whatever the latest version of HP VSA is then! How many Storage Blades can one VSA look after? Hoping it's 2, then my plan will work!
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by:andyalder
ID: 40505108
The limit is one storage blade per server blade, it's down to the inter-blade PCIe link running between enclosure slots 1-2 and 3-4 but not between 2-3.
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Author Comment

by:Ramsden-International
ID: 40506505
Is that where it presents 1 storage blade to each adjacent server blade as DAS? If so, I knew about that, yeah. What I was asking is how many storage blades can 1 VSA deal with? I know I'd need a minimum of 2 VSA's to make a cluster, but I'm wondering if 1 VSA can pool the storage from 2 x storage blades into a single pool?
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 40506919
1 VSA license covers one host, but 4 hosts all running VSA (needs 4 licenses) with a storage blade each can pool all the storage into one network RAID volume if you want. Just put the 4 VSA virtual machines into a cluster. So 2 VSAs can pool the storage from 2 storage blades into one pool, 3 VSAs can pool the storage from 3 storage blades into one pool etc.

This is your initial idea, it just needs 4 VSA licenses, one for each server blade. Since the license limit is per VSA node your 4 nodes can pool 4 times what an individual node can. You're not limited to just VSA in the cluster, you can mix VSA virtual nodes with P4500 hardware nodes if you want, best to have similar nodes but that's only so you don't have one slow node with one fast one.

If you can confirm the exact bundle you bought we can tell how many VSA licenses you got with it.
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Author Comment

by:Ramsden-International
ID: 40527407
Thanks andyalder, makes more sense now...

We only got the one VSA license, it was a P4300 starter bundle. I'm sure it's the 10TB limit one too, which won't be any good to us, moving forwards... So I'll factor in new VSA licenses for the next budget.

Thanks for all your help!
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