This week I want to write something about security with the MSBA from Microsoft. After a hard week working with the new blade series from HP we do have a bit of insight of the benefits of the c7000. This time the security geek’s will be pleased. First we take a look at the question “what is an Blade Center?”. A blade center is an 12 U high rack mounted system. In this box you have six 2700 Watt power supplies, eight multi-function network slots, ten high performance fans and place for up to 32 dual Quad Core Server. The whole center can be managed from two websites. So its very cool for IT professionals.
Let’s take a closer look at the server. There are 16 bays for servers. Some enterprise servers need two slots, some “low power” dual quad core etch with 32 GB memory need for two servers half a slot. In my case I am using 16 HP ProLiant BL460c server blades. Nice to know is, that this slots can be used for Tape (DLT 5), storage (DAS) and PCI-Express Blades. But you loose one slot.
The network slots of the blade can be equipped with Cisco, HP, Mc Data and virtual connect bays. Choosing the best for your environment is a very hard and complex decision. The virtual connect is an brand new technology from hp which is “weder fisch noch Vogel”. The best description is an virtual patch panel. It can switching, some layer 3 things like vLan tagging. The most important thing is its ability to do an dynamic LACP port Channel, with is in “HP English” an “Auto Port” :-).
So stop the geek boy stuff and lets talk about benefits / disappointments of Blade. In the most guides you find that the c7000 is internally completely redundant. This is simply a lie. The base board is one part and if its fail the hole c7000 goes DOWN !!!. HP say it has an normal time to fail from 140 years. How should I know a blade center with a second baseboard, I’m not that old 🙂 It has 10 fans slots, but to operate in redundant mode you need only 8. If one fails nothing happens. My guess is you only need in future with 16 GHZ 12 qore CPU an 200 gb ram the 10 fans. So safe the money while ordering. Not every mezziane card that are able to work in the slot make sense.
Take a look to this schematics from hp product bulletin. With an half high blade (16 Blades per encloser) you only able to use two slots. So if you buy a quad port NIC you are only able to use two. HP doesn’t tell you this in the ordering process. In some cases blade are cheaper than normal servers but it depend on the configuration. In most cases if you need fiber cannel HBA’s it’s an good chance to be on the cheaper side. Blades are an complex an modern technology which requires intensive studies for IT professional’s.
Atleast some nice videos from HP wit happy people from japan