Well here I am, starting a new project for a new customer at a new datacenter again. This time, its a large retail organisation looking to do the usual, consolidate, virtualise, go green etc etc. They have selected IBM System X and BladeCenter H as the platforms of choice for the new VMware ESX 3 environment. So here we go with the planning….
The BladeCenter H has eight switch bays and two Advanced Management Module (AMM) bays. The two AMM act in much the same way as the Onboard Administrator on HP C Class. There are two for redundancy. Two of the eight switch bays are used for FC Switches, for this project we are using Brocade 4Gb SAN switches.
The other bays are occupied by Cisco GbE Switch Modules.
HS21s are used for the initial phase of the project. These blades can accommodate upto 6 NICs and 2 HBAs, with 2 onboard and the other 4 provided by daughtercards. The customer has elected to use 4 NICs as opposed to the 6 that I normally recommend for ESX implementations. The two extra NICs are provided by the CFFh daughtercard, this daughtercard houses 2 network adapters AND 2 Fibre Channel HBAs.
The table below (from IBM) show the interface to bay mapping.
Since only 4 interfaces are available, teaming and VLANs will have to be used to provide resilience and to separate the SC and VMKernel networks.
I will be teaming Interface 0 (eth0) with Interface 3 (eth3) as opposed to the IBM table (dedicating an adapter to a service), as this will team one onboard port with one daughtercard port. Likewise eth1 will then be teamed with eth2.
* The location of the two Fibre Channel Adapters should be Daughter Card CFF-h, not v as shown in the IBM table.
The following diagram shows the correct mapping.
The table below details the network interconnects.
Interface is the network adapter inside a blade, Location is where the interface is, Chassis Bay is where the interface terminates at the rear of the BladeCenter chassis, pSwitch is the external core switch that the Chassis Bay uplinks to, vSwitch is the ESX virtual switch that the Interface provides an uplink for, vLAN is the ID that is assigned to each Port Group and Service is the type of port group assigned to a vSwitch.