Friday, October 10, 2008

Bl495: a perfect fit for virtualization

Bundled OEM "value-added" software that comes with a subpar digital camera or printer is usually not useful, bloated, proprietary and hard to uninstall. And RSP (see my previous post) makes this kind of software look rather elegant.

Yet despite my rant on some HP management tools which are really not worth getting excited for, they do design some pretty interesting hardware, such as the bl495.

I almost wet my pants when I saw these. Now that's the kind of blade I was waiting for -- lots of CPU, even more lots of RAM, two SSDs, and a small footprint. They're just perfect for running an ESX cluster. ESXi can be burned in using the HP USB key, but I'd still prefer ESX for now. Combine this with an EVA4400 and you're on for a helluva ride.

The only thing that's missing in my opinion is an additionnal two LAN ports, which are available on an optional mezzanine. The bl495s include two built-in 10GbE ports which has plenty of bandwidth, but it's complicated to isolate the Service Console, VMkernel and various Vswitches without using tagged Vlans (especially through a Virtual Connect). I prefer having different, physical interfaces for this, especially considering the fact that 10GbE is still too modern for out 1GbE catalysts.

You can easily replace 6 or more full racks of less-critical Wintel server with a 10U chassis full of these. With technologies like this, that can be done. Think about all the space you'll save, and let's not forget about cooling, SAN ports, LAN ports...

Way to go HP!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you use the Flex-10 Virtual Connect Module you can break the 10Gb onboard NICs into 4 NICs each. You can set the banwidth for each of these vNICs as long as it adds up to 10Gb. 8 NICs totaling 20Gb is a pretty beefy VMware network.