Springpath Data Platform with Cisco UCS Servers

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1 Springpath Data Platform with Cisco UCS Servers Reference Architecture March 2015

2 SPRINGPATH DATA PLATFORM WITH CISCO UCS SERVERS Reference Architecture 1.0 Introduction to Springpath Data Platform Why Springpath Data Platform on UCS Servers Configuration as Tested BOM 4.0 Software Install Process Deployment 5.0 Configuration of the Springpath Data Platform Cluster with 4 Nodes vcenter and Plugin overview Expansion of the Cluster with a 5th Node Other UCS Architecture Options References 13

3 INTRODUCTION TO SPRINGPATH DATA PLATFORM Springpath Data Platform puts an end to expensive and inefficient storage arrays, converged stacks and hyperconverged server appliances. The solution is differentiated in five specific ways. The software scales out storage capacity and performance as these servers get added. It leverage SSDs to for High IO performance and high capacity SAS/SATA drives for maximum storage capacity, is extremely easy to deploy and use, and provides Enterprise-grade data services without caveats. The software s built-in cloud based monitoring and analytics helps discover and address issues pro-actively. It is a 100% software solution that runs on the same brand name servers like Cisco, Dell, HP, Supermicro or Dell that customers are already buying to run their applications. The software can be purchased at a low risk on an annual subscription basis. As shown in Figure 1, Springpath Data Platform software is engineered to support a variety of applications, workloads, data sets and use cases - that are virtualized. It consolidates all of these disparate data sets onto a single commodity server based hardware and data management platform, dramatically simplifying IT infrastructure. Figure 1: Springpath Data Platform APPLICATIONS Enterprise Apps Web Apps Test & Dev Hadoop & Big Data COMPUTE INFRASTRUCTURE VM BARE METAL VM BARE METAL SPRINGPATH DATA PLATFORM APIs DATA ACCESS File Block Object Hadoop Plug-in Monitoring HALO ARCHITECTURE Automation Orchestration Hybrid Cloud SERVER POOL Springpath Data Platform is purpose built and based on the patent pending HALO (Hardware Agnostic Logstructured Object) architecture. The HALO architecture is an application data platform offering distributed, decoupled cache and persistence layers with a full suite of data services cohesively managed over the entire system through existing management tools. Please refer to the Springpath Data Platform White Paper linked in the reference section of this document. 1

4 2.0 Springpath Data Platform on UCS Springpath Data Platform (SPD) is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the Cisco UCS server platform. SPD is server agnostic, meaning that it will work on any set of qualified servers. UCS offers some specific server configuration advantages for a hardware agnostic data platform. SPD is a natural fit for virtualization and other data platform needs in many organizations have settled on Cisco UCS as a vendor of record. While utilizing Cisco UCS as a stand alone server platform is perfectly acceptable for SPD, the ability to take advantage of UCS s formidable server specs, it s Fabric Interconnect, expandability, central manageability, and wide availability and support make the combination very attractive. A key benefit of UCS is the policy based computing model where the concept of stateless computing is leveraged. Each compute node has no set configuration. MAC addresses, UUIDs, firmware and BIOS settings for example, are all configured on the UCS manager in a Service Profile and applied to the servers. This allows for consistent configuration and ease of re-purposing. A new profile can be applied within a matter of minutes. This is particularly attractive with Springpath Data Platform s transferable subscription model. For example, existing UCS infrastructure can easily be re-purposed, because of the stateless nature of the hardware, for use in an SPD cluster. Similarly, newly acquired hardware can be made into new SPD clusters by a simple transfer of license giving the ability to perform cost-free cluster migrations as UCS hardware refreshes are funded. 3.0 Configuration as Tested There are many configuration options for various UCS platforms. Configurations other than the one tested below, are listed at the end of this document for reference. It was the goal of this testing to utilize the full management capability and component infrastructure available in a typical UCS deployment. 3.1 SingleConnect Cisco UCS Manager 2.1 supports an option to integrate the C-Series Rack-Mount Server with Cisco UCS Manager using the NC-SI. This option enables Cisco UCS Manager to manage the C-Series Rack-Mount Servers using a single cable for both management traffic and data traffic. This mode was chosen for lab convenience and because there are many deployments that utilize this model. There is nothing in the testing process prohibiting the use of multi-wire mode. When you use the SingleConnect mode, one host facing port on the FEX is sufficient to manage one rackmount server, instead of the two ports you will use in the Shared-LOM mode. As a result, you can connect more rack-mount servers with Cisco UCS Manager for integrated server management. Refer to the Cisco C-Series Documentation Roadmap for interoperability and configuration steps: unified_computing/ucs/overview/guide/ucs_rack_roadmap.html A total of 4 Cisco UCS C240M4 servers were used in the testing environment. The diagram below indicates the per-server wiring with respect to the Fabric Interconnects (FI s) and the Fabric Extenders (FEX s). 2

5 1 Cisco UCS 6100 Series or 6200 FI (Fabric A) 4 Cisco Nexus 2232PP FEX (Fabric B) 2 Cisco Nexus 2232PP FEX (Fabric A) 5 Cisco UCS C240 M3 server 3 Cisco UCS 6100 Series or 6200 FI (Fabric B) 6 Cisco UCS VIC1225 in PCIe slot 2 The testbed took full advantage of Cisco UCS Manager. As a result, collecting component information for the servers and accompanying hardware was very easy. The screens below show the systems as reported by the management tool. 3.2 Cisco UCS Server as Deployed: Each UCS server contains 1 Intel DC s3500 SSD ( UCS-SD480G0KS2-EV 1 Intel S GB 2.5 inch Enterprise Value 6G SATA SSD) with onboard SD card (UCS-SD-32G-S 1) along with and 7 SATA hard disk drives (1TB 6Gb SATA 7.2K RPM SFF HDD/hotplug/drive sled mounted). 3

6 3.3 Cisco UCS Server Part Detail as Deployed: 3.4 VIC as deployed: 3.5 FEX as deployed: 4

7 3.6 FI as deployed: 4.0 Software Install Process After you install the hardware appliance, you can: Set up your network. Power on the appliance. Start the initial setup page. Configure storage clusters. Add nodes to your clusters. A storage cluster is a group of nodes. When you add a node to a cluster, the node s resources become a part of the cluster s resources. The cluster manages the resources of all nodes that it contains. 5

8 4.1 Network Requirements Before you start the initial setup page, ensure that your network meets the following prerequisites. Provide the following resources (with forward and reverse DNS configured) for a four-node cluster: 16 static IP addresses Four 10GbE IP addresses for the Controller VMs Four 10GbE vmotion IP addresses (one per node) Four 1GbE IP addresses (one per ESX host) Four 1GbE IP addresses for the CIMC of the four nodes Two static IP addresses for the entire Springpath cluster: 1GbE IP address for Springpath cluster management 1GbE IP address for the CIMC of the cluster Provide at least two VLAN IDs: One to configure on the 10GbE network for IP address for vmotion. One for the ESX management network. If the physical switches are configured for trunking (VST or VLAN trunking enabled), ensure that the: Interfaces are configured as trunks (a link that can handle multiple signals simultaneously). Interfaces are configured to allow VLAN access. You must specify the VLAN IDs in the Springpath plug-in during initial setup. If the physical switches are configured for VLAN tagging, ensure that the: Interfaces connected to the 1GbE port on each node use the same VLAN ID. Interfaces connected to the two 10GbE ports on each node are configured with the same VLAN ID. This is different from the VLAN ID used for the 1GbE port. 4.2 Other Requirements Download and install vcenter server and obtain the user name and password to log in to vcenter. If your network is behind a firewall, ensure that the following firewall ports are open: HTTP - TCP:80 HTTPS- TCP:443 POP3 - TCP:110 (secure POP port is TCP:995) IMAP4 - TCP:143 (secure IMAP port is TCP:993) SMTP - TCP:25 DNS - UDP:53 (external lookups) Ensure that the following services are operational and reachable from your network: DNS server NTP server SMTP server DHCP server Provide DHCP server and default or native VLAN access to the Springpath management network after you install and configure your appliance. The Springpath network and the vmotion network must use the same VLAN ID. Springpath does not support changing the VLAN ID of the CIMC port. Ensure that the vcenter ESX Agent Manager (EAM) is working before you configure the Springpath plug-in. 6

9 4.3 Deployment Appliance Deploying the Springpath OVA File After you obtain the OVA file (spdeploy.ova) from Springpath, you can deploy it as follows: 1. Deploy the Springpath OVA file on any Windows or Linux computer with VMware player or workstation. 2. Power on the deployed VM. 3. Connect to the deployed VM using https. 4. Enter user name: deploy and password: deploy to access the deployed VM. For use with VMware, the deployed VM contains: Springpath ESXi ISO image Installation scripts Springpath LSI Firmware ISO image 5.0 Configuration of the Springpath Data Platform Cluster with 4 Nodes Installing Springpath Software The deployment appliance UI is available after the ova is deployed and activated. You can either complete the setup using the UI or by using the CLI. Before you install Springpath software, ensure that you obtain the spdeploy.ova package (from Springpath Support). The deployment appliance automatically discovers and displays the node name and DHCP-assigned IP addresses of all available Springpath appliances (which are already not in a Springpath cluster) in your network. It displays Searching for Springpath hosts... and then displays a list of all Springpath nodes in the network. 7

10 Select the nodes for the cluster. The complete cluster configuration information is displayed after the drag and drop of the JSON config file. Contact Springpath Support or your System s Engineer for help creating the configuration file. Alternatively, you can manually enter the node and cluster configuration information that you gathered previously. Press Run Installation to continue and then the cluster is built. Cluster installation progress is displayed as the cluster is being built. 8

11 After about 10 minutes you are presented with the cluster summary screen. At this point you can create datastores, expand the cluster with additional nodes, or go to the vcenter management plugin where you will conduct all further cluster based operations. 9

12 6.0 vcenter and Plugin overview Springpath Data Platform tightly integrates with VMware s vsphere ESX and its management application, vcenter, to provide a seamless data management experience to VM users and administrators. Springpath utilizes the extensible plugin nature of the vsphere Web Client to create and enhance the familiar vcenter environment for the administrator to use the cluster. There is no separate management console to learn or worry about. It supports key shared storage features like vmotion, DRS, HA and vsphere replication. The Springpath web client plugin seamlessly extends vcenter and empowers VM administrators to manage their storage and data without having to learn yet another management tool. VMware snapshots and cloning capability is replaced by the more scalable and performant Springpath native snapshots and clones. Springpath native compression and deduplication reduces storage space occupied by the VMs. Springpath native snapshots can be taken at the individual VM level, or at the VM folder level as shown in the screen shot. Right click access to Springpath native snapshots and clones. 10

13 Selecting the Snapshot Now item from the Springpath right-click menu item brings up a simple snapshot wizard. You simply enter the name of the snapshot for the VM or VM folder and click OK. Once you click OK, a Springpath native snapshot is taken. All snapshots are still managed the same way that the VMware administrator is familiar with, namely the Snapshot Manager built into the Web Client. Springpath ReadyClones enable vsphere offloading of VM cloning to the cluster via API integration. This provides a rapid and robust mechanism for cloning large quantities of virtual machines. Batches of clones, with prebuilt specification files applied to them for customization, can be created in a few easy steps with the pluginintegrated cloning wizard. 11

14 To rapidly prepare large numbers of clones, simply enter the number of clones and specify a configuration file if you have one. You can also specify a clone name that is incremented by the count you enter and you can even select the option to power on VMs after the clone operation is complete. 7.0 Expansion of the Cluster with a 5th Node Cluster expansion is a one button operation. Perhaps the only time you will go back to the cluster summary page after the system is built, is to expand it by adding nodes. This simple and quick operation is performed by pressing the Expand Cluster button on the bottom of the cluster summary page. Springpath cluster expansion Once this is done, the cluster will search the local network for additional nodes. Any nodes identified by SLP (Service Location Protocol) that are eligible for inclusion in your existing cluster are presented. Click the checkbox and add the node to your cluster. Within a few minutes the node is incorporated into the system. The additional available capacity is reflected on both the summary page and in the management plugin. 12

15 8.0 Other UCS Architecture Options Integration_UCSM2-2/b_C-Series-Integration_UCSM2-2_chapter_0110.html Integration/b_UCSM2-1_C-Integration_chapter_011.html Integration/b_UCSM2-1_C-Integration_chapter_010.html 9.0 References Springpath Data Platform White Paper ESG Lab Validation Report Springpath Support 13

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