Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition data center virtualization software for HP ProLiant blade servers

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1 Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition data center virtualization software for HP ProLiant blade servers Executive summary... 3 Introduction... 3 Server virtualization... 4 Hypervisor implementation... 4 Hardware assisted virtualization... 4 Software emulation of hardware... 4 I/O virtualization... 5 Paravirtualization... 5 Native OS support... 5 HP... 5 Adaptive Enterprise... 5 ProLiant servers...6 The HP BladeSystem c-class... 6 HP BladeSystem c-class server blades interconnects... 6 StorageWorks SB40c storage blade... 6 HP storage arrays... 7 EVA MSA Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition... 7 System architecture... 8 Virtualization Manager... 8 Virtualization Services... 8 Virtual Iron 3.1 tested solution architecture... 9 Efficiency Features High availability Live migration Virtual server guest operating systems support Virtual Iron Storage Management Framework Server node based direct attached storage Subpartitioning of MSA1000 LUNs Flexibility... 13

2 Virtual Iron 3.1 installation and management Installing Virtual Iron Prepare the server Prepare the FC connected storage Configure the network Download Virtual Iron Install the software Connecting to the Virtualization Manager Boot a server node Discovering the hardware Configuring the network and the server node(s) Creating a virtual data center Assign a server to a virtual data center Creating a virtual server with Linux Creating a virtual server with Windows Server Hardware and software requirements Hardware requirements Software requirements Recommended configuration BOM Virtual Iron 3.1 review Recommended steps Summary For more information... 31

3 Executive summary Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition, when installed on the HP BladeSystem with an HP StorageWorks 8000 Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA8000), creates a virtualized data center model supporting both Linux and Microsoft Windows guest operating systems and enables live migration of executing operating systems between physical server nodes. Virtual Iron 3.1 software was tested by HP and Virtual Iron on HP ProLiant rack mount and blade server hardware. Virtual Iron is a member of the HP Developer and Solution Partner Program, (DSPP), The DSPP program enables HP partners to access HP hardware and testing facilities to verify that the partner s software executes on HP ProLiant servers. Virtual Iron, Inc. is responsible for all support of Virtual Iron software, including any bundled software components running on ProLiant or HP BladeSystem servers. This document provides a public lab-validated proof point and a solution proof-of-concept. A hardware bill-of-materials and installation guide for the specific hardware and software tested are included. Several HP ProLiant rack mount and blade servers were tested including the ProLiant BL460c, the ProLiant BL465c, the ProLiant BL480c, the ProLiant DL380 G5, the ProLiant DL385 G2, ProLiant DL580 G3 dual-core, and the ProLiant DL585 G2 dual-core servers. Virtual Iron 3.1 software leverages hardware assisted virtualization technology from both Intel and AMD : Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) for Intel 64 architecture (formerly known as Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology, or Intel EM64T) in Intel Xeon processors AMD Virtualization (AMD-V ) for AMD64 instruction set and architecture in AMD Opteron processors Introduction Server virtualization methods on industry standard processors are rapidly evolving as multiple hardware and software companies compete to deliver the components required to address the challenges of today s enterprise data centers. This document specifically addresses x64 server virtualization, enabling the creation of a virtual data center model with Virtual Iron software on HP hardware. This document contrasts Virtual Iron 3.1 to other virtualization technologies to provide the reader with the value and benefits of Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition. Virtual Iron offers two editions of the product including a single server Edition and the Enterprise Edition. The Enterprise Edition (EE) offers the broadest set of functionality and is the basis of this whitepaper. 3

4 Note: x64 is a generic industry term referring to both Intel 64 architecture and AMD64 processors. These provide execution of 32- and 64-bit operating systems and applications. Server virtualization As Moore s law continues to prove true, the performance of an industry standard server often exceeds the requirements for a single application or set of applications. While the number of servers required for the data center continues to grow, the utilization of individual physical systems continues to diminish. Contemporary multi-core scaling of processors exacerbates the performance disparity, as many applications can not make use of the large number of cores these systems provide. Through server virtualization, multiple operating systems may execute concurrently on a single server, addressing this disparity. The resulting virtualized data center may support several separate operating systems and applications while providing the required performance, security and reliability from a small subset of physical machines. Hypervisor implementation There are two general approaches for hypervisor implementation of server virtualization: Hardware assisted virtualization, and software emulation of hardware. Virtual Iron supports hardware assisted virtualization. Hardware assisted virtualization Intel and AMD both have released hardware-assisted virtualization technologies. While there are differences between the capabilities, each improves the performance of hardware virtualization, reducing the complexity of software required for implementing hypervisor providing server virtualization. Software emulation of hardware Another approach to server virtualization is software emulation of hardware. This approach has enabled several software companies to produce products that allow multiple operating systems to concurrently execute on a single server. Depending on the application, this may result in a more computationally intensive method than hardware assisted virtualization, and thus, the virtualization overhead may be higher. An advantage of software emulation of hardware is that older processors that don t support hardware assisted virtualization may be utilized. Virtual Iron 3.1 requires a processor that supports hardware assisted virtualization. 4

5 I/O virtualization Currently, I/O virtualization requires software implementation within the hypervisor. There are two general approaches to this software implementation. These include paravirtualization or native OS support. Virtual Iron offers a choice of both paravirtualization and native OS support. Virtual Iron s paravirtualized drivers (VSTools) are included. Paravirtualization Paravirtualization requires virtualization vendor-written device drivers to be inserted into each guest operating system and reduces virtualization overhead of the network and disk I/O. Enterprise support policies may not allow for custom drivers to be installed into guest images. The use of vendor supplied drivers in guest operating systems may violate support contracts of operating systems and applications vendors. Some advanced features such as live migration or virtual symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support require paravirtualization. Paravirtualization may be the best choice by providing the highest performance and enabling advanced feature support such as multi-processor virtual server support and live migration of executing virtual servers between separate physical server nodes. Native OS support Server virtualization software supporting an unmodified guest operating system is said to provide native OS support. This enables one to install an unmodified or stock version of an operating system into the virtual server. This ensures minimal inhibitors to adoption within highly structured enterprise environments. Virtual Iron 3.1 supports native OS in virtual servers. HP HP provides a broad set of industry standard hardware and software components that may be combined together to create an optimized system tailored to the specific requirements of the system architect. A guiding principal is that of the Adaptive Enterprise. As IT systems serve businesses in competitive markets, IT requirements have become more dynamic. New applications translate into a competitive advantage, and cost management creates a desire to minimize idle system capacity. Both initiatives drive the requirement for a dynamic, cost effective system infrastructure. Adaptive Enterprise The HP Adaptive Enterprise provides a vision for companies to align IT capabilities with changing business requirements. The specific architecture and configuration of a data center is still unique to an individual company, yet each company may seek to increase flexibility while providing better overall utilization of IT infrastructure resources. The vision of the HP Adaptive Enterprise is that each company benefits from a dynamic infrastructure that matches the competitive nature of its business while helping it control costs while being able to leverage technology as a strategic advantage. 5

6 ProLiant servers HP offers ProLiant servers in several different form factors. This includes rack mount, tower servers, and blade servers. Various ProLiant servers are offered with one, two or four processor sockets, based on Intel and AMD processors. Dual-core and quad-core processors are available. While ProLiant servers are offered with various levels of RAS (Reliability Availability and Serviceability) and density, this document focuses of the HP BladeSystem c-class servers which provide an optimum balance of reliability, efficient power management, server density, performance, and remote management features. Blade servers also simplify replacement of hardware and scaling for capacity within a virtualized infrastructure. The HP BladeSystem c-class The HP BladeSystem provides an ideal server infrastructure with which an enterprise may consolidate up to sixteen physical servers into a single rack-mount enclosure. Power, SAN storage interconnects and Ethernet switches may all be integrated within the enclosure reducing cabling costs. Keyboard, video and mouse connections are also consolidated through integrated remote console access via HP Integrated Lights-Out 2 (ilo 2). A virtual data center leveraging Virtual Iron 3.1 EE software and the HP BladeSystem requires only a few cables to connect the storage array and network backbone to the integrated SAN and Ethernet switches; just one or two cables would be required to connect as many as 16 server nodes to the traditional enterprise data center. HP BladeSystem c-class server blades interconnects To connect the BladeSystem to external networks and storage, HP offers a variety of options supporting standard interconnects such as Ethernet, Fibre Channel (FC) and InfiniBand (IB). The built-in HP Virtual Connect architecture includes a 5 Terabit backplane, supporting 4 redundant fabrics at once and includes 8 high-performance interconnect bays. All interconnect options are hot-pluggable and can be installed in pairs for full redundancy. The tested configuration had two Ethernet switches and two Fibre Channel switches within the c-class enclosure. You may install additional Ethernet mezzanine cards and Ethernet switches as required. StorageWorks SB40c storage blade The direct attached storage of the ProLiant blade servers may be expanded by the use of a SB40c storage blade, which occupies an adjacent slot in the HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure. Six hot swap SFF (Small Form Factor) SATA (Serial ATA) or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) drives are leveraged to provide up to 876 Gigabytes of raw capacity in addition to the two hot swap drive slots on the ProLiant BL460c, or ProLiant BL465c blade server. The SB40c has extensive fault prevention features and the internal Smart Array P400 controller with 256MB DDR2 BBWC can be configured for RAID levels 0, 1, 1 + 0, 5, and 6 (RAID ADG). Full height blade servers require an optional mezzanine card for support of the SB40c. 6

7 HP storage arrays Storage arrays consolidate disks within a storage enclosure and provide built-in high reliability availability and serviceability functions. SAN connected HP storage arrays provide a simple method to increase the utilization of storage resources. The virtual data center model separates storage from server nodes. In this model, one or more storage arrays provide the storage infrastructure of the virtual data center. This provides the benefits of the storage array to all the virtual servers in the virtual data center. A SAN-based architecture leveraging an HP storage array ensures that all the advanced features of Virtual Iron 3.1 may be leveraged including high availability and live migration. When using Virtual Iron 3.1 with VSTools and leveraging a storage array, the virtual servers may be live migrated from one physical server to another. EVA8000 The HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array family is the next generation of storage array products. The HP StorageWorks EVA8000 provides enterprise class storage array capabilities including support of up to 1024 separate virtual disks. The design is fully redundant and provides a total of eight separate 4 gigabit Fibre Channel host connections for SAN interconnect. Options for the EVA8000 include wide area replication providing high performance remote disaster recovery options. A single EVA8000 may provide capacity and performance for several hundred virtual servers depend on the specific I/O requirements. The Enterprise Virtual Arrays are designed for the data center where there is a critical need for improved storage utilization and scalability. They meet application-specific demands for transaction I/O performance for enterprise customers. They provide easy capacity expansion, instantaneous replication, and simplified storage administration. The Enterprise Virtual Arrays combined with HP StorageWorks Command View EVA software provide a comprehensive solution designed to simplify management and maximize performance. MSA1000 The StorageWorks 1000 Modular Smart Array (MSA1000) storage array provides an entrylevel storage array which can provide up to 32 separate virtual disks. A small business or proof of concept might leverage a single MSA1000. Systems may leverage several MSA1000 storage arrays to meet the performance and system requirements. A 2 gigabit Fibre Channel interface provides the connection to the SAN switch. The MSA1000 has the ability to be configured with thirty-two LUNs. Best practices would dictate generally no more than eight server nodes accessing a single MSA1000. Performance is heavily dependent on the actual number of end users and specific applications running in the virtual servers. Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition The Virtual Iron solution provides a foundation upon which companies may deploy a mix of Linux and Windows applications in a virtualized architecture. In the virtualized environment, system hardware is separated from specific operating system and application deployments. Virtual Iron logically manages the organization and virtualization. Virtual Iron 3.1 provides for the creation of one or more virtual data centers leveraging multiple physical servers. 7

8 System architecture Virtual Iron builds the virtual data center from two basic components: the Virtual Iron management software, known as the Virtualization Manager, and Virtualization Services that includes an open source hypervisor. An introduction of these components follows, after which the system architecture is described in more depth. Virtualization Manager The first component, the Virtual Iron Virtualization Manager, is loaded on a dedicated server within the data center. It manages all the physical server nodes providing the virtualization services. Virtualization administrators access the software through a web browser. Figure 1 shows the Virtualization Manager. Figure 1. Virtual Iron Virtualization Manager Virtualization Services The second component is the Virtual Iron Virtualization Services that includes an extended open source hypervisor. This hypervisor leverages the hardware-assisted virtualization capabilities built into Intel and AMD processors to create an abstraction layer between physical hardware and virtual resources. Virtual Iron 3.1 leverages components of the open source code and extends the capabilities to enable 64-bit support, enhanced memory management, live migration, and enterprise class reliability and management. Figure 2 provides a logical representation of a Virtual Iron server node, which utilizes the Virtual Iron Virtualization Services and an extended open source hypervisor. 8

9 Figure 2. Virtual Iron Server Node Virtual Iron enables administrators to leverage the resources from a collection of physical servers to power virtual servers. Currently, both four-socket dual-core and two-socket quadcore ProLiant servers contain up to eight processing cores; thus 8-way SMP virtual servers may be created. System architecture, continued The Virtual Iron architecture leverages Ethernet for communications, a SAN for storage access, and one or more storage arrays for data storage. Each physical server node contains a Fibre Channel HBA (Host Bus Adapter), and two Ethernet NICs. The integrated Storage Management Framework provides extended storage management features. Virtual Iron 3.1 tested solution architecture Figure 3, tested solution architecture, shows how the hardware components were connected for the lab validation. 9

10 Figure 3. Virtual Iron 3.1 Tested Solution Architecture Each physical server network boots from the switched IP network, utilizing the standardsbased network pre-execution boot protocol known as PXE. The PXE server is integrated into Virtual Iron management software, which is also connected to the network Ethernet switch. All virtual server system images are stored in one or more storage arrays, which are available to any system through the SAN. An individual disk LUN or vdisk, (virtual disk) in the storage array is utilized for each of the virtual servers. Efficiency When seeking to consolidate multiple servers, virtualization provides for the operation of multiple separate operating systems running concurrently on a single physical server or servers. While the performance of Industry Standard Servers has grown significantly, the efficiency of the virtualization platform is the key to maximizing the value of the resulting virtualized data center. The goal is to efficiently host the required virtual servers. This may include several highly powered SMP servers. A configuration of multiple two-, four- and even eight-way virtualized servers is possible within a single server node. Consolidating several legacy servers into each single server node is completely reasonable. 10

11 Features High availability Virtual servers may use Virtual Iron s LiveRecovery policy to provide high availability without clustering software. If a primary server node fails, the virtual server immediately restarts on an alternate server node from the shared pool in the virtual data center. The alternate server node may or may not have an active workload of virtual servers executing during an event. Policies arbitrate the allocation of available resources such that service level agreements (SLAs) are maintained. Live migration A virtual server may be live migrated from one physical computer to another without shutting down the executing virtual server. Migrations can occur manually or automatically based on policies such as time of day or resource utilization. A SAN-based storage architecture is required. Server nodes must have the same type of processor for live migrations. Virtual servers must have the Virtual Iron VSTools installed to support live migration. Virtual server guest operating systems support Virtual Iron enables administrators to configure and manage multiple guest operating systems, of different types and versions. Version 3.1 supports virtual servers running the following: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 U2 and U4 32- and 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 SP3 32- and 64-bit Windows XP Professional 32-bit Windows Server bit Virtual Iron Storage Management Framework Virtual Iron provides the Storage Management Framework extending the storage management features of the hypervisor. This capability is based on Linux LVM (Logical Volume Manager) and enables: Support of direct attached storage (DAS) Sub partitioning of storage array based volumes Partitioning a single physical disk into multiple virtual disks Exporting vdisks to a vhd file on the management server Importing vdisks to a vhd file from the management server Cloning vdisks Figure 4 provides a logical representation of a managed SAN volume. 11

12 Figure 4. Virtual Iron Storage Management While each virtual server may directly access a SAN based LUN, leveraging hypervisor software-based storage management may be required to be able to partition the LUNs of the storage array into a larger number of vdisks. The Storage Management Framework may be leveraged for both direct attached storage and storage array based LUNs. Server node based direct attached storage Optionally, Virtual Iron supports DAS, (direct attached storage) within the server node. As the storage is local to each server node, live migration and high availability features are unavailable when based on DAS storage. The Storage Management Framework is leveraged to manage and present the DAS of each server node to the local server node hypervisor. For virtual servers leveraging DAS, this might provide a reasonable compromise for low cost server consolidation systems. These servers would leverage DAS within each blade or rack mount server. For example, a single partition RAID1 via the internal E200i controller of the ProLiant BL460c blade server would be partitioned into smaller vdisks that present the block storage to each local virtual server running on the server node. Another approach might be to leverage an SB40c storage blade in an adjacent slot to a ProLiant BL460c server blade to extend the DAS storage to be 584GB of RAID6 (ADG). In a RAID6 (ADG) configuration, even two of the six internal drives could fail within the storage blade and the data would be protected and continue to be available. 12

13 Note: When leveraging the Storage Management Framework, all the virtual servers assigned to vdisks within a specific Logical Volume must reside on the same server node. Thus, to maintain maximum flexibility for live migration of virtual servers, be sure to create a separate Logical Volume within the Logical Volume Group for each virtual server created. Subpartitioning of MSA1000 LUNs Likewise, the Storage Management Framework might be leveraged to partition a large number of smaller vdisks from a single LUN of an MSA1000. This would allow the use of a single MSA1000 with a 32 LUN limit to support many more virtual servers. For example, a single 500 Gigabyte LUN might be subpartitioned into 40 smaller vdisks. One would typically create a separate Logical Volume for each virtual server to enable unrestricted virtual server migration between server nodes. Several vdisks might be created and leveraged within each Logical Volume for a specific virtual server. Flexibility The flexibility of the virtual data center model enables several benefits to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) while simplifying the approach of each: Dynamic application scaling A running virtual server may be live-migrated to a different server node providing higher performance. With a configuration change and a virtual server reboot, one might quickly add or remove RAM or processor resources to any particular virtual server. Server consolidation Many virtual servers can run on a single server node. Application resource management Policy settings can arbitrate processor share between virtual servers. Server fault tolerance Standby server nodes may be assigned for virtual servers. Server maintenance A running virtual server may be live-migrated to another Server Node to facilitate server maintenance during normal business hours. 13

14 Disaster recovery Wide area EVA8000 array based storage replication allows for fast startup of standby data center. Hardware serviceability and lifecycle management Simple blade insert and PXE boot eliminates life-cycle management issues and provides reduced MTTR (Mean Time-To-Repair), reducing server management costs. Flexible service windows reduce contractor overtime and double time or weekend and night service charges. Virtual Iron 3.1 installation and management Basic management tasks include the following: Installing the Virtual Iron 3.1 Connecting to the Virtualization Manager Boot a Server Node Discovering the hardware Configuring the network and the Server Node(s) Creating a virtual data center Assign a server to a virtual data center Creating a virtual server Installing an operating system A brief step-by-step review is provided for each task. Installing Virtual Iron 3.1 Prepare the server To create a Virtual Iron management server, a ProLiant BL460c blade server was prepared by installing Windows Server Connect the lab network to the second Ethernet switch (Public), on the right in the back of the c7000 enclosure. Connect a second Ethernet cable from the Onboard Administrator to the Public network segment. The Insight Display was used to identify the IP address of the Onboard Administrator. The default password of the Onboard Administrator is printed on a small tag attached to the Onboard Administrator. Use the Virtual Media function and start with the HP ProLiant SmartStart CD-ROM. After the Windows Server 2003 operating system installation was completed, the server was patched by the Windows update service. The Firewall was disabled and the server was rebooted. Prepare the FC connected storage Both the MSA1000 storage array and the EVA8000 storage array were connected to the internal Brocade FC switches within the c7000 enclosure. The MSA1000 has a single two gigabit Fibre Channel connection, while two four gigabit FC connects from the EVA8000 were connected; one to each SAN switch. Six host ports of the EVA8000 may be connected to future c7000 enclosures. 14

15 Note: At this time, create one or more initial LUNs on the Fibre Channel connected storage array. It is reasonable to use the management server on which Virtual Iron is to be installed as the storage array management server as well. See the associated documentation of the storage array and install the HP storage management utilities. These may be remotely accessed from a web browser. Configure the network Rename the first Ethernet NIC, Network Connection, to Management. Rename the second NIC, Network Connection 2, to Public. Public requests an IP address via the lab DHCP server; configure the second Ethernet NIC, (Management), for a static IP address of Download Virtual Iron 3.1 Use Internet Explorer to connect to the Virtual Iron website, (http://www.virtualiron.com), and click the Download Now icon. Follow the directions and download the Windows version of Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise Edition. Install the software Browse with the Windows Explorer to the file that was downloaded and double-click on the file. Follow the simple graphical installation program and accept the defaults, browser to the license file, enter an Admin password, at the Network Setup, select Separate Public and Dedicated Management Networks. See Figure 5 for guidance. 15

16 Figure 5. Virtualization Manager Install Network Setup An example of the configuration for the Public and Management network interfaces is provided in Figure 6. Note: If the Network Setup offered in the following screen doesn t offer the expected choices, cancel the installation and check the server network configuration. Production deployment best practices would dictate a static address for both the interfaces of the management server. 16

17 Figure 6. Virtualization Manager Install Network Setup 17

18 Enable the DHCP server. Figure 7. Virtualization Manager Install DHCP server Complete the installation. The management server is now ready to accept both administrators connecting via web browsers to the public interface and server nodes PXE booting through the management network. 18

19 Connecting to the Virtualization Manager Connect to the Virtualization Manager by using a web browser with Java 5 installed from a Windows or Linux workstation. Enter the IP address of the Public NIC of the management server, this will be specific to the installation. Steps: 1. Start web browser. 2. Enter the URL Note: While no login is required at this time, subsequent links may require login. Use the password configured during setup. Figure 8, below, shows options. 19

20 Figure 8. Welcome to the Virtual Iron Virtualization Manager 20

21 Boot a server node 1. Power on a Server Node and watch the console as the server boots. Note: If the Server Node has DAS, change the boot order to PXE. Press <F9> during the power on self test. 2. Watch the hypervisor boot and make note of the Server Node IP address. Note: It is recommended to boot the Server Nodes one at a time to simplify the identification and configuration. Discovering the hardware 1. Click the Launch Virtualization Manager URL in the Virtualization Manager. 2. Enter the password configured during installation. 3. Clear the Tutorial Window by clicking the right-hand arrow just to the left of the TOC button. 4. Click the Hardware button at the left. 5. Click the Discover tab. 6. Click the OK button and the Commit button. Newly discovered hardware will be displayed. 7. Highlight the new server node and rename it, a bay prefix was adopted with the associated bay number for each server blade booted. Configuring the network and the server node(s) 1 In the Virtualization Manager, click the Hardware button at the left. Click the Networks tab. 21

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