HP Converged Infrastructure Solutions

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1 HP Converged Infrastructure Solutions HP Virtual Connect and HP StorageWorks Simple SAN Connection Manager Enterprise Software Solution brief

2 Executive summary Whether it is with VMware vsphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or other server virtualization operating systems, adding more servers increases the complexity of how servers connect with LANs and SANs multiplying the need for greater access to storage resources. Since 2007, HP customers have been using Virtual Connect solutions to greatly simplify their server and virtual machine (VM) connections to local area networks (LANs) and storage area networks (SANs). Now HP is simplifying storage network management for virtual server environments using an innovative and affordable enterprise software solution, HP StorageWorks Simple SAN Connection Manager (SSCM) enterprise software. This document describes how HP Converged Infrastructure solutions utilizing Virtual Connect with Virtual Connect Enterprise Management (VCEM) software and HP StorageWorks SSCM enterprise software, included with HP H-series Fibre Channel switches, work together to provide simplified and affordable storage management, server management, and network management capabilities in virtual server environments. These HP software solutions greatly simplify how virtual server and storage networks are managed and can significantly benefit customers who are thinking about or implementing a virtual server environment. Leveraging HP Converged Infrastructure solutions with HP Virtual Connect and HP SSCM, HP customers can reduce storage administration times by up to 60 percent 1 and reduce acquisition costs by as much as 30 percent, 2 freeing up valuable IT resources and capital to support other IT projects that innovate and drive better business outcomes. With more than three million ports deployed to over 3,000 HP customers, the value of HP s Converged Infrastructure solutions with Virtual Connect for virtual server environments is proven. Now, with the integration of Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager (VCEM) and SSCM, QLogic and HP extended the simplification and flexibility concepts of Converged Infrastructure into the SAN with SSCM enterprise software, enabling customers to view and manage the entire solution including storage and storage networking through a single pane of glass management console. SSCM enterprise software enables a single IT administrator to manage the host connection, storage network infrastructure and provision the storage resources all from a single application. The administrator accomplishes in minutes and hours, what may otherwise take hours or days using multiple software applications that may not be well integrated. Using HP Converged Infrastructure solutions, Virtual Connect with VCEM software and HP StorageWorks SSCM enterprise software, deploying and managing the connections of virtual servers to network and storage resources is simple and efficient. Specifics on how to leverage these HP-only technologies are described in details throughout this solution brief. Figure 1: Non-virtualized servers and virtualized servers comparison Server 1 8 x 4 Gbps FC connections to SAN 4 x 8 Gbps FC connections to SAN Server 2 Server 3 Server 4 Server 5 SAN VM 1 VM 2 VM 3 VM 4 VM 5 VM 6 VM 7 VM 8 Server Blade SAN Server 6 Server 7 Server 8 Virtualized Server Environment (1 Server Blade, 8 virtual machines) Typical Rack Server Environment (8 Individual servers) Note that with Virtual Connect FlexFabric, there is a limit of 1 FC connection per 10Gb server port with additional HBA mezz cards, so 2 10Gb server ports provide 2 FC connections. Customers can still add HBA mezz cards if more than two FC connections per server are needed. Customers not using the new Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules but who elect to use Virtual Connect FC modules will need to use HBA mezz cards for their FC connections. 2

3 Figure 2: Traditional SAN infrastructure Storage complexities with server virtualization Virtualizing server environments creates new challenges for IT administrators to address. The initial challenge was typically how to connect the new virtual servers to the physical LAN and SAN environment. With its wire-once management, Virtual Connect does this cost-effectively and without impacting network operations. The HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric module supports Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections in a single device and uses 95 percent fewer NICs, HBAs, and switches while lowering server connection costs by 60 percent and power usage by 40 percent. HP Virtual Connect helps customers easily allocate and fine tune the network bandwidth delivered to each virtual machine. HP first introduced this capability with Virtual Connect using Flex-10 technology allowing administrators to adjust Ethernet LAN bandwidth for each virtual machine in 100 Mbps increments. With HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules, bandwidth tuning is extended to Fibre Channel SAN connections as well. 3 The latest challenge HP is addressing in virtual server environments is dealing with managing the storage resources connected to virtual servers. A storage area network is the most efficient, cost effective, and highly available storage solution, especially in large server environments. When individual servers are deployed, connections need to be made to the SAN from each individual server so that the storage resources can be shared among all the servers. When moving to a virtual server environment, virtual servers still need access to the SAN, and the bandwidth of each connection must be fast enough to meet the needs of the individual virtual machines. For example, in Figure 1, eight (8) servers are connected to a SAN through 4 Gbps Fibre Channel, or 32 Gbps total bandwidth. When the eight (8) servers are consolidated through virtualization on a single server blade, the bandwidth from the server blade needs to accommodate the full 32 Gbps performance required. This creates the need to upgrade the existing SAN infrastructure in order to increase total bandwidth. Simplifying server and storage management In the traditional SAN approach shown in Figure 2, multiple administrators are involved in SAN deployment whenever access to new storage resources are required. HBAs are managed by the server administrators, Fibre Channel switches and zoning are managed by the storage network administrator and the storage provisioning is managed by the storage administrator. Each administrator typically uses a different application to manage server and storage elements. With multiple servers needing to access storage through the SAN, or when new storage or servers need to be deployed, additional IT resources may be consumed and the complexity for the overall project is increased. 3

4 Figure 3: SAN infrastructure using HP StorageWorks H-series switches * All models of HP mezzanine (HBAs) cards are supported with HP BladeSystem c-class and SSCM enterprise software. SSCM enterprise software provides additional capabilities, firmware, and BIOS upgrades, with HP branded QLogic mezzanine cards. To reduce server and storage deployment complexity, HP provides HP StorageWorks SSCM enterprise software to simplify the storage management configuration. SSCM enterprise software is standard with all HP StorageWorks H-series switches and provides a single solution to manage HBAs, the SAN infrastructure, and provision HP StorageWorks MSA, HP StorageWorks P2000, and HP StorageWorks EVA storage. SSCM is also fully integrated with HP s VCEM software to optimize storage networking management and provide an end-to-end, server to storage view of the fabric. HP SSCM is ideal for use in virtual server environments. In Figure 3, Virtual Connect modules help eliminate the complexity associated with assigning virtual server connections to the server edge. Using industry standard N-port ID Virtualization (NPIV), HP Virtual Connect enables multiple virtual machines to share a single physical connection to the storage area network. This reduces equipment sprawl at the server to-network edge by 95 percent 4 and saves cost by lowering the TCO of the system, especially in a virtual server environment. visibility and management from a single pane of glass view. H-series switches include HP SSCM enterprise software which helps manage all elements of the SAN environment. SSCM is compatible with any HP Fibre Channel adapter, however administrators can use SSCM to update firmware and BIOS for any HP branded QLogic HBA connected to the SAN. The H-series switches can be zoned and managed through the SSCM interface, and HP StorageWorks MSA/P2000/EVA arrays are easily provisioned by SSCM as well. LUNs can be created, masked and mapped, expanded and deleted as well as automatically zoned to the virtual servers using the built in single initiator default zoning. LUNs created for Windows environments can be automatically partitioned using SSCMs partitioning wizard. Assign a drive letter and format the new LUN all with a single click of the mouse. Tasks that may have taken hours or even days and involve multiple administrators can now be completed in minutes or hours. Total administration time spent managing the storage area network can be reduced by up to 60 percent with SSCM enterprise software. Including HP StorageWorks H-series switches in the SAN design, simplifies management of the entire storage networking environment with easy SAN 4

5 Figure 4: Integrated SSCM / Virtual Connect VCEM Infrastructure Topology View of the SAN With the integration of SSCM enterprise software and VCEM, and by leveraging the VCEM API, SSCM software can view the virtual data paths through the Virtual Connect interface (see Figure 4). As a result, the administrator sees all aspects of the data path in a virtual server environment. Included in the SSCM display are the blade chassis, server blade, mezzanine card, virtual connect module, Fibre Channel switch, and storage device. HP s Converged Infrastructure solution utilizing HP Virtual Connect and VCEM software and SSCM enterprise software is a unique and cost effective solution and unmatched by any other vendor offering in the industry. HP StorageWorks H-series switches also support a feature called Adaptive Trunking. Adaptive Trunking helps optimize data flow between H-series switches without the need for additional trunking licenses, which provides significant cost savings to customers. Configuration and implementation SSCM enterprise software is included with all HP StorageWorks H-series Fibre Channel switches, and downloaded by the user from the HP software kiosk. A single download of SSCM from HP contains all the software necessary, in many configurations, for a server to participate in the SAN when using HP branded QLogic mezzanine cards and HBAs. No hunting for an HBA driver download, an MSA MPIO download, or even a Linux driver download; all software is included in the single SSCM download and is installed with a simple installation wizard. The SSCM application itself (one of the many components included in the download) must be loaded on a Windows-based management server, and it cannot be a virtual machine. SSCM software will share management responsibilities with other HP software packages such as HP Systems Insight Manager or StorageWorks Command View EVA software. Supported windows operating systems for running the SSCM application include: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2. The SSCM download and installation wizard is also installed and run on all the other servers attached to the H-series SAN. This allows for software components to be installed in order for each server to fully participate in the SAN and be managed by SSCM running on the management server. Items installed include Fibre Channel QLogic HBA drivers for the operating system loaded on the server, MPIO software, and so on. SSCM manages and supports the following operating systems: MS Windows Server 2003/2008, VMware 4.0, RHEL, SLES, HPUX, and Citrix Xen. Refer to Single Point of Connectivity Knowledge (SPOCK) web page for the latest operating system support for SSCM and HP StorageWorks H-series switches. SPOCK URL: 5

6 Figure 5: SSCM Management and Client View *A ll models of HP mezzanine (HBAs) cards are supported with HP BladeSystem c-class and SSCM enterprise software. SSCM enterprise software provides additional capabilities, firmware, and BIOS upgrades, with HP branded QLogic mezzanine cards. Once SSCM is installed on the management server, the management server is rebooted and the SSCM program is launched. At this point, SSCM will find all HBAs, switches, and MSA/P2000/EVA arrays in the SAN and allow the administrator to create LUNs and manage the switches. Zoning is done automatically using the HP best practice single initiator zoning. While SSCM supports all HP Fibre Channel mezzanine cards and HBAs, SSCM allows the administrator to update the firmware and bios of HP branded QLogic HBAs such as HP s QLogic QMH Gb FC HBA for HP c-class BladeSystem. SSCM will also verify that many of the other supported SAN components have the latest firmware installed in them. If the firmware is not the latest, the administrator is prompted to upgrade those components that do not have the current revision. Storage and storage network management is simplified with SSCM enterprise software, because it is fully integrated with HP StorageWorks MSA/ P2000 Storage Management Utility software and HP StorageWorks EVA Command View software. In addition, SSCM is integrated with H-series switch management software including QuickTools, and the optional Enterprise Fabric Management Suite (advanced performance monitoring, configuration, troubleshooting, and health status of H-series SANs), SANsurfer Manager for QLogic FC HBAs 6 and Mezzanine cards, and Microsoft Virtual Disk Services (VDS). The highly integrated SSCM allows the system administrator to manage all basic elements in the storage network environment through a single application. SSCM automates these tasks that are done independently and manually with other applications. This includes the ability to: Perform HBA firmware upgrades (HP branded QLogic HBAs only) Perform HBA BIOS upgrades (HP branded QLogic HBAs only) View and change H-series switch properties Perform switch firmware upgrades H-series fabric zoning Launch QuickTools (switch management software) Launch Enterprise Fabric Management Suite (optional advanced switch management software) Disk LUN creation, expansion, deleting Disk LUN to server assignment Disk LUN partitioning (for Microsoft server environments only) Launch HP StorageWorks MSA/P2000 Storage Management Utility (for advanced functionality) Launch HP StorageWorks Command View EVA (for advanced functionality)

7 Figure 6: HP Converged Infrastructure with Virtual Connect and H-series Solution Stack for Virtual Server Environments With a simple wizard based graphical user interface, tasks that might take multiple administrators hours or days to accomplish in many cases are executed in minutes, by a single administrator. This unified SAN management capability, which is exclusive to HP H-series Fibre Channel switches, is achieved through integration of SSCM with HP StorageWorks Command View EVA, HP StorageWorks P2000/MSA Storage Management Utility, and Microsoft Virtual Disk Services. SSCM enterprise software provides end-to-end management of the entire storage network, including provisioning the storage resource (LUN creation, assignment, and management), with all tasks performed through a single pane of glass. Users who implement the extended capabilities of the arrays, such as snapshots and continuous access, will continue to use HP StorageWorks Command View EVA and HP StorageWorks Storage Management Utility for their respective EVA or P2000/MSA arrays. 1 Comparison is based on using SSCM versus multiple traditional software applications and creating an equal number of LUNs. 2 HP StorageWorks SN6000 Stackable 8Gb Fibre Channel switches compared with HP competitor s non-stacking switches and the licenses required for equivalent functionality. 3 press/2010/100621xa.html?jumpid=reg_r1002_usen techforum2010/pdf/tf_isb_virtualconnectadvisory.pdf 4 virtualconnect/connectfordummies/regform. html?jumpid=reg_r1002_usen Conclusion Using H-series switches and stacking switch technology, HP is the only vendor in the industry providing complete, consolidated, virtualized, and optimized solutions supporting a converged infrastructure. And HP Virtual Connect with VCEM software and SSCM enterprise software, HP s Converged Infrastructure solutions provide an exclusive and affordable SAN management experience unparalleled in the industry today enabling reduction of storage administration by as much as 60 percent, and reduction of acquisition costs by as much as 30 percent. This Converged Infrastructure solution frees up valuable IT resources and capital to support the IT projects that innovate and drive the core business forward. Coupling HP VCEM software with HP StorageWorks SSCM enterprise software, simplifies storage network management for virtual server environments and enhances the HP Converged Infrastructure initiatives. To know more, visit: 7

8 Get connected Get the insider view on tech trends, alerts, and HP solutions for better business outcomes Share with colleagues Copyright 2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 4AA3-2646ENW, Created February 2011 This is an HP Indigo digital print.

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