HP Hyperconverged Virtualization Platforms

    Increasingly, there are requirements of this kind on the part of the customer: “The traditional architectural components of the“ build it yourself ”designer, such as a blade server + SAN + SHD + virtualization + add-ons to the cloud, are no longer interesting. Innovative solutions are interesting. ”

    HP's response to such requests was the emergence of the hyperconverged platform HP Converged System 200-HC.



    HP converged virtualization systems continue to evolve. You can read about the lines of last year in the previous article habrahabr.ru/company/hp/blog/214597 , and this year the line of converged systems has changed significantly.

    Let me remind you that such a converged system according to HP is the basis of the IT infrastructure of the business, which allows you not to think about the components, but to focus on the result. This level of abstraction is achieved through a set of tested and verified components with quick ordering and implementation, combined by a common management software for working in a customer environment, with a single center of proactive support, ready for quick changes on demand of a business.

    The HP Converged Systems portfolio this year is as follows:



    What is important: all complexes (servers, storage systems and a network) are controlled by a single software - HP OneView.

    By hyper convergence we mean an even greater simplification of the component base of the system. Thesis can be described as follows:
    • All IT components (calculator, data storage, management) fit in a single brick server
    • The system is linearly expanded in capacity and performance by adding bricks
    • Bricks are combined into a cluster for failover and disaster tolerance, data from one brick is available to all cluster members
    • Minimum deployment and upgrade time
    • Many bricks are controlled from a single interface


    Fig. 1 HP SL2500 platform The HP SL200

    hyperconverged system is based on the HP SL2500 hardware platform with ultra-dense component placement, supporting the installation of up to 4 nodes with Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors and up to 24 small form factor disks in a single 2U chassis drives per node).

    The SL2500 chassis contains all the necessary redundant components for operation: duplicated power supplies and fans, each node has its own motherboard.

    A decorative grille with a lock is installed on the front panel of the server in order to prevent unauthorized removal of disks from the server.


    Figure 2 The front and back panels of the HP Converged System 200

    The converged platform software includes:
    • HP OneView InstantON is a deployment and extension manager, a special agent that detects when nodes are available for deployment after loading, collects system health statistics, automates the deployment of vSphere and storage systems. It is this component that allows you to deploy a virtual environment in just 15 minutes.
    • VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vCenter (licenses are optional, you can use the ELA licenses available at the customer)
    • HP StoreVirtual VSA storage system software - uses disks installed in the chassis of the complex to provide disk resources to virtual machines.
    • HP OneView for VMware vCenter (pre-installed management system).

    Systems with two hardware options are available for ordering: CS 240 with SAS disks only, and CS 242 with SAS + SSD disks. Each chassis node in these models has the following configuration:


    Fig. 3 Types of nodes HP Converged System 200 and their characteristics

    The complex can be ordered both with VMware licenses and previously purchased Ent + level licenses. This allows you to reduce the cost of the complex.

    There are quite a lot of similar platforms, by the way. What distinguishes the CS200 from other offers? Mainly - the use of software storage StoreVirtual VSA.

    The HP StoreVirtual VSA, along with some other built-in tools, provides the system with a level of reliability and performance to the highest corporate standards. All of the following features are included in the basic system delivery and do not require additional licensing:
    • Protection against data failure at the hardware level in the node itself: each node has a hardware RAID controller that provides protection in case of failure of 1 or more of the 6 disks assigned to the node.
    • Real-time site failure protection (Network RAID), protects data when physical components fail, host failure, failure of the entire rack, power failure. Converged System 200 nodes can be combined into network RAID 10 and get fault tolerance on two sites; after recovering a remote site, virtual machine volumes are re-synchronized automatically. You can add not only CS200 systems to the network cluster, but also any other servers with HP StoreVirtual VSA software installed
    • Data migration between sites with data availability up to 99.999% .
    • Automatic tearing of data at the level of data blocks - frequently requested data is moved between the SSD and SAS levels (for model CS 242)
    • Thin provisioning (thin provisioning), supports integration with file systems VMware and Microsoft, i.e. the system understands when the deleted data can be returned in the form of blocks in the pool of free resources (space reclamation technology).
    • Snapshots of data (snapshots); blocks are also returned to the pool of free resources after the system removes snapshots.
    • Direct access to the nodes containing the target data (Multipathing Extension Module) to reduce the number of transitions between nodes when the host accesses to write or read data and reduce latency.
    • Access to HP VSA is possible as an object data warehouse using the REST API protocol.
    • With the new StoreVirtual update, node load times are faster and data replication speeds are increased.

    The advantages of such a system is that the performance of the complex grows linearly as new nodes are added to the complex, because we add not only capacity, but also computing resources.

    The flexibility of this approach is that data can be replicated to any server where a virtual machine with a StoreVirtual VSA license is deployed, including servers from other manufacturers. Since October 2013, free VSA licenses for 1TB of usable capacity have been delivered with any HP server , this allows you to quickly deploy a backup site on any server.

    If you do not already have these licenses, you can get them at the link: h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=VSA_DEMO

    In traditional systems, we will certainly at some point run into the performance of the storage system controllers.


    Fig. 5 When HP CS200 nodes are added to a cluster, a linear increase in performance is observed compared to dual-

    controller storage systems. Under one control, up to 32 nodes (2 clusters of 16 nodes) of HP CS200 can be combined. To join the nodes in a cluster, you do not need a SAN network, just a couple of 10GbE-enabled switches.

    The HP Converged System 200 can also be used as a reference platform for VMware EVO: Rail: www8.hp.com/us/en/products/cs-solutions/product-detail.html?oid=7729462

    You can learn more about HP StoreVirtual VSA from the following sources:
    1. Tests HP Storevirtual VSA Space Reclamation
    vmfocus.com/2015/02/26/how-to-hp-storevirtual-lefthand-os-12-0-with-t10-unmap
    2. HP StoreVirtual Storage General Page LeftHand OS 12.0
    h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=StoreVirtualSW#sv-existing
    3. Matrix Firmware and Software components (need HP Passport)
    h20272.www2.hp.com/Pages/spock2Html.aspx? htmlFile = hw_lefthand.html
    4. How to enable the Multipathing mechanism to directly access nodes containing data
    www.bitcon.be/?p=2923
    5. HP CS200 Quickspecs
    h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/15107_div/15107_div.PDF
    6. HP Convergedsystem 200 Demo:

    7. HP Convergedsystem 200 for EVO: Rail:
    www8.hp.com/us/en/products/cs-solutions/product-detail.html?oid=7729462

    ATTENTION!

    Until April 30, there is a special discount for CS200 trial kits (no more than one kit in one hand) - ask your authorized HP partners.
    Recording a webinar about the system in Russian: youtu.be/qOzgjdMNwIw
    What awaits the system in the near future?
    • Platform upgrade to HP Apollo 2000 (this spring) - using new processors and memory
    • HP CS200 certification for MS Lync and VDI Citrix awaits certification.

    Follow the announcements!

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