As many of you know, VMware ESXi 5.0 adds a broad range of features to the hypervisor; however, taking full advantage of these features requires the higher speed of an 8Gb SAN in your virtualization environment. To help you transition to an infrastructure that can support the storage needed by the new generation of virtual machines (VMs), Emulex recently published a Solutions Implementer’s Series deployment guide, validating the functionality and performance of ESXi 5.0 in conjunction with 8Gb Fibre Channel (8GFC) connectivity. The tested environment included the best-of-breed HP ProLiant DL 380 G7 server equipped with a dual channel 8GFC adapter produced for HP by Emulex. Storage was provided by an HP 3PAR Storage array.
In addition to recommending that the higher bandwidth 8Gb SANs are used for the new release of vSphere 5.0, the deployment guide outlines the process for deploying ESXi 5.0 with 8GFC connectivity and highlights the results of performance tests carried out in such an environment. First time users of VMware with HP’s 8GFC adapters will find this solution provides ease-of-use, simplicity and supportability. VMware administrators using OneCommand Manager for VMware vCenter have a single glass pane view for centralized management of the adapters. This allows data centers to fully leverage savings in equipment, energy, data center footprint and administration costs that result from server virtualization.
Upgrading to 8GFC will increase your storage bandwidth and performance while maintaining backward compatibility with your existing 2GFC and 4GFC technologies. In addition, you will see the benefits of centralized and streamlined adapter management. Testing carried out by Emulex indicated that an 8GFC implementation based on the HP 82E 8GFC HBA was able to support more VMs than a 4Gb implementation, while also reducing CPU utilization on the ESXi 5.0 host.
Planning the deployment of an ESXi 5.0 host – or the migration of an existing host to ESXi 5.0 – is a simple process. Using 8Gb storage, the resulting infrastructure will be able to meet the demands of the larger VMs you can now create and will allow you to introduce additional business-critical applications.
Bottom line: If you are a first time user, or contemplating the move, this deployment guide is for you! It doesn’t get any easier!
The Implementer’s Lab Solutions Implementer’s Series deployment guide can be downloaded here:
VMware vSphere 5.0: 8Gb/s Fibre Channel SANs with HP ProLiant DL380 G7 Servers and HP 3PAR Utility Storage