Tuesday 7 June 2011

Hyper-V Two Node Cluster Setup On Intel Server Systems and Promise VTrak RAID Subsystem – Part 1.1

Okay, so the first run through on getting things together we discovered that things are not always as they seem. It is to be expected considering what we are trying to do here.

Our Intel Server System configuration that will be connected to a Promise VTrak E610sD RAID Subsystem has been changed somewhat to the following:

  • 2x Intel Server System SR1695GPRX2AC server systems.
    • Intel Xeon Processor X3470
    • 32GB Kingston ECC RDIMMs (4x KVR1066D3Q8R7S/8Gi)
    • Intel Integrated RAID AXXROMBSASMR
      • Replaced RS2BL040 as the Integrated RAID part does not take up the PCI-E slot.
      • Plugs into custom PCI-E connector near the front of the board.
    • Intel Battery Backup AXXRSBBU3
      • Replaced the AXXRSBBU7 for the RS2BL040 RAID Controller
      • Attaches to the ROMBSASMR for on board cache protection.
    • 4x 300GB Seagate 15K.7 SAS drives.
      • Drives will be configured in RAID 10 or 5 depending on drive size and client needs.
    • Intel Integrated Server RAID Module AXXSASIOMOD
      • Originally planned for two of these in one chassis. One will be installed.
      • The custom PCI-E ports at the back of the server board are not set up to allow for two modules and a dual module configuration is not available.
    • Intel RMM3LITE for remote management
      • Full out-of-band management for each node.
    • On Board NIC Configuration
      • First through Fourth NICs will be paired together and connected to the production network (two pairs).
      • Fifth NIC will also pick up an internal IP for node management.
      • Fifth NIC will also provide network connectivity for the RMM3LITE.
    • External SAS Cables
      • 2x SASx4 SFF-8470 to mSASx4 SFF-8088 cable in 2M length
        • Connects to the Intel SAS Module via SFF-8470
      • 2x mSASx4 SFF-8088 to mSASx4 SFF-8088 cable in 2M length
        • Connects to the Adaptec via SFF-8088
    • Adaptec 1045 (ASC-1045) non-RAID SAS HBA
      • Replaces the second Intel SAS I/O Module.
      • Sister card ASC-1405 with four internal SAS connectors is on the Intel THOL for the SR1695GPRX.
      • No guarantees on compatibility for this card though.

Once we get going with our testing we will test the following configurations:

  1. 2x Intel Server System SR1695GPRX2AC with 1 SAS connection (using RS2BL040 + BBU).
  2. 2x Intel Server System SR1695GPRX2AC with 2 SAS connections as per above.

Even though the ASC-1405 is on the approved list there are no guarantees that the identical card with the external connection (ASC-1045) will work in this configuration.

We are confident that the single SAS connection setup should work with the Promise VTrak E610sD configured for the SAS IDs on each Intel SAS I/O Module. This will be the base configuration we will present to our smaller clients that are interested in a High Availability option for their business.

If we are unable to get the dual SAS connection configuration to work we will be looking at some alternatives to the Intel platform to provide both the server and storage.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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