By Stephen Smith, IBM Redbooks
Earlier this month, I helped one of my Flex System colleagues, Scott Smith from our Microsoft lab over in Kirkland, Washington, develop the reference architecture for a 2-node cluster configuration of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V running on IBM Flex System.
The reference architecture gives you an affordable, interoperable, and reliable industry-leading virtualization and cloud solution choice. This IBM Flex System based offering, based on servers with Intel Xeon E5 processors, storage, and networking, provides a validated configuration that can form the basis for any 2-node private cloud.
The reference architecture uses the Microsoft Hyper-V Fast Track Small configuration to provide a validated configuration of 2 server nodes or less without a stand-alone management environment. This is ideal for smaller organizations that do not require the extra complexity and flexibility a dedicated management environment brings or for larger organizations that might have an existing management environment or are interested in setting up a proof of concept configuration.
Reference Architecture design
The design consists of the following enterprise-class components:
1 IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis
2 IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes in a Windows Failover Cluster running Hyper-V
1 DS3524 Highly Available (HA) storage with dual controllers
4 Flex System EN2092 switches providing redundant networking for data and storage
These components all fit in 10U of space in a rack. The front and back of the rack are shown in the figure.
Intrinsic in this design are the combinations of physical and isolated VLANs configured at the host, switch, and storage layers to satisfy isolation requirements.
5 VLANs are defined to handle:
Storage traffic (2 VLANs)
Cluster Public Network traffic for host management and VM communication
Cluster Private Network traffic for private cluster communication and Cluster Shared Volumes traffic
Cluster Live Migration Network traffic
Microsoft Hyper-V and failover clustering
Microsoft Hyper-V is a key cloud component in many client virtualization environments. Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) support up to 64 virtual processors and 1 TB of memory. Individual VMs have their own operating system instance and are isolated from the host operating system and other VMs.
Our 2-node failover cluster increases the availability of services and applications. If a failure occurs on one node in the cluster, resources are redirected and the workload is redistributed to another node. This helps eliminate single points of failure and ensures that users have nearly constant access to important server-based resources.
Consider the benefits of combining virtualization with failover clustering:
It helps eliminate single points of failure so users have near-continuous access to important server-based and business-productivity applications.
Virtual machines can be migrated among clustered host servers to support scheduled maintenance.
If physical or logical outages result in unplanned failures, virtual machines can be automatically restarted on the remaining cluster nodes. As a result, clients experience little to no downtime.
The Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program combined with the IBM enterprise-class hardware prepares IT administrators to successfully meet their virtualization performance and growth objectives by deploying private clouds efficiently and reliably.
About the Reference Architecture document
The IBM Flex System Solution for Microsoft Hyper-V (2-node) Reference Architecture provides everything you need to know to implement this industry-leading virtualization and cloud solution choice, including:
A complete description and setup information for each component in the solution.
Deployment considerations for racking, power, networking and VLANs, storage, and cluster creation.
Networking worksheets for configuring switch port settings and VLANs.
Ordering information (Bill of Materials for all of the hardware in the solution, including the The IBM Reseller Option Kit (ROK).
Download the reference architecture from the IBM Redbooks website: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/REDP4981.html?Open
Stephen Smith is a Senior Technical Writer at IBM Redbooks. His background in IT technical writing extends over 25 years, during which has he authored over 150 publications that cover a wide assortment of technologies, most notably IBM products and services.