Blade Server Setup For New Cloud Environment

Challenges

  • Migration of existing legacy servers can be very challenging. Application running on them has to be migrated post cloud infrastructure setup without any business impact.
  • Cloud configuration requires high level of technical expertise and troubleshooting skills for managing and sustaining IT infrastructure.

Results

  • After the Cloud (IaaS) infrastructure deployment dependency on the legacy server is reduced, IT resources are consolidated, streamlined and it’s cost effective.
 

This Case study is to analyze the need and setup process of cloud environment for customer.

Situation

Small scale or large organizations, they all need resources to be consolidated and streamlined so that they can focus on business and not over spend on IT needs. To achieve this cloud solution is one of the ways. Blade server is a stripped down server computer with a modular design optimized to minimize the use of physical space and energy. Blade servers can be used effectively in order to setup a cloud environment.

Action

In this section we can discuss the setup process of Blade hardware and building Cloud environment over it. Blade Server Hardware setup involves hardware installation at the datacenter with redundant power supply and connectivity to high speed network. Typically this can be done by collocating datacenter space for blade server. Components such as Chassis, Control Blades, Switch Blades, Platform (Blade Management Software), Processing Blades, Management Switch are assembled together to form a Blade server setup

 

Chassis Configuration

After the Cloud (IaaS) infrastructure deployment dependency on the legacy server is reduced, IT resources are consolidated, streamlined and it’s cost effective.

 

Management Switch

Management switch is used for communication between processing blades and controller blades and also to provide n/w connectivity. Fabric switch is installed at this stage for presenting the SAN via Fabric Channel.

 

Control Blades

Every Blade manufacturers assemble control blades for management of individual processing blade and to provide them with network and storage links. Storage can be presented either Fabric channel based or iSCSI based san connection.

 

Processing Blades

Processing blades provides user with CPU and memory for installation of Operating system and application. Type 1 and 2 Hypervisor software can also be installed at this stage. Post the hardware installation Blade management software is installed and configured PAN Manager is one such tool to manage a blade server setup. PAN provides functionality such as High Availability, pooling compute, I/O, Network, and Storage resources. Once the hardware part is completed then we can deploy the cloud over this.

 

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS offer physical virtual machines and other resources such as virtual machines as guests. Pools of hypervisors within the cloud operational support-system can support large numbers of virtual machines and the ability to scale services up and down according to customers’ varying requirements.) For this case study iaas setup is configured using ESXi as backend (VMware Hypervisor Tool) and PCD (Pan Cloud Director tool from Egenera Inc for managing cloud environment) is used as frontend. VMware ESXi are Type 1 hypervisors that are VMware’s enterprise software hypervisors for guest virtual servers that run directly on processing blade without requiring an additional underlying operating system. Installation requires a bootable ISO which can be integrated with additional hardware specific drivers from the blade manufacturer.

 

Post the installation of ESXi, vCenter software can be installed to manage the entire hosts and to configure the High availability to avoid any downtime. PCD is now installed at this stage this tool can be installed either on a Controller Blade or on individual server with RedHat Linux running on it. Host can be added into the PCD and resources such as firewall, VLAN, Storage can be added into Resources pool. PCD provides a web based user interface to setup environment for each department in the company based on their need. As soon as the administrator creates a VM, PCD in the backend builds a Virtual machine and allocates the resources. Administrators then can migrate their legacy server into new virtual machine or application can be installed into the new Virtual Machine.

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