Virtual Connect Background

HP Virtual Connect technology provides unique capabilities and tangible interconnect value for BladeSystem c-Class customers. It simplifies network infrastructures by reducing physical cabling, saves time and costs associated with systems deployment and operations, provides server workload mobility and helps IT organizations work smarter. In addition to enabling Flex-10 technology, Virtual Connect also provides the infrastructure foundation for other Enterprise-class management offerings from HP, such as HP Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager and HP Insight Dynamics-VSE.  

A beta version of Virtual Connect Firmware 1.3x was distributed under beta agreements to select customers that enabled multi-enclosure stacking and this version allowed either HP 1/10Gb-F Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules or 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules in any bay. 

Scenario Description

Beginning with the April 27th launch of Virtual connect Firmware version 2.10, Virtual Connect will support the stacking of multiple enclosures.  Multi-Enclosure stacking will enable all of the Virtual Connect modules within up to four (4) connected enclosures to function as a single Virtual Connect domain.   

However, due in part to processor and memory limitations of the 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Module and the vast number of configurations possible in a multi-enclosure stack, there are limits to which model modules can function as primary modules within a stacked configuration. 

·         In a stacked configuration, bays 1 and 2 of the base enclosure may not contain HP 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules 

·         Bays 3 through 8 within the base enclosure, as well as all bays within other enclosures may contain any of the three Virtual Connect Ethernet modules without issue 

·         Bays 1 and 2 of the base enclosure may contain either HP 1/10Gb-F Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules or HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Modules 

·         When a Virtual Connect Ethernet module is installed in an interconnect bay, the only module that can be installed in the horizontally adjacent bay is another Virtual Connect Ethernet module of the same type.  The only modules that can be horizontally adjacent to an unlike module within an enclosure are the HP 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Module and the HP 1/10Gb-F Virtual Connect Ethernet Module. 

·         A maximum of 16 Ethernet and 16 Fiber Channel Virtual Connect modules will be supported per Virtual Connect domain in a stacked configuration 

Resolution

When configuring a Virtual Connect multi-enclosure stack, the customer must ensure that bays 1 and 2 of the base enclosure in the stack contain either a pair of 1/10Gb-F Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules or a pair of HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Modules only and that a maximum of 16 Ethernet and 16 Fiber Channel Virtual Connect modules will be supported per Virtual Connect domain in a stacked configuration  

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Module not able to be populated in bays 1 or 2 of the base enclosure in a multi-enclosure stacked configuration?

The limitation is due in part to the hardware limitations (amount of RAM) of HP 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules and the vast number of configurations possible in a multi-enclosure stacked configuration that require more memory.

 

What Virtual Connect modules are supported in bays 1 or 2 of the base enclosure in a multi-enclosure stacked configuration?

Bays 1 and 2 of the base enclosure may contain either HP 1/10Gb-F Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules or HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Modules.

 

What happens if I try to use the 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Module in bays 1 or 2 of the base enclosure in a multi-enclosure stacked configuration?

An error message will be displayed during remote enclosure discovery. This error message will indicate that the modules in bays 1 and 2 are not supported.

 

Will switching my 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules from bay 1 and 2 of the base enclosure cause my configuration to be lost?

Yes. Save your configuration to disk and delete the domain before removing the primary and secondary Virtual Connect Manager from any enclosure.

 

Will having 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules in other bays compromise the ability to fail over uplinks in a stacked configuration should a failure occur?

No.

 

Will the 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules still be supported in bays 1 and 2 for a single enclosure staked configuration?

Yes.  This limitation is only for the stacking of multiple enclosures in a single domain.

 

Will the 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules still be supported in bays 1 and 2 with Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager?

Yes.  VC-EM supports all valid VC Ethernet module configurations, including 1/10Gb Virtual Connect Ethernet Modules in bays 1 and 2 of a single enclosure configuration.

 

Are there limits to which Virtual Connect FC modules can be in a stacked configuration?

Any VC-FC module can be used as long as that same type of VC-FC module is used in the same specific bay in every enclosure in the stack domain. For instance, if a customer puts the forthcoming 8 Gb VC FC module in bay 3 of one enclosure, the customer needs to put the same 8 Gb VC FC module in bay 3 of every enclosure of a multi-enclosure stacked domain. When an HP VC-FC module in installed in an interconnect bay, the only module that can be installed in the horizontally adjacent interconnect bay is another VC-FC module of the same type.

 

Is there a limit to how many Ethernet or Fiber Channel Virtual Connect modules I can stack within the enclosures that make up the Virtual Connect Domain?

Yes.  A maximum of 16 Ethernet and 16 Fiber Channel Virtual Connect modules will be supported per Virtual Connect domain in a stacked configuration.

 

Where can I find more information about Virtual Connect Technology and Products?

Additional information can be found at the following locations on HP.com, or you can contact your regional Product Managers.

 

HP Virtual Connect technology www.hp.com/go/virtualconnect

update: a nice document with complete pictures can be found here