vSphere, HP Flex-10/Virtual Connect, and Cisco Nexus resources

I’m smack dab in the middle of designing a robust deployment of VMware vSphere using HP C-class blade chassis, HP Flex-10/Virtual Connect modules, and Cisco Nexus hardware and virtual switches (5000 and 1000v, respectively). This is a pretty forward leaning architecture and fairly complicated. After plowing through a ton of resources to help cement in my mind what I’m doing, I thought I’d share some resources that really helped me.

As my design starts to take shape, I’ll share more of my experiences. First, trying to find documents on HP’s web site is a real PITA. In order of helpfulness, here are a few links for HP Virtual Connect resources. The first one is really killer and got me focused on what I’m trying to accomplish.

HP Virtual Connect Ethernet Cookbook: Single and Multi Enclosure Domain (stacked) Scenarios.
— Note: Scenario 3:2 was perfect for my environment and really shed some light on what I was trying to do. Using mapped shared uplink set (SUS) fit exactly what I wanted to do.

HP BladeSystem Reference Architecture: Virtual Connect Flex-10 and VMware vSphere 4.0

Virtual Connect Multi-Enclosure Stacking Reference Guide

HP Virtual Connect for the Cisco Network Administrator

HP Virtual Connect 2.30 User Guide

If you will be using Cisco Nexus hardware switches in your architecture, be sure to check out the NX-OS vPC feature. This can increase availability and system throughput by enabling LACP across two phyiscal switches.

Virtual PortChannels: Building Networks without Spanning Tree Protocol

Virtual PortChannel Quick Configuration Guide

For additional Cisco documentation, check out my previous blog post.

My advice is first figure out whether you want to use Virtual Connect in mapped mode or trunked mode. That will determine the rest of your design. Check out my first link for the best material to help make that decision. After you make that determination, the rest of the solution starts to fall in place.

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