Without a shared storage it is quite hard to deploy a reasonable test scenario. Within vSphere 5 VMware introduced the vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA). The VSA transforms the local storage from up to 3 servers into a mirrored shared storage. This sounds really great for a testing environment because it supports plenty VMware Features like vMotion, HA and DRS.
Prior to installation there are a few things to check because the VSA has very strict system requirements. As it is only a testing environment and I do not consider getting support, so the main goal is getting the VSA up and running. The server requirements are:
- 6GB RAM
- 2GHz CPU
- 4 NICs
- Identical configuration across all nodes
- Clean ESXi 5.0 Installation
I deliberately ignored all the vendor/model or hardware raid controller requirements, as this are only soft-requirements. The HP Proliant N40L supports all above requirements, except the 2GHz CPU. But there is a little XML File which contains the host audit configuration the installer uses during the installation. I am going to tweak this file a little bit to get the installation done.
Read More »HP N40L Shared Storage with vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)
Hewlett Packard has launched an extremely affordable server for SMB and home users. Not only due to its price of approximately 200 euros, but also because of its low power consumption it is an great candidate for a virtualization home lab. An optional Remote Access Card (RAC) can extend ILO similar functions to the server.
The HP N40L has 2 CPU cores and supports up to 8GB of RAM. Although this is quite low for a hypervisor, it should be sufficient for a pure test environment. The server does only have a software-based RAID controller which will not work with the ESX. If you want to use the local disks as an array, you have to buy an additional RAID controller. The P410 for example is supported. I decided not to buy a RAID controller, because I want to store my VMs on an shared Storage. The good news is that the server is shipped with 4 hard drive trays, which allows the installation of any SATA hard drive.
The Server is shipped with the following configuration:
- Prozessor: AMD Turion™ II Neo N40L (2x 1,50GHz)
- Memory: 2GB PC3-10600E UDIMMs DDR3
- Hard Disk: 1x Seagate Barracude (250GB, 7200RPM, SATA)
- LAN: 1x 10/100/1000 MBit (NC107i)
- PSU: 150 Watt, non-redundant
- Ports: VGA, eSATA, 7x USB 2.0 (4x Front, 2x Back, 1x On-Board)