HP OneView – Part 2: Server Profiles

Apologies for the delay I was busy..

What is a Server Profile

The “Server Profile” is the defining phrase that comes to mind when thinking about the SDDC (Software Defined Data Centre). It allows a server administrator to define a hardware identity or configuration (MAC addresses, WWNN, BIOS, Boot, RAID config etc.) in software and then apply this to a “blank” server.

This brings a number of key advantages:

  • Pre-designed hardware identities allow configuration tasks to be pre-provisioned before hardware deployment (SAN zoning, firewall ACLs etc..)
  • Designated addresses allow easier identification e.g.  aa:bb:cc:dd:01:01 = Management /  aa:bb:cc:dd:02:01 = Production
  • Server failure/replacement doesn’t require upstream changes, software identity (server profile) is applied and all previous configuration is still relevant.

Design

Following on from the previous HP OneView post, this is a continuation of the same simple VMware vSphere deployment. As before, a good design should exist before implementation, so again i’ve embedded a diagram detailing where and how these networks are going to be defined to the virtual interfaces on a blade. VMware OneView Service Profiles

Quite Simply:

  • Two virtual interfaces defined for all of the Service networks.
  • Two virtual interfaces defined for the Production networks.
  • Two HBAs on each fabric, providing resilience for Fibre Channel traffic.

As mentioned, this is a simple design for a vSphere host but allows expansion in the future with the ability to define a further virtual interface on each physical interface inside the blade.

 Network Sets

A network set is a collection of networks that simplifies a server profile by removing the manual task of adding and removing single networks. A network set can be applied to server profiles, and changes to that network set (such as adding in a new network) is applied to all server profiles that use that network set. This creates automation of network configuration to all affected server profiles and ensures that all servers are compliant in configuration.

In Part 1, we could only apply defined networks themselves not the set of networks (not sure why this isn’t supported currently) to the logical uplinks that make up connectivity for a C7000. So these defined networks will be added into two sets VMware Services and VMware Production.

network setsIn the embedded screenshot I’ve created the network set VMware Services and added all of the networks that are required for this set i.e. HP OneView menu -> Network sets -> [+] Create network set

Note. I’ve purposely missed out the MGMT network to demonstrate later on how easy it is to fix this simple omission.

 

Creating a Server Profile

The first server profile we create will serve as a master template for the subsequent server profiles partially automating the task of deploying further profiles. To create this first profile select HP OneView menu -> Server profiles -> [+] Create profile and the following details will be required:serverProfile_1

  • Name of profile
  • Description (for this I tend to describe the use case for the server profile e.g. vSphere host)
  • Server Hardware (Enclosure/Bay, although for a template set this to unassigned)
  • Server Hardware type, essentially what model of blade (from a list of discovered hardware)
  • Enclosure Group (an enclosure has to be added before a server profile can be created …)
  • Affinity, essentially how close should the profile be linked to the hardware i.e. the slot or the serial number of the blade.

 Defining connectivity for the server profile

serverProfile_2Connectivity for a server profile is very straight forward.. define the interface as either Ethernet or Fabric and then attach the relevant networks or much easier with a network set to this interface.

This virtual interface fundamentally will need to be connected to a physical port on the blade, leaving it as auto will mean that every connection that is added to the server profile will be connected to the next physical port in a round-robin fashion. Personally, I like to physically select the Port manually to ensure I know what the linking between virtual and physical looks like.

This should result in a connectivity that looks something like this: serverProfile_3

Before you [create] your server profile, it’s also possible to define boot parameters and make some really low level tweaks to BIOS settings etc. However these settings can be changed at any time afterwards..

 Copying from template to a blade

To apply this server profile to the blades is incredibly straight forward, Select the previously created template and from the actions menu in the top right, select copy. This new server profile will need naming accordingly and applying to a enclosure and bay, this can be done numerous times by selecting the [Create +] option .. In my example I have created/cloned/copied server profiles vSphere01-04 and applied to Enclosure 1 bays 11 – 14. This takes only a few moments to apply and your servers are ready to install vSphere and start using in a production environment..

UNFORTUNATELY connectivity to the vSphere management interface isn’t working !?!?

Troubleshooting

oneview_mapHP OneView comes with a fantastic feature allowing you to easily view and diagnose where a problem may occur.

The HP OneView map view allows you to scroll your mouse over all of the elements that have been defined within your OneView environment and have a visual representation of the linkage between the various components. From the attached screenshot it’s is clear that the server profile vSphere01 is using the Network set VMware Services, however the network MGMT is missing from this set. As all server profiles are using the same network set, they also will be missing the same network. This is where the automation features of HP OneView really shine, previously a mistake like this would require some manual work on each server to rectify the mistake possibly leading to human error etc.. and non-compliant servers.

To rectify this mistake we simply modify the network set VMware Services to include the MGMT network and this change is instantly reflected in the configuration of all of the server profiles that are using this network set by again examining the map view.

Finally in vSphere break out your networks into port groups for the correct network services and place virtual machine interfaces on the correct network…

The HP OneView vCenter plug-in assists even further with this configuration, but that’s for another day..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *