Monday, February 15, 2010

Buying an HS22V for VMware? READ THIS!

I have had some interest from our customers in the new IBM HS22V Blade Server.  There is a great overview of the details of the new blade over at Kevin's site here.  I did find out one thing very interesting that I wanted to share.  The HS22V is different from previous models because it will only take up to two 1.8 inch SSD drives.  No hard drives here!  That's a great advancement except for one thing; the list price of ONE of the drives is currently over $1600!!! This means over $3200 (list prices!) to load an operating system if you want a raid-1 set.  That is a pretty high price.  Here's a screenshot of the IBM configuration tool with the SSD drive.



But, if you are running VMware ESXi you have another option.  Hidden in the other section (not the storage section) is an option for ESXi version 3.5 or 4.0.  The best thing is it is only $75 list!!

This cost difference brings about an interesting choice for ESX based organizations vs. ESXi.  How much are you willing to pay for that Service Console?

9 comments:

David Barclay said...

Why not boot from SAN? We've been deploying BFS on 80%+ of our ESX deployments for 4+ years.

Dave

Andrew Storrs said...

Nice find. :)

JW said...

We did a similar thing recently with Sun X6240 blade and USB installation when noticing a backplane wasn't ordered (by a colleague!) to go with the internal disks.

Used a standard 32GB USB key and had not had any issues.

JW

Aaron Delp said...

Dave - Of course you can! The problem with it is we really don't have too many customers that actually do it. FC boot of ESX is rock solid but I don't see many new FC installs anymore. Most everything has moved to IP based storage and there isn't a good IP based VMware boot solution, yet...

Kevin said...

Aaron - thanks for the link back to my HS22v site. I agree, the ESXi USB device is a great option. Another of your comments asked why not boot from SAN? Great question - one of the biggest disadvantages I see is that booting from SAN requires dedicated storage space for each ESX host. ESXi is cheaper and can be easier to use - especially if you are new to VMware ESX. For those people who need or use the VMware ESX console for scripting or for backup agents, then the Solid State Disks or booting from SAN is your best option. Keep up the good work Aaron, and thanks for following me on http://BladesMadeSimple.com

Hugo Phan said...

Looking at the way that ESX is heading, ESXi should really be the focus for all organisations to adopt. We just need the 3rd parties to catch up with the API support.

Aaron Delp said...

@Hugo - I couldn't agree with you more.

@Kevin - I agree. I have had many organizations try boot from FC ESX but in the end the customers didn't like the complexity. I'm not saying customers shouldn't look at it and that it isn't a valid option. But, it just isn't for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Are the IBM USB drives upgradeable? I see IBM sells versions for 3.5 U5, 4.0, 4.1. What happens when ESXi 5 comes out later this year?

Aaron Delp said...

I'm sorry but I'm not sure if the USB will support version (next) at this time.