My fifteen year old daughter feels let down by a New Zealand song from my youth. The song is called “History Never Repeats” by Split Enz. Of course we know that nothing is more certain than repeats of history. So it was with some amusement that I saw the HP X5000 G2 at the recent HP Storage Tech Day.
It reminds me of a Proliant product, the Compaq Proliant CL380. This was the original Proliant Cluster in a box, running Microsoft Windows and serving up files, SQL databases or Exchange mail boxes. The X5000 is a two node Microsoft cluster running Windows Storage Server, giving you CIFS, iSCSI or NFS shares with high availability all in a 3U rack case. The same chassis in it’s E5000 personality provides clustered Exchange in a box. I couldn’t find an S5000 product, but surely SQL Cluster in a box is a logical next step.
The thing is I don’t want a Microsoft cluster, I want a vSphere HA and DRS cluster. The idea of two BL460c blades sharing a SAS disk array sounds ideal for a small business customer wanting to run the vSphere Essentials Plus bundle or an Enterprise organisation with a branch office. If the blades could be upgraded to a bit more RAM and the SAS disks get a switched interconnect than we’d have a winner for running a dozen or so VMs. Incidentally the 3U chassis has space for 16 SAS disks and you can add two more disk expansion enclosures for a maximum of 40 3.5” disks or 16 3.5” plus 50 2.5” disks, plenty of IOPS for two ESX servers.
Hopefully the feedback from Tech Day will get to the Proliant team and they will get to convert the storage product into an ideal SMB virtualisation platform. To see some more about the X5000 take a look at the video that Calvin (@HPStorageGuy) recorded at HP Discover.
Disclosure: HP paid my travel and accommodation expenses for me to attend Tech Day. Thanks HP.
© 2012, Alastair. All rights reserved.