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Dell High Availability Clustering

Dell High Availability Clustering

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Fibre Channel Clusters
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Product Offerings

Dell Fibre Channel Cluster Configuration Support Matrices

Current Releases

  • PowerEdge Cluster with Dell Compellent Storage Center Fibre Channel Storage Arrays - The PowerEdge Cluster with Compellent Storage Center Fibre Channel Storage Arrays is a Microsoft Windows Failover Cluster solution with 2-16 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell Compellent Storage Center, Brocade switches, and QLogic, or Emulex HBAs.
  • PowerEdge Cluster with Dell PowerVault MD3600f/MD3620f Fibre Channel Arrays - The PowerEdge Cluster with Dell PowerVault MD36x0f Fibre Channel Arrays is a Microsoft Windows Failover Cluster solution with 2-16 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell PowerVault MD3600f/MD3620f storage enclosures, Brocade switches, and QLogic, Emulex, or Brocade HBAs.
  • PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC CX4 Fibre Channel Arrays - The PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC CX4 Fibre Channel Arrays is a Microsoft Windows Failover Cluster solution with 2-16 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC CX4-120, CX4-240, CX4-480, and CX4-960 storage enclosures, Brocade switches, and QLogic, Emulex or Brocade HBAs.
  • PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC AX150 Array - The PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC AX150 Array is a low-cost Fibre Channel solution with 2-8 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC AX150 storage enclosures, Brocade SW200E switch and QLogic's QLA200 or QLE220 HBAs in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC AX4-5 Array - The PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC AX4-5 Array is a Microsoft Windows Failover Cluster solution with 2-16 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers and storage components including Dell/EMC AX4-5 storage arrays, McData or Brocade switches, and QLogic, Emulex or Brocade HBAs.

Previous Releases

  • PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC CX3 Fibre Channel Arrays - The PowerEdge Cluster with Dell/EMC CX3 Fibre Channel Arrays is a Fibre Channel solution with 2-16 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC CX3-10c, CX3-20/c/f, CX3-40/c/f, or CX3-80 storage enclosures, McData or Brocade switches, and Qlogic or Emulex HBAs in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • FE655W - The FE655W cluster is a Fibre Channel solution supporting 2-8 homogeneous Dell's Blade servers within Dell PowerEdge blade module, embedded or external Brocade and McData switches, and embedded HBAs connected to Dell/EMC CX3-10c, CX3-20/c/f, CX3-40/c/f, CX3-80 or AX150 storage enclosures in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • FE555W - The FE555W cluster is our Fibre Channel solution supporting 2-8 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge blade server modules, embedded or external Brocade and McData switches, and embedded HBAs connected to Dell/EMC CX300, CX500, or CX700 storage enclosures in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • FE550W - The FE550W cluster is a low-cost Fibre Channel solution with 2-6 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC AX100 storage enclosures, Brocade SW3250 or SW200E switches, and QLogic's QLA200 HBAs in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • FE500W-IA64 - The FE500W-IA64 cluster is a Fibre Channel solution with 2-8 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge 7250 64-bit servers, Dell/EMC CX300, CX500, or CX700 storage enclosures, Brocade switches, and QLogic 2340 HBAs in a 64-bit Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • FE500W - The FE500W cluster is a Fibre Channel solution with 2-8 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC CX300, CX500, or CX700 storage enclosures, McData or Brocade switches, and QLogic or Emulex HBAs in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.
  • FE400 - The FE400 cluster is a Fibre Channel solution with 2-8 homogeneous Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell/EMC CX200, CX400, or CX600 storage enclosures, McData or Brocade switches, and QLogic or Emulex HBAs in a Microsoft Cluster configuration.

Fibre Channel Cluster Overview

Fibre Channel Clusters

A PowerEdgeTM  Cluster is an integrated system of components, including PowerEdgeTM  servers, PowerVaultTM  or DellTM  | EMC®  storage system(s), a cluster interconnect, and Microsoft's failover cluster software. Microsoft® Windows®  2000 Cluster Service implements two-node failover clustering that delivers high availability for applications and services. Microsoft Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition Cluster Service supports 2 to 8 node high availability clusters, while Server 2008 Enterprise Edition and Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition enable two-node to sixteen-node failover clusters. Optional features of a PowerEdge Cluster include Dell OpenManageTM  software, installation services, consulting services, and proof-of-concept testing.

Active/Active and Active/Passive Configurations

Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) and all PowerEdgeTM  Clusters support both active/active and active/passive cluster configurations. The term active/active refers to a cluster with at least one virtual server running on each node. For example, in a 2-node cluster configuration, when an application is running on Node 1, Node 2 does not need to remain idle waiting for Node 1 to fail. Node 2 can run its own cluster-aware applications (or another instance of the same application) while providing failover capabilities for resources on Node 1. Node 1 in turn can provide failover capabilities for resources on Node 2. An active/active cluster node must be sized appropriately to handle the load of both nodes (in the event of a failover).

The term active/passive refers to failover cluster configurations in which one or more cluster nodes is actively processing requests for cluster applications while at least one cluster node simply waits for an active node to fail. An active/passive configuration is more costly in terms of price/performance because one or more servers remain idle most of the time. It is appropriate for business-critical systems since the applications can use the full power of another server in case of a failure.

Direct Attach

A direct-attach PowerEdgeTM  Cluster configuration includes the two cluster nodes and a single storage system. In direct-attach configurations, the storage processors on the Dell | EMC storage system are connected directly to the Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) in the cluster nodes. A SAN is not required (see Figure 1).

Each clustered server has redundant and active paths to the storage system. The failover software running on each node monitors the paths to the storage system and can reroute traffic in the event of a failure in the HBA, cable system, or storage processor.

Figure 1

Direct-Attach Cluster

SAN-Attach

A PowerEdgeTM  Cluster can be integrated into a SAN (Storage Area Network) using Fibre Channel switches. SAN-attached clusters are superior to direct-attached cluster configurations in configuration, flexibility, and expandability. They also provide consolidated backups with the ability to share Fibre Channel tape devices among multiple clusters and standalone servers. SAN-attached configurations require a redundant Fibre Channel switch fabric.

If greater storage capacity is desired for the cluster, a SAN-attached cluster configuration can be connected to multiple storage systems through the SAN (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2

SAN-Attach Cluster

Cluster consolidation

Cluster consolidation is an extension of a SAN-attached cluster configuration. Both storage consolidation and cluster consolidation can help lower the total cost of ownership of a SAN. For a SAN, cluster consolidation is commonly defined as the ability to allow multiple clusters and stand-alone servers to access a portion of the storage capacity offered by one or more storage systems (see Figure 3).

In a Cluster Consolidation, EMC's Navisphere®  Access Logix software performs Fibre Channel LUN mapping and masking to partition the storage system and assign each data volume to specific server(s) attached to the SAN. The Navisphere Access Logix software gives servers explicit ownership of a data volume located within the common enclosure. For example, if two clusters are sharing a storage system that has four available LUNs (or volumes of data), Cluster 1 can be assigned LUN 0 and 1, and Cluster 2 can be assigned LUN 2 and 3. The LUN masking software prevents each server or cluster from discovering or accessing storage owned by other server or cluster nodes.

Figure 3

Cluster Consolidation

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