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different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

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  • different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

    Hi I have a question regarding the future expansion of our VMware infrastrucuture at our school.

    We currently have 2 ESXi Hosts (HP DL380G5) which have embedded ESXi on the server. These are connected to NAS storage for their data stores.

    The backend will be improved and this will happen by replacing the NAS with a SAN, upgrade our esxi hosts to full ESX server rather than ESXi and introduce a 3rd host.

    Question I have is currently we have 2 HP DL380G5 hosts, I am undecided whether I purchase an identical host as the other 2 so adding a 3rd DL380G5 or could I go with the latest HP DL380 G6 server which works out more cost effective as I want to ensure there is no compatibility issues when using the advanced feautures of VMware such as DRS and Vmotion.

    We currently have the VSphere 4 standard agreement but will look at upgrading this to either Advanced or enterprise plus.

    Does anyone know what issues can happen when using a slight variant of host, If I introduced a 3rd host which has a faster processor and slight different architecture than the other 2. Could I run into problems when using features like Vmotion or can vmotion work fine with different variants of ESX hosts? I am getting mixed information from the suppliers I am talking to about this and I am struggling to find any VMware specific whitepapers on this subject.

    From other peoples experiences would I be better advised going for an identical 3rd host as the other 2 to ensure there are no issues with the advanced features of VMware?

    Any advice on this or access to VMware specific whitepapers would be most appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

    I tried to get information on this same topic.

    I was first told VMWare will work with anything on the compatibility list, then I was told by vmware directly that it MUST be the same hardware if you plan to use Vmotion, etc..

    That being said, I have not read or heard from anyone who uses a mixed environment so I cannot tell you 100%.

    I did buy all the same hardware as I did not want to complicate things.

    Sorry, I could not help more and I look forward to hear if anyone has used a mix environment with VMotion, HA, etc..



    • #3
      Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question


      Take a look at this document provided by VMware. It may have the answers you are looking for.



      • #4
        Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

        As long as your CPU is in the same family which G5/G6 can be join within a cluster and you can enable Enhance VMotion Compatability feature to allow those to be VMotion. You can also use CPUID NX flag masking or test it using VMware CPU Compatability testing utility.


        • #5
          Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

          The G5 and the G6 are not the same series..

          I could be wrong, but it is my understanding the family has to match more precisely IE : 54XX or 53XX (not 5XXX or 4XXX)

          According to the HP Site..
          G5 uses Intel® Xeon® 5400 series / Intel® Xeon® 5300 series / Intel® Xeon® 5200 series
          G6 users Intel® Xeon® 5500 series



          • #6
            Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

            Slightly off topic by you might save a few quid by buying a DL360G6 because you have common storage you probably won't need the 8 drive bays in the DL380G6


            • #7
              Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

              MUST be same processor family, We have tried it and it doesnt work, (live vMotion that is). You will be able to cold vMotion though.


              • #8
                Re: different hosts (HP DL380G5/G6) compatibility question

                Please see these Documents on vmotion compatibility

                VMotion CPU Compatibility Requirements for Intel Processors

                Enhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC) processor support

                By enabling EVC on your cluster you should be able to VMotion between the two without an too much of an issue.

                The slight problem is enabling the EVC without downtime though.
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