I decided to try the HP ProCurve Switch Mesh technology in conjunction with my HP BladeSystems and HP Virtual Connect. After a week of planing, searching the Internet and reading several documents, I started to rebuild the network in my home lab. The results are amazing. Everything in my lab runs very fast and with low latency. Even the software based Core Router (Debian + Quagga) is no limitation. I tested the network performance with iperf and was able to send data thru my Mesh from one routed network to a another with 900 Mbits/s! I did the iperf test with two CentOS 6 virtual machine running one VMXNET3 NIC. The VMs are placed on different hosts, too.
Configuring the switch mesh is very simple. Disable routing and stacking and add all mesh ports with the mesh command. The vlans are added automatically to all mesh ports. Only ensure that every mesh switch knows all configured vlans.
My HP BladeSystem is connected with two LACP trunks to the switch mesh. I decided to setup VLAN tunneling because the two connected blades running VMware ESX.The HP Virtual Connect setup was very simple and thanks to LLDP I detected a cabling error. LLDP is very useful! You can see several informations about the connected network port. That’s really cool.
Currently my mesh is connected with several 1 Gbits links, but with a little bit luck I can get some 10 GbE modules for my 3500yl switches.
That’s all for today. Stay tuned.