Dell EMC Solutions for Azure Stack HCI offer the following types of cluster infrastructure deployments:
This variant of Dell EMC Solutions for Azure Stack HCI offers two to four nodes in a switchless configuration for storage traffic. This infrastructure can be implemented using any of the validated and supported AX nodes. However, the number of nodes in a cluster varies between the AX node models and the number of network adapters that each model supports.
Switchless storage networking offers two full mesh configurations:
For more information on these switchless storage networking configurations, see Network Integration and Host Configuration Options.
Note: The switchless storage configuration has been validated with back-to-back connections for storage connectivity. For more information about the switchless storage networking model, see Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI: Network Integration and Host Configuration Options.
The following figure illustrates the switchless storage networking infrastructure:
The scalable offering within Dell EMC Solutions for Azure Stack HCI encompasses various configurations of AX-740xd, AX-640, and AX-6515 nodes. In this HCI solution, as many as 16 AX nodes power the primary compute cluster.
The following figure illustrates one of the flexible solution architectures. It includes the Azure Stack HCI cluster, redundant top-of-rack (ToR) switches, a separate out-of-band (OOB) network, and an existing management infrastructure in the data center.
Dell EMC Solutions for Azure Stack HCI do not include management infrastructure components such as a cluster for hosting management VMs and services such as Microsoft Active Directory, Domain Name System (DNS), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and Microsoft System Center components such as Operations Manager (SCOM). Therefore, the instructions in this guide do not include deployment of any of these services and components and assume that at least an Active Directory domain controller is available in the existing management infrastructure. In a remote office scenario, Dell recommends that you deploy either an Active Directory replica or read-only domain controller (RODC) at the remote office. If you are using an RODC at the remote site, connectivity to the central management infrastructure with a writeable domain controller is mandatory during deployment of the Azure Stack HCI cluster.
Note: Dell does not support expansion of a two-node cluster to a larger cluster size. A three-node cluster provides fault-tolerance only for simultaneous failure of a single node and a single drive. If the deployment requires future expansion and better fault tolerance, consider starting with a four-node cluster at a minimum.
Note: For recommended server and network switch placement in the racks, port mapping on the top-of-rack (ToR) and out-of-band (OOB) switches, and details about configuring the ToR and OOB switches, see https://infohub.delltechnologies.com/section-assets/network-integration-and-host-network-configuration-options.
This deployment guide provides instructions and PowerShell commands for manually deploying an Azure Stack HCI cluster. For information about configuring host networking and creating an Azure Stack HCI cluster by using System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), see https://infohub.delltechnologies.com/section-assets/vmm-wiki.