We've reviewed a laundry list of preparations required before going
w long will it take to do all of that - and whatever else more that
I haven't listed? I'm not sure, but it's likely measured in months
rather than weeks.
If you started with one chassis, then you can expand, gaining more
experience, and add more hardware. Other than inter-chassis switching,
there isn't much new. You'll have to add (assign) another Management
Node when you get past 100 blades or so. You'll find that the labor to
run this expanded system hardly increases as you scale up - other than
the labor involved in the blade/chassis/rack installations.
Alternatively, you can assess whether the VCL approach is the right
one for you. I may be sure it will be, but it's better for you to do
your evaluation and make your decisions based on your situation.
If you've started with one chassis rather than the 10, 20 or 50 you
really wanted to buy to make a major impact, you've realized many
important benefits. One significant one is that, while you've been
learning and experimenting, the other blades haven't been using up their
warranty time, haven't been getting older, and will come in brand new
and shiny when they are delivered.
You'll find it relatively easy to scale up. There is the nuisance of
assembling blades, racks, etc. It's kind of similar to that Erector Set
you had when you were a kid (or did you start with a Heathkit
Electronics setup?) - so assemble everything - including providing all
the power and cooling needed (by the way, we've found that the IBM Cool
Blue Rear Doors help with respect to machine room cooling, and also with
respect to the energy bill. This shouldn't be a surprise if you paid
attention to that long-ago thermo course. :-) There are a number of
products which improve the thermodynamics of cooling vs. the traditional
hot aisle - cold aisle. There will also be the need to add network
switches to allow inter-chassis networking and and you'll have to
configure the switches. After those initial efforts, you'll find that
the additional effort to keep the system running is very small.
These are economies of scale, and they are more easily realized by
doing the scaling after the startup system has been mastered.