lunedì 27 gennaio 2014

VMware: HP StoreVirtual VSA Part2 - Initial Configuration

After installing HP StoreVirtual VSA let's discuss a bit about management and initial configuration. VSA management is mostly performed by using HP StoreVirtual Centralized Management Console (CMC), even if some management tasks can only be performed directly accessing the VSA, in our case opening VSA virtual machine console. In this post I will guide you through CMC main screens and initial configuration while in the next post we will create Management Groups, Clusters and, finally, Volumes.

CMC has a quite intuitive management interface, the Getting Started page will help you in finding VSAs and provisioning new volumes.

At first VSA has to be added to the CMC, click Find Systems -> Add. Enter VSA management IP address which by default is eth0 address you setup while installing VSA.

Press OK and wait until the VSA it is found.

Once VSA has been added to CMC the main screen will appear. From here you can have a rapid glance of system status, version and supported features, like Adaptive Optimization.

As told in previous article VSA does not support RAID configurations, this is because RAID is assumed as properly configured in the underlying storage at physical level.

VSA also supports storage tiering, which means that different profiles of storage can be set based on performances of underlying physical drives. I explain myself better: let's pretend that VSA store its data on two volumes, presented, one as a RAW LUN by the storage, one as a datastore by ESXi host, to the VSA VM. These two stores (LUN+datastore) are physically located one in NL SAS disks and one in SSD storage. Without proper configuration for VSA would be impossible to recognize that a part of its data is placed on fast SSDs while another part on slower NL SAS disks so VSA would place data on these two volumes disregarding the different kind of underlying physical storage.
VSA can be configured to classify storage as per tiers by marking SSD storage as highest tier (tier0) and NL SAS as lower tier.
By setting tiers, volumes can benefit from Adaptive Optimization which moves chunks of frequently accesses data to faster tiers thus offering better performances when needed.

Network configurations can be changed/modified via Network screen. IP addresses of both interfaces can be changed here.
Please note that only one interface can be used for management and by default this is the interface with a Default Gateway (the unused interface will report as default gateway).
Unlike physical HP StoreVirtual appliance, VSA does not support interface bonding for throughput increase by channel aggregation.

Also NIC Flow Control is not supported in VSA while speed & duplex and frame size can be edited.

As depicted in the picture above frame size is greyed out using CMC. It can be modified by accessing VSA interface (i.e. VSA virtual machine console). This is done by typing "start" (without quotes) at login prompt, then Network TCP Status, select interface, then Frame Size can be customized.

Once changes occurred CMC will report Jumbo Frames as enabled.

Please bear in mind that JumboFrame to work properly needs all path traversed by iSCSI data set with an MTU of 9000bytes, this means that virtual switches, and physical switches, if any, must have their interfaces properly configured in order to support frames with a payload size of 9000bytes because otherwise bottlenecks will occurr since switches will fragment packets using smaller MTU size or, in worst case scenario, switches will drop packets if their ports are configured with "Do Not Fragment" policy.

Other blog posts in HP StoreVirtual VSA Series:

HP StoreVirtual VSA Part1 - Installation
HP StoreVirtual VSA Part2 - Initial Configuration
HP StoreVirtual VSA Part3 - Management Groups Clusters and Volumes
HP StoreVirtual VSA Part4 - Multi VSA Cluster

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