In this third post in HP StoreVirtual VSA series we will discuss about creation of Management Groups, Clusters and Volume deployment.
These aforementioned operations can be easily performed using CMC. In the Getting Started page click Management Groups, Clusters and Volumes Wizard.
Let's create a new Management Group. A Management Group is a logical container which allow the management of one or more HP StoreVirtual VSAs, as well as physical appliances counterpart, both on single-site and multi-site configurations.
Select one or more HP StoreVirtual VSAs which be assigned to this Management Group.
Enter Management Group credentials. These credentials will be used for any management task of any HP StoreVirtual belonging to this specific Management Group.
Set an NTP server for automatic time synchronization or set time manually.
A good way to refer to Management Groups is using DNS which is, as you know, not influenced by IP address changes.
Set SMTP to enable notifications from VSAs. This is an important step since notification will include informations about system's health status and in physical counterpart will inform you regarding any physical failure that could occurr in HP StoreVirtual array.
Cluster are, similarly to VMware's ones, groups of VSAs that provide data fault tolerance due to particular configurations like network RAID. In this article we will setup a single site cluster.
Choose cluster name then storage to include in the cluster itself.
Enter cluster's virtual IP address. This IP address is the one who will be used from vSphere, or any other server/VM, to connect to the storage via iSCSI.
This is because due to the highly scalable HP StoreVirtual VSA architecture in this way we can dynamically add new VSAs to the cluster without changing anything in the front-end making our hosts point to the same virtual IP regardless how many HP StoreVirtual VSAs we will introduce in the cluster.
After cluster creation new volumes can be provisioned.
Previous screen deserves some words: Data Protection Level is a very important feature supported by HP StoreVirtual VSA. If in the cluster there are two or more VSAs to achieve a better data protection we can benefit from the network RAID protection which basically spreads data between different VSAs as the common RAID spreads data across different physical disks within the same array. Anyway I will return on this in a coming up post about multi-VSAs clusters.
Reported size, as name suggest, is the size of the provisioned volume. Beside this provisioning as for VMware's virtual machines disks, can be thin or thick.
Adaptive Optimization, as mentioned in previous articles, features the capability of moving frequently accessed data chunks to faster tiers to increase I/Os, though this featues does not comes for free, infact it requires VSA to be backed up by volumes physically placed on both SSDs and hard disks, as well as a dedicated license to enable this feature.
This is the summary, check that everything is set as desired then press Close.
Let's now assign the previously created volume to VMware ESXi hosts.
Right click Servers -> New Server or New Server Cluster if you need the previously created volume to be assigned to more than one host.
Enter host Name, Description and IP Address, then check Allow access via iSCSI and enter host's iqn which can be found in vCenter server under storage initiator configuration.
Enable load balancing feature allow the balancing of iSCSI sessions. All sessions pointing to the previously created virtual IP address will be balanced and managed by different VSAs to prevent bottlenecks and increase in storage response time.
CHAP can also be configured here. As a best practice CHAP should be enabled to prevent unauthorized access to HP StoreVirtual VSA.
Once server/server cluster has been created we need to specify which volume can be accessed by which hosts. Since I've created just VOLUME_TEST I will assign it to my ESXi host.
Right click VOLUME_TEST, Assign and Unassign Servers.
Select server/server cluster and choose the proper permission of the host on the volume.
Next step is to present HP StoreVirtual VSA to ESXi hosts as the iSCSI target. This is done accessing host's storage panel, and assigning either Static or Dynamic target, configuring CHAP, etc. pointing to HP StoreVirtual VSA virtual IP address created during Cluster configuration.
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