Simplify storage management with Microsoft Systems Center VMM (SCVMM) and SMI-S
Posted by Ivan Ischenko on March 8, 2018

Manage StarWind VSAN storage from SCVMM using SMI-S - new logical volume for our StarWind device

SMI-S or ‘Storage Management Initiative – Specification’ is a standard of a storage management (surprise!) which gives you a chance to administrate the storage layer using ‘Common Information Model’ and Web-Based Enterprise Management technologies and logic. The main point of SMI-S is to provide a single standard to manage various storage systems from different vendors pretty much in the same way. In this article (?) we will show you how to manage your storage using SCVMM 2016 (Server Center Virtual Machine Manager) through SMI-S, and how this whole thing works in general. We’ll use StarWind Virtual SAN as a reference distributed storage platform, but the primary scope of this document is to cover the subject in general, so any SMI-S compatible storage will work.

(more…)

Managing StarWind Virtual SAN infrastructure in a web browser. Part 2: StarWind VSA
Posted by Kateryna Rudenko on February 6, 2018

StarWind Management Console

Currently, there are two options for managing StarWind-based infrastructure via web: StarWind Gateway VM and StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA). So today, I’m gonna describe the second option which allows easily managing your StarWind Virtual SAN infrastructure from any point of the world using any web browser.

StarWind Linux-based Virtual Storage Appliance is the best way to instantly deploy StarWind Virtual SAN to test its functions without having to change your already-existing infrastructure. StarWind VSA supports all industry-standard hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, and KVM and includes Web Management Console allowing to use any HTML5-capable web browser. StarWind VSA is really simple to deploy and manage, requiring no special skills from the on-site IT-team.

(more…)

Cluster Rolling Upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016
Posted by Boris Yurchenko on January 11, 2018

During its lifetime, any system reaches a point when it needs to be upgraded, either in terms of hardware or software. Today, I will talk about such changes, in particular, about upgrading Windows Failover Cluster nodes from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 with no production interruption. Thanks to Microsoft, we do have a Cluster Rolling Upgrade procedure at our fingertips, and I am going to get through it and confirm it works for virtualized disks as cluster shared volumes in Windows Failover Cluster. This procedure assumes rebuilding nodes with clean OS deployment one by one, while the production keeps running from the other cluster node.

To begin with, I have a 2-node Windows Failover Cluster with Windows Server 2012 R2 installed on the nodes. The cluster has got 2 CSVs along with the Quorum. The whole system is configured in a hyperconverged scenario.

Joining a node to a Windows Failover Cluster

(more…)

Combining Virtual SAN (vSAN) with Microsoft Storage Spaces for greater Performance and better Resiliency
Posted by Vitalii Feshchenko on December 13, 2017

Introduction

Previously, we went through the Storage Spaces configuration journey.

The latest step was the creation of the storage pool and the virtual disk.

Today I would like to proceed from that point on and create Highly Available (HA) devices with StarWind Virtual SAN on Storage Spaces as an underlying storage. The main goal of this post is to run the performance tests of StarWind Highly Available (HA) devices located on Storage Spaces created in different ways (Simple and Mirror). StarWind HA devices will be mirrored between two hosts via a 40Gbps synchronization channel.

StarWind HA with Storage Spaces environment diagram

 

(more…)

High Availability and Disaster Recovery with SQL Server AlwaysOn: FCI quick walk through
Posted by Bogdan Savchenko on September 19, 2017

Introduction

Greetings, fellow sysadmins and everyone who is still wondering how to make their SQL server highly available! You’re just in time since I’ve prepared for you detailed guidelines with pictures and explanations on how to achieve this goal by using the SQL Server AlwaysOn approach! The great thing is that we are also going to configure and review the full-fledged system with the disaster recovery scenarios implemented. I’ve decided to break this topic into 3 parts. First, we will go through the process of configuring AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instance (FCI), the next part of this series will cover the deployment of a DR site for our cluster using AlwaysOn Availability Groups, and finally, we will learn more about how to achieve the same using 3rd party software.

shared storage configuration for Primary Data Center

(more…)

Nested Virtualization in Azure with StarWind Virtual SAN. Part 1: Introduction
Posted by Dmytro Malynka on September 12, 2017

At Microsoft Build 2017, the Nested Virtualization support in Azure has been announced. Now you can enable nested virtualization using the Dv3 and Ev3 VM sizes – not a wide variety, but Microsoft is going to expand the support for more VM sizes in the upcoming months.

Azure Nested Virtualization diagramm

(more…)

Free SMB3 Failover File Server on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016
Posted by Ivan Ischenko on August 3, 2017

In the previous article, we have created a free SMB3 file server. I decided to proceed with the testing of Microsoft Server Hyper-V 2016 free version possibilities. In this post, I will try to create Highly Available devices with StarWind Virtual SAN and then create a Microsoft Failover Cluster to make a Highly Available File Server.

We are using 2 servers with Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 added into a domain (Hyper-V-1; Hyper-V-2). Client node with Windows Server 2016 (2016-client-test).

Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 servers added into a domain

 

(more…)

StarWind VVols for VMware vSphere Environment
Posted by Dmytro Malynka on June 16, 2017

VMDK file to LUN storage architecture has been the most usable scenario for years until VMware released Virtual Volumes in vSphere 6.0. In the case of an array with block access, own VMware file system – VMFS  – was used -, and NFS was used for file storage. The array capacity was divided into LUNs or NFS-shares and presented ESXi hosts in the datastore form. Frequently, datastore is a large capacity storage housing numerous VMs. In fact, allocating a separate datastore for each VM is quite inconvenient and time-consuming in terms of administration.

With this approach, the VM storage maintenance operations are at the datastore level, and not at the Virtual Machine level. The operations like snapshots, replication, deduplication, encryption, etc. are performed at the storage level, thus being implemented faster with no use of compute and networking resources. The traditional VM storage technology described in vSphere is still supported. At once, Virtual Volumes (VVols) is an object containing VM files virtual disks and their derivatives.

This handy and at the same time advanced technology was integrated with StarWind Products, that I am about to implement.

(more…)

Design a ROBO infrastructure. Part 4: HCI solutions
Posted by Andrea Mauro on June 7, 2017

2-nodes hyperconverged solution

As written in the previous post, for ROBO scenario the most interesting HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure) configuration is a two nodes configuration, considering that two nodes could be enough to run dozen VMs (or also more).

For this reason, not all hyperconverged solutions could be suitable for this case (for example Nutanix or Simplivity need at least 3 nodes). And is not simple scale down an enterprise solution to a small size, due to the architecture constraints.

Actually, there are some interesting products specific for HCI in ROBO scenario:

  • VMware Virtual SAN in a 2 nodes clusters
  • StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance
  • StorMagic SvSAN

StarWind Virtual SAN overall architecture

(more…)

StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance Linux edition
Posted by Alex Bykovskyi on May 5, 2017

Introduction

This article describes the new StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance, which was released on 26th of April. StarWind has always been a Windows native solution. However, due to market trends and the huge interest of our customers, we have decided to work in Linux direction. The main goal of the article is to show what StarWind VSA can do for clients and how you can work with it.

StarWind Linux-based VSA

(more…)