StarWind Virtual SAN Provides HA Storage for Hyper-V Clusters with DAS-Based Virtualized iSCSI Devices

Published: February 2015

This document contains openBench Labs analysis that assesses the setup of the High Availability (HA) features of a StarWind Virtual Storage Area Network (Virtual SAN) in a Microsoft® Hyper-V® environment. Using StarWind Virtual SAN software, IT is able to create virtual iSCSI storage devices using internal direct attached storage (DAS) on one or more servers. Virtual iSCSI devices can be shared among multiple Hyper-V hosts to create a cost-effective virtual infrastructure (VI) without single points of failure.

For IT professionals, this paper examines how to use StarWind to implement multiple, software-defined, hyper-converged, Virtual SAN that support VI high-availability (HA) features, including Hyper-V Live Mig ration in a Failover Cluster.

VI capabilities for enhanced availability are motivating CIOs to run business-critical applications, including on-line transaction processing (OLTP) applications on VMs. Consequently, data protection, disaster recovery (DR), high availability (HA), and fault tolerance (FT) are all becoming hot-button IT strategic planning issues for CIOs.

A StarWind Virtual SAN provides critical HA heartbeat and synchronization services to iSCSI targets without requiring special hardware, such as flash devices. With no expensive hardware constraints, a StarWind Virtual SAN enables IT to deploy cost-effective HA host and storage solutions for business-critical applications running on VMs.

The test includes such parts as:

  • Building HA on Virtualized DAS Devices
  • Layering Storage and CPU Availability for Near Fault Tolerance
  • Maximizing iSCSI MPIO Performance Assessment
  • Leveraging Virtual 10GbE NIC Ports
  • StarWind Wizard-Based Configuration
  • Creating Hyper-V Failover Cluster on HA Storage
  • 4-Node Virtual SAN Performance Assessment

Test configuration:

2 x Dell PowerEdge R2950 servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V

1 x HP DL580 server running Windows 2012 and Hyper-V

To test the VI, the researchers created a 3-node HA StarWind Virtual SAN to provide a shared quorum disk for a 2-node Hyper-V Failover Cluster.

To provision the failover Hyper-V cluster with cluster shared volumes (CSV) based on HA storage, they leveraged StarWind’s ability to incorporate an active vSphere StarWind VM with physical Hyper-V servers to create a 4-node HA Virtual SAN. Also, in Windows Server 2012, CSV has been expanded beyond the Hyper-V workloads to include scale-out file server and SQL Server 2014.

StarWind Virtual SAN Provides HA Storage for Hyper-V Clusters with DAS-Based Virtualized iSCSI Devices

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