StarWind Resource Library

StarWind Virtual SAN Compute and Storage Separated 3-node with Hyper-V

Published: June 10, 2015

Introduction

This document shows how to configure StarWind Virtual SAN® on 3 dedicated servers to provide fault tolerant shared storage to a client hypervisor cluster. A configuration with a dedicated SAN layer gives customers the ability to provide both block level and file level storage to the clients, resulting in a unified SAN/NAS solution, which can be used for different applications and virtualization environments at the same time. It also allows users to configure StarWind Virtual SAN as a gateway to consolidate their heterogeneous storage environment into a single storage resource pool. Backend SANs can be a mix of different SANs from different vendors using different storage media like FC and iSCSI.

This guide is intended for experienced Windows system administrators and IT professionals who would like to configure a Hyper-V cluster using StarWind Virtual SAN to convert the local or iSCSI attached storage of the cluster nodes into a fault tolerant shared storage resource to be then presented to the client servers using iSCSI protocol.

A full set of up-to-date technical documentation can always be found here, or by pressing the Help button in the StarWind Management Console.

For any technical inquiries, please visit our online communityFrequently Asked Questions page, or use the support form to contact our technical support department.

Pre-Configuring the Servers

1. This document assumes that you have a domain controller and you have added the servers to the domain. It also assumes that you have installed the Failover Clustering and Multipath I/O features, as well as the Hyper-V role on both servers. These actions can be performed using Server Manager (the Add Roles and Features wizard).

2. In order to allow StarWind Virtual SAN to use the Loopback accelerator driver and access the local copy of the data faster you have to make a minor modification to the StarWind configuration file.

Locate the configuration file and open it using Notepad. The default path is: C:\Program Files\StarWind Software\StarWind\StarWind.cfg

3. Find the string «» and uncomment it (it should look as follows: ). Save the changes and exit Notepad. Should there be any issues saving the document, launch Notepad with Administrator rights and then load the StarWind.cfg file to make modifications.

4. Restart the StarWind Service and repeat the same procedure on the second and third StarWind nodes.

Creating Highly Available Storage for the Failover Cluster

1. Launch the StarWind Management Console: double-click the StarWind tray icon.

NOTE: StarWind Management Console cannot be installed on an operating system without a GUI. You can install it on any of the GUI-enabled Windows Editions including the desktop versions of Windows.

If StarWind Service and Management Console are installed on the same server, the Management Console will automatically add the local StarWind instance to the console tree after the first launch. In future, the Management Console will automatically connect to it using the default credentials.

NOTE: The default login and password are “root” and “starwind”. You can always change them later. It’s strongly recommended to change the default username/password to protect your StarWind Server from unauthorized access.

2. StarWind Management console will ask you to specify the default storage pool on the server you’re connecting to for the first time. Please configure the storage pool to use one of the volumes you’ve prepared earlier. All devices created through Add Device wizard will be stored on it. Should you decide to use an alternative storage path for your StarWind virtual disks, please use Add Device (advanced) menu item.

Press Yes button to configure the storage pool. Should you require to change the storage pool destination, press Choose path… and point the browser to the necessary disk.

NOTE: Each array which will be used by StarWind Virtual SAN to store virtual disk images has to meet the following requirements:

• Initialized as GPT
• Have a single NTFS-formatted partition
• Have a drive letter assigned

3. Select the StarWind server where you wish to create the device.

4. Press Add Device (advanced) button on the toolbar.

5. Add Device Wizard will appear. Select Hard disk device and click Next.

6. Select Virtual disk and click Next.

7. Specify the virtual disk location and size.

Click Next.

8. Specify virtual disk options.

Click Next.

9. Define caching policy and specify cache size (in MB).

Click Next.

10. Define L2 caching policy and size if necessary. Click Next to continue.

11. Specify destination directory for L2 cache, if any.

NOTE: It is strongly recommended to use SSD-based storage for L2 caching.

12. Specify target parameters.

Select the Target Name checkbox to enter a custom name of a target.
Otherwise, the name will be generated automatically based on the target alias.

Click Next to continue.

13. Click Create to add a new device and attach it to the target. Then click Finish to close the wizard.

14. Right-click on the device you just created and select Replication Manager.

Replication Manager Window will appear. Press Add Replica button.

15. Select Synchronous Two-Way Replication.

Click Next to proceed.

16. Specify the partner server IP address.

Default StarWind management port is 3261. If you have configured a different port, please type it in the Port Number field.

Click Next.

17. Choose Create new Partner Device.

Click Next.

18. On this screen you can select the synchronization and heartbeat channels for the HA device.

You can also modify the ALUA settings and modify the target name of the device.

Click Change network settings….

19. Specify the interfaces for synchronization and heartbeat.

Click OK. Then click Next.

20. Press the Create Replica button. Then click Finish to close the wizard.

21. Click Add replica again. Select Synchronous two-way replication as a replication mode.

22. Specify the partner hostname, IP address and port number.

23. Select Create new Partner Device.

24. Click Change Network Settings.

25. Specify interfaces for synchronization and heartbeat channels.

26. Create replica and click Finish to close the wizard.

27. The successfully added devices will appear in StarWind Management Console.

Repeat steps 3 – 20 for the remaining virtual disks that will be used as Cluster Shared Volumes.

Once all devices are created Management console should look as follows:

NOTE: It is recommended to create at least one CSV volume per cluster node according to StarWind Virtual SAN best practices.

Discovering Target Portals

In this chapter we will connect the previously created disks to the servers that will be added to the cluster:

This document assumes that you have already installed the Multipath I/O feature (enabled for iSCSI devices via MPIO manager) on hypervisor servers. This configuration can be performed using Server Manager via Add Roles and Features wizard.

1. Launch Microsoft iSCSI Initiator: Start > Administrative Tools > iSCSI Initiator or iscsicpl from command line interface. iSCSI Initiator Properties window will appear.

2. Navigate to Discovery tab.

3. Click Discover Portal button. Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Specify the ip address of the first StarWind server.

4. Click on Advanced button. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator as your Local adapter and select your Initiator IP.

Click OK. Then click OK again to complete Target Portal discovery.

5. Click Discover Portal button again.

6. Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Type in the second IP address of the first StarWind server.

Click on Advanced button.

7. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator as your Local adapter, select the Initiator IP in the same subnet as the IP address on the partner server from the previous step.

Click OK. Then click OK again to complete the Target Portal discovery.

8. Click on Discover Portal button once again.

Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Type in the first IP address of the partner node you will use to connect to the secondary mirrors of HA devices.

9. Select Microsoft ISCSI Initiator as your Local adapter, select the Initiator IP in the same subnet as the IP address on the partner server from the previous step.

Click OK. Then click OK again to complete Target Portal discovery.

10. Click on Discover Portal button once again.

Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Type in the second IP address of the partner node you will use to connect to the secondary mirrors of HA devices.

11. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator as your Local adapter, select the Initiator IP in the same subnet as the IP address on the partner server from the previous step.

Click OK. Then click OK again to complete Target Portal discovery.

12. Click on Discover Portal button once again.

Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Type in the first IP address of the second partner node you will use to connect to the secondary mirrors of HA devices.

13. Select Microsoft ISCSI Initiator as your Local adapter, select the Initiator IP in the same subnet as the IP address on the partner server from the previous step.

Click OK. Then click OK again to complete the Target Portal discovery.

14. Click on Discover Portal button once again.

Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Type in the second IP address of the second partner node you will use to connect to the secondary mirrors of HA devices.

15. Select Microsoft ISCSI Initiator as your Local adapter, select the Initiator IP in the same subnet as the IP address on the partner server from the previous step.

16. All target portals added on the first hypervisor server.

17. Complete the same steps for the rest of the client nodes.

Connecting Targets and Configuring Multipathing

1. Click on Targets tab. The previously created targets are listed under Discovered targets section.

NOTE: If the created targets are not listed, check the firewall settings of the StarWind Server as well as the list of networks served by the StarWind Server (go to StarWind Management Console -> Configuration -> Network).

2. Connecting witness. Select a target of witness located on the first StarWind server and click Connect.

3. Check Add this connection to the list of Favorite Targets and Enable multi-path checkboxes in the Connect to Target dialog.

Click on Advanced button .

4. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in the Local adapter text field.

5. In the Target portal IP select the first portal IP. Click OK.

6. Select the same target like in step before and again click Connect. Check Add this connection to the list of Favorite Targets and Enable multi-path checkboxes in the Connect to Target dialog. Click on Advanced button.

7. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in the Local adapter text field.

8. In the Target portal IP select the second portal IP. Click OK.

9. Select the partner-target from second StarWind and click Connect.

10. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in the Local adapter text field. In the Initiator IP field select the IP address. In the Target portal IP select the corresponding portal IP from the same subnet.

Click OK.

11. Select the same target like in step before and again click Connect.

12. This time in target portal IP in dropdown list select datachannel IP addresses from the other subnet for initiator and target portals. Click OK.

13. Select the partner-target from the third StarWind node and click Connect.

14. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in the Local adapter text field. In the Initiator IP field select the IP address. In the Target portal IP select the corresponding portal IP from the same subnet.

Click OK.

15. Select the same target like in step before and again click Connect.

16. This time in target portal IP in dropdown list select datachannel IP addresses from the other subnet for initiator and target portals. Click OK.

17. Repeat actions described in the steps above for the rest of HA devices (CSV1 and CSV2).

18. After that repeat the same steps described in this section on the rest of hypervisor servers, specifying corresponding IP addresses. You should get the result like on the screen below.

19. After that initialize the disks and create partitions, as if they were physical hard drives.

Creating a Cluster

1 . Creating a client cluster

2 . Select cluster nodes

3 . Optional: pass the validation tests

4 . Select cluster name and cluster IP address

5 . Verify cluster settings before creating

6 . The process of cluster creation starts. After it is completed, the system will display a report with detailed information.

7 . Click Finish to close the wizard.

Adding Cluster Shared Volumes

To add Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) that is necessary to work with Hyper-V virtual machines:

1. Open Failover Cluster Manager.

2. Go to Cluster->Storage -> Disks.

3. Right-click the required disk and select Add to Cluster Shared Volumes.

Conclusion

You have configured StarWind Virtual SAN on 3 dedicated servers providing fault tolerant shared storage to a Hyper-V cluster