Traditionally VMware requires having some sort of the shared storage to guarantee the data safety, allow the virtual machines migration, enables continuous application availability and eliminates any single point of failure within IT environment. VMware users have to choose between two options when choosing the shared storage:
• Hyper-Converged solutions, that allows sharing the same hardware resources for the application (i.e. hypervisor, database) and the shares storage, thus decreasing the TCO and achieving the outstanding performance results
• Compute and Storage separated solutions that keeps the compute and storage layers separately from each other, thus making the maintenance easier, increasing the hardware usage efficiency and allows building the system accurately for solving the task
This guide is intended for experienced StarWind users, VMware and Windows system administrators and IT professionals who would like to configure StarWind Virtual SAN solution. It provides a step-by-step guidance on configuring a vSphere cluster using StarWind Virtual SAN to convert storage resources of the three separated general purpose servers into a fault tolerant shared storage resource for ESX.
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.
The diagram bellow illustrates the network and storage configuration of the resulting solution described in the guide.
Creating an HA Device
1. Launch StarWind Management Console.
NOTE: When Console is launched, the StarWind Console icon appears in the system tray.
2. To open StarWind Management Console, double-click the icon. You may also right-click the icon and click Start Management Console on the shortcut menu.
3. From the Console tree select the server.
4. Double-click the hosts to connect it.
5. Open Add Device Wizard by one of the following ways:
• Right-click a StarWind server and select Add Device (advanced) from the shortcut menu.
• Select a StarWind server and click the Add Device (advanced) button on the toolbar.
6. As Add Device Wizard appears, follow the instructions to complete creation of a new image device.
7. Select Hard disk device as the type of a device to be created and click Next to continue.
8. Select the Virtual disk option as a disk device type and click Next to continue.
9. Specify a Virtual disk location and its size. Alternatively, use the existing virtual disk.
10. Select Thick provisioned.
11. Define the caching policy and specify the cache size (in MB).
12. Optionally define the L2 caching policy and the cache size.
13. Specify target parameters and select the Allow multiple concurrent iSCSI connections (clustering) checkbox to enable several clients to connect simultaneously to the target.
14. Click Create to add a new device and attach it to the target.
15. Right-click the needed device and select Replication Manager from the shortcut menu. As Replication Manager is opened, click Add replica or the Click to add replication partner link.
16. Select Synchronous two-way replication as a replication mode.
17. Click Next to proceed.
18. Specify a partner hostname, IP address and port number.
19. Create a new partner device or select an existing device.
20. Click Change network settings…
21. Specify interfaces for synchronization and Heartbeat channels. Note: At least one Heartbeat channel must be separated from a synchronization channel due to availability consideration.
22. Click Create Replica.
23. Click Finish to close the wizard.
24. Add one more replica.
25. Specify a partner hostname, IP address and port number.
Click Next to proceed.
26. Create a new partner device or select an existing device. Click Next. 37. Click Change network settings…
27. Create one more thick provisioned virtual hard drive with configured two synchronous replications.
Configuring ESX Severs
1. Launch web browser and the address of VMware vSphere Client.
2. Enter login and password.
3. Click Login to enter.
4. Click the hosts and Clusters icon from the Inventory panel of the vSphere Client window.
5. Right-click an existing datacenter and select New Cluster. If needed, first click New Datacenter to create a new datacenter.
6. The New Cluster Wizard appears. Specify a name of the cluster.
7. Right-click the cluster to add a host and select add host from the shortcut menu.
8. Add host Wizard appears. Specify a host name or IP address.
9. Enter username and password. Click Next to continue.
10. Check whether the specified information is correct and click Next to continue.
11. Assign the license key to the host.
12. Click Next to continue.
13. Click Finish to close the wizard.
14. Follow the same procedure for another host.
15. Select a host.
16. Select the Manage tab and choose the Networking item. Configure your Virtual switches like on screens below.
17. Follow the same procedure for another host. On second host Configure your Virtual switches like on screens below.
Configuring the ISCSI Initiator
1. Select a host.
2. Click the Manage tab and select the Storage inset and Storage Adapters item.
3. Click add and select Add Software iSCSI Adapter. Click OK.
4. The list of the available storage adapters appears. Select iSCSI Software Adapter. Open Targets.
5. Enter IP address of StarWind node. Click OK.
6. Do same for each StarWind server by clicking Add and specifying the server IP address.
7. In the Rescan dialog click OK.
8. Repeat the same procedure for another cluster host.
Setting up a Datastore
1. Right Click on host and select New datastore.
2. New Datastore wizard appears.
3. Select VMFS.
4. Enter name of datastore (DS1) and device for datastore.
5. Select VMFS 5
6. Enter datastore size.
7. Verify the settings. Click Finish.
8. Check another host for a new datastore. If a new datastore is not listed among the existing datastores, click Rescan all.
9. On other host add another Datastore (DS2) in the same way and check first host for a new datastore.
10. To add the HA feature select the cluster and open Manage -> Settings -> vSphere HA. Click Edit… button.
11. In the Cluster Settings window select the Turn ON vSphere HA checkbox.