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StarWind Virtual SAN® for vSphere Installation and Configuration guide

Published: September 25, 2018

INTRODUCTION

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere comes as a prepackaged Linux virtual machine to be installed as a VM on vSphere. It creates a VM-centric and high performing storage pool for VMware Cluster.

This guide is intended for experienced system administrators and IT professionals who would like to install and use StarWind Virtual SAN as a shared storage back-end. It describes the deployment and configuration process of the StarWind Virtual SAN with VMware vSphere.

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 community, Frequently Asked Questions page, or use the support form to contact our technical support department.

Components

  • Prepackaged VM with StarWind Virtual SAN downloaded from StarWind website.

Virtual Machine requirements

StarWind Virtual SAN VM requires to have minimum of 4 virtual processors with 2 GHz reserved, 4 GB of RAM, 3 NIC ports dedicated as separate vSwitches for management, StarWind synchronization and iSCSI traffic to ensure the proper functioning of Virtual SAN.

Installation quick steps

1.Download zip archive that contains StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere.

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-virtual-san#download

2. Extract virtual machine files

3. Deploy a virtual machine to the vSphere. Right-click on the host and select“Deploy OVF template” from a drop-down menu.

4. In the first step of the wizard, point to the location of the OVF template. Select VM files and click Next.

5. Specify the name and location for the StarWind Virtual SAN VM.

6. Select a resource for the StarWind Virtual SAN VM.

7. Review the information about the VM.

8. Select the storage for the VM.

9. Select networks for the VM.

10. Click Finish to start the deployment process.

By default, the StarWind Virtual SAN virtual machine will receive IP address automatically via DHCP. It is recommended to create a DHCP reservation and set a static IP address for this VM. In order to access StarWind Virtual SAN VM from the local network, the virtual machine must have access to the network. In case there is no DHCP server, the connection to the VM can be established using the VMware console and static IP address can be configured manually.

11. Next, open a web browser and enter the IP address of the VM, which it had received via DHCP (or had it assigned manually).

Alternatively, log in to the VM via the VMware console and assign static IP address by editing configuration file of the interface located by the following path:
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts.

Open that file and change:
BOOTPROTO=dhcp To: BOOTPROTO=static

Add the IP settings needed to the file:
IPADDR=192.168.13.103
NETMASK=255.255.254.0
GATEWAY=192.168.12.1
DNS1=192.168.1.17

By default, the Management link should have ens192 interface name. Configuration file should look as following.

Restart interface using following cmdlet: ifdown ens192 && ifup ens192

12. Log in to StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere using the following default credentials:

Username: root

Password: root


13.
After the successful login, on the left sidebar, click Accounts.

Select a user and click Set Password.

14. On the left sidebar, click Networking.

Here, Management IP address of the StarWind Virtual SAN Virtual Machine, as well as IP addresses for iSCSI and Synchronization networks can be configured.

In case Network interface is inactive, click on the interface and turn it on.

15. Configure automatic storage rescan. Open Terminal page. Edit file /opt/StarWind/StarWindVSA/drive_c/StarWind/hba_rescan.ps1 with the following command:
nano /opt/StarWind/StarWindVSA/drive_c/StarWind/hba_rescan.ps1

In the appropriate lines, specify the IP address and login credentials of the ESXi host on which the current StarWind VM is stored and running:

$ESXiHost1 = “IP address”

$ESXiUser = “Login”

$ESXiPassword = “Password”

16. Install StarWind Management Console on a workstation with Windows OS (Windows 7 or higher, Windows Server 2008 R2 and higher). The installation guide can be found here:

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/resource-library/starwind-virtual-san-quick-start-guide-installation

NOTE: StarWind Management Console and Powershell Management Library are required.

17. Select the appropriate option to apply the StarWind License key:

  • Request a time-limited fully functional evaluation key.
  • Request FREE version key.
  • Use a fully-functional commercial license key sent with the purchase of StarWind Virtual SAN.

Once the appropriate license key has been received, it should be applied to StarWind Virtual SAN service via Management Console or Powershell.

Open StarWind Management Console and click Add Server.

Type the IP address of the StarWind Virtual SAN in the pop-up window.

Click Connect.

Click Apply Key… on the pop-up window.

Click Load.

Select the appropriate license key.

As an alternative, PowerShell can be used. Open StarWind InstallLicense.ps1 script with PowerShell ISE as administrator. It can be found here:
C:\Program Files\StarWind Software\StarWind\StarWindX\Samples\powershell\InstallLicense.ps1

Type the IP address of StarWind Virtual SAN VM and credentials of StarWind Virtual SAN service (defaults login: root, password: starwind).

Add the path to the license key.

After the license key is applied, StarWind devices can be created.

NOTE: In order to manage StarWind Virtual SAN service (e.g. create ImageFile devices, VTL devices etc.), StarWind Management Console can be used.

Storage Configuration

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere can work on top of Hardware RAID or Linux Software RAID (MDADM) inside of the Virtual Machine.

This part describes the deployment process of StarWind Virtual SAN HA devices on top of Hardware RAID.

18. Add a new virtual disk to the StarWind Virtual SAN VM. (Make sure it is Thick Provisioned Eager Zeroed). Virtual Disk should be located on the datastore provided by hardware RAID.

Find the Virtual Disk which was added.

HINT: The added disk does not have any partitions and filesystem.

Click Format.

Create the XFS partition. The mount point should be as following: /mnt/%yourdiskname%

Click Format.

19. On the storage page of the disk, navigate to the Filesystem tab. Click Mount.

20. Connect to StarWind Virtual SAN from the StarWind Management Console or from Web Console. Click Yes.

Select the disk which was recently mounted.

The additional information on how to work with StarWind devices can be found here:

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/resource-library?type=tp

In order to configure Starwind Virtual SAN Hyperconverged 2-node scenario with VMware vSphere 6.5, check the Preparing Hypervisor for StarWind Deployment, Provisioning Storage with StarWind VSAN and Preparing Datastores parts of the following guide:

https://www.starwindsoftware.com/resource-library/starwind-virtual-san-hyperconverged-2-node-scenario-with-vmware-vsphere-6-5

CONCLUSION

StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere has been deployed and configured successfully. Now, the shared storage can be created and connected to the cluster.