StarWind Resource Library

StarWind Virtual SAN Hyper-Converged 3 Nodes Scenario with Hyper-V Cluster

Published: June 11, 2015

Introduction

Traditionally, minimal hardware requirement for a fault tolerant Hyper-V failover cluster setup is: 2 Hyper-V hosts, 2 or more servers or SANs to provide shared storage to the cluster and also replicate it in real time for data access redundancy. 3 JBOD Enclosures and proprietary SAS fabric interconnect is required if Clustered storage spaces are used as the storage layer. This often makes the setup complex and expensive to implement from both cost and management prospective.

StarWind Virtual SAN® allows users to create a fully redundant, fault tolerant Hyper-V failover cluster and shared storage for it using 2 or 3 Hyper-V hosts and their local storage, without any dedicated storage hardware or proprietary equipment necessary.

This introduces an added value compared to the native storage solutions available for Hyper-V. This guide is intended for experienced 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 hyper-converged 3-node Hyper-V cluster using StarWind Virtual SAN to convert local storage of the Hyper-V hosts into a fault tolerant shared storage resource for Hyper-V.

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

Here is a reference network diagram of the configuration described in this guide.

Additional network connections may be necessary depending on cluster setup and applications its running.

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 all 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 «<!–<iScsiDiscoveryListInterfaces value=»1»/> –>» and uncomment it (it should look as follows: <iScsiDiscoveryListInterfaces value=»1»/>). 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.

Enabling Multipath Support

1. Open the MPIO manager: Start->Administrative Tools->MPIO.

2. Go to the Discover Multi-Paths tab.

3. Tick the Add support for iSCSI devices checkbox.

4. Click Add.

5. When prompted to restart the server, click Yes to proceed.

NOTE: Repeat procedures on the all servers.

Configuring Shared Storage

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

NOTE: StarWind Management Console cannot be installed to 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.

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 that 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.

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

11. 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.

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

13. Right-click on the servers field and select Add Server. Add new StarWind Server, which will be used as second HA node.

Click OK to continue.

14. Right-click on the servers field and select Add Server again. Add new StarWind Server, which will be used as third HA node.

Click OK to continue.

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

Replication Manager Window will appear. Press Add Replica button.

16. Select Synchronous Two-Way Replication.

Click Next to proceed.

17. 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.

18. Choose Create new Partner Device

Click Next.

19. Specify partner device location if necessary. You can also modify the target name of the device.

Click Next.

20. 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….

21. Specify the interfaces for synchronization and heartbeat.

Click OK. Then click Next.

22. Select partner device initialization mode Do not Syncronize.
NOTE: Use this type of synchronization for adding partner to the device which doesn’t contain any data only.

Click Next.

23. Press the Create Replica button. Then click Close to close the wizard.

24. Click Add replica again. Select Synchronous Two-Way Replication as a replication mode.

Click Next to proceed.

25. 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.

26. Choose Create new Partner Device.

Click Next.

27. Specify partner device location if necessary. You can also modify the target name of the device.

Click Next.

28. 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….

29. Specify the interfaces for synchronization and heartbeat.

Click OK. Then click Next.

30. Select partner device initialization mode Synchronize from existing Device.

Click Next.

31. Press the Create Replica button. Then click Close to close the wizard.

32. 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:

1. Launch Microsoft iSCSI Initiator: Start > Administrative Tools > iSCSI Initiator or iscsicpl from the command line interface. The iSCSI Initiator Properties window appears.

2. Navigate to the Discovery tab.

3. Click the Discover Portal button. Discover Target Portal dialog appears. Type in 127.0.0.1.

Click on Advanced button. Select Microsoft ISCSI Initiator as your Local adapter and select your Initiator IP (leave default for 127.0.0.1).

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

4. Click Discover Portal… button again.

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

Click Advanced.

6. 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.

7. Click the Discover Portal button once again.

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

Click Advanced.

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 the Target Portal discovery.

10. Discover Target Portal dialog will appear. Type in the IP address of the partner node you will use to connect to the third 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 second partner server from the previous step.

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

12. Click Discover Portal… button again. Type in the IP address of the partner node you will use to connect to the secondary mirrors of HA devices.

Click Advanced.

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. All target portals added on the first node.

15. Complete the steps (1-14) for the second and third node.

16. All target portals added on the second node.

17. All target portals added on the third node.

Connecting Targets

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 CSV1. Select CSV1 target located on the local server and click Connect.

3. Enable checkbox as the image below.

Press Advanced.

4. Select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator in the Local adapter text field.
In the Target portal IP select 127.0.0.1.

Click OK.

5. Select the partner target from the second StarWind node and click Connect.

6. Enable checkbox as the image below.

Press Advanced.

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

Click OK.

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

9. Enable all checkbox and press Advanced.

10. This time in target portal IP in dropdown list select another data channel IP addresses for initiator and target portal.

Click OK, click OK again to connect to the target.

11. Select the partner target from the third node and click Connect again.

12. Enable checkbox as the image below.

Press Advanced.

13. This time in target portal IP in dropdown list select data channel IP addresses from the other subnet for initiator and target portals.

Click OK. Click OK again to connect to the target.

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

15. Enable all checkbox and press Advanced.

16. This time in target portal IP in dropdown list select another data channel IP addresses for initiator and target portal.

Click OK, click OK again to connect to the target.

17. Repeat the actions described in the steps (1-16) for the rest of HA devices.

18. Repeat steps 1-17 of this section on the second and third StarWind nodes, specifying corresponding local and data channel IP addresses. The result should look like the screenshot below.

Multipath Configuration

1. Configure the MPIO policy for each device specifying localhost (127.0.0.1) as the active path. Select a target of witness located on the local server and click Devices…

2. Devices dialog will appear. Click MPIO.

3. Select Fail Over Only load balance policy and then designate the local path as active.

4. You can check that 127.0.0.1 is the active path by selecting it from the list and clicking Details.

5. Repeat the same steps for all devices on the second and third nodes.

6. Initialize the disks and create partitions on them using computer management snap-in. It is required that disk devices are visible on all three nodes to create the cluster.

NOTE: it is recommended to initialize disks as GPT.

Creating a Cluster

1. Open Server Manager. Select the Failover Cluster Manager item from the Tools menu.

2. Click the Create Cluster link in the Actions section of the Failover Cluster Manger.

3. Specify the servers to be added to the cluster.

Click Next to continue.

4. Validate the configuration by passing the cluster validation tests: select “Yes…”

Click Next to continue.

5. Specify a cluster name.

NOTE: If the cluster servers get IP addresses over DHCP, the cluster also gets its IP address over DHCP. If the IP addresses are static, you have to provide the cluster IP address manually.

Click Next to continue.

6. Make sure that all the settings are correct. Click Previous to make any changes.

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

Click Finish to close the wizard.

Adding Cluster Shared Volumes

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

1. Open Failover Cluster Manager.

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

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

Once the disks are added to the cluster shared volumes list you can start creating highly available virtual machines.

NOTE: to avoid unnecessary CSV overhead configure each CSV to be owned by one cluster node. This node should also be the preferred owner of the VMs running on that node.