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HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

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prav316
Visitor

HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

Good day,

 

Not sure if I am posting this in the right place. I am in need of assistance with setting up VSA on my Dell R620 server that has VMware Esxi 5.5. The server has 8 drives 600GB each. I would like to know the best way to configure RAID in the bios before installing Esxi and then the VSA VM.

I have never done anything like this before so any detailed help would be appreciated. If any other details are required please let me know. This is an urgent requirement from my Unviersity to test out VSA and the only tutorial I found is on youtube and deals with Esxi 4.0!

 

Thank you in advance

6 REPLIES
a_o
Valued Contributor

Re: HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

VSA's are really agnostic to the underlying hardware configuration.
They can work with datastores based on virtual hard disks or pass-through disks.
You will have to decide what level of hardware RAID is appropriate for your application's performance and availability needs .


Being that VSAs offer redundancy with network raid, it can be said that the hardware raid configuration on a node is not as critical.

If these 8 drives are to be dedicated to the VSA, I would create a single RAID5 array. However, it seems that you'll be installing ESXi also on these drives. In this case, I'll create 2 separate LUNS on the Raid5 array. One for ESXi, and one for the VSA or other VMs you might need to create as part of this test.

Then, I would use VMDKs during the VSA installation, as it gives the most flexibility long term.

You  should realize that you would need at least two of the servers for a true test.
I.e. two VSAs, each running on two different servers.
Additionally, you would need a 3rd node for the FOM.

prav316
Visitor

Re: HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

Today I created the Raid5 array using all the drives and installed ESXi on this. Tomorrow I'll be attempting to complete the configuration using HP CMC, hopefully I can figure out my way through this.

 

As you said this server is to be dedicated to the VSA, no other VM's would be installed. After this installation is completed successfully we will be purchasing other servers in addition to the one I am using now. As well as purchasing the VSA software.

 

I am not really versed in the terminology, can I ask whats FOM.

 

Thanks for the help thusfar you have made my life a bit easier.

a_o
Valued Contributor
Solution

Re: HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

FOM: Fail Over Manager. This is a requirement for running clustered StoreVirtual nodes. It acts as a tie breaker for the maintaining the cluster's quorum. A cluster consists of 2 or more nodes running LH OS (Storevirtual) software.
It installs as  a virtual machine (ESXi or HyperV)

I suggest you download and read these guides:

http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF.aspx%2F4AA2-5247ENW.pdf
http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx%2F4AA4-8440ENW.pdf

http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c03035314/c03035314.pdf

 

What exactly are you testing? Performance? Availablility? Or, suitability to task requirements?

I ask because you've mentioned that you will be buying and installing other servers later.

 

IMO, to properly test StoreVirtual, you need at least two physical hosts running your choice of hypervisor.

This way your data is stored on a storage cluster, so that if one server goes down your data is still available.
Additionally,  best practice says you should run the FOM on a third physical server so that  your cluster does not end up in what's called a split-brain state where the surviving  node does not know that it's the only node 'alive'.

 

Technically, the function of a FOM could be handled by a 'special manager' running on one of the nodes. But that configuration does not offer full fault -tolerance.

 

Finally, you don't need CMC to install VSA. For ESXi, you run the .exe on your PC and point it to  install on your ESXi host by supplying its IP address (or FQDN) and ESXi credentials.
CMC should be installed on a PC (It does not need to be installed on a server) It's used to manage already installed VSAs.

prav316
Visitor

Re: HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

More or less I have been tasked with how to install the VSA and configure it so the storage can be accessed. Eventually we will be using this to store backups of our data centre (Also VMs on ESXi). I will relay your suggestion that to properly test we need at least another server. I was also curious as to whether the same functionality can be achieved without using ESXi? As I think, if it is possible, it would be easier to implement?

Thanks for the links I will begin my reading tomorrow. I really just went in headfirst into this project with no prior experience thinking I could figure it out easily. Of course I realise I should now read up properly before trying to implement it.

a_o
Valued Contributor

Re: HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

WRT if using ESXi is a requirement: The V  in VSA stands for virtual, so you need a hypervisor. However, you could use Hyper V or ESXi - including the free versions of both.

If the purpose of the test is just to see how easy it is to install, then you don't need a second node.

Additionally, a case could be made that if you're just going to be storing backups on the VSA, you could do it with just one node.
StoreVirtual has no leg up on most other ISCSI based storage for something that simple.

Storevirtual really shines when you want high availiability or redundancy in your storage - above what hardware Raid on single node will give you. Also, there are other benefits such as capacity and performance scale-out as you add nodes, offloaded snapshots, LUN cloning and stretch clustering, e.t.c.

prav316
Visitor

Re: HP VSA On Dell R620 Raid Configuration

Thank you so much for your help so far. I was able to complete the installation and configuration and now I can access the storage from my servers running ESXi.