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VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

 
Carlos Reis
Occasional Visitor

VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

Hello, I want to build a failover cluster in Windows server 2008 with a MSA1000 SAN. I'm not able to find the VDS Hardware provider from HP for server 2008. Are there other possibilitys to resolve this problem?
6 REPLIES 6
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

As far as I can tell, there is no W2008 VDS HWP available, yet. What problem do you have? The HWP is only necessary if you want to manage a storage array through Microsoft's "SAN Manager" MMC plugin. You can manage the MSA1000 from the command line (via the serial maintenance port at the front of a controller module) or the Array Configuration Utility (ACU) installed under Windows.
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BillyClark
Advisor

Re: VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

Hi,

I am also looking for a VDS HWP for Windows Server 2008 x64.

I did manage to get the Server 2003 x 64 bit versions working by installing on Server 2008 in Server 2003 compatibility mode but this has obvious issues and limitations.

For example if you create a 72GB LUN in Storage Manager for SANS it creates a new array with the minimum number of disks required to house the LUN thereby â wastingâ the remaining space on the disks. There is no option to change the RAID level and RAID 6 (ADG) is chosen by default. You cannot configure spares for the array and Storage Manager for SANS flatly refuses to create LUNS on an existing array created through the HP ACU. It does however recognise LUNS created in an existing array.

This version is available here:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DriverDownload.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=499900&taskId=135&prodTypeId=18964&prodSeriesId=499896〈=en&cc=us

Microsoft have made great leaps forward in SAN management with Server 2008 and many roles have deep integration with their VDS, SAN and cluster features.

For example there is a suggestion that their System Centre Virtual Machine Manager 2008 will be able to create and spin-up LUNS if the storage is entirely manageable through Storage Manager for SANS.

This would be an extremely useful feature as their Hyper-V virtualisation platform requires that each and every virtual machine has itâ s own LUN to allow the virtual machine to be made highly available by the cluster service by LUN transfer to another virtual machine host.

I hope this helps us get the Server 2008 VDS HWP.

Regards

Billy

Bill Tait
Occasional Visitor

Re: VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

We have purchased an EVA4400 and want to use Virtual Machine Manager to make our Hyper-V virtual servers Highly Available(clustered).
Have you been able to succesfully do this with HP StorageWorks EVA VDS and VSS Hardware Providers installed(5.0 for Windows 2008) using Storage Manager for SANS?
BillyClark
Advisor

Re: VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

Hi William,

Sorry I don't have any experience with the EVA4400 but here is my abbreviated version of my experiences:

We have BL480c blades in c7000 Blade enclosure with integral HP Brocade SAN switches fibre connected to MSA1500cs with MSA SCSI disk enclosures.

Gave up using Storage Manager for SANs as it added a layer of un-needed complexity.

Created LUNS on MSA via HP array configuration utility (ACU) installed on Server 2008 running on the blades.

Actual OS on blades runs from its own disks in blade, not from the SAN.

One LUN is created per required virtual machine therefore VERY careful planning is needed about VM VHD size, role of VM, virtual disks on SAN making best use of spinles on actual disks.

Each LUN should be no less in size than (VHD+RAM)+5%.

This will NOT allow you to snapshot the VM's so an alternative backup strategy should be found. We use SC Data Protection Manager 2007 (SP1 allows Hyper-V backups) running in a Hyper-V VM with a separate MSA2012i iSCSI box for on-line backups.

If you want to be able to snapshot than the LUNs should be sized to multiples of VHD+RAM.

Blades are all Server 2008 x64 (full version as I haven't got my head around core yet) with Hyper-V and are clustered.

They are quite happy sharing the LUNS on the SAN via the cluster service.

We have one virtual machine created directly using Hyper-V that is running SCVMM 2008 and this VM was used to create and manage a large number of highly available virtual machines on the same blades.

The combination of Server 2008 clustering, Hyper-V and SCVMM has proved a much better and adapatable platform that I had hoped. There are problems and quirks and there are still minor bugs roaming around but it's simple and most importantly cheap.

Many clever bits are missing (live migration, power saving) but these are expected to become available when Server 2008 R2 comes along. MS roadmap shows 2010.

Hope this helps,

Billy
Bill Tait
Occasional Visitor

Re: VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

Is VMM handling Cluster failover of VM's to different blades? Does the HP Array know VMM has moved the luns to another VM server? How do you provision luns for each node in the cluster? Are you provisioning SAN luns directly to the VM's or to the Host servers?
BillyClark
Advisor

Re: VDS Hardware provider for Windows 2008

All hosts clustered together using Windows failover cluster service.
VM becomes a clustered resource.
Cluster service on host handles failover.
LUNS are provisioned and added to the cluster and become a clustered resource and attached to VM cluster resource.
VM cluster resource is dependant on VM Config (created by Hyper-V) and disk.

The actual LUN creation is a bit complicated:

Use HP ACU to create virtual array and LUN.
Rescan disk management on one host to make disk available.
Create volume on LUN (with or without mount point).
Wait a while or force rescan on all hosts.
Go into failover cluster manager and "Add Storage".

Once a LUN is added to failover cluster manager then it becomes availble in SCVMM as a location to place a VM.

Important to note that when adding hosts to SCVMM to manage - just add the cluster name and then SCVMM knows all about the cluster storage, existing VM's etc and makes the VM's highly available.

The method above allows for SAN migration of VM's between the hosts. This is very quick as the process just saves the VM - seconds, moves the LUN from to the designated host - seconds and retsarts the VM - seconds.