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Introduction - vSphere Storage Appliance
 

Introduction - vSphere Storage Appliance

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In vSphere 5.0, VMware has released a new storage appliance called VSA. VSA is an acronym for “vSphere Storage Appliance”. ...

In vSphere 5.0, VMware has released a new storage appliance called VSA. VSA is an acronym for “vSphere Storage Appliance”.
This appliance is aimed at our SMB (Small-Medium Business) customers who may not be in a position to purchase a SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure, and therefore do not have shared storage. Without access to a SAN or NAS array, SMB customers are unable to implement many of vSphere’s core technologies, such as vSphere HA & vMotion. Customers who decide to deploy a VSA can now benefit from many additional vSphere features without having to purchase a SAN or NAS device to provide them with shared storage.

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    Introduction - vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction - vSphere Storage Appliance Presentation Transcript

    • vSphere Storage Appliance
    • Introduction (1 of 3) In vSphere 5.0, VMware will release a new storage appliance called VSA. VSA is an acronym for “vSphere Storage Appliance”. This appliance is aimed at our SMB (Small-Medium Business) customers who may not be in a position to purchase a SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure, and therefore do not have shared storage. Without access to a SAN or NAS array, SMB customers are unable to implement many of vSphere‟s core technologies, such as vSphere HA & vMotion. Customers who decide to deploy a VSA can now benefit from many additional vSphere features without having to purchase a SAN or NAS device to provide them with shared storage.
    • Introduction (2 of 3) VSA VSA VSA vSphere vSphere vSphere VSA Manager vSphere Client NFS NFS NFS Each ESXi server has a VSA deployed to it as a Virtual Machine. The appliances use the available space on the local disk(s) of the ESXi servers & present one replicated NFS volume per ESXi server. This replication of storage makes the VSA very resilient to failures.
    • Introduction (3 of 3) The NFS datastores exported from the VSA can now be used as shared storage on all of the ESXi servers in the same datacenter. The VSA creates shared storage out of local storage for use by a specific set of hosts. This means that vSphere HA & vMotion can now be made available on low-end (SMB) configurations, without external SAN or NAS servers. There is a CAPEX saving achieved by SMB customers as there is no longer a need to purchase a dedicated SAN or NAS devices to achieve shared storage. There is also an OPEX saving as the management of the VSA may be done by the vSphere Administrator and there is no need for dedicated SAN skills to manage the appliances. The installation & configuration is also much simpler than that of a physical storage array or other storage appliances.
    • Supported VSA Configurations The vSphere Storage Appliance can be deployed in two configurations: • 2 x ESXi 5.0 servers configuration • Deploys 2 vSphere Storage Appliances, one per ESXi server & a VSA Cluster Service on the vCenter server. • 3 x ESXi 5.0 servers configuration • Deploys 3 vSphere Storage Appliances, once per ESXi server. Each of the servers must contain a new/vanilla install of ESXi 5.0. During the configuration, the user selects a datacenter. The user is then presented with a list of ESXi servers in that datacenter. The installer will check the compatibility of each of these physical hosts to make sure they are suitable for VSA deployment. The user must then select which compatible ESXi servers should participate in the VSA cluster, i.e. which servers will host VSA nodes. VSA then „creates‟ the storage cluster by aggregating and virtualizing each server‟s local storage to present a logical pool of shared storage.
    • vCenter Server VSA Manager VSA Cluster Service Manage Volume 2 Volume 1Volume 1 Volume 2 (Replica) (Replica) VSA VSA Datastore 1 Datastore 2 VSA cluster with 2 members
    • vCenter Server VSA Manager Manage VSA VSA VSA Datastore 2 Datastore 1 Datastore 3 Volume 3 Volume 1 (Replica) Volume 2 Volume 3 (Replica) Volume 1 Volume 2 (Replica)VSA cluster with 3 members
    • Simplified UI for VSA Cluster Configuration Once the VSA Manager installation has completed and the VSA manager plug-in is enabled in vCenter, select the datacenter in the vCenter inventory and select the VSA Manager tab. The following is displayed:
    • Simplified UI for VSA Cluster Configuration Introduction Datacenter Selection 1 2 ESXi host IP Address Selection Assignment 3 4
    • Simplified UI for VSA Cluster Configuration Select Disk Ready to Format Install 5 6
    • VSA Manager The VSA Manager helps an administrator perform the following tasks: 1. Deploy vSphere Storage Appliance instances onto ESXi hosts to create a VSA cluster 2. Automatically mount the NFS volumes that the each vSphere Storage Appliance exports as datastores to the ESXi hosts. 3. Monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot a VSA cluster
    • Resilience Many storage arrays are a single point of failure (SPOF) in customer environments. VSA is very resilient to failures. If a node fails in the VSA cluster, another node will seamlessly take over the role of presenting its NFS datastore. The NFS datastore that was being presented from the failed node will then be presented from the node that holds it‟s replica (mirror copy). The new node will use the same NFS server IP address that the failed node was using for presentation, so that any VMs that reside on that NFS datastore will not be affected by the failover.
    • vCenter Server VSA Cluster VSA Manager Service Manage Volume 2 Volume 1Volume 1 Volume 2 (Replica) (Replica) VSA VSA Datastore 1 Datastore 2 Failover in a VSA cluster with 2 hosts
    • Maintenance Mode The are two types of Maintenance Mode: • Whole VSA Cluster Maintenance Mode • Single VSA Node Maintenance Mode A user can put a particular VSA node into maintenance mode in order to reconfigure the VSA in some way, e.g. rolling upgrade. Since only one VSA is being taken offline, the storage volumes being supplied by the storage cluster will remain online, therefore there is no need to migrate any VMs utilizing that storage. This does mean, however, that at least 2 volumes will be degraded with the loss of one VSA. This should be addressed as quickly as possible as a further failure in the VSA will lead to a storage outage scenario.
    • VSA Cluster Node/Member Replacement If a VSA cluster member stops responding, its status changes to Offline in the VSA Manager tab. If an admin cannot bring the VSA Cluster member back online by resetting it, another option available to the admin is to replace the VSA cluster member.
    • VSA Cluster Recovery In the event of a vCenter server loss with no backup, the VSA cluster can be recovered with a vanilla install of vCenter. The admin will have to re-install the VSA plugin in the new vCenter.•When vSphere Client is launched and the VSA tab is selected, it will contain two options (the same options visible during the initial install). In this case the admin can choose to Recover the VSA cluster.
    • vSphere Storage Appliance: Summary Installed, configure and managed via vCenter Simple manageability Abstraction From Underlying Hardware Resilient to server failures Delivers High availability Highly available during disk (spindle) failure Provides Storage framework for vMotion, HA and DRS Pools server disk capacity to form shared storage Creates Shared Leverages vSphere Thin provisioning for space utilization Storage Enables storage scalability