Vmug v sphere storage appliance (vsa) overview

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  • Welcome.We have many customers today who purchase vSphere to do workload consolidation, but invariably the next question is about availability. How do I protect this virtualized environment?The obvious answer is to use vSphere features like vMotion & vSphere HA.For many SMB customers, purchasing a storage array to provide shared storage for vSphere availability features like vMotion, HA & DRS is usually cost prohibitive & not an option.With the VSA, we are addressing this by providing lost cost, simple to deploy, shared storage solution.This will allow SMB customers to now move from essentials to essentials+ to get vSphere availability features.
  • We are basically providing our SMB customer with a low cost, easy to deploy storage appliance which will provide shared storage.This now means that SMB customers who want availability can now purchase the VSA with essentials+ & this will give them vMotion and vSphere HA.We are looking at an essentials+ option which has VSA bundled at a discount.
  • ESXi 5.0 Hosts Customers require two or three newly installed (green-field) ESXi 5.0 hosts to create a VSA cluster. The ESXi hosts must not have any virtual machines deployed & have the default logical network configuration (Management portgroup & VM portgroup). The local storage on the ESXi server should be configured into a RAID10 setup for optimal resilience. Should the server lose a disk spindle, it will not impact the storage on the server.Notes about physical disk requirements vs available storage after VSA install:8 x 100GB Disks = 800GB.RAID 10 = 400GB Usable.VSA Replication = 200GB Available as an NFS datastore.We are evaluating RAID5 as an alternative storage configuration on the host’s storage. While not as performant, it will make more disk space available to the VSA – 11/5/24.VSA Manager [click thru animation here] VSA Manager is a vCenter Server 5.0 extension that you install on a vCenter Server machine. After you install it, & the plugin is enabled, you can see the VSA Manager tab in the vSphere Client. VSA Manager will deploy & afterwards monitor the VSA cluster. In a new configuration that consists only of VSA ESXi servers, the VC must be external. For a configuration that has non-VSA ESXi servers, either new or existing, the VC server can be created on one of the non-VSA server's data stores.vSphere Storage ApplianceThe VSA is essentially a SUSE VM which has been re-engineered with additional features by VMware. [click thru animation here]. The VSA manages the data replication/redundancy by dividing the local storage is two, and using one half as the mirror source and the other half as the mirror destination.[click thru animation here] It then exposes the source disk as an NFS export over the network, which allows it to be mounted by all the ESXi servers in the VSA cluster.This is all done automatically by the installer. There is no customer intervention required to do this.For larger environments, a data center can be created with non-VSA ESXi servers. If those servers are part of the datacenter when the VSA cluster is created, the VSA data stores will automatically be mounted on them even though these ESXi hosts are not actively participating in the VSA Cluster.
  • Restrictions In 1.0, you cannot increase the number of nodes in the cluster from 2 to 3. Whatever you choose at deployment is set in stone. In 1.0, you cannot grow the size of the VSA datastores. This is the number #1 issue that we are trying to address for the next release.
  • The 2 member cluster uses a VSA Cluster Service on the vCenter Server. The 3 member cluster does not require this service. The VSA Cluster Service does not have any storage associated with it – its only purpose is to serve as a quorum when there is a failure in the cluster and allow the remaining node to continue to run.The VSA Manager installation/configuration steps are fool-proof, meaning that an administrator without any SAN skills can deploy it quickly & painlessly. This is a really cool selling point when compared to some other VSAs on the market.If the hosts are unsuitable for any reason (e.g. hardware not supported, networking not configured), the installer will report it and will not allow you to proceed.
  • The VSA datastores (in the circle) are presented back to all the ESXi servers in the datacenter as NFS.Hardware RAIDThe supported setup for hardware RAiD on the physical servers is to place it in a RAID 1+0 (RAID 10) configuration. This way, if a spindle is lost, it does not affect the underlying volume. Note that this will reduce available storage by half since RAID10 does mirroring.VSA Cluster Service The VSA Cluster Service is a Windows service that installs together with VSA Manager on the vCenter Server machine and maintains the status of the VSA cluster. The service is only used in a VSA cluster with two members and does not provide storage as the other members. It helps to maintain the majority of VSA cluster members in case of failures. The service mainly embeds the third clustering VSA component. In addition, it supports a few Remote Method Invocation (RMI) calls so that the VSA can configure the service when necessary. RMI can be thought of as Java version of RPC, Remote Procedure Calls. The service is strictly used for clustering purposes and enables the VSA cluster to tolerate failure of one of the VSAs. In a 3-node VSA setup, all clustering traffic is routed on the VSA backend. However, in 2-node VSA setup, since the VSA cluster service runs on the vCenter Server (which is assumed to be not connected to the backed), the clustering traffic needs to be routed on the front-end network. In addition, the VSA cluster service needs to have a dedicated static IP address to communicate with other VSAs. In the event to vCenter Server failure, this service can be easily restored to normal operation by first installing VSA Manager on another vCenter Server that runs the VSA cluster service IP, and then using “Repair …” option in the UI to add the service back to the cluster. This procedure will be looked at in greater depth later on in the deep-dive document.The state of the service is monitored by VSA and is displayed in the UI.The VMs running on the ESXi servers are using the shared storage. At install time there should be no running VMs on the ESXi server.vCenter ServerThere is a 1:1 relationship between the VSA & the vCenter server. Therefore you cannot manage multiple VSA instances from between vCenter. Another point to make is that both the vCenter server and the VSA members must be on the same physical subnet for an installation to succeed.
  • The VSA datastores (in the circle) are again presented back to all the ESXi servers in the datacenter as NFS.Note that there is no need for a VSA Cluster Service in this configuration.Remember that these ESXi servers must be newly installed with ESXi 5.0, and must not participate in any other cluster configuration.
  • This is visible inside in vSphere, in the new VSA tab.For the first deployment, choose New Installation. We will discuss the Recover VSA Cluster option shortly.
  • Step 1: This screen displays some of the new features which will be enabled. vMotion & HA will be enabled to provide additional resilience to VSA. This is a unique selling point as VSA will facilitate vMotion & HA without having a physical storage array providing shared storage. It also removes the complexity of creating a vSphere HA cluster and configuring vMotion networks.Step 2: The next step is to select a datacenter from you vCenter inventory. In this example, the datacenter pml-pod13 has 3 x ESXi 5.0 hosts.Step 3: In this example, we are building a 3 node cluster. A host audit is run by the installer to verify that hosts are compatible with VSA. One thing to note about the host audit is that hosts are split into different processor types. Hosts used for VSA must have the same processor type for vMotion compatability.Step 4: Provide static IP addresses for all the VSA nodes in the cluster. When user types in the Management IP address, the wizard will automatically generates the rest of the IPs in ascending order. User can modifies the individual IP separately of course.
  • Step 5: This screen allows you to zero out the disks (eagerzeroedthick) as they are created. This will slow down the installation process but should speed up the initial first access to each 1 MB section of disk has to be zero’d (zeroedthick).  After a while, once the disk has been accessed fully, the performance should be equivalent no matter which option is chosen.Step 6: The Ready to Install screen displays the previous entered configuration details. If correct, click the Install button.Compare the simplicity of this install with the complexity of deploying a physical SAN. You may need to purchase and configure a physical switch (iSCSI, FC, FCoE), as well as do masking, zoning, etc.
  • NIC 0 & NIC 1 are dual-port NICs.Two vSwitches are created, one for front-end networking and the other for back-end networking.
  • http://scst.sourceforge.net/ - Generic SCSI Target Subsystem for Linuxhttp://www.open-iscsi.org/ - High performance, transport independent, multi-platform implementation of iSCSIhttp://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3720.html – RFC 3720 (iSCSI)
  • The installer will need Adobe Flash Player installed – it will prompt for this if it is needed.Once again, this is monitoring a single VSA Cluster – the VSAs button in the view above refers to the VSA members in a single VSA cluster.
  • The important point here is that failover is seamless. By transferring the NFS server IP address of the failed VSA to the new VSA, the ESXi continues to use the same mount point reference and any VMs on that mount point are oblivious to any changes having occurred.
  • Although single node maintenance mode is a feature of 1.0, there is no support for rolling upgrade in the 1.0 release. This means that the whole cluster will have to be placed into maintenance mode for an upgrade to take place. Rolling upgrade is a possible future feature of the product, whereby we take one node out of the cluster, upgrade it, and place it back into the cluster before we repeat the process on the next node.By putting the whole cluster into maintenance mode, we guarantee that all the mirrors are in sync when we take the cluster offline.When a node is taken out of the cluster, and a mirror is broken, the VSA tracks which blocks are changing so that only an incremental resynchronization between source and target is needed when the node rejoins the cluster.The only time a full sync is required is when there is a new VSA member added to the cluster.Synchronization of I/O after maintenance mode can have a slight degradation on the performance of the VSA. However an in-built throttling mechanism with give user I/O higher priority over synchronization I/O to mitigate the effects it has on user I/O.
  • An administrator is effectively replacing one ESXi member with a new ESXi. This will create a new VSA, sync it up to the degraded volumes, and then be prompted to take ownership of presenting one of the NFS datastores. The sync is this example is a full sync since this is a new VSA.This feature means that even if your server vendor takes a long time to ship you a spare part, you can replace the broken node with a new node (if you have one available) while you wait.

Transcript

  • 1. vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) Virtual Machine User Group #5 (Leeds) Cormac Hogan Technical Marketing 11th October 2011Confidential © 2011 VMware Inc. All rights reserved
  • 2. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary2 Confidential
  • 3. 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-Midsize 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 additional vSphere features without having to purchase a SAN or NAS device to provide them with shared storage.3 Confidential
  • 4. 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.4 Confidential
  • 5. 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.5 Confidential
  • 6. Questions1. How many are currently using storage appliances?2. How many are currently using storage appliances in production?3. Which vendors are you using? • HP/LeftHand • StorMagic • FalconStor • EMC VNXe • Other4. Is anyone currently evaluating VMware„s VSA?5. Is anyone considering placing VMware„s VSA into production? • What sorts of application/environment?6 Confidential
  • 7. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary7 Confidential
  • 8. 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 shared NFS datastore.8 Confidential
  • 9. vCenter Server VSA Manager VSA Cluster Service Manage Volume 2 Volume 1Volume 1 (Replica) Volume 2 (Replica) VSA VSA Datastore 1 Datastore 2 VSA cluster with 2 members
  • 10. vCenter Server VSA Manager Manage VSA VSA Datastore 2 VSA Datastore 1 Datastore 3 Volume 1 Volume 3 (Replica) Volume 2 Volume 3 (Replica) Volume 1 Volume 2 (Replica)VSA cluster with 3 members
  • 11. 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:11 Confidential
  • 12. Simplified UI for VSA Cluster Configuration Introduction Datacenter Selection 1 2 ESXi host IP Address Selection Assignment 3 412 Confidential
  • 13. Simplified UI for VSA Cluster Configuration Select Disk Ready to Format Install 5 613 Confidential
  • 14. VSA Network Configuration Front-end Back-end for VSA for Cluster Mgmt & Comms & NFS Replication 2x vSwitch vSwitch First for contains NICfront-end, team forsecond for redundancy back-end 2 x dual port NICs or 4 x 1 port2 x physical NICs.switches forredundancy14 Confidential
  • 15. VSA Storage Configuration15 Confidential
  • 16. VSA Storage & Mirroring16 Confidential
  • 17. VSA Manager• The VSA Manager helps an administrator perform the following tasks: 1. Deploy appliances onto ESXi hosts to create a VSA cluster 2. Automatically mount the NFS volumes as datastores to the ESXi hosts. 3. Monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot a VSA cluster17 Confidential
  • 18. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary18 Confidential
  • 19. 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.19 Confidential
  • 20. vCenter Server VSA Manager VSA Cluster Service Manage Volume 2 Volume 2 Volume 1Volume 1Volume 1 Volume 2 (Replica) (Replica) (Replica) (Replica) VSA VSA Datastore 1 Datastore 2 Failover in a VSA cluster with 2 hosts
  • 21. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary21 Confidential
  • 22. 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.22 Confidential
  • 23. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary23 Confidential
  • 24. 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 (ESXi).24 Confidential
  • 25. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary25 Confidential
  • 26. 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.26 Confidential
  • 27. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary27 Confidential
  • 28. Confidential © 2011 VMware Inc. All rights reserved
  • 29. You Are Here vSphere Storage Appliance Introduction Installation & Configuration VSA Cluster Resilience Maintenance Mode Replacing a VSA Node Recovering a VSA Cluster Install & Configure Demo Summary29 Confidential
  • 30. 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 scalability30 Confidential
  • 31. Questions? http://blogs.vmware.com/vSphere/Storage @VMwareStorage31 Confidential