In this article we are going to visit the steps on how to connect an HPE StoreVirtual Volume to VMware vSphere and use it at VMware Datastore where we can run our VMs. There are plenty of advantages in using such configuration. Most notably the built-in features in the HPE StoreVirtual VSA allow for storage snapshots and data availability, just to name a few. In addition the ability to natively integrate with solutions for Data Protection like the Veeam Backup & Replication platform make this solution very palatable not just for production environments but also for testing environments where we can easily test and learn features on our home labs.
This article is part of a series that shows how to install and configure HPE StoreVirtual VSA on a VMware environment from scratch. The purpose of this step is now to connect and format the HPE StoreVirtual Volume as a Datastore VMware can use to run and manage its own virtual machines.
The steps are really easy and very similar (if not the same!) to the ones when adding iSCSI volumes. That’s right, we are going to use the built-in iSCSI software adapter to scan for new Volumes and finally add them to the list of Storage Devices. It couldn’t get any easier than this!
Right so at this point we can start.
Connect HPE StoreVirtual Volume to VMware vSphere Datastore
Since we connecting the HPE StoreVirtual Volume to multiple VMware vSphere Hosts we need to repeat the same steps from the intended hosts we want to configure as part of the HPE StoreVirtual Server Cluster. Depending if using single Hosts or managing them through VMware vCenter we need to go to the Network settings and then Storage Adapters. In this case I will be using the vCenter console.
Before starting one thing we should consider is which network we are using to connect to the Storage hosting the Datastores. From the Storage Adapters view, with the iSCSI Software Adapter highlighted let’s take a look at the Network Port Binding. From this view we can choose which vmkernel adapters will carry the iSCSI traffic to the Storage holding the VM Datastores. In my home lab I’m using two separate physical adapters. Each Storage Device then it is using Round Robin (VMware) as a path selection technique.
More info on my current network setup can be found here.
So from the Storage Adapters view, with the iSCSI Software Adapter highlighted in the Targets list let’s add the VIP address of the HPE StoreVirtual Cluster.
Let’s make sure the FQDN name resolution is working both ways. Also iSCSI Initiators and Targets should be on the same domain broadcast to ensure the maximum results. Let’s leave the standard port unless a different one is used. Same applies for the settings.
After a few seconds and by re-scanning for new Storage Devices we can see a new Storage Device in the list. Although the original size of the VMDK file in the HPE StoreVirtual is 100GB the connected device shows 50GB which is the value set for the Volume size. What I would recommend in this case is to revisit the other options like the multi-pathing to making sure it adheres to our home lab specs.
As an additional option we can also rename the Storage Device to something easy to remember.
At this point all we have to do is to create a new Datastore which will include our VMs. From the wizard to add a new Storage let’s select the Data Center associated with this new storage we are adding.
My personal preference at the moment goes to VMFS. Of course we can also select the other options. What it is important here is that the new Datastore would appear like anyone else. The good news we have additional management capabilities by mean of the HPE CMC.
Let’s select the first Host as part of the HPE StoreVirtual Server Cluster. We’ll repeat this operation also from the other vSphere Hosts. The difference is that Datastore will already appear with the new name, formatted with VMFS and ready to use.
In my case I will create a single partition as it has the best performances.
And finally a quick summary showing the details before confirming.
At this point we can create new VMs storing them directly into the HPE StoreVirtual volume. In my home lab I will definitely use a Linux based OS (probably Ubuntu) and a Windows Server as VM Guests. In the next article we’ll cover integration with Veeam VBR, Backup and Storage Snapshots. Last but not least also Backup and Restore from Storage Snapshots for Linux and Windows VMs.