Here we are the configuration article with focuses on HPE StoreVirtual Management of Groups, Clusters and Volumes. This is a follow up article from the first time setup using the HPE Centralized Management Console. In the first phase we have used the HPE CMC to configure the basic settings from an infrastructure perspective. In this case we are going to use the HPE CMC to configure the StoreVirtual VSA appliances to form a Management Group. Within a Management Group we can create Clusters of multiple HPE StoreVirtual nodes. Each cluster then supports the Volumes containers. The Volumes ultimately are the objects that are presented to VMware vSphere. This is where the vSphere can create and manage the Virtual Machines. But there is a lot more!
Since the HPE CMC offers a layer of “management” for this containers it is also possible to benefit from interesting features like high availability of the data across different appliances and Storage Snapshots orchestration to a local volume or a remote one.
I will cover these aspects in more details in a separate article also focusing on the benefits when leveraging these capabilities in conjunction with solutions for Data Availability like Veeam Backup and Replication.
Let’s go step by step and start by creating an HPE StoreVirtual Management Group, Cluster and Volume where to install and run our first VM!
HPE StoreVirtual Management of Groups
Creating a Management Group is the first step in order to provide StoreVirtual Storage. In HPE StoreVirtual the hierarchy is like the following:
Management Group > Cluster > Volume
A Management Group provides the following functions:
- Provides the highest administration control point of the SAN
- Organises storage for different groups (eg. applications like SQL, Oracle and why not VMs for different department or purposes)
- Provides added security per Group adding separation between applications (eg. Oracle Group cannot see SQL Group..)
- Prevents Storage resources from being used unintentionally from other systems
And a lot of other interesting features from a business perspective. Once we log in to the HPE CMC from the menu Tasks > Management Group > New Management Group we can start the wizard. This wizard includes the options to create a Management Group, Cluster and Volumes. Cluster and Volumes and be created individually as well as later in this post.
Let’s provide a name for the Management Group. In my case this will be used to run the Demo VMs in my home lab for testing purposes like Backup from Storage Snapshots. I would strongly advice to setup DNS name resolution including FQDN working properly for the HPE StoreVirtual Appliances and Cluster names we’ll be going to use.
Next we specify the Admin user for this Management Group. We can change it later from the Administration tab once the Management Group is running.
From this window let’s specify the NTP server.
Next is to specify the DNS Server and custom suffixes if we use more than one in our environment.
In this step we can specify the email settings for notifications. I will skip this step with the warning below.
So let’s accept to continue.
Next step is to create the Cluster. For our purpose let’s use a Standard Cluster. In the future we’ll revisit this configuration by adding more appliances and benefit from fault tolerance configurations. In this case we are simply setting up a single node cluster!
Let’s specify a Cluster Name.
Let’s provide the IP and Subnet addesses
At this point we can create the first volume. For some reason in my environment this steps fails to create the volume. Not too bad as I create the Cluster and Volume individually. So let’s check the option “Skip Volume Creation”.
HPE StoreVirtual Management of Clusters
From the Menu Tasks > Cluster > New Cluster let’s start the wizard. In this case the wizard will automatically select the Management Group.
Let’s go for a Standard Cluster. We can change later on once more appliances are available.
Let’s provide a Cluster Name.
And now specify the Cluster VIP address and subnet mask.
As per previous instructions let’s skip the volume creation for now.
And finally a summary with high level details.
HPE StoreVirtual Management of Volumes
At this point we are now ready to create the Volumes. As per usual from the Menu Tasks > Volume > New Volume we can start the Volume setup. The wizard automatically picks up the Management Group name.
Next is to confirm the Cluster name as per screenshot below.
At this point we can provide a name to the Volume along with a description and the intended size. Additionally in the Basic tab we can also provide a list of authorised Servers that can have read/write access to this Volume. They can also be configure from the Menu Tasks > Servers and Servers Cluster when editing same access details for multiple Servers at the same time. In reality these “Servers” are just the iSCSI initiators for which we want to provide access to Volumes. More on this in a separate article.
From the advanced tab we can specify the Cluster container for this Volume. Data Protection level is automatically using “RAID-0” for the simple reason there is only one Storage system. We’ll be able to change this as soon as more HPE StoreVirtual appliances are available. Please also note that this Data Protection system is running across appliances rather than the physical disks layout which is transparent to the Storage System.
Other interesting options are the type of Volume: Primary means for Data Storage whereas Remote can be used for targets storing snapshots. With Full Provisioning the entire allocated disk will be used for Volume size. Thin provisioning instead will consume disk storage as required. This can be useful when planning storage for multiple applications. Of course planning should take in considerations over-provisioning situations.
In addition the Adaptive Optimization feature allows moving less used data to a “cold tier” Of course each disk can be configured with different tiering numbers and this feature will work in the background to optimise less frequently used data to a cheaper storage Tier.
After clicking OK the HPE CMC will show the Management Group, the Cluster and the Volume. From this view we now have access to other interesting features like managing Snapshots, Schedules and iSCSI sessions. Last but not least also a Map View tab to export the infrastructure info in a graphical output.
We have now created a new HPE StoreVirtual Volume we can use for a variety of purposes. In my home lab this will serve primarily demo VMs. The idea is to create Storage Snapshots and run Backup and Restore from them. The configuration of the HPE StoreVirtual Management is pretty easy when operated using the HPE CMC. To finish this off, in the very next article a quick view on how to update our appliance.
Follow up articles will cover next how to prepare the HPE StoreVirtual Volumes to be connected only to intended Servers, present the StoreVirtual Volumes to VMware vSphere and finally integrating HPE StoreVirtual with Veeam Backup and Replication.
Hope this was informative and I welcome feedback and suggestions!