Here we are with HPE StoreVirtual Storage Server Cluster configuration. The aim of creating a Server Cluster is to create a single configuration which can group the same connection settings to one or multiple volumes. In the previous article we’ve seen how to setup Management Groups, Cluster and Volumes. This configuration refers to the setup of the HPE StoreVirtual VSA appliances.
In this case the Server Cluster configuration refers to the number of Hosts we intend to use to connect to the HPE StoreVirtual Storage. In my home lab there are currently 3 physical VMware vSphere Hosts. The idea is to use a Server Cluster configuration shared across these 3 VMware Hosts so that the same Volume, or I should say Datastore, is visible to all Hosts.
Of course it is possible to create single Server connections in case a single Host is available. Another important thing to note is that the very same configuration also allows to add or present multiple Volumes. For each one of them we can also specify which Host (or Server) can do what in terms of Read/Write permissions. They can are assigned individually.
Last but not least is the connection type we use to present the Volumes to the Servers. Depending on the environment we can use both iSCSI and Fibre Channel. At a glance these are the minimum requirements:
- Minimum of two Servers for a cluster
- Same access level settings for all Volumes assigned to the Server Cluster
- For iSCSI: same load balancing setting for all server
- For Fibre Channel: one volume assigned to multiple servers in a cluster should have the same LUN ID for each Server
Now that we have the minimum specs let’s see how we can simply prepare and present the new Volumes to a VMware vSphere environment.
HPE StoreVirtual Storage Server Cluster configuration
From the Menu Tasks > Server Cluster > New Server Cluster let’s start the wizard. This will automatically show the existing Management Groups.
Let’s select the Group and then add the first Server Cluster Node. In my case this will be the physical VMware ESXi Host based on Intel NUC. We need to provide a Name, Description and IP Address. FDQN address is preferred and it is also a way to test the DNS name resolution both ways.
In the allow access via iSCSI option we need to specify the iSCSI initiator name. This property can be copied from the vCenter or directly from the vSphere Web Client in the network properties of the Host. At this point in time we do not need to specify any CHAP (Challenge Authentication Protocol) since it was not part of the previous configuration of the volume. This feature is builtin in the iSCSI connections. But definitely it is a great way to prevent unauthorised connections from undesired Hosts.
Let’s repeat the same steps for a second Server as member of the cluster configuration. The minimum for Server Cluster configurations is at least two nodes.
And also an additional node is available in my home lab. So I will repeat the same steps.
At this point we can define a Server Cluster name. In this case the pertinent DNS entry does not need to exist. We can also add a description. In the table below we can also see the list of added Servers that will be able to connect to the HPE StoreVirtual Volumes. Let’s leave the default options. At this point we can click OK to continue.
In the next screen we can now choose which of the available Volumes we want to assign. There is also a column to specify the Permission type. This means that when multiple Volumes are created for each of these we can specify the type of access. So for example, for one Volume we can just set the Read Permission. This volume can store Volume snapshots. Backup applications can use this Read-Only Volume to create their Backups without affecting the content of the snapshot. Once done let’s hit OK to complete the Server Cluster configuration.
That’s it! The Server Cluster configuration is now complete. Of course we can always re-edit the existing configuration reflecting the current requirements in our environment.
Once created navigating the Volume tab we also have the Map View as per screenshot below. This is a nice and interactive view of the configurations. We can use this view to easily check which volume is connects to which Server and so on. With a right-click we have access to the pertinent options to change details for single components.
We are at the end of this article on how to prepare the HPE StoreVirtual storage. Very easy and intuitive process we are now ready to visit the next steps: connect HPE StoreVirtual storage to VMware vSphere and integrate with Veeam Backup & Replication to managing VM Backups and Storage Snapshots.
Hope this article was useful and feedback from the Community is always welcome!