Here we are with a new articles series related to Quantum DXi platform. In particular this series refers to the Quantum DXi v1000 appliance which is available for free and can be installed on a VMware vSphere environment. Simply perfect for our homelab scenarios!
Why Quantum and what’s in the DXi v1000 appliance?
Quantum has built it’s reputation for the high quality of their storage solutions including data deduplication products. And it also offers more when it comes down to scalable storage, multi site disaster recovery and a built-in replication engine transferring data across different locations. The DXi v1000 is a virtual appliance that can be deployed on a VMware vSphere environment providing the capability to be configured as target for Backup jobs, NAS Shares and more. All this with the advantage of leveraging the in-line deduplication capabilities along with data analytics as it will be covered later on with dedicated articles. This series dedicated to Quantum DXi will initially cover the following:
- Deploy the DXi appliance on VMware vSphere
- Update the DXi software installation
- Configure Quantum DXi network
- Create Quantum DXi NFS Share
- Create Quantum DXI CIFS Share
- Use Quantum DXi as Veeam Backup Repository
Quantum DXi v1000 packs all these features and more. It is available as a virtual appliance which it makes easy to deploy on a hypervisor. At the moment of writing VMware only is available. The installation is straight forward and in terms of specs is not demanding either. The screenshots below refer to a homelab running on VMware vSphere 6.7 using Intel NUC. In addition, the installation refers to the 126.96.36.199 release which is the version shipping with the download. Once the appliance is installed the next steps would be to search for any available software update. At this point in time the latest version appear to be version 2.3.4 for Quantum DXi. Everything is covered in article series. At this point let’s get started with the deployment on VMware vSphere.
How to install Quantum DXi v1000 on VMware vSphere
The Quantum DXi appliance comes in “VMware ova” format. Once downloaded let’s start the wizard to create a new VM from an OVF template and point to the main ovf file. During this operation VMware vSphere will check the dependencies with other virtual disks and even if present on the same location, they have to be imported (selected) at the same time to avoid the warning message as per screenshot below:
Let’s browse to the location and select all virtual disks files including the main .ovf file.
Let’s provide a name to the virtual machine and the location where this appliance will be deployed.
At this point we can choose which vSphere Host will be associated to the Quantum DXi virtual appliance.
The wizard now reads the main details for the appliance. With thick provisioning the size is consistent. For this instance I will use thin provisioning instead.
Let’s select the storage where the Quantum DXi appliance will be created.
In the network it is possible to map an existing Port Group. The advice is to locate a Port Group where there is a DHCP service running. This is because during the first boot the Quantum DXi appliance will look for an IP address. By default the appliance is shipping with 4 virtual nics. 2 for a Gbit connection and 2 for 10 Gbit connections. For each one of them it is possible to choose the traffic type (eg. Management, Replication and Data). More on this in a dedicated article.
Finally in the last step of the wizard the option review all settings before amending changes.
At this point we are now ready to boot the Quantum DXi virtual appliance to begin the install process.
It shouldn’t take long and after a few minutes it should show the IP addresses assigned to the network cards from the DHCP server. Since I have disabled a couple of them only two IP addresses are appearing.
Let’s open a web browser and point to any of the addresses above. Default password is “password”. Indeed this can be changed later on.
We are now ready to install the license and register the product.
This is where we insert the Product Key. Alternatively it is possible to request one from Quantum Support.
As soon as the key is accepted the wizard is completed.
In the next steps as per next articles we’ll explore the configurations more in depth. This can be done from the main Configuration wizard which offers very high level option and from the System configuration which provides additional options as shown in the next article.