All flash Infiniband VMware vSAN evaluation: Part 2 Creating the Cluster

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2 node flash vSAN - verify cluster configuration
2 node flash vSAN - verify cluster configuration

Today we are going to setup the VMware vSAN cluster for our all flash VMware vSAN. In the previous piece, All flash Infiniband VMware vSAN evaluation: Part 1 Setting up the Hosts, we got our hosts setup for this proof of concept setup. In the next piece, we will setup virtual machines using the cluster and show the performance we are seeing from this vSAN setup.

Creating the vSAN Cluster

The first step is to select Create a Cluster. The red arrow shows you our entry point for this portion of the guide.

2 node flash vSAN - create a cluster
2 node flash vSAN – create a cluster

Here we have a number of options, we want to Turn ON Virtual SAN in our cluster. We are also using an obvious name “vSAN Cluster”. You can pick something different here.

2 node flash vSAN - turn on Virtual SAN
2 node flash vSAN – turn on Virtual SAN

After cluster is created, right click the newly created vSAN cluster and choose move hosts into cluster.

2 node flash vSAN - move hosts to cluster
2 node flash vSAN – move hosts to cluster

We blocked out the names, but these are the two hosts from Part 1 in this series that we are adding to the cluster.

2 node flash vSAN - move hosts to cluster select our hosts
2 node flash vSAN – move hosts to cluster select our hosts

The next screen allows us to define how we want to treat Resource pools in the cluster.

2 node flash vSAN - move hosts to cluster put all
2 node flash vSAN – move hosts to cluster put all

Now we need to assign a vSAN license to enable the feature.

2 node flash vSAN - assign license
2 node flash vSAN – assign license

Here we are assigning our vSAN licenses and they validate. For testing purposes, VMUG Advantage is a great place to get the necessary licenses to do something similar.

2 node flash vSAN - assign licenses screen
2 node flash vSAN – assign licenses screen

Since we want new drives to be added to the vSAN, we are going to change this behavior by making a small Edit.

2 node flash vSAN - change virtual disks to automatic
2 node flash vSAN – change virtual disks to automatic

For this guide we are leaving the “Add disks to storage” set to Automatic where empty disks will automatically be added to vSAN.

2 node flash vSAN - change virtual disks to automatic verification
2 node flash vSAN – change virtual disks to automatic verification

The next step is getting our disks setup for vSAN. We need to go to to Disk Management:

2 node flash vSAN - go to disk management
2 node flash vSAN – go to disk management

As we Create a Disk Group here, we will use the Intel DC S3700 drives as write cache and read buffer (recommend use enterprise SSD with high endurance). We are also going to use the Intel 750 1.2 TB as capacity disk.

2 node flash vSAN - create disk group
2 node flash vSAN – create disk group

One disk group will ge created for each host.

2 node flash vSAN - create disk group for each host
2 node flash vSAN – create disk group for each host

Now that we have the hosts setup, the cluster setup, vSAN enabled and drives setup, we then need to create a vSAN stretch cluster. Here we are under Fault Domains.

2 node flash vSAN - fault domains stretched cluster
2 node flash vSAN – fault domains stretched cluster

We need to define the Preferred fault domain and the Secondary fault domain.

2 node flash vSAN - fault domains defined
2 node flash vSAN – fault domains defined

As we mentioned in part 1, since we are using two nodes, we need to use the VMware Virtual SAN Witness Appliance. We do this at the Select a witness host screen. Choose witness host (VMware Virtual SAN Witness Appliance.) It needs access the same VMKernal port as our two physical nodes.

2 node flash vSAN - vSAN witness host appliance
2 node flash vSAN – vSAN witness host appliance

We then can confirm our settings in the Ready to complete screen of the wizard.

2 node flash vSAN - confirm stretched cluster
2 node flash vSAN – confirm stretched cluster

At this pint we are all ready to go with our vSAN cluster. Since many steps were required to get to this point, it is also a good opportunity to pause and verify everything looks right.

We can see our Fault Domains setup with the External witness host.

2 node flash vSAN - view fault domains
2 node flash vSAN – view fault domains

We can see our disks are setup.

2 node flash vSAN - verify cluster configuration
2 node flash vSAN – verify cluster configuration

One thing we needed to do was updated the HCL Database which can be done using the Get latest version online button.

2 node flash vSAN - update HCL database
2 node flash vSAN – update HCL database

Looking at the Virtual SAN section, we can see our two hosts, our disk usage, capacity and network status.

2 node flash vSAN - view health 1
2 node flash vSAN – view health 1

We do have a few warnings with our setup, including for the Intel 750 SSD. Since this is a non-production lab, this is OK but you would want to clear it up for a production instance.

2 node flash vSAN - monitor virtual SAN health
2 node flash vSAN – monitor virtual SAN health

 

Wrapping-up Part 2

As one can see, there is a lot going on to get VMware vSAN working. On the other hand, it is nice that the layout is fairly intuitive and VMware does have some in-window documentation and Wizards. In the final part of this series we are going to get VMs working on the vSAN storage we setup in Parts 1 and 2 and break out a few benchmarks to see how vSAN is performing.

 

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Mark Ma is heavily involved with POC, architecture design, assessment, implementation and user training. Mark is specialized in end to end virtualization solution based on Citrix, Microsoft and VMware. Mark Ma was awarded as SME of the year in 2011 by Citrix Education.

2 COMMENTS

  1. BW, Good question, but I am not specialized in the licensing. I actually used evaluation license for the demo. The two SSDs I used on the server is served via HBA (DC-3700) and AIC (750). This could bypass some of the limitation from the all-flash vSAN.

    Cheers

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