Thursday, June 27, 2013

Storage management with datacenter abstraction layer (SCVMM 2012 R2)

Storage – with datacenter abstraction layer

I have recently blogged about the datacenter abstraction layer story in both Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2.

In this blog post, I want to highlight some of the storage capabilities you are able to leverage through standard based management with Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.

Virtual Machine Manager takes care of the entire fabric.
A fabric may also be referred to as a stamp, or resource pools.
The fabric should contain the physical building blocks that make cloud computing possible for the organization, either if it is a private cloud or a service provider cloud.
Most organizations are handling their storage pools as single units, with no common management tools and must rely on manual documentation to see how everything is connected. I have ran into quite a few customers who are struggling to get an overview of their storage fabric in the context of virtualization and cloud computing.
This is where VMM comes to the rescue.

What VMM is able to do with your storage:

·         End-to-end mapping
·         Storage classification
·         Allocation and Assignment
·         Rapid provisioning
·         SAN migration
·         Array onboarding
·         Storage Automation
·         Scalable provisioning
·         Extensive array support
·         Standard based management
·         Validation
·         File server management
·         Scale-out server creation
·         File share management

As you can see, this is massive part of the lifecycle management of your datacenter, and this blog post will show how you can leverage the iSCSI Target Server role in Windows Server 2012 R2.

First, we need a Windows Server 2012 R2 server with the File Server role installed, and especially the iSCSI Target Server role enabled.
In a nutshell, you must do the following on your Windows Server 2012 R2 server:

·         Attach storage
·         Create storage pools
·         Create disks and volumes
·         Create iSCSI disk
·         Create iSCSI target

Once this is completed, we can start to do the magic within VMM.
Note: for Windows Server 2012 R2, it's no need to install the VMM storage provider on your Windows Server prior to adding it to VMM. Windows Server 2012 R2 supports this native.

1.       Navigate to Fabric—>StorageàProviders.
Right click and add storage device. Here, you must select ‘SAN and NAS devices discovered and managed by a SMI-S provider’.

2.       Make sure you select SMI-S WMI as the protocol, and specify your storage target, port and Run as account (since my storage server is within the same domain, I can use my domain account).

3.       Once the discovery process has completed, you will find your storage device listed with the available capacity.

4.       On the ‘Select Storage Device’ page, mark the storage you will manage with VMM and associate the proper classification (you can create classifications directly on this page.)

5.       Click complete and you can follow the process in the jobs pane in VMM and see what’s discovered and detected by VMM. In this case, VMM detects the target and the initiators you have created on the storage server.

We have now discovered and added a storage device to VMM and can view if under ‘arrays’ in Fabric.
The next step is to allocate storage to your compute resources which is located in the host groups in Fabric.

1.       Click on ‘Allocate Capacity’. This will fire up a new window where you can allocate both storage pools and LUNS to your host groups. I will add storage to my service provider cloud infrastructure host group.

2.       Next, I’ll navigate to the properties of this host group and find the storage tab. From here, I can see the associated storage for this host group. Note that I can also allocate both storage pools and LUNs directly from here.

3.       The next step will be to connect my hosts to the storage device. I will go to properties on one host at a time, click storage, and click ‘Add’. This will list the available storage connectors for you. In my case, iSCSI array is the available option.

4.       Connect to your storage array from the drop down list and eventually configure advanced settings for the connection. Once this is done, VMM will create iSCSI sessions between target and initiator.

5.       If we check the storage tab on the host once again, we can see my iSCSI array I just added. I can also create multiple sessions for MPIO.

This was a simple guide on how to add storage through standard based management with Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.
The next blog post will also show how to create clusters with VMM where we are using the available storage we added to VMM, to create disk witness and clustered shared volumes.


steve hellar said...

Thinks for posting this from your blog new hire staffing

netrack raj said...

Data center management is very important as it is concerned to take care of maintanence activity

Jackie O'Brien said...

This dcim software sounds great - looks very easy to use. Thanks for sharing!

steve hellar said...

The information about the storage management is too goodAutomated onboarding