Saturday, March 14, 2015

VSAN 6.0 on VMware Fusion

Naturally, if you like to write about technology, having a home lab gives you an opportunity to review the latest software and compose your opinion on the features and capabilities. On my "bucket list" for a long time has been building a modest home lab, something that provides me the resources to test out several of the VMware products that my customers use on a daily basis.

For my home lab, I purchased a 2012 Mac Pro with 64 GB of memory and 12 processor cores. It has three hard drives on the workstation, which includes a 256 GB Solid State SATA Drive, a 1 TB Hybrid SATA Drive (8 GB NAND Flash and 7200 spindle speed), and a 2 TB SATA 7200 drive. Additionally, I purchased a WD MyCloud Mirror NAS storage device that I am using as my Content Libraries storage and it is also connected to my nested vSphere ESXi hosts as NFS storage.

So far, I am running three vSphere ESXi 6 hosts; each of them has 12 GB of memory and 8 vCPU. My cluster includes a Windows 2012 Active Directory Server, Windows 2012 Management Server, vCenter Server 6.0, vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.1, vRealize Log Insight 2.5, TAM Data Manager, and a vCloud Connector Server and Node to connect to my vCloud Air account.

To start configuring your lab for VSAN, we are going to add some additional drives on your ESXi hosts. You are going to click on Virtual Machine and then select Settings...

For my lab setup, I added two additional drives to my vSphere ESXi host. The first drive was a 20 GB drive located on my Solid State Hard Drive and the second was a 200 GB drive located on my 1 TB Hybrid Drive.

Now we need to modify the vSphere ESXi host .vmx file, navigate to the folder that has your vSphere ESXi host images, on my Mac Pro that is located on my Hybrid Drive under Virtual Machines. Right click on the first server while holding down the control key, then select Show Package Contents.

After you have clicked Show Package Contents, a Finder Window will show up with all the virtual machine files. We are going to edit the host's .vmx file with the text editor. 

Scroll down the file until you see the virtual disk that you created for the VSAN SSD drive. After the line that shows your new virtual disk drive (ex. scsi0:1.filename = "Virtual Disk 4.vmdk"), add the line scsi0:1.virtualSSD = 1 like in the image below.

When that has been completed for all three vSphere hosts, we are going to log into the vSphere Web Client. On each host, we are going to click the Manage tab and then select Networking. In my environment, I added the Virtual San traffic to my VMKernal adapter that was already supporting vMotion.

Move to the cluster that is supporting your hosts, click on the Manage tab and select the Settings button. Navigate down to Virtual SAN and click on General. We are going to check the Turn ON Virtual SAN option and select Automatic in the drop-down list to add disks to storage.

With VSAN now turned on, go into Disk Management and create your disk groups. In the image below, you will notice that my 20 GB drive is showing up with the drive type of Flash and that my 200 GB drive is showing the drive type of HDD.

I migrated a few of my virtual machines over to the VSAN drive, one of the virtual machines was my VMware vCenter Server Appliance and it has been performing very well on the new VSAN storage.

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