In small environments usually with an “All-in-one” server or with Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) locations, the question of resiliency often comes. What if my server loses a hard drive (SSD drive) or a whole RAID card? What if my CPU burns or what if my Power Supply Unit (PSU) dies? Anything can happen. Even if modern hardware is more reliable, there are still breakdowns and failures. To stay resilient with a minimum number of pieces of hardware, one of the best design scenarios is a scenario with 2 nodes only, where those two hosts provide your shared storage by creating a “Mirror” and the solution used for this scenario comes from StarWind VSAN software.
If you opt for a low-cost NAS device, it is still another piece of hardware that can fail, and all your VMs stored there will most likely be unavailable. The NAS device also has a CPU, Memory, or Motherboard. And all those components can fail. If that happens, the whole NAS device stops providing the function it has been designed for – shared storage. All your VMs are down, and your users are impacted.
If you have two hosts that participate in shared storage (and compute of course) then you mitigate the risk of failure. If one of your hosts goes down (Motherboard fried, CPU dead, Memory error…..) the other host still provides the shared storage. It gives you time to investigate the issue, replace the faulty hardware, and start the server again. Users are not impacted.
5 Easy Steps to Be More Resilient with Two Hosts
There is a cool video from StarWind that walks you through the steps and I'll link it at the end of the article.
Step 1: Checking the system meets the cluster requirements
Important to have a hardware that match the specifications so there will be no bottlenecks within the storage, network or CPU layer. You should make sure that you have dedicated NICs available for each necessary role (synchronization, iSCSI etc….).
Step 2: Deploy the VMware ESXi with vCenter Server or Hyper-V on both on both nodes within the cluster, with the proper licensing. For example, if you plan to use High Availability (HA) where VMs are restarted on remaining node, then you must run at least vSphere Essentials Plus license.
Step 3: Deploy and configure StarWind VSAN VM on each node. StarWind uses cockpit GUI for the configuration which makes the configs easy. Cockpit allows you to do base configs of your Linux server without knowing text-based commands and it’s very lightweight. You can manage storage, networking, services, users and more.
By default, Cockpit uses your system’s normal user logins and privileges. Network-wide logins are also supported through single-sign-on and other authentication techniques.
Cockpit is a web-based graphical interface for Linux servers and is intended primarily for those who do not work with Linux on a daily basis to remember manual commands. Cockpit enables basic Linux administration, such as:
- Network settings
- Firewall settings
- Enable / disable system services
- Disk space management
- Scan system logs
- System hardware control
- Software update
- System resource utilization overview
- Use the server terminal in the web window
Using Cockpit is particularly interesting on servers without SSH access enabled. All you need to access the Linux server is a web browser with port 9090.
Step 4: Configure StarWind HA storage. Create and mount the storage, then by using StarWind console, initiate the replication via the StarWind replication manager, replicate the storage to the second node and create HA shared storage for your vSphere or Hyper-V environment.
Step 5: Present StarWind HA storage to your ESXi host via an iSCSI protocol, which is industry standar storage protocol.
For detailed setup and step-by-step, check here at StarWind website.
You can watch the overview video here.
Link: StarWind website here
More posts about StarWind on ESX Virtualization:
- How StarWind VSAN solution can save you money and energy in ROBO environments
- 2-Nodes clusters without Witness – StarWind VSAN Heartbeat Failover Strategy
- You can’t extend backup window – Check NVMe Backup Appliance from StarWind
- Replacing Aging Hardware SAN Device by a Software – StarWind VSAN
- StarWind V2V Converter (PV2 Migrator) FREE utility
- Cluster with 2-Nodes only – How about quorum?
- StarWind VSAN Latest update allows faster synchronization with storing synchronization journals on separate storage
- How to Update StarWind VSAN for VMware on Linux- Follow UP
- Protect your Backups with Wasabi Immutable Storage Buckets and StarWind VTL
- StarWind SAN & NAS software details for VMware and Hyper-V
- Free StarWind iSCSI accelerator download
- VMware vSphere and HyperConverged 2-Node Scenario from StarWind – Step By Step(Opens in a new browser tab)
- StarWind Storage Gateway for Wasabi Released
- How To Create NVMe-Of Target With StarWind VSAN
- Veeam 3-2-1 Backup Rule Now With Starwind VTL
- StarWind and Highly Available NFS
- StarWind VSAN on 3 ESXi Nodes detailed setup
- VMware VSAN Ready Nodes in StarWind HyperConverged Appliance
More posts from ESX Virtualization:
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- What’s the purpose of those 17 virtual hard disks within VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 8.0?
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- VMware vSAN 8 Update 2 with many enhancements announced during VMware Explore
- What’s New in VMware Virtual Hardware v21 and vSphere 8 Update 2?
- Homelab v 8.0
- vSphere 8.0 Page
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- VMware vCenter Server 7.0 U3e released – another maintenance release fixing vSphere with Tanzu
- What is The Difference between VMware vSphere, ESXi and vCenter
- How to Configure VMware High Availability (HA) Cluster