Posts Tagged ‘free iscsi san’

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StorMagic offers Free VSA

March 3, 2009

StorMagic (UK) is offering a “free” license for their new $1,000 virtual storage appliance (VSA) targeted speficically at VMware ESX users. This VSA – like all VSAs to date – targets the directly attached storage (DAS) of your ESX server as fodder for shared storage: by commandeering and redistributing the DAS as a network share for all ESX servers in your farm.

How is StorMagic’s VSA – the call it the StorMagic SvSAN – different from other VSA offerings?

  • First, it is being offered “free’ for the 2TB management license if you “qualify” by getting a “promo code” from a reseller. Fortunately, getting a promo code is as easy clicking the “help balloon” on the download form.
  • Second, it offers a commercially supported SAN platform – under ESX – that can be managed directly from vCenter. This allows direct management of the underlying RAID controller on the ESX hardware. Currently, all LSI MegaRAID SAS controllers are supported, as well as 3Ware’s 9500S, 9650SE and 9690 Series, plus support for Intel’s SRCSAS-RB/JV and SRCSATAWB controllers.
  • Thirdly, the VSA supports all of the basic functions needed in an ESX/HA environment: high availability and mirroring, snapshots and iSCSI. HA features are available hrough an additional license (now being offered 2-for-1) and 256 levels of snapshot – per VSA – that work with a VSS provider for Windows.

More importantly, StorMagic is a VMware Technology Alliance Partner, implying a depth of support that OpenSource “free” products can not offer. SvSAN requires ESX 3.5+, one vCPU, 2000MHz reservation, 1GB memory, Gigabit Ethernet connection(s), 500MB disk space and a supported RAID controller. Follow this link to try SvSAN.

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Installing: Xtravirt Virtual SAN

February 10, 2009

Today we’re looking at the Xtravirt Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) solution for use with VMware ESX Server 3. It is designed to be a simple to deploy, redundant (DRBD synchronization), high-availability iSCSI SAN between two ESX servers. We are installing it on two ESXi servers, each with local storage, running the latest patch update (3.5.0 build 143129).

Initial Installation

XVS requires a virtual machine import: either using Converter or manual process. We follow the manual process. We used the command line to convert the imported disk into a ESXi-compliant format:

vmkfstools -i XVS.vmdk -d thin XVSnew.vmdk
rm -f XVS.vmdk XVS-*

After conversion, you have a 2GB virtual machine (times two) ready for configuration. We removed the legacy ethernet and hard disk that came with the inventory import. Then add the “existing” disk and new Ethernet (flex) controller.

We then added a 120GB virtual disk to each node using the local storage controllers: LSI 1068SAS (RAID1) for node 1 and NVidia MCP55Pro (RAID1) for node 2. Node 1 and 2 are using the same 250GB Seagate ES.2 (RAID edition) drives. Read the rest of this entry ?