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HyperV Server 2012 R2 Lab Setup RRS feed

  • Frage

  • Hello,

    I’m looking for some recommendations on how to proceed with the setup of a Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 lab environment.  I have two systems that I’d like to setup in a cluster.  These two systems have enough drives for two RAID volumes, one for OS and one for the VHDs.  My initial investigation results are hazy on if I can use these same systems for the clustered storage, and if possible the limitations I will encounter.  I do not have a SAN or NAS to use as storage.  Can I use these same systems as both the Hyper-V clustered hosts and as the clustered storage?  If so, what is the best setup?  Will I experience any limitations versus using a SAN or NAS as storage?

    Thank you very much for input.

    Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013 02:30

Antworten

  • No product from Microsoft allows you to use directly attached storage on Hyper-V hosts in a shared, clustered manner.  Many third-party solutions for this exist, with many differences between them.  You can search the internet for "virtual SAN on Windows" or "distributed iSCSI target on Windows" and you'll get lists of them.

    You might also want to consider using Hyper-V Replica to replicate the VMs on one machine to the other machine.  The result will use twice as much storage, as the VMs will end up being stored on both machines.  (This will tend to be true with the virtual SAN products, too.)  And the result won't automatically fail over.  But it will protect your VMs to a large extent.

    Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013 21:03
  • Hello,

    Thank you all very much for the information.  I would not want to go down the path of using Hyper-V Replica because I would like to utilize both hosts for resources at the same time.  I also wouldn’t use the native san for hyper-v free edition from StarWind because of the 128GB HA device limit.  The VSA options look interesting and I need to dedicate some time to investigate.  The overhead of presenting the storage from within a VM sounds like it might cause some issues.  How does HA work when you are presenting the storage from a VM and the host that the storage is from or the VM presenting the storage (running on the same host) goes down?

    Is it possible to setup both hosts as clustered Hyper-V hosts and Scale out File Servers (clustered)?  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831349.aspx

    This is a lab environment that would be used for learning and testing.

    1) You can use both hosts @ the same time with Hyper-V Replica. So you may run set of VMs on a HostA and replicate them to a HostB and you may run another set of VMs on a HostB and replicate them to a HostA.

    2) You can easily bypass capacity limitation with StarWind writing to sales and telling you have a lab so you need a NFR key. 

    3) Not sure any of the referenced VSAs except HP can run clustered in a free versions... HP can run clustered and provide you an HA config but a) it's capacity limited to 1TB and b) needs HP hardware to run on :)

    4) You cannot feed SoFS in a loopback so you need a dedicated set (at least a pair) of a physical boxes to serve SoFS role. And you need a shared storage (physical or virtual SAN) to synchronize content on SoFS boxes as SoFS cannot do this on their own - they need a Windows cluster. As you don't have any shared storage (physical or virtual) you cannot do SoFS thing.


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Mittwoch, 11. Dezember 2013 20:26

Alle Antworten

  • Hi,

    Maybe you can get it to work with Virtual Hard Disk sharing:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn281956.aspxIf 

    SAN/NAS shared storage is usually the best option for a Hyper-V cluster.

    I have used Openfiler in the past to emulate a SAN but there is no support for Hyper-V (only VMWare and XenServer)

     


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    Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013 14:26
  • No product from Microsoft allows you to use directly attached storage on Hyper-V hosts in a shared, clustered manner.  Many third-party solutions for this exist, with many differences between them.  You can search the internet for "virtual SAN on Windows" or "distributed iSCSI target on Windows" and you'll get lists of them.

    You might also want to consider using Hyper-V Replica to replicate the VMs on one machine to the other machine.  The result will use twice as much storage, as the VMs will end up being stored on both machines.  (This will tend to be true with the virtual SAN products, too.)  And the result won't automatically fail over.  But it will protect your VMs to a large extent.

    Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013 21:03
  • Hi,

    In fact, It hard to say how to design a lab for Hyper-V 2012r2 lab, because it depend on what the test you want to do, but base on my experience, the worth mentioning is the Hyper-V role must install on the bare metal server, in the cluster environment you have to have at least two cluster node, one separate share storage ( such as SAN storage), AD DS, that means you usually have at least three computers and one share storage device.

    Hope this helps.


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    Montag, 9. Dezember 2013 08:51
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    I’m looking for some recommendations on how to proceed with the setup of a Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 lab environment.  I have two systems that I’d like to setup in a cluster.  These two systems have enough drives for two RAID volumes, one for OS and one for the VHDs.  My initial investigation results are hazy on if I can use these same systems for the clustered storage, and if possible the limitations I will encounter.  I do not have a SAN or NAS to use as storage.  Can I use these same systems as both the Hyper-V clustered hosts and as the clustered storage?  If so, what is the best setup?  Will I experience any limitations versus using a SAN or NAS as storage?

    Thank you very much for input.

    Like Jake said Microsoft is not doing what you want out-of-box and you need to use third-party software. Good news there's a free one doing what you want (mirroring cheap SATA drives mounted internally to your hypervisor servers to create a distributed high performance and fault tolerant SAN). See:

    http://www.starwindsoftware.com/native-san-for-hyper-v-free-edition

    You may also Bing for DataCore and SteelEye as they do have a comparable solution but none of them has a free version I'm aware of...

    Hope this helped :)



    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Montag, 9. Dezember 2013 12:06
  • Hi,

    Maybe you can get it to work with Virtual Hard Disk sharing:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn281956.aspxIf 

    SAN/NAS shared storage is usually the best option for a Hyper-V cluster.

    I have used Openfiler in the past to emulate a SAN but there is no support for Hyper-V (only VMWare and XenServer)

    1) Shared VHDX means there should be a fault tolerant back end storage to keep VHDX on. Shared VHDX do simplify guest VM cluster configuration (no need to mess with iSCSI or whatever) but they don't solve HA storage issue. See:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/storageserver/archive/2013/11/25/shared-vhdx-files-my-favorite-new-feature-in-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn265980.aspx

    http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=14936

    2) Openfiler DOES support Hyper-V. See:

    http://openfiler.com/products/openfiler-iscsi-san-virtualization-faq

    1. Can I use iSCSI SAN-4-V with Microsoft Hyper-V?

      Yes. iSCSI SAN-4-V is an excellent high-performance solution for backend iSCSI block storage in Hyper-V deployments.

    Openfiler team is cheating however :( You need to *BUY* a pretty expensive option to have pers. reservation (and thus Hyper-V support). So Hyper-V is supported with a commercial version only. Generally speaking latest trend is NOT to use Openfiler but spawn a competely free FreeBSD or delivered FreeNAS appliances. They are faster because of a mature FreeBSD kernel (Openfiler is using flaky R-Path Linux EOL-ed long time ago) and stable ZFS. See:

    http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/373443-why-we-recommend-against-openfiler

    Hope this helps!


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Montag, 9. Dezember 2013 12:12
  • OK. Lets drill your question down a bit for a specific solution. I have set up numerous labs for my self and friends aswell. I initially used Openfiler as a free SAN but wasn’t getting a real life experience. Hence had to dig deep.

    You have 3 options, - All three options are virtual SAN storage (VSA) .

    First option is using EMC VSA - see below for tutorial – Why I wouldn’t go for this is processing requirements. It runs really slow but if you have a beefy system then cruise on.

    http://techhead.co/emc-vnx-and-celerra-virtual-storage-appliance-vsa-free-download-link/

    Second option is Netapp DataonTap vsa – See below for tutorial - This is what I am using at the moment. Fast easy to install and reliable. Deploy it as a vm and the VM becomes your SAN storage .You can present LUNs to your host etc. Works like the Actual Netapp hardware storage.

    http://www.virtuallanger.com/2012/12/31/deploying-the-netapp-edge-vsa-part-i/

    Last Option is using HP store virtual Appliance – See ink below – This is another nice VSA from HP – very easy to install requires less processing requirement . I have used this for my Vmware SRM study and works well.

    http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c03687480.pdf

    There you have it .


    Regards, MassonTech


    • Bearbeitet Harry_Tech Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2013 11:48
    Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2013 11:47
  • OK. Lets drill your question down a bit for a specific solution. I have set up numerous labs for my self and friends aswell. I initially used Openfiler as a free SAN but wasn’t getting a real life experience. Hence had to dig deep.

    You have 3 options, - All three options are virtual SAN storage (VSA) .

    First option is using EMC VSA - see below for tutorial – Why I wouldn’t go for this is processing requirements. It runs really slow but if you have a beefy system then cruise on.

    http://techhead.co/emc-vnx-and-celerra-virtual-storage-appliance-vsa-free-download-link/

    Second option is Netapp DataonTap vsa – See below for tutorial - This is what I am using at the moment. Fast easy to install and reliable. Deploy it as a vm and the VM becomes your SAN storage .You can present LUNs to your host etc. Works like the Actual Netapp hardware storage.

    http://www.virtuallanger.com/2012/12/31/deploying-the-netapp-edge-vsa-part-i/

    Last Option is using HP store virtual Appliance – See ink below – This is another nice VSA from HP – very easy to install requires less processing requirement . I have used this for my Vmware SRM study and works well.

    http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c03687480.pdf

    There you have it .

    Running storage inside a virtual machine is a stone age. Big boys don't do it :) VMware VSAN clearly shows the way: storage virtualization stack should be built-in into hypervisor (Xen and KVM do this for years already). All tools you list do run some Linux or FreeBSD fork inside a VM and are a) slow because of a guest VM overhead b) pain to manage (with all cluster nodes down for service you always boot with a shared storage going out-of-sync as guest VMs come very late on the party, both storage and network stacks are already up and running from the other side) c) ...

    Honestly I would not spend time on a legacy solutions. Especially for a non-production OP has. IMHO of course :)


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2013 12:06
  • OK. Lets drill your question down a bit for a specific solution. I have set up numerous labs for my self and friends aswell. I initially used Openfiler as a free SAN but wasn’t getting a real life experience. Hence had to dig deep.

    You have 3 options, - All three options are virtual SAN storage (VSA) .

    First option is using EMC VSA - see below for tutorial – Why I wouldn’t go for this is processing requirements. It runs really slow but if you have a beefy system then cruise on.

    http://techhead.co/emc-vnx-and-celerra-virtual-storage-appliance-vsa-free-download-link/

    Second option is Netapp DataonTap vsa – See below for tutorial - This is what I am using at the moment. Fast easy to install and reliable. Deploy it as a vm and the VM becomes your SAN storage .You can present LUNs to your host etc. Works like the Actual Netapp hardware storage.

    http://www.virtuallanger.com/2012/12/31/deploying-the-netapp-edge-vsa-part-i/

    Last Option is using HP store virtual Appliance – See ink below – This is another nice VSA from HP – very easy to install requires less processing requirement . I have used this for my Vmware SRM study and works well.

    http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c03687480.pdf

    There you have it .

    Running storage inside a virtual machine is a stone age. Big boys don't do it :) VMware VSAN clearly shows the way: storage virtualization stack should be built-in into hypervisor (Xen and KVM do this for years already). All tools you list do run some Linux or FreeBSD fork inside a VM and are a) slow because of a guest VM overhead b) pain to manage (with all cluster nodes down for service you always boot with a shared storage going out-of-sync as guest VMs come very late on the party, both storage and network stacks are already up and running from the other side) c) ...

    Honestly I would not spend time on a legacy solutions. Especially for a non-production OP has. IMHO of course :)


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    As said at the beginging of my startment - i used these for my "LAB" enviroment . - If one is  keen to learn Hyper V , you should also know some sort of storage(SAN,NAS) Hardware , how their software runs etcs. The above options i have stated will give an idea on these Hardware storage and also provide shared storage for your Hypervisor .(In turn you are  learning two technologies - HyperV and your selected SAN hardware) .

    I am speaking from a Learning point of view (As the subject of this thread says "LAB" - i will asumme its for learning purposes).


    Regards, MassonTech

    Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2013 12:22
  • Hello,

    Thank you all very much for the information.  I would not want to go down the path of using Hyper-V Replica because I would like to utilize both hosts for resources at the same time.  I also wouldn’t use the native san for hyper-v free edition from StarWind because of the 128GB HA device limit.  The VSA options look interesting and I need to dedicate some time to investigate.  The overhead of presenting the storage from within a VM sounds like it might cause some issues.  How does HA work when you are presenting the storage from a VM and the host that the storage is from or the VM presenting the storage (running on the same host) goes down?

    Is it possible to setup both hosts as clustered Hyper-V hosts and Scale out File Servers (clustered)?  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831349.aspx

    This is a lab environment that would be used for learning and testing.

    Mittwoch, 11. Dezember 2013 19:38
  • Hello,

    Thank you all very much for the information.  I would not want to go down the path of using Hyper-V Replica because I would like to utilize both hosts for resources at the same time.  I also wouldn’t use the native san for hyper-v free edition from StarWind because of the 128GB HA device limit.  The VSA options look interesting and I need to dedicate some time to investigate.  The overhead of presenting the storage from within a VM sounds like it might cause some issues.  How does HA work when you are presenting the storage from a VM and the host that the storage is from or the VM presenting the storage (running on the same host) goes down?

    Is it possible to setup both hosts as clustered Hyper-V hosts and Scale out File Servers (clustered)?  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831349.aspx

    This is a lab environment that would be used for learning and testing.

    1) You can use both hosts @ the same time with Hyper-V Replica. So you may run set of VMs on a HostA and replicate them to a HostB and you may run another set of VMs on a HostB and replicate them to a HostA.

    2) You can easily bypass capacity limitation with StarWind writing to sales and telling you have a lab so you need a NFR key. 

    3) Not sure any of the referenced VSAs except HP can run clustered in a free versions... HP can run clustered and provide you an HA config but a) it's capacity limited to 1TB and b) needs HP hardware to run on :)

    4) You cannot feed SoFS in a loopback so you need a dedicated set (at least a pair) of a physical boxes to serve SoFS role. And you need a shared storage (physical or virtual SAN) to synchronize content on SoFS boxes as SoFS cannot do this on their own - they need a Windows cluster. As you don't have any shared storage (physical or virtual) you cannot do SoFS thing.


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Mittwoch, 11. Dezember 2013 20:26

  • This is a lab environment that would be used for learning and testing.

    1) You can use both hosts @ the same time with Hyper-V Replica. So you may run set of VMs on a HostA and replicate them to a HostB and you may run another set of VMs on a HostB and replicate them to a HostA.

    2) You can easily bypass capacity limitation with StarWind writing to sales and telling you have a lab so you need a NFR key. 

    3) Not sure any of the referenced VSAs except HP can run clustered in a free versions... HP can run clustered and provide you an HA config but a) it's capacity limited to 1TB and b) needs HP hardware to run on :)

    4) You cannot feed SoFS in a loopback so you need a dedicated set (at least a pair) of a physical boxes to serve SoFS role. And you need a shared storage (physical or virtual SAN) to synchronize content on SoFS boxes as SoFS cannot do this on their own - they need a Windows cluster. As you don't have any shared storage (physical or virtual) you cannot do SoFS thing.


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    You do not need HP hardware to run HP VSA. It is a vsa, it runs on anything. If you are definately setting up your Lab for testing , you could nest your environment in Vmware workstation like i did below. You have the opportunity to build fix break etc. 


    Regards, MassonTech

    Mittwoch, 11. Dezember 2013 23:37

  • [ ... ]

    You do not need HP hardware to run HP VSA. It is a vsa, it runs on anything. If you are definately setting up your Lab for testing , you could nest your environment in Vmware workstation like i did below. You have the opportunity to build fix break etc. 

    [ ... ]

    I'm talking about free version HP is giving away with their Gen8 servers. See:

    http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/data-storage/free-vsa.html?jumpid=va_r2880_ww/en/large/tsg/pl_po_ob_ds_pd/free-vsa_cc/dt

    It clearly lists all the limitation this *clustered* version has.

    If the one you point at has no clustering enabled (cannot replicate DAS between two hosts for HA, sorry I'm lazy to check so leaving this to you...) it's not better then MS built-in target or just an SMB share...


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Mittwoch, 11. Dezember 2013 23:59
  • Hello,

    I worked with StarWind to get a NFR key (that is good for a year) so that I can use just the two servers with the internal storage.  I got the environment up and running last week but have not been able to do any testing for performance or automatic failover.  So far it appears to be a good solution.

    Thank you all for your help.


    • Bearbeitet JP_Bauer Montag, 23. Dezember 2013 13:28
    Montag, 23. Dezember 2013 13:27