In modern data centers, it is easy to find shared storage utilized by a number of servers. These typically include Network File System (NFS), Internet SCSI (iSCSI) and ATA Over Ethernet (AOE). In virtualized environments, these shared storage become a source of provisioning disks for creating new virtual machines.
With version 0.9.5, ConVirt allows declaration of such shared storage. (NOTE : It is assumed that all servers within a server pool are already configured to access the shared storage). Once declared, these can be used at the time of provisioning. Here the iSCSI storage definition and use are explained in detail.
Defining ISCSI Storage
To define a new iSCSI storage, Click Storage Pool menu after selecting a server pool. Click Add. Select iSCSI from the drop down and provide following information.
- Portal : The iscsi portal that is exporting the storage.
- Target : The specific storage target on that portal.
Now select a managed server in the server pool and click 'Go' button to test the storage setup. If the entered parameters are correct, it would show the total size of storage exported by this iscsi target.
Note : Do not skip this step. This is how ConVirt learns about the available storage capacity. Press ok to save the storage definition as well as the available storage capacity.
Using defined ISCSI Storage
Once defined, this definition can be used at the time of provisioning any virtual machine in the server pool. Lets see a user flow for this operation.
- Select a server / Server pool and select Provisioning
- In the Connected Disk area, select Add disk to get to the Disk Information dialog.
- Select the shared storage icon near the Disk Location. This will bring up the Shared Storage definitions.
- Select the iSCSI definition from the drop down and press Select Storage button. This would show a table containing all the Luns available at the storage server.
- Select one of the Lun and press OK. This would get the required information populated in to the Disk Location area.
AOE and NFS Storage definition and use follow very similar user flow with an exception that for NFS Storage the mount point gets selected.
Storage Utilization :
ConVirt keeps track of the storage utilized by each Virtual machine. It keeps track of local storage as well as shared storage. This information is displayed in dashboard. Along with total storage available at the server pool, this information allows administrator to keep an eye for the storage usage. To let ConVirt find the disk size for existing VM, you use the Edit Settings option specify disk as either remote or local in the Connected disk areas and save the changes.