Home » Windows 2012

NetoMeter Presents:

How to Deploy Scale-Out File Server Cluster with StarWind Virtual SAN

– Plan and Deploy StarWind Virtual SAN

– Install and Configure Scale-Out File Server

Microsoft Scale-out File Server (SoFS) is one of the remarkable new features introduced in Server 2012 and further improved in Server 2012 R2. The interest towards SoFS deployment is high, and that comes as no surprise, considering the fact that companies are accepting virtualization as the de facto standard and the corresponding need for highly available/high performance scalable storage.

Speaking of storage, undoubtedly, that is one of the key components you need to have in place for a successful Scale-out File Server deployment. Most of the SoFS guides assume that highly available storage is already installed and configured. Alternatively, you see SoFS deployments with a single Storage Space server behind the Active-Active cluster nodes, which doesn’t make a lot of sense as it still contains a single point of failure (the Storage Server) and just adds an extra layer of complexity to your design.

In our step-by-step screencast, we start with installing and configuring the storage – StarWind Virtual SAN v8. It provides the highly available storage that we need for SoFS, combined with great performance. As you will see in the Screencast, you can configure Layer 1 cache (on RAM) and Layer 2 cache (on SSD) for the Cluster Shared Volumes. As you are probably aware, hosting multiple Virtual Machines on a Cluster Shared Volume creates the so called I/O blender – a huge number of random I/O operations that results into a serious performance degradation of the storage system. The Log Structured File System (LSFS) introduced by StarWind v8 addresses this issue by coalescing the random I/O into a sequential stream.

Once we have the storage in place, we proceed with deploying Microsoft Scale-out file server cluster. In our demo, we configure a two-node cluster for highly available Application Storage – HyperV VM, SQL server. While Microsoft supports up to eight nodes in a Scale-Out File Server cluster, you would normally choose a deployment of 2 to 4 nodes per cluster to get the desired combination of high availability, performance, and scalability.

For your convenience, we provide the text file with our project plan and commands that we are using in the screencast here .

Click to play 1 video
Step 1 We start with taking a look at our existing network configuration and discuss the Microsoft Scale-Out File Server cluster deployment plan. Then, we proceed with configuring and double-checking network connections, installing StarWind Virtual SAN software, and enabling multipathing.

Click to play 2 video
Step 2 Next, we proceed with configuring the highly available StarWind virtual disks that we need for our cluster. This is where the Layer 1 (RAM) and Layer 2 (SSD) cache, and the Log Structured file system (LSFS) will come into play.

Click to play 3 video
Step 3 In this step, we focus on configuring iSCSI connections and multipathing. We keep things as simple as possible; hence, some of the tasks are performed in PowerShell (don’t forget to download the text file with PS commands), and some of them – in the graphical interface.

Click to play 4 video
Step 4 In the last step, we create our Scale-Out File Server cluster. We run all the cluster validation tests and add manually the storage that we need. Then, we configure the Disk Witness and the Cluster Shared Volumes. Finally, we deploy the Scale-Out File Server role and demonstrate how to add SMB File Shares for Applications and how to configure the appropriate permissions for Hyper-V.

NetoMeter Screencasts

Step-by-Step Video Tutorials

Useful Links

netometer logo

Edtior's Picks

Latest Articles

©2024 NetoMeter All Right Reserved.