With vSAN 6.7 iSCSI target, shared disks hosted on vSAN can now be presented to Virtual Machines on the same vSAN cluster and do officially support Microsoft WSFC. This mean s that we can now offer highly available File Servers and SQL servers without the customer having to purchase shared storage. vSAN features such as deduplication, compression and storage policies are all supported. In this blog post we are going to go through how to get it setup, test it and highlight some of it’s limitations
iSCSI vSAN Networking
We are going to create a distributed port group and a vmkernel port group to isolate the iSCSI traffic.
I created a VMkernel Adapter on each hypervsior and assigned it to the SDDC-vSAN-iSCI port group.
Enable iSCSI Target Service
Click on the cluster object > Configure > Services > vSAN iSCI Target Service > Edit > Enable the service then click apply
Create iSCSI Target
Now that the service is enabled we can go-ahead and create an iSCSI Target. To create iSCSI Target select Cluster > Configure > iSCSI Target > Add
Leave the IQN blank so the system can auto generate it.
To create iSCSI LUNs select Cluster > Configure > iSCSI Target > Select the iSCSI Target > Add LUN
Choose an ID if you need it to be different from the system generated one, choose an Alias, the size of the LUN and the storage policy that you would like to apply.
Create Initiator Group
By default, all the initiators are allowed to connect with target. We need to create initiator group to restrict the access of VIT target
Cluster > Configure > iSCSI Target > Initiator Groups
Choose a group name and add the member initiator name of you Windows servers. Also, add the target group that we configured above.
The setup is now complete from vSphere. Let’s do some testing.
Windows File Server Cluster Testing
I have a couple of Windows 2016 VMs to test with. I have configured MPIO with a policy of Failover and configured a file cluster
Below is the configuration of the vSAN iSCSI LUNs from a Windows perspective.
My file cluster settings
Let’s now test if can change the cluster node owner. Currently, the owner node is Win-FB0DV3TONQA, let’s change it to the other node of our cluster
The new owner is now Win-9P9RG2FVAO1 and is Online.
Simulate a node failure
Currently node Win-9P9RG2FVAO1 is the owner node. We are going to go ahead an reboot it to simulate a failure
As soon as the node went offline, the other node took over
Simulate an ESXi Host failure
In vSphere, hyp03 is showing as I/O owner host. We are going to reboot it to simulate a planned or unplanned event: and check the impact on the Windows Cluster
I initiated the reboot. Notice the I/O owner has now changed to hyp02
The cluster nodes stayed online
With iSCSI MPIO and the configured failover policy the cluster recovered automatically.
I hope this post was helpful and thank you for reading.
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My name is Amine El Badaoui and I currently live in Aylesbury, a small town in the south east of England
I have been working in the IT industry for few years now and specialise in VMware virtualisation, data centre infrastructure and cloud technologies. Over the years I have obtained numerous industry certifications from Microsoft, Netapp and VMware.I currently work as a VMware Product Engineer @ https://www.rackspace.com/
This blog represents my random technical notes and thoughts. The thoughts expressed here do not reflect my current employer in anyway.