Recently I’ve been writing and publishing a series of articles on the vSphere Storage Appliance on the VMware Storage blog. There is quite of bit of interest on this solution now that it supports centralize and de-centralized management of multiple VSA Clusters. One of the new features of the VSA 5.1 is that it allows you to centrally manage multiple two node or three node clusters from a single instance of vCenter Server. I’ve covered the VSA centralized management for ROBO topic in lengthy details in the VMware Storage blog so I recommend reading those articles to get up to speed on that.
One of the big topics around the use of VSA for ROBO is around the correct use and deployment of the VSA Cluster Service (VSACS). It’s important to know that all scenarios that will be based on two clusters require the deployment of the VSACS. The requirements for this solution demands for the VSACS to reside outside of the resources provided by the VSA Cluster in order to avoid VSA Cluster service outages. The options available for the deployment of the VSACS range from using an virtual machine, an existing shared physical system or an inexpensive hardware appliance that meets the applications requirements.
So in an effort to simplify implementation and even possibly reduce the cost around the management and implementation of two node VSA cluster scenarios the utilization of the vMA appliance can be considered. The vMA appliance i snow build on top of one of the Linux distribution (SLES) supported by the VSACS and it presents the following benefits to this solution:
- Preconfigured and support Operating system
- Free of charge
- Small footprint
- Add zypper repository and validate successful completion
- Refresh the zypper repository as it is most likely outdated
- Search for the gettext tool via zypper in order to install the correct bits
- Install the gettext-tools bits
- Copy or transfer the VSA Cluster Service bits to the /tmp directory of the vMA Appliance
- unzip the VSA Cluster Service bits to the /tmp directory of the vMA Appliance
- Verify the install.sh file has the adequate permissions to execution on the installation
- Run the install.sh script to launch the installation of the VSA Cluster Service. The results illustrated in the screen shot below are common and you can safely ignore the insserv: script exec is broken warnings as they don’t have any effect on the operations of the service. One of the requirements of VSA Cluster Service is to have 2GB of available storage capacity. The warning regarding the recommended space is display in the screen shot below. The vMA appliance I used for this post was not modify to meet the storage capacity requirement. I recommend to do so during or after the deployment of the vMA appliance.
- Create a password for the vmwarevcsadmin service account that was created as part of the installation. This password will be needed when creating the VSA Cluster from the VSA Manager.
- Restart the VSAClusterService service and if everything looks as illustrated below, you’re ready to move on to the VSA Manager and start the deployment and configuration of the VSA Clusters.