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October 16, 2014

Getting Started with Atlantis USX - Part 3

Dane Young - Entisys Solutions

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For my initial volume, I want to show you an example of accelerating SAN/NAS with host RAM, so I’ll select Hybrid. Here’s an example of what my environment will look like when completed:

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I’ve entered a volume name, capacity, selected NFS for the protocol (preferred over iSCSI for vSphere), and a name template:

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On the Advanced Settings page, I’ve selected ‘Prefer Shared Storage for Volume’ which auto-selects the ‘Fast Sync’ option. If desired, I could select ‘Prefer flash memory for volume’ at which point USX will use the local SSD disks in each host for the performance tier. If I don’t select this option, server RAM will be used for the performance tier (default behavior). The Workload Ratio can be adjusted for Read Heavy, Write Heavy, Balanced, or Custom ratios. This affects the percentage of performance pool relative to capacity. When I click Next, the deployment planner automatically kicks off and starts the deployment.

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At this point, USX deploys the OVFs for each of the Service VMs to each of the hosts, bootstraps the VMs, deploys, and configures the volume:

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Once completed, we’ll have a service VM deployed on each host along with the volume VM:

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When the volume has completed deployment, you’ll see all kinds of fun visuals and statistics about the volume under the Manage section (more data is available under Analytics). Once the VM has fully fired up, each of these fields will start to populate data. This will become much more useful as we begin to load up the volume with some virtual machines and data:

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The last piece that I’ll want to do is deploy an HA VM for this volume and mount it to each of the vSphere hosts. To do this, I’ll click ‘Manage Volumes’. With the volume selected, I’ll click the Actions button and select ‘Enable HA’:

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I’ll deselect Enable Shared HA Service VMs for now and click OK to deploy the HA VM:

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USX fires off the vSphere OVF deployment operation for the HA VM:

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To mount the volume to each of the hosts in my cluster, I’ll click Actions and ‘Mount Volume’:

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I’ll select my vCenter server from the drop down and check each host to mount the volume as an NFS Datastore:

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When I click OK, USX fires off the ‘Create NAS Datastore’ task for each of the hosts and I now have my NAS datastore mapped in vSphere:

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For NAS/NFS volumes, USX will report the free space post-deduplication. So, if I load up 80GB worth of data into my 100GB volume, vSphere will report the available space after dedupe. Most likely this would not be 20GB unless I was getting horrid dedupe ratios.

Continue to Part 4, Deploying a Hybrid DAS Volume (aka Hyper-Converged)

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to comment below, message me on twitter or e-mail. If you want to get in contact with your local Atlantis team, use the Atlantis contact form here.

Thanks!

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