Home Lab Build – NexentaStor Setup

NOTE: This installation was performed with NexentaStor 3.0.4, later versions may have slight differences in the installation process and the GUI interface.

I’m going to skip on insulting your intelligence by providing screen shots of the installation process for Nexenta, or the configuration of the VM if you go that route. I will start with the assumption that you have NexentaStor (Community Edition) installed on either a physical system or a VM, if you have gone the physical route obviously your network interface names are going to be different than I show. Since I am using VT-d of an actual SAS controller card, the rest should be similar.

  1. Proceed and start the configuration wizard

    wpid-voila_capture351-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  2. Select which detected network interface you wish to be your primary (management) – we get more advanced control after the wizard is complete

    wpid-voila_capture352-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  3. Select your configuration option (static)

    wpid-voila_capture353-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  4. Input your IP Address you wish to use

    wpid-voila_capture354-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  5. Proceed through the network configuration defining your subnet mask, DNS servers and gateway

    wpid-voila_capture355-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  6. Review your configuration settings. If your configuration is correct, select N(o). If you need to make a correction, select Y(es)

    wpid-voila_capture356-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  7. Select if you wish to use HTTP or HTTPS for management access. SSL does add CPU overhead and may be less responsive as the system warns.

    wpid-voila_capture357-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  8. Make note of your configured TCP port and change it if desired (default = 2000), this will be the port the web management GUI listens on.

    wpid-voila_capture358-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  9. Make note of the provided URL and access it in order to continue configuration.

    wpid-voila_capture359-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  10. Open the management GUI in a web browser (Flash enabled) to proceed with the configuration wizard (Wizard 1).

    wpid-voila_capture360-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  11. Populate the fields to meet your configuration goals and proceed to the next step.

    wpid-voila_capture361-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  12. Configure your passwords for the two default management contexts and proceed.




    wpid-voila_capture362-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  13. Define your notification preferences and continue to the next step.




    wpid-voila_capture363-2011-02-4-16-565.png

  14. Review your configuration settings and save your configuration.
  15. We are now into the “Wizard 2” stage, this is where we will configure the actual storage options.
  16. Review your current interface settings, you can edit the existing configuration or add a new one. If you wish to aggregate multiple links into a single logical interface you must add a new interface to get that option. I will leave these as they are and can edit them at another time.
  17. Next we are prompted to configure the iSCSI initiator service, this would be used to access another storage device for resources (e.g. to add NFS to an iSCSI only system such as a Dell/EQ). I am not using any other iSCSI systems so this is irrelevant.

    wpid-voila_capture366-2011-02-4-16-565.png
  18. This next screen shows us the list of detected disk devices, if you had configured iSCSI on the previous screen and had mapped storage to this initiator those resources should also be visible. I currently have 2 1TB Seagate drives attached to the SATA controller I assigned through VT-d.

    wpid-voila_capture367-2011-02-4-16-565.png
  19. In this next section we are asked to create volumes (storage pools). The process is to select the physical resources and assign it to the volume. You can select multiple devices and change the “Redundancy Type” to configure for RAID protection (None=stripe, Mirror, RAIDZ1 = ~RAID5, RAIDZ2 = ~RAID6, and RAIDZ3 = paranoid?) 

I am starting with “none” as I will perform some testing comparing different options in a later post.

    wpid-voila_capture371-2011-02-4-16-565.jpg
  20. In the lower section we configure the properties of the pool, including name, deduplication, and Sync settings (which we will discuss more later). I will leave all settings as default at this time.

    wpid-voila_capture373-2011-02-4-16-565.jpg
  21. Verify your volume was created, if not a red error description will flash temporarily across the upper section of the screen.

    wpid-voila_capture374-2011-02-4-16-565.jpg
  22. In this next portion we can create “folders”, each folder can have its own access type (NFS, CIFS, FTP, RSYNC, etc). I will add a single folder which I will configure for NFS, I am selecting a block size of 4KB to match that of most of my guest OS systems. I also am setting the file system to be case sensitive and to enable unicode.
    wpid-voila_capture375-2011-02-4-16-565.jpg
  23. This is the final step of the guided wizard, we can make any additional changes through the actual management interface. Set the checkboxes to meet your comfort level, I will attempt to compare some of these options in a later post for performance impact.
    wpid-voila_capture376-2011-02-4-16-565.jpg
  24. This completes the basic configuration, the rest will be done through the standard management interface.

NexentaStor Storage Concepts

Within the Nexenta, or perhaps Solaris ZFS storage management, there are :

  • Datasets (ZFS Pools) which are made up of physical disk (or logical from outside array)
  • Shares – logical units presented as file services (CIFS, NFS, RSYNC, FTP, etc)
  • ZVols – logical units presented as block storage (iSCSI)

With that being said, there are really just 2 different processes for allocating storage depending on if it is file based or block based storage.

Again, I hope this helps someone. I will cover configuring storage and accessing it from ESX in a later post.

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