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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Using StorSimple Virtual Array as File Server

We have covered using Storsimple Virtual Array as iSCSI Server in previous post. Next we are going to use it as File Server. You can use Storsimple Virtual Array (VSA) for file server or iSCSI Server to store files and small database. Native protocol is using SMB or iSCSI. It provides tiering to cloud, cloud backup, fast restore, item level recovery and disaster recovery features

[ Disclamer ]

No distribution of Storsimple Virtual Array as it is tie to our Azure Subscription ID. At this moment, it is still under preview version and intended for evaluation. It is subject to change when General Availability (GA).

[Storsimple Virtual Array Configuration]
To begin with Storsimple Virtual Array will available to customers with an Enterprise Agreement for Microsoft Azure. This version of the Storsimple solution in a virtual machine form can installed on your existing hypervisors:

  • Hyper-V 2008 R2 and above
  • Vmware ESXi 5.5 and above

It is an integrated storage solution that manage storage tasks between on-premise virtual device running in a hypervisor and Microsoft Azure Storage.

Minimum virtual array configuration is
  • 4 cores
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 1 virtual NIC
  • virtual appliance OS disk - 80GB
  • virtual appliance data disk - 500 GB
Storsimple Virtual Array must configure with minimum spec as listed above, else it won't allow you to proceed further.

After download the virtual images and boot up. You can configure VSA initial setup by using browser.

Features that you might interested:
  • automatic data tiering to cloud
  • deduplication and compression for data tiered to the cloud
  • locally pinned shares and volumes
  • item level recovery. This features available when configure VSA as File Server.
  • centralize management in the cloud
  • data mobility - data tiered to cloud can access from remote site for recovery and migration. You can recover entire virtual array to another virtual array in case primary virtual array failed.
  • restore metadata immediately and store data as it needed. Normal operation can continue with minimal disruption.
  • scheduled and on-demand backup

The Virtual Storage Array has a maximum capacity of 6.4 TB on the device (with the underlying hardware has requirement of  8TB) and 64TB including cloud.

This round we are configure it as File Server and virtual array must join to domain.

There are two types of volumes that you can create
a) Locally pinned share
- Suitable when workload data is available locally on Virtual Array.
- volume capacity between 50 GB and 2 TB

b) Tiered share
-Use when other data and 10% of the provisioned volume size is available on the Virtual Array and remaining % is on cloud.
- volume capacity between 500 GB and 20 TB

Select usage type, size and permission on the share folder.

On the on-premise server, map the share folder as start to use as File Server.

The remaining shares permission can modify from Windows Explorer. Here is the screenshot of the folder that map to Storsimpe Virtual Array.

Some file shares is local share and some tier to Azure.

To protect the data on Storsimple Virtual Array, you can configure schedule and on-demand backup to Microsoft Azure.