Deploy StorSimple Virtual Array - Prepare the Azure portal

Overview

Important

StorSimple Virtual Array (1200 series) will reach its end-of-life in December 2020. If you are considering new deployments of StorSimple Virtual Array, we recommend that you explore other alternatives such as Azure File Sync or Azure Data Box Online devices for your workloads.

This is the first article in the series of deployment tutorials required to completely deploy your virtual array as a file server or an iSCSI server using the Resource Manager model. This article describes the preparation required to create and configure your StorSimple Device Manager service prior to provisioning a virtual array. This article also links out to a deployment configuration checklist and configuration prerequisites.

You need administrator privileges to complete the setup and configuration process. We recommend that you review the deployment configuration checklist before you begin. The portal preparation takes less than 10 minutes.

The information published in this article applies to the deployment of StorSimple Virtual Arrays in the Azure portal and Microsoft Azure Government Cloud.

Get started

The deployment workflow consists of preparing the portal, provisioning a virtual array in your virtualized environment, and completing the setup. To get started with the StorSimple Virtual Array deployment as a file server or an iSCSI server, you need to refer to the following tabulated resources.

Deployment articles

To deploy your StorSimple Virtual Array, refer to the following articles in the prescribed sequence.

# In this step You do this … And use these documents.
1. Set up the Azure portal Create and configure your StorSimple Device Manager service prior to provisioning a StorSimple Virtual Array. Prepare the portal
2. Provision the Virtual Array For Hyper-V, provision and connect to a StorSimple Virtual Array on a host system running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2.

For VMware, provision and connect to a StorSimple Virtual Array on a host system running VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5.
Provision a virtual array in Hyper-V

Provision a virtual array in VMware
3. Set up the Virtual Array For your file server, perform initial setup, register your StorSimple file server, and complete the device setup. You can then provision SMB shares.

For your iSCSI server, perform initial setup, register your StorSimple iSCSI server, and complete the device setup. You can then provision iSCSI volumes.
Set up virtual array as file server

Set up virtual array as iSCSI server

You can now begin to set up the Azure portal.

Configuration checklist

The configuration checklist describes the information that you need to collect before you configure the software on your StorSimple Virtual Array. Preparing this information ahead of time helps streamline the process of deploying the StorSimple device in your environment. Depending upon whether your StorSimple Virtual Array is deployed as a file server or an iSCSI server, you need one of the following checklists.

Prerequisites

Here you find the configuration prerequisites for your StorSimple Device Manager service, your StorSimple Virtual Array, and the datacenter network.

For the StorSimple Device Manager service

Before you begin, make sure that:

  • You have your Microsoft account with access credentials.
  • You have your Microsoft Azure storage account with access credentials.
  • Your Microsoft Azure subscription should be enabled for StorSimple Device Manager service.

For the StorSimple Virtual Array

Before you deploy a virtual array, make sure that:

  • You have access to a host system running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 or later or VMware (ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5) that can be used to a provision a device.

  • The host system is able to dedicate the following resources to provision your virtual array:

    • A minimum of 4 cores.
    • At least 8 GB of RAM. If you plan to configure the virtual array as file server, 8 GB supports 2 million files. You need 16 GB RAM to support 2 - 4 million files.
    • One network interface.
    • A 500 GB virtual disk for system data.

For the datacenter network

Before you begin, make sure that:

  • The network in your datacenter is configured as per the networking requirements for your StorSimple device. For more information, see the StorSimple Virtual Array System Requirements.
  • Your StorSimple Virtual Array has a dedicated 5 Mbps Internet bandwidth (or more) available at all times. This bandwidth should not be shared with any other applications.

Step-by-step preparation

Use the following step-by-step instructions to prepare your portal for the StorSimple Device Manager service.

Step 1: Create a new service

A single instance of the StorSimple Device Manager service can manage multiple StorSimple Virtual Arrays. Perform the following steps to create an instance of the StorSimple Device Manager service. If you have an existing StorSimple Device Manager service to manage your virtual arrays, skip this step and go to Step 2: Get the service registration key.

To create a new service

  1. Using your Microsoft account credentials, sign in to the Azure portal at this URL: https://portal.azure.com/. If deploying the device in Government portal, sign in at: https://portal.azure.us/

  2. In the Azure portal, click + Create a resource > Storage > StorSimple Virtual Series.

    Create new service

  3. In the StorSimple Device Manager blade that opens up, do the following:

    1. Supply a unique Resource name for your service. The resource name is a friendly name that can be used to identify the service. The name can have between 2 and 50 characters that can be letters, numbers, and hyphens. The name must start and end with a letter or a number.

    2. Choose a Subscription from the drop-down list. The subscription is linked to your billing account. This field is not present if you have only one subscription.

    3. For Resource group, select an existing or create a new group. For more information, see Azure resource groups.

    4. Supply a Location for your service. See Azure Regions for more information about which services are available in which region. In general, choose a Location closest to the geographical region where you want to deploy your device. You may also want to factor in the following:

      • If you have existing workloads in Azure that you also intend to deploy with your StorSimple device, we recommend that you use that datacenter.

      • Your StorSimple Device Manager and Azure storage can be in two separate locations. In such a case, you are required to create the StorSimple Device Manager and Azure storage account separately. To create an Azure storage account, navigate to Azure Storage in the Azure portal and follow the steps described in Create a storage account. After you create this account, add it to the StorSimple Device Manager service by following the steps in Configure a new storage account for the service.

      • If deploying the virtual device in the Government Portal, the StorSimple Device Manager service is available in US Iowa and US Virginia locations.

    5. Select Create a new Azure storage account to automatically create a storage account with the service. Specify a Storage account name. If you need your data in a different location, uncheck this box.

    6. Check Pin to dashboard if you want a quick link to this service on your dashboard.

    7. Click Create to create the StorSimple Device Manager.

      Create new service

You are directed to the Service landing page. The service creation takes a few minutes. After the service is successfully created, you will be notified appropriately and the status of the service will change to Active.

Important

If you did not enable the automatic creation of a storage account with your service, you will need to create at least one storage account after you have successfully created a service.

Step 2: Get the service registration key

After the StorSimple Device Manager service is up and running, you will need to get the service registration key. This key is used to register and connect your StorSimple device with the service.

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal.

To get the StorSimple service registration key

  1. On the StorSimple Device Manager blade, click the service that you created. This opens up a new blade to the right.

  2. In the blade that opens up, click Manage > Keys.

  3. Click the copy icon to copy the service registration key and save it for later use.

Note

The service registration key is used to register all the StorSimple Device Manager devices that need to register with your StorSimple Device Manager service.

Step 3: Download the virtual array image

After you have the service registration key, you will need to download the appropriate virtual array image to provision a virtual array on your host system. The virtual array images are operating system specific and can be downloaded from the Quick Start page in the Azure portal.

Important

The software running on the StorSimple Virtual Array may only be used with the StorSimple Device Manager service.

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal.

To get the virtual array image

  1. Sign into the Azure portal.

  2. In the Azure portal, click Browse > StorSimple Device Managers.

  3. Select an existing StorSimple Device Manager service. In the StorSimple Device Manager blade, click Quick Start.

  4. Click the link corresponding to the image that you want to download from the Microsoft Download Center. The image files are approximately 4.8 GB.

    • VHDX for Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 and later
    • VHD for Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 and later
    • VMDK for VMWare ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5
  5. Download and unzip the file to a local drive, making a note of where the unzipped file is located.

Optional step: Configure a new storage account for the service

This step is optional and should be performed only if you did not enable the automatic creation of a storage account with your service.

If you need to create an Azure storage account in a different region, see How to create a storage account for step-by-step instructions.

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal on the StorSimple Device Manager service page to add an existing Microsoft Azure storage account.

To add a storage account credential that has the same Azure subscription as the Device Manager service

  1. Navigate to your Device Manager service, select and double-click it. This opens the Overview blade.

  2. Select Storage account credentials within the Configuration section.

  3. Click Add.

  4. In the Add a storage account blade, do the following:

    1. For Subscription, select Current.

    2. Provide the name of your Azure storage account.

    3. Select Enable to create a secure channel for network communication between your StorSimple device and the cloud. Select Disable only if you are operating within a private cloud.

    4. Click Add. You are notified after the storage account is successfully created.

      Add an existing storage account credential

Next step

The next step is to provision a virtual machine for your StorSimple Virtual Array. Depending on your host operating system, see the detailed instructions in: