Deploy StorSimple Virtual Array - Provision in Hyper-V

Diagram showing the steps needed to deploy a virtual array. The first part of the second step is labeled Provision on Hyper-V and is highlighted.

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 tutorial describes how to provision a StorSimple Virtual Array on a host system running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2. This article applies to the deployment of StorSimple Virtual Arrays in Azure portal and Microsoft Azure Government Cloud.

You need administrator privileges to provision and configure a virtual array. The provisioning and initial setup can take around 10 minutes to complete.

Provisioning prerequisites

Here you will find the prerequisites to provision a virtual array on a host system running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2.

For the StorSimple Device Manager service

Before you begin, make sure that:

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 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 less than 2 million files. You need 16 GB RAM to support 2 - 4 million files.
    • One network interface.
    • A 500 GB virtual disk for data.

For the network in the datacenter

Before you begin, review the networking requirements to deploy a StorSimple Virtual Array and configure the datacenter network appropriately. For more information, see StorSimple Virtual Array networking requirements.

Step-by-step provisioning

To provision and connect to a virtual array, you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Ensure that the host system has sufficient resources to meet the minimum virtual array requirements.
  2. Provision a virtual array in your hypervisor.
  3. Start the virtual array and get the IP address.

Each of these steps is explained in the following sections.

Step 1: Ensure that the host system meets minimum virtual array requirements

To create a virtual array, you need:

  • The Hyper-V role installed on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Manager on a Microsoft Windows client connected to the host.

Make sure that the underlying hardware (host system) on which you are creating the virtual array is able to dedicate the following resources to 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 less than 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.

Step 2: Provision a virtual array in hypervisor

Perform the following steps to provision a device in your hypervisor.

To provision a virtual array

  1. On your Windows Server host, copy the virtual array image to a local drive. You downloaded this image (VHD or VHDX) through the Azure portal. Make a note of the location where you copied the image as you are using this image later in the procedure.

  2. Open Server Manager. In the top right corner, click Tools and select Hyper-V Manager.

    Screenshot of Server Manager showing an expanded Tools menu with the Hyper-V Manager item highlighted.

    If you are running Windows Server 2008 R2, open the Hyper-V Manager. In Server Manager, click Roles > Hyper-V > Hyper-V Manager.

  3. In Hyper-V Manager, in the scope pane, right-click your system node to open the context menu, and then click New > Virtual Machine.

    Screenshot of Hyper-V Manager showing the shortcut menu of a system node, with the New and Virtual Machine items highlighted.

  4. On the Before you begin page of the New Virtual Machine Wizard, click Next.

  5. On the Specify name and location page, provide a Name for your virtual array. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Specify name and location page showing the Name box filled in and the Next button highlighted.

  6. On the Specify generation page, choose the device image type, and then click Next. This page doesn't appear if you're using Windows Server 2008 R2.

    • Choose Generation 2 if you downloaded a .vhdx image for Windows Server 2012 or later.
    • Choose Generation 1 if you downloaded a .vhd image for Windows Server 2008 R2 or later.

    Screenshot of the Specify generation page showing the Generation 2 option selected and the Next button highlighted.

  7. On the Assign memory page, specify a Startup memory of at least 8192 MB, don't enable dynamic memory, and then click Next.

    Screenshot of the Assign memory page showing a value of 8192 in the Startup memory box. The Next button is highlighted.

  8. On the Configure networking page, specify the virtual switch that is connected to the Internet and then click Next.

    Screenshot of the Configure networking page showing the Hyper V virtual switch item selected in the Connection box and the Next button highlighted.

  9. On the Connect virtual hard disk page, choose Use an existing virtual hard disk, specify the location of the virtual array image (.vhdx or .vhd), and then click Next.

    Screenshot of the Connect virtual hard disk page with Use an existing virtual hard disk selected, a location entered, and the Next button highlighted.

  10. Review the Summary and then click Finish to create the virtual machine.

    Screenshot of the Completing the new virtual machine wizard page showing a description of a virtual machine. The Finish button is highlighted.

  11. To meet the minimum requirements, you need 4 cores. To add 4 virtual processors, select your host system in the Hyper-V Manager window. In the right-pane under the list of Virtual Machines, locate the virtual machine you just created. Select and right-click the machine name and select Settings.

    Screenshot of the Hyper-V Manager window. One machine is selected in the list, and the Settings item is highlighted in that machine’s shortcut menu.

  12. On the Settings page, in the left-pane, click Processor. In the right-pane, set number of virtual processors to 4 (or more). Click Apply.

    Screenshot of the settings page with the Processor item highlighted, the Number of virtual processors set to four, and the Apply button highlighted.

  13. To meet the minimum requirements, you also need to add a 500 GB virtual data disk. In the Settings page:

    1. In the left pane, select SCSI Controller.
    2. In the right pane, select Hard Drive, and click Add.

    Screenshot of the settings page with the SCSI controller item selected, the Hard drive item selected, and the Add button highlighted.

  14. On the Hard drive page, select the Virtual hard disk option and click New. The New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard starts.

    Screenshot of the settings page with the Hard drive item selected, the Virtual hard disk option selected, and the New button highlighted.

  15. On the Before you begin page of the New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard, click Next.

  16. On the Choose Disk Format page, accept the default option of VHDX format. Click Next. This screen is not presented if running Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Screenshot of the Choose disk format page with the VHDX option selected and the Next button highlighted.

  17. On the Choose Disk Type page, set virtual hard disk type as Dynamically expanding (recommended). Fixed size disk would work but you may need to wait a long time. We recommend that you do not use the Differencing option. Click Next. In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012, Dynamically expanding is the default option whereas in Windows Server 2008 R2, the default is Fixed size.

    Screenshot of the Choose disk type page with the Dynamically expanding option selected and the Next button highlighted.

  18. On the Specify Name and Location page, provide a name as well as location (you can browse to one) for the data disk. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Specify name and location page showing values in the Name and Location boxes. The Next button is highlighted.

  19. On the Configure Disk page, select the option Create a new blank virtual hard disk and specify the size as 500 GB (or more). While 500 GB is the minimum requirement, you can always provision a larger disk. Note that you cannot expand or shrink the disk once provisioned. For more information on the size of disk to provision, review the sizing section in the best practices document. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Configure disk page with Create a new blank virtual hard disk selected, the size set to 500, and the Next button highlighted.

  20. On the Summary page, review the details of your virtual data disk and if satisfied, click Finish to create the disk. The wizard closes and a virtual hard disk is added to your machine.

    Screenshot of the Completing the new virtual hard disk wizard page showing a description of a virtual hard disk. The Finish button is highlighted.

  21. Return to the Settings page. Click OK to close the Settings page and return to Hyper-V Manager window.

    Screenshot of the settings page. The OK button is highlighted.

Step 3: Start the virtual array and get the IP

Perform the following steps to start your virtual array and connect to it.

To start the virtual array

  1. Start the virtual array.

    Screenshot of the Hyper-V Manager window. The new array is selected in the list, and the Start item is highlighted in that array’s shortcut menu.

  2. After the device is running, select the device, right click, and select Connect.

    Screenshot of the Hyper-V Manager window. The new array is selected, its state is Running, and the Connect item is highlighted in its shortcut menu.

  3. You may have to wait 5-10 minutes for the device to be ready. A status message is displayed on the console to indicate the progress. After the device is ready, go to Action. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to log in to the virtual array. The default user is StorSimpleAdmin and the default password is Password1.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client Console tab showing indeterminate characters in the sign-in box.

  4. For security reasons, the device administrator password expires at the first logon. You are prompted to change the password.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client Console tab. Text on the page states that the password must be changed.

    Enter a password that contains at least 8 characters. The password must satisfy at least 3 out of the following 4 requirements: uppercase, lowercase, numeric, and special characters. Reenter the password to confirm it. You are notified that the password has changed.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client Console tab. Text on the page states that the password has changed.

  5. After the password is successfully changed, the virtual array may restart. Wait for the device to start.

    Screenshot of the main StorSimpleAdmin page. Text on the page asks the user to wait for the system event notification service.

    The Windows PowerShell console of the device is displayed along with a progress bar.

    Screenshot showing a console window with a progress bar. Text in the window states that the initial setup is ongoing and asks the user to wait.

  6. Steps 6-8 only apply when booting up in a non-DHCP environment. If you are in a DHCP environment, then skip these steps and go to step 9. If you booted up your device in non-DHCP environment, you will see the following screen.

    Screenshot showing a console window with text describing the device. The command prompt reads "Controller" and appears ready for input.

    Next, configure the network.

  7. Use the Get-HcsIpAddress command to list the network interfaces enabled on your virtual array. If your device has a single network interface enabled, the default name assigned to this interface is Ethernet.

    Screenshot showing a console window with the output of the Get-HcsIpAddress command. "Ethernet" is listed as the name of the device.

  8. Use the Set-HcsIpAddress cmdlet to configure the network. See the following example:

    Set-HcsIpAddress –Name Ethernet –IpAddress 10.161.22.90 –Netmask 255.255.255.0 –Gateway 10.161.22.1

    Screenshot showing a console window with the output of the Get-Help Set-HcsIpAddress command and the correct usage of the Set-HcsIpAddress command.

  9. After the initial setup is complete and the device has booted up, you will see the device banner text. Make a note of the IP address and the URL displayed in the banner text to manage the device. Use this IP address to connect to the web UI of your virtual array and complete the local setup and registration.

    Screenshot showing a console window with device banner text. That text includes the device IP address and URL.

  10. (Optional) Perform this step only if you are deploying your device in the Government Cloud. You will now enable the United States Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) mode on your device. The FIPS 140 standard defines cryptographic algorithms approved for use by US Federal government computer systems for the protection of sensitive data.

    1. To enable the FIPS mode, run the following cmdlet:

      Enable-HcsFIPSMode

    2. Reboot your device after you have enabled the FIPS mode so that the cryptographic validations take effect.

      Note

      You can either enable or disable FIPS mode on your device. Alternating the device between FIPS and non-FIPS mode is not supported.

If your device does not meet the minimum configuration requirements, you see the following error in the banner text (shown below). Modify the device configuration so that the machine has adequate resources to meet the minimum requirements. You can then restart and connect to the device. Refer to the minimum configuration requirements in Step 1: Ensure that the host system meets minimum virtual array requirements.

Screenshot showing a console window with device banner text. That text includes an error message that provides a URL for troubleshooting the problem.

If you face any other error during the initial configuration using the local web UI, refer to the following workflows:

Next steps