Deploy StorSimple Virtual Array - Provision in VMware

Diagram showing the steps needed to deploy a virtual array. The second part of the second step is labeled Provision on VMware 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 and connect to a StorSimple Virtual Array on a host system running VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5. This article applies to the deployment of StorSimple Virtual Arrays in Azure portal and the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud.

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

Provisioning prerequisites

The prerequisites to provision a virtual device on a host system running VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5, are as follows.

For the StorSimple Device Manager service

Before you begin, make sure that:

For the StorSimple virtual device

Before you deploy a virtual device, make sure that:

  • You have access to a host system running Hyper-V (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 device:

    • 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.

For the network in datacenter

Before you begin, make sure that:

  • You have reviewed the networking requirements to deploy a StorSimple virtual device and configured the datacenter network as per the requirements.

Step-by-step provisioning

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

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

Step 1: Ensure host system meets minimum virtual device requirements

To create a virtual device, you will need:

  • Access to a host system running VMware ESXi Server 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or 6.5.

  • VMware vSphere client on your system to manage the ESXi host.

    • 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 connected to the network capable of routing traffic to Internet. The minimum Internet bandwidth should be 5 Mbps to allow for optimal working of the device.
    • A 500 GB virtual disk for data.

Step 2: Provision a virtual device in hypervisor

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

  1. Copy the virtual device image on your system. You downloaded this virtual image through the Azure portal.

    1. Ensure that you have downloaded the latest image file. If you downloaded the image earlier, download it again to ensure you have the latest image. The latest image has two files (instead of one).
    2. Make a note of the location where you copied the image as you are using this image later in the procedure.
  2. Log in to the ESXi server using the vSphere client. You need to have administrator privileges to create a virtual machine.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client sign-in page. The IP address, User name, and Password boxes contain values, and the Login button is highlighted.

  3. In the vSphere client, in the inventory section in the left pane, select the ESXi Server.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client main page. In the inventory section, the ESXi server is highlighted.

  4. Upload the VMDK to the ESXi server. Navigate to the Configuration tab in the right pane. Under Hardware, select Storage.

    Screenshot showing the Configuration tab of the vSphere client. In the Hardware section, Storage is highlighted.

  5. In the right pane, under Datastores, select the datastore where you want to upload the VMDK. The datastore must have enough free space for the OS and data disks.

    Screenshot showing the Storage page of the vSphere client. The Datastores tab is open and contains a list of datastores. One datastore is selected.

  6. Right-click and select Browse Datastore.

    Screenshot showing the selected datastore's shortcut menu. The Browse datastore item is selected.

  7. A Datastore Browser window appears.

    Screenshot of a datastore browser. The folders in the datastore are visible.

  8. In the tool bar, click icon to create a new folder. Specify the folder name and make a note of it. You will use this folder name later when creating a virtual machine (recommended best practice). Click OK.

    Screenshot of a datastore browser with the new folder icon highlighted. A dialog box has a folder name filled in and the OK button highlighted.

  9. The new folder appears in the left pane of the Datastore Browser.

    Screenshot of a datastore browser with the new folder visible in the folder hierarchy.

  10. Click the Upload icon and select Upload File.

    Screenshot showing the shortcut menu of the Upload icon. The Upload File item is selected.

  11. Browse and point to the VMDK files that you downloaded. There are two files. Select a file to upload.

    Screenshot of a dialog box showing folders and two V M D K files. One of the files is highlighted.

  12. Click Open. The upload of the VMDK file to the specified datastore starts. It may take several minutes for the file to upload.

  13. After the upload is complete, you see the file in the datastore in the folder you created.

    Screenshot of a datastore browser. The new folder is highlighted in the folder hierarchy, and the uploaded file is visible in that folder.

    Now upload the second VMDK file to the same datastore.

  14. Return to the vSphere client window. With ESXi server selected, right-click and select New Virtual Machine.

    Screenshot of the shortcut menu of an ESXi server. The New virtual machine item is selected.

  15. A Create New Virtual Machine window will appear. On the Configuration page, select the Custom option. Click Next. Screenshot of the Configuration page of the Create new virtual machine window. The Custom option is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  16. On the Name and Location page, specify the name of your virtual machine. This name should match the folder name (recommended best practice) you specified earlier in Step 8.

    Screenshot of the Name and location page of the Create new virtual machine window. The Name box is filled in, and the Next button is highlighted.

  17. On the Storage page, select a datastore you want to use to provision your VM.

    Screenshot of the Storage page of the Create new virtual machine window. A datastore is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  18. On the Virtual Machine Version page, select Virtual Machine Version: 8.

    Screenshot of the Virtual Machine Version page. The Virtual machine version 8 option is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  19. On the Guest Operating System page, select the Guest Operating System as Windows. For Version, from the dropdown list, select Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (64-bit).

    Screenshot of the Guest Operating System page with Windows selected, the version set to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (64-bit), and Next highlighted.

  20. On the CPUs page, adjust the Number of virtual sockets and Number of cores per virtual socket so that the Total number of cores is 4 (or more). Click Next.

    Screenshot of the CPUs page showing one virtual socket, four cores per virtual socket, and four total cores. The Next button is highlighted.

  21. On the Memory page, specify 8 GB (or more) of RAM. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Memory page. A value of 8 GB is filled in for the memory size.

  22. On the Network page, specify the number of the network interfaces. The minimum requirement is one network interface.

    Screenshot of the Network page. The number of network interfaces is set to one, and the Next button is highlighted.

  23. On the SCSI Controller page, accept the default LSI Logic SAS controller.

    Screenshot of the SCSI Controller page. The L S I logic S A S option is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  24. On the Select a Disk page, choose Use an existing virtual disk. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Select a disk page, with the Use an existing virtual disk option selected and the Next button highlighted.

  25. On the Select Existing Disk page, under Disk File Path, click Browse. This opens a Browse Datastores dialog. Navigate to the location where you uploaded the VMDK. You now see only one file in the datastore as the two files that you initially uploaded have been merged. Select the file and click OK. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Select existing disk page. The Browse button is highlighted, and a dialog box contains one file and a highlighted OK button.

  26. On the Advanced Options page, accept the default and click Next.

    Screenshot of the Advanced Options page. The Next button is highlighted.

  27. On the Ready to Complete page, review all the settings associated with the new virtual machine. Check Edit the virtual machine settings before completion. Click Continue.

    Screenshot of the Ready to Complete page with a highlighted Continue button. The Edit the virtual machine settings before completion option is checked.

  28. On the Virtual Machines Properties page, in the Hardware tab, locate the device hardware. Select New Hard Disk. Click Add.

    Screenshot of the Hardware tab of the Virtual Machines Properties page. New Hard Disk is selected in the hardware list. The Add button is highlighted.

  29. You see a Add Hardware window. On the Device Type page, under Choose the type of device you wish to add, select Hard Disk, and click Next.

    Screenshot of the Device Type page of the Add hardware window. The hard disk device is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  30. On the Select a Disk page, choose Create a new virtual disk. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Select a Disk page. The Create a new virtual disk option is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  31. On the Create a Disk page, change the Disk Size to 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. Under Disk Provisioning, select Thin Provision. Click Next.

    Screenshot of the Create a disk page. The disk size is set to 500 GB, the Thin provision option is selected, and the Next button is highlighted.

  32. On the Advanced Options page, accept the default.

    Screenshot of the Advanced Options page. The Virtual Device Node is set to SCSI (0:0), and the Next button is highlighted.

  33. On the Ready to Complete page, review the disk options. Click Finish.

    Screenshot of the Ready to Complete page. A summary of the disk options is visible, and the Finish button is highlighted.

  34. Return to the Virtual Machine Properties page. A new hard disk is added to your virtual machine. Click Finish.

    Screenshot of the Virtual Machine Properties page. The hardware list contains the new hard disk, and the Finish button is highlighted.

  35. With your virtual machine selected in the right pane, navigate to the Summary tab. Review the settings for your virtual machine.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client Summary tab. The new virtual machine is highlighted, and its resources and general properties are visible.

Your virtual machine is now provisioned. The next step is to power on this machine and get the IP address.

Note

We recommend that you do not install VMware tools on your virtual array (as provisioned above). Installation of VMware tools will result in an unsupported configuration.

Step 3: Start the virtual device and get the IP

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

To start the virtual device

  1. Start the virtual device. In the vSphere Configuration Manager, in the left pane, select your device and right-click to bring up the context menu. Select Power and then select Power on. This should power on your virtual machine. You can view the status in the bottom Recent Tasks pane of the vSphere client.

    Screenshot of the device's shortcut menu. The Power item is selected. An adjacent menu is visible, with the Power On item selected.

  2. The setup tasks will take a few minutes to complete. Once the device is running, navigate to the Console tab. Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete to log in to the device. Alternatively, you can point the cursor on the console window and press Ctrl+Alt+Insert. The default user is StorSimpleAdmin and the default password is Password1.

    Screenshot of the vSphere client Console tab. The Password box is empty.

  3. 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.

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

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

  5. After the password is successfully changed, the virtual device may reboot. Wait for the reboot to complete. The Windows PowerShell console of the device may be 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 device. 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. An example is shown below:

    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. You will use this IP address to connect to the web UI of your virtual device 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 will see an error in the banner text (shown below). You will need to modify the device configuration so that it 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 device 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