Deploy StorSimple Virtual Array - Set up as file server via Azure portal

Diagram showing the steps needed to deploy a virtual array. The first part of the third step is labeled Set up as file server and is highlighted.

Introduction

Important

StorSimple Virtual Array (1200 series) will reach its end-of-life in December 2022. 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 article describes how to perform initial setup, register your StorSimple file server, complete the device setup, and create and connect to SMB shares. This is the last article in the series of deployment tutorials required to completely deploy your virtual array as a file server or an iSCSI server.

The setup and configuration process can take around 10 minutes to complete. The information in this article applies only to the deployment of the StorSimple Virtual Array. For the deployment of StorSimple 8000 series devices, go to: Deploy your StorSimple 8000 series device running Update 2.

Setup prerequisites

Before you configure and set up your StorSimple Virtual Array, make sure that:

Step-by-step setup

Use the following step-by-step instructions to set up and configure your StorSimple Virtual Array.

Step 1: Complete the local web UI setup and register your device

To complete the setup and register the device

  1. Open a browser window and connect to the local web UI. Type:

    https://<ip-address of network interface>

    Use the connection URL noted in the previous step. You see an error indicating that there is a problem with the website’s security certificate. Click Continue to this webpage.

    Screenshot of a browser window reporting a security certificate problem. Two links are visible, one for the website and one for the user's homepage.

  2. Sign in to the web UI of your virtual array as StorSimpleAdmin. Enter the device administrator password that you changed in Step 3: Start the virtual array in Provision a StorSimple Virtual Array in Hyper-V or in Provision a StorSimple Virtual Array in VMware.

    Screenshot of the StorSimple sign-in page. The StorSimpleAdmin user name is visible, and a password box is filled with indeterminate characters.

  3. You are taken to the Home page. This page describes the various settings required to configure and register the virtual array with the StorSimple Device Manager service. The Network settings, Web proxy settings, and Time settings are optional. The only required settings are Device settings and Cloud settings.

    Screenshot of the home page. Text states that the device is not configured. Links to several different types of settings are visible.

  4. In the Network settings page under Network interfaces, DATA 0 will be automatically configured for you. Each network interface is set by default to get IP address automatically (DHCP). Hence, an IP address, subnet, and gateway are automatically assigned (for both IPv4 and IPv6).

    Screenshot of the Network settings page showing the IP addresses that are configured for various versions of the Internet Protocol.

    If you added more than one network interface during the provisioning of the device, you can configure them here. Note you can configure your network interface as IPv4 only or as both IPv4 and IPv6. IPv6 only configurations are not supported.

  5. DNS servers are required because they are used when your device attempts to communicate with your cloud storage service providers or to resolve your device by name when configured as a file server. In the Network settings page under the DNS servers:

    1. A primary and secondary DNS server are automatically configured. If you choose to configure static IP addresses, you can specify DNS servers. For high availability, we recommend that you configure a primary and a secondary DNS server.
    2. Click Apply to apply and validate the network settings.
  6. In the Device settings page:

    1. Assign a unique Name to your device. This name can be 1-15 characters and can contain letter, numbers and hyphens.
    2. Click the File server icon for the Type of device that you are creating. A file server will allow you to create shared folders.
    3. As your device is a file server, you will need to join the device to a domain. Enter a Domain name.
    4. Click Apply.
  7. A dialog box will appear. Enter your domain credentials in the specified format. Click the check icon. The domain credentials are verified. You see an error message if the credentials are incorrect.

    Screenshot showing a dialog box with the username and password filled in.

  8. Click Apply. This will apply and validate the device settings.

    Screenshot of the Device settings page. The device name and domain name are filled in.

    Note

    Ensure that your virtual array is in its own organizational unit (OU) for Active Directory and no group policy objects (GPO) are applied to it or inherited. Group policy may install applications such as anti-virus software on the StorSimple Virtual Array. Installing additional software is not supported and could lead to data corruption.

  9. (Optionally) configure your web proxy server. Although web proxy configuration is optional, be aware that if you use a web proxy, you can only configure it here.

    Screenshot of the Web proxy settings page. The Enable web proxy option is turned off, and the authentication is set to None. No other values are set.

    In the Web proxy page:

    1. Supply the Web proxy URL in this format: http://<host-IP address or FQDN>:Port number. Note that HTTPS URLs are not supported.
    2. Specify Authentication as Basic or None.
    3. If using authentication, you will also need to provide a Username and Password.
    4. Click Apply. This will validate and apply the configured web proxy settings.
  10. (Optionally) configure the time settings for your device, such as time zone and the primary and secondary NTP servers. NTP servers are required because your device must synchronize time so that it can authenticate with your cloud service providers.

    Screenshot of the Time settings page. The time zone and primary N T P server are filled in. The secondary N T P server is blank.

    In the Time settings page:

    1. From the dropdown list, select the Time zone based on the geographic location in which the device is being deployed. The default time zone for your device is PST. Your device will use this time zone for all scheduled operations.
    2. Specify a Primary NTP server for your device or accept the default value of time.windows.com. Ensure that your network allows NTP traffic to pass from your datacenter to the Internet.
    3. Optionally specify a Secondary NTP server for your device.
    4. Click Apply. This will validate and apply the configured time settings.
  11. Configure the cloud settings for your device. In this step, you will complete the local device configuration and then register the device with your StorSimple Device Manager service.

    1. Enter the Service registration key that you got in Step 2: Get the service registration key for StorSimple Virtual Array.

    2. If this is your first device registering with this service, you will be presented with the Service data encryption key. Copy this key and save it in a safe location. This key is required with the service registration key to register additional devices with the StorSimple Device Manager service.

      If this is not the first device that you are registering with this service, you will need to provide the service data encryption key. For more information, refer to get the service data encryption key on your local web UI.

    3. Click Register. This will restart the device. You may need to wait for 2-3 minutes before the device is successfully registered. After the device has restarted, you will be taken to the sign in page.

      Screenshot of the Cloud settings page. The registration key and encryption key boxes are filled in, but the values are redacted.

  12. Return to the Azure portal. Go to All resources, search for your StorSimple Device Manager service.

    Screenshot of the All resources page of the Azure portal. A Device Manager service is highlighted.

  13. In the filtered list, select your StorSimple Device Manager service and then navigate to Management > Devices. In the Devices blade, verify that the device has successfully connected to the service and has the status Ready to set up.

    Deploy

Step 2: Configure the device as file server

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to complete the required device setup.

To configure the device as file server

  1. Go to your StorSimple Device Manager service and then go to Management > Devices. In the Devices blade, select the device you just created. This device would show up as Ready to set up.

    Configure a file server

  2. Click the device and you will see a banner message indicating that the device is ready to setup.

    Configure a file server 2

  3. Click Configure on the command bar. This opens up the Configure blade. In the Configure blade, do the following:

    1. The file server name is automatically populated.

    2. Make sure the cloud storage encryption is set to Enabled. This will encrypt all the data that is sent to the cloud.

    3. A 256-bit AES key is used with the user-defined key for encryption. Specify a 32 character key and then reenter the key to confirm it. Record the key in a key management app for future reference.

    4. Click Configure required settings to specify storage account credentials to be used with your device. Click Add new if there are no storage account credentials configured. Ensure that the storage account you use supports block blobs. Page blobs are not supported. More information about blocks blobs and page blobs.

      Configure a file server 3

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

    1. Choose current subscription if the storage account is in the same subscription as the service. Specify other is the storage account is outside of the service subscription.

    2. From the dropdown list, choose an existing storage account.

    3. The location will be automatically populated based on the specified storage account.

    4. Enable TLS to ensure a secure network communication channel between the device and the cloud.

    5. Click Add to add this storage account credential.

      Configure a file server 4

  5. Once the storage account credential is successfully created, the Configure blade will be updated to display the specified storage account credentials. Click Configure.

    Configure a file server 5

    You will see a that a file server is being created. Once the file server is successfully created, you will be notified.

    Configure a file server 5b

    The device status will also change to Online.

    Configure a file server 5c

    You can proceed to add a share.

Step 3: Add a share

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to create a share.

To create a share

  1. Select the file server device you configured in the preceding step and click ... (or right-click). In the context menu, select Add share. Alternatively, you can click + Add Share on the device command bar.

    Add a share

  2. Specify the following share settings:

    1. A unique name for your share. The name must be a string that contains 3 to 127 characters.

    2. An optional Description for the share. The description will help identify the share owners.

    3. A Type for the share. The type can be Tiered or Locally pinned, with tiered being the default. For workloads that require local guarantees, low latencies, and higher performance, select a Locally pinned share. For all other data, select a Tiered share. A locally pinned share is thickly provisioned and ensures that the primary data on the share stays local to the device and does not spill to the cloud. A tiered share on the other hand is thinly provisioned. When you create a tiered share, 10% of the space is provisioned on the local tier and 90% of the space is provisioned in the cloud. For instance, if you provisioned a 1 TB volume, 100 GB would reside in the local space and 900 GB would be used in the cloud when the data tiers. This in turn implies that if you run out of all the local space on the device, you cannot provision a tiered share.

    4. In the Set default full permissions to field, assign the permissions to the user, or the group that is accessing this share. Specify the name of the user or the user group in john@contoso.com format. We recommend that you use a user group (instead of a single user) to allow admin privileges to access these shares. After you have assigned the permissions here, you can then use File Explorer to modify these permissions.

    5. Click Add to create the share.

      Add a share 1

      You are notified that the share creation is in progress.

      Add a share 2

      After the share is created with the specified settings, the Shares blade will update to reflect the new share. By default, monitoring and backup are enabled for the share.

      Add a share 3

Step 4: Connect to the share

You will now need to connect to one or more shares that you created in the previous step. Perform these steps on your Windows Server host connected to your StorSimple Virtual Array.

To connect to the share

  1. Press + R. In the Run window, specify the \\<file server name> as the path, replacing file server name with the device name that you assigned to your file server. Click OK.

    Screenshot of the Run dialog box. The Open box is filled in with a path leading to the file server.

  2. This opens up File Explorer. You should now be able to see the shares that you created as folders. Select and double-click a share (folder) to view the content.

    Screenshot of File Explorer. Several folders are visible that represent the newly created shares.

  3. You can now add files to these shares and take a backup.

Next steps

Learn how to use the local web UI to administer your StorSimple Virtual Array.