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How to Deploy a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance in an Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure May 2011 By Ryan Arneson This article describes how to deploy a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance with the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in your IT environment for a fast, easily managed desktop deployment that helps reduce costs and increase efficiency compared to a traditional desktop infrastructure. The "Ribbon Bar" is below the "Features Management" Tab with items such as "Storage System," "Storage Volume," etc.. Note also that you can right-click on the title-bar for each stack item in the tree view to access a pop-up menu. QuantaStor has two different categories of license keys, those are 'System' licenses and 'Feature' licenses. The 'Recovery Manager' is accessible from the ribbon-bar at the top of the screen when you login to your QuantaStor system and it allows you to recover all of the system meta-data from a prior installation. The Upgrade Manager handles the process of upgrading your system to the next available minor release version. Note also that you should always upgrade both the manager and service package together, never upgrade just one or the other as this may cause problems when you try to login to the QuantaStor web management interface. The 'System Checklist' aka 'Getting Started' will appear automatically when you login anytime there is no license key assigned to the system. To change the name of your system you can simply right-click on the storage system in the tree stack on the left side of the screen and then choose 'Modify Storage System'. For multi-node deployments one should setup the networking on a per-appliance basis before creating the grid as it makes the process faster and simpler. Now that the single-node Grid is formed, we can now add all the additional appliances using Add Node button in the toolbar to add them one-by-one to the grid.
It will ask for the IP address and password for the appliance to be added to the grid and once they're all added you'll be able to manage all the nodes from a single login to the WUI. Once completed, all of the QuantaStor appliances (aka nodes) in the grid are manageable as a unit (single pane of glass) by logging into any appliance with your web browser. Be aware that the management user accounts across the appliances will be merged including the admin user account. Appliance to appliance communication typically works itself out automatically but it is recommended that you specify the network to be used for appliance inter-node communication for management operations. When you right-click on a physical disk you can choose 'Identify' to force the lights on the disk to blink in a pattern which it accomplishes by reading sector 0 on the drive. A script included with QuantaStor called qs-zconvert may assist you with importing a storage pool from other Open-ZFS based solutions.
Note also that if the particular features and version information for your OpenZFS system can be found by running the 'zpool upgrade -v' command. QuantaStor has custom integration modules 'plug-ins' for a number of major RAID controller cards which monitor the health and status of your hardware RAID units, disks, enclosures, and controllers.
Note that the plug-in discovery logic is triggered every couple of minutes so in some cases you will find that there is a small delay before the information in the web interface is updated. Adaptec controllers are automatically detected and can be managed via the QuantaStor web management interface. The Fusion IO integration requires that the fio-util and iomemory-vsl packages are installed. 3ware controllers are automatically discovered and can be managed via the QuantaStor web management interface.
Note that if you arbitrarily remove a disk that was being utilized by a 3ware RAID unit, there are additional steps required before you can re-add it to the appliance. The MegaRAID controller will auto-heal a RAID unit using an available hot-spare in case of a drive failure.
The default rebuild rate is 30% which can lead to some long rebuilds depending on the size of your RAID unit and the amount of load on it.
If your server is in a datacenter then the alarm is not going to help much in identifying the problematic controller card and will only serve to cause grief. The two most common cases for an alarm are that a disk needs to be replaced or the battery backup unit is not functioning properly.
QuantaStor v3 and newer systems work with LSI MegaRAID controllers with no additional software to be installed. It will take a couple of minutes for the QuantaStor service to detect that the MegaRAID CLI is now installed but then you'll see the hardware configuration show up automatically in the web interface. Last, new firmware is required to 3TB and larger drives so if you have a older 9260 or 9280 controller be sure to download and apply the latest firmware.
HP SmartArray controllers are supported out-of-the box with no additional software to be installed. Below are the steps to create an SSD Caching RAID Unit and enable it for one of the Virtual Drives on your RAID Controller. You can create a Hardware SSD Cache Unit for your RAID controller by right clicking on your RAID controller in the Hardware Enclosures and Controllers section of the Web Manager as shown in the below screenshot. Please choose the option you would like and click the 'OK' button to create the SSD Cache Unit.
Now that you have created your Hardware SSD Cache Unit as detailed above, you can enable it for the specific Virtual Drive(s) you would like to have be cached. To enable the SSD Cache Unit for a particular Virtual Drive, locate the Virtual Drive in the Hardware Enclosures and Controllers section of the Web Interface and right click and choose the 'Enable SSD Caching' option.
This will open the Enable SSD Caching on RAID Unit dialog where you can confirm your selection and click 'OK'.
ZFS based storage pools support the addition of SSD devices for use as read or write cache.
You can add up to 4x devices for SSD read-cache (L2ARC) to any ZFS based storage pool and these devices do not need to be fault tolerant.


ZFS based storage pools use what are called "ARC" as a in-memory read cache rather than the Linux filesystem buffer cache to boost disk read performance. RAID0 layout is also called 'striping' and it writes data across all the disk drives in the storage pool in a round robin fashion. RAID1 is also called 'mirroring' because it achieves fault tolerance by writing the same data to two disk drives so that you always have two copies of the data. RAID5 achieves fault tolerance via what's called a parity calculation where one of the drives contains an XOR calculation of the bits on the other drives.
RAID6 improves upon RAID5 in that it can handle two drive failures but it requires that you have two disk drives dedicated to parity information. RAID10 is similar to RAID1 in that it utilizes mirroring, but RAID10 also does striping over the mirrors. In some cases it can be useful to create more than one storage pool so that you have low cost fault-tolerant storage available in RAID6 for archive and higher IOPS storage in RAID10 for virtual machines, databases, MS Exchange, or similar workloads. If you have created an XFS based storage pool with a RAID level it will take some time to 'rebuild'.
WARNING: Although you can begin using the pool at 1% rebuild completion, your XFS storage pool is not fault-tolerant until the rebuild process has completed. Modern versions of QuantaStor include additional options for how Hot Spares are automatically chosen at the time a rebuild needs to occur to replace a faulted disk.
Note: If the policy is set to one that includes 'exact match', the ZFS Storage Pool will first attempt to replace the failed data drive with a disk that is of the same model and capacity before trying other options. Network ports (NICs) (also called Target Ports) are the interfaces through which your appliance is managed and client hosts (initiators) access your storage volumes (aka targets). We recommend that you always use static IP addresses with your appliances unless you have your DHCP server setup to specifically assign a static IP address to your NICs as identified by MAC address. To modify the configuration of a network port first select the tree section named "Storage System" under the "Storage Management" tab on the left hand side of the screen.
Once the "Modify Network Port" dialog appears you can select the port type for the selected port (static), enter the IP address for the port, subnet mask, and gateway for the port. QuantaStor supports NIC bonding, also called trunking, which allows you to combine multiple NICs together to improve performance and reliability. Volume and Share Remote-replication within QuantaStor allows you to copy a volume or network share from one QuantaStor storage system to another and is a great tool for migrating volumes and network shares between systems and for using a remote system as a DR site. Select the IP address on each system to be utilized for communication of remote replication network traffic. Once you have a Storage System Link created between two systems you can now replicate volumes and network shares in either direction.
Remote replication schedules provide a mechanism for replicating the changes to your volumes to a matching checkpoint volume on a remote appliance automatically on a timer or a fixed schedule. To run the above mentioned commands you must login to your storage appliance via SSH or via the console. At any given time you can adjust the rate limit and all active replication jobs will automatically adjust to this new limit within a minute. If the Replication Source system is offline due to a hardware failure of the appliance, you can skip directly to Step 3.
Example screenshot below showing the Modify Storage Volume for renaming the destination _chkpnt Storage Volume to the name originally used by the Source volume. QuantaStor has a built-in data migration feature to help make this process easier and faster.
You will see a dialog like the one above and it will show the details of the source device to be copied on the left. QuantaStor has a number of mechanisms for remote monitoring of system alerts, IO performance and other metrics via traditional protocols like SNMP and new cloud services like Librato Metrics and CopperEgg.
An example deployment is presented showing how to configure the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance with Hybrid Storage Pools that are accessed using Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) protocol and how to set up the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2 to simplify administration of the solution. In turn selecting different items from the "Ribbon Bar" changes items in the "Tree\Stack" panel.
You can also right-click on any object in the UI to access a context sensitive pop-up menu for that item. You can manage your HP RAID controller via the QuantaStor web management interface where you can create RAID units, mark hot-spares, replace drives, etc. The support and management features are enabled on controllers that have the MaxCache or CacheCade features enabled. Performance depends soley on the SSD hardware used and configuration chosen when creating the Hardware SSD Cache unit. If you do not see this option please verify with your Hardware RAID controller manufacturer that the SSD Caching technology offered for your RAID Controller platform is enabled.
Please note that not all SSD's are supported by the RAID Controller manufacturers for their SSD caching technology. Writes are not held for long in the ZIL SSD SLOG so the device does not need to be large as it typically holds no more than 16GB before forcing a flush to the backend disk. This mode provides load balancing and fault tolerance by transmitting packets in sequential order from the first available interface through the last.
Simply login to the system that you want to replicate volumes from, right-click on the volume to be replicated, then choose 'Create Remote Replica'.
This same procedure can be used to permanently migrate data to a Storage Pool on a different QuantaStor appliance using remote replication. In this event after removal of the offline QuantaStor node from the Grid, you can skip directly to step B below.


In the dialog box, rename the Storage Volume or Network Share to add '_bak' or any other unique postfix to the end and click 'OK'.
In the dialog box, rename the Storage Volume or Network Share as you see fit and click 'OK'. If you are unsure how to confirm this functionality, please contact OSNEXUS support for assistance.
The example presented in this article will show you how to configure the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance with Hybrid Storage Pools accessed using Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) protocol and how to set up the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2 to simplify administration of the solution.
If for example you were replicating nightly at 1am each day of the week from Monday to Friday then you will have a week's worth of snapshots as data recovery points.
It consists of Oracle VDI Core servers running the Solaris 10 operating system, Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization servers running the Solaris 10 operating system, and a Sun ZFS Storage Appliance providing storage with access via iSCSI protocol.
Desktops are deployed on individual iSCSI LUNs hosted on the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance, from which snapshots can be easily made and quickly cloned for mass deployment. Users can access the desktops through a variety of methods, such as from a Sun Ray or Oracle Virtual Desktop Client, using Secure Global Desktop (SGD) Web Access, or using a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client from an existing workstation or laptop device.
Therefore, the table contents do not represent a list of all possible components or serve as a comprehensive sizing guide. Please contact your Oracle Technical Sales Representative for assistance in planning your deployment. Hardware Components Used in Example Deployment Equipment Quantity Configuration Primary Storage 1 Sun ZFS Storage 7120 24 GB DRAM 1 x 24 - 2 TB SAS-2 disk tray Servers 3 Sun Fire X4170 M2 Server 72 GB DRAM 2 internal HDDs Network 1 1 GbE network switch   Table 2. The tasks of configuring an iSCSI network, LUNs, and any LUN snapshots and clones needed for mass deployment can all be automated for more efficient deployment. You only need to decide how the networking will be configured and what the storage pool layout is going to be. Network Configuration In the setup described in this paper, a simple network configuration utilizes two of the four built-in 1 GbE Network ports on the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance.
To increase bandwidth and improve resilience, these ports are bundled into a single channel using the IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) as shown in Figure 1.
Configuring this iSCSI network on a private subnet or VLAN enhances data traffic isolation and security.
Mirrored disk pools are able to provide the needed IOPs at low latency, which prevents desktop users from experiencing desktop lag or slowness. Parity disk pools (either single- or double-parity RAID) may provide acceptable performance in low usage or demonstration configurations, but care should be taken to perform a detailed pre-deployment test validation to confirm that such a pool layout is adequate to meet user needs before the system is put into production. For the configuration described in this article, a mirrored pool is used consisting of twenty-four 2 TB SAS-2 drives in a single disk shelf.
Even though the Sun ZFS Storage 7120 has internal drives that could be part of a pool, for this particular configuration, the internal drives were omitted from the pool. They could optionally be configured into a separate pool to provide network drive access for the desktop users. The pool was also configured using two of the four SSDs available on the Sun ZFS Storage 7120 as log devices. You can configure the VDI software to use either the SSDs or the in-memory file system write cache. However, data may be at risk if the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance reboots or experiences a power loss while desktops are active because the in-memory write cache is not a non-volatile (battery-backed) cache. For this reason, we recommend that log SSDs be configured for any storage pool that is to be used for desktop deployments. Although the use of read cache SSDs (in appliance models that support them) is optional, they should be considered for large deployments where many desktops may need to frequently access unique data.
The Oracle VDI software makes efficient use of templates for deploying virtual desktops and can host a number of templates in the main memory (DRAM) of the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance.
When snapshots and clones are used as the method of deployment and a read request is made from a desktop, chances are good that the data will already be cached in DRAM, resulting in a fast response with low latency. Project Configuration Once the pool is configured, the final configuration step is to configure a Project.
The pool name will be added to the beginning of the name of each of the desktops in the pool (for example, mypool00000001). In the Oracle VDI user interface: Select the Pools tab from the menu on the left side. However, because thin provisioning is used to allocate disk space, only the blocks that are used are written to disk. We measured the disk usage for a Windows 7 desktop template and the ten cloned desktops shown in Figure 7. This can greatly speed your ability to track down misbehaving desktops, identify bottlenecks, and intelligently plan for growth in the future. The example graph in Figure 9 shows the Analytics results for iSCSI operations per second broken down by LUN. In Figure 10, network device bytes are broken down by device showing that both igb1 and igb2 are transmitting data.
To demonstrate the significant space savings made possible through the use of thin-provisioned iSCSI LUNs in conjunction with ZFS snapshots and clones, we showed you an example of a Windows 7 template and ten cloned desktops that used only 12.2 GB of space. Finally, we gave you some examples of the use of the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance DTrace Analytics to monitor performance of your deployment.




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