vSAN Lab with VMware Workstation 10

This week VMware has published a new version of its Virtual SAN Beta. There are a lot of features that does not necessary need a real physical lab. To get into the initial setup, scale out and failover functionality and the various command line options, a virtual lab is definitely a reasonable option. As you might know, a SSD is required for vSAN. Instead of emulating an SSD, I am going to use a real SSD with the new SSD Passthrough feature in VMware Workstation 10.

vSAN

Requirements

  • Physical Host with at least 16GB Memory
  • VMware Workstation 10
  • vSAN Beta Key
  • ESXi Image (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-vsanbetaref-1439689.x86_64.iso)
  • vCenter Server Appliance (VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-5.5.0.10000-1440531_OVF10.ova)

Configuration

A vCenter Server and at least 3 ESXi Hosts are required to build a Virtual SAN. Each ESXi Host has the following configuration:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 4GB Memory
  • 8GB Disk for ESXi 5.5
  • 100GB Disk for vSAN
  • 10GB SSD
  • Static IP-Address

ESXi Installation

  1. Open VMware Workstation
  2. Create a New Virtual Machine
    01-Create_a_new_virtual_machine
  3. Select Custom (advanced)
    02-custom_advanced
  4. Select Workstation 10.0 Hardware compatibility
    03-hardware_compatibility
  5. Select I will install the operating system later
    04-install_os_later
  6. Select VMware ESXi 5 as guest operating system
    05-esxi5
  7. Set a name and location
    06-vm_name
  8. Set the capacity to 8GB and select Store virtual disk as a single file.
    07-virtual_disk
  9. After finishing the virtual machine creation, click on Edit virtual machine settings
    09-edit-virtual-machine-settings
  10. Click Add to add a second virtual Disk

  11. Select Hard Disk as Hardware Type
    11-add_hdd1
  12. Set the Disk Type to SCSI
    12-add_hdd1_scsi
  13. Select Create a new virtual disk
    13-add_hdd1_new_disk
  14. Set the capacity to 100GB and select Store virtual disk as a single file.
    14-add_hdd1_capacity
  15. Specify the Disk location. This will be the vSAN Disk. Do not change the location, just click Finish.
    15-add_hdd1_location
  16. Add a third virtual Disk
    11-add_hdd1
  17. Set the capacity to 10GB and select Store virtual disk as a single file.
    18-add_hdd2_capacity
  18. The location for the third disk has to be changed to the local SSD. Select Browse...
    15-add_hdd1_location
  19. Specify the path to where you local SSD is mounted
    20-add_hdd2_path_to_physical_ssd
  20. Mount the ESXi Installer ISO (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-vsanbetaref-1439689.x86_64.iso)
  21. Power-on the virtual machine and install ESXi
    21-esxi_install_boot_screen
  22. Make sure to select the 8GB disk for the installation
    22-esxi_install_disk
  23. After the installation, boot the ESXi Host and configure a static IP-Address (vSAN does not work well with DHCP)
    23-esxi_static_ip
  24. Repeat above steps two times to get 3 ESXi Hosts

VCSA Installation

  1. Open VMware Workstation
  2. Navigate to File -> Open...
  3. Select the VCSA Image (VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-5.5.0.10000-1440531_OVF10.ova)
    24-vcsa_image
  4. Specify the Path where the Appliance should be deployed
    24-deploy_vcsa
  5. Power on the Appliance
  6. When you have a DHCP Server, the the vCenter Server Appliance boots up. If you do not have a DHCP Server, you have to specify the IP address.
  7. Open the vCenter Server Appliance Configuration Webpage (https://<IP>:5480)
  8. Login as root (Password: vmware)
  9. Accept the License Agreement
  10. Select Configure with default settings
    25-vcsa_default_settings
  11. Press Start
    25-vcsa_press_start
  12. The virtual appliance does now configure itself. This may take a while.
    25-vcsa_install

vSAN Configuration

  1. When the installation is finished, you can access the vSphere Web Client (https://<IP>:9443/vsphere-client/)
  2. Login as root (Password: vmware)
    26-vsphere_webclient_login
  3. Add the 3 ESXi to the vCenter Server at Datacenter level. Do not add them to a cluster yet.
    27-add_esxi
  4. Activate Virtual SAN traffic on all 3 hosts
    • Click on the host within the web client
    • Navigate to Manage -> Networking -> VMkernel Adapters
    • Select vmk0
    • Click Edit Settings
      28-edit_vmk_settings
    • Activate Virtual SAN traffic
      28-vsan_traffic
  5. Select your Datacenter object
  6. On the Getting started tab click Create a cluster
    29-create_a_cluster
  7. Give the cluster a name and activate Virtual SAN, DRS and vSphere HA
    30-cluster_config
  8. Move the ESXi Hosts into the Cluster
  9. Select the Cluster Object
  10. Navigate to Manage -> Settings -> Virtual SAN Licensing
  11. Click Assign License Key
  12. Enter you Key
  13. The virtual SAN Configuration is finished. You can now start to deploy virtual machines.
    31-vSAN

Additional Hints

Install VMware Tools on each ESXi Host for better manageability.

 

  1. Baby Dragon Triplets – VSAN Home Lab | vcdx133.com - pingback on May 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm
  2. Dear Sir,
    Sorry to bother you!!

    I follow your article to try to build a VSAN LAB but I am encounter failure in Non-SSD point.
    My lab environment is win7 with VMware WS11 on intel i5 CPU / 32GB RAM / 512GB SSD PC.

    I found my disks is all SSD type, so my problem is how to create a non-ssd disk due to VMware workstation's passthrough feature?

    Sir, if you know how to fix, please let me know.

    Thanks for sharing this best knowledge.

    Regards,
    Peter

    • You can manually set the Virtual Disk Type in the .vmx configuration file.
      "scsiX:Y.virtualSSD = 1" means SSD
      "scsiX:Y.virtualSSD = 0" means no SSD

      The feature was introduced to mark disks as SSD, but it also works the other way around.

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