Isilon OneFS Virtual Nodes in the lab – Part II – VMware Fusion

July 8th, 2014 No comments

In my last post, I covered how to load an Isilon Virtual Node in to VMware Workstation.

Again, check out Chad’s blog for more info around how to get the Virtual Nodes here:

Grab Virtual Isilon
After downloading the appropriate zip, and extracting the contents, it is easy to install/configure.  With the build:

  • Unzip the file and view the contents.
  • Unzip the file and view the contents
  • Open the b. folder to display the Virtual Node VM files (vmx, vmdk, etc.)


In VMware Fusion - Default
The Virtual Nodes are configured as Virtual Hardware v4 with 6 Linked Clones included.

Right click on the .vmx and choosing Open with – VMware Fusion (keep in mind, this is not in a Fusion VM format, but rather a Workstation format)Open With Fusion

Once the VM is opened up, it will prompt to upgrade the virtual hardware version. Choose Don’t Upgrade.

Don't Upgrade

One thing that I don’t like about VMware Fusion, is that it always starts a VM when it is imported in this fashion.

For this virtual Isilon VM, I will force the VM off before it gets into the system setup.


In VMware Fusion Professional (I’m using version 6.0.4), opening the VM config file b. will open the VM, and the Linked Clones will appear as snapshots.




Opening the b. under each cloneX folder will open the Linked Clones.  With 6 Linked Clones present, a Virtual Isilon Cluster with up to 6 nodes can be run.

You may be required to browse for the location of the primary .vmx for the clone/snapshot to function properly.

A total of 1GB of RAM (plus any overhead) per Isilon snapshot will be required.  Keep in mind that 3 nodes are the minimum requirement for Isilon to function properly.

In VMware Fusion - Custom Disk Size
To configure a cluster with custom disk sizes, one of two things must be done.
*Note: It is important NOT to power on the Virtual Nodes before performing these operations.

  • A full copy must be made of the VM or
  • All the snapshots must be removed from the Parent VM

A full copy in Fusion is performed by selecting opening the Virtual Machine library, right click on the Parent VM, then selecting Create Full Clone.  Then provide a VM name and location, and finally click Save.

Alternatively, removing snapshots in Fusion is not as easy, but not too difficult. Select the the Parent VM in the Virtual Machine Library, right-click, select Snapshots.  In Snapshot Manager, select each of the snapshots, and choose delete.  When prompted, for confirmation, select  Yes to remove the Snapshots.  *Note, this will delete all of the Linked Clones as well.




Once an Isilon Node VM does not have any snapshots associated with it, the data disks can be resized. To do this, edit the configuration o the VM, select each of the 3.9GB hard disks, and expand it.



Four drives with 3.9GB allocated is roughly 13GB.  Expanding each data disk to 10GB in this example provides about 35GB of storage for the node.

To create a 3 node cluster, simply copy/clone the Parent VM.

Getting Started
To setup the Virtual Nodes in a standard configuration, follow the PDF instructions included in the file to configure a Virtual Isilon Cluster.  Also EMC Elect member @dynamoxx has a guide for the 6.5.x build, which is very similar here:

A couple things to keep in mind…

  • The first NIC is considered the Internal (or backend) interface.  Data traffic will flow across this NIC.
  • The second NIC is considered the External (or frontend) interface. Cluster/Node management will occur on the cluter’s web interface through this port.  Any CIFS/NFS data will be presented from this interface
  • If you add additional NICs to the Virtual Node, they will not be recognized without further configuration.
  • The Virtual Nodes come with 4 data disks (vmdks).  The system will register errors about other disks not being present (5,6,7, etc).  This is expected and does not indicate an issue with the Virtual Node.

I hope this presents a quick easy understanding of how to load Isilon Virtual Nodes on VMware Fusion.

Categories: Storage, Virtualization Tags: , , ,

Isilon OneFS Virtual Nodes in the lab – Part I – VMware Workstation

July 8th, 2014 No comments

I was out on vacation while it was announced that the Isilon OneFS Virtual Nodes ( & were available to Partners/Customers/Internal users.

Check out Chad’s blog for more info around that here:

After downloading the appropriate zip, and extracting the contents, it is easy to install/configure.  With the build:

  • Unzip the file and view the contents.
  • Unzip the file and view the contents
  • Open the b. folder to display the Virtual Node VM files (vmx, vmdk, etc.)

In VMware Workstation/Player – Default
The Virtual Nodes are configured as Virtual Hardware v4 with 6 Linked Clones included.

Read more…

EMC ScaleIO on vSphere Install – A little automation Part I…

March 21st, 2014 No comments

Since EMC’s purchase of ScaleIO in 2013, I have become very familiar with the product.

I was fortunate enough to go to deep dive training in November to become even more familiar with what it offers and where it may be going.  While I was there, several of us had the opportunity to talk with product management about some things we’d like to see added/changed/etc.

Default Installation
From a high level, ScaleIO (formerly Elastic Converged Storage), runs natively in many Operating Systems and Hypervisors.  Unfortunately ScaleIO doesn’t natively run in VMware vSphere.  Because of this, a virtual storage appliance (VSA) must be used to present local storage to the ScaleIO cluster.

Read more…

VMware SRM 5.1 & the Isilon SRA 2.0

December 20th, 2013 No comments

I’ve tried this before
It seems like it was just yesterday that I was talking with Bas Raayman about this. Looking back at emails, it was actually about two years ago.

When the Isilon Storage Replication Adapter 1.0 (SRA) for VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0 (SRM) came out, it was clunky to say the least.

Before installing the SRA on your SRM server, there was a lot of  work that had to be done.  There was a java tool used to configure the source & target directories, the different array IDs being used, and blah, blah, blah. Not to mention the way things were replicated back and forth I didn’t quite follow.

Maybe I just didn’t get it.  Sometimes I’m a little slow and forget things, or at least that’s what Mike Colson might tell you after following me around in his first quarter as a new vSpecialist on the EMC Federal team.

New version
It looks like the team at Isilon has worked pretty hard to make things easy for old folks like me.  The 2.0 version of the Isilon SRA is MUCH, and I mean MUCH easier than before.

Read more…

Categories: Storage, Virtualization Tags: , , , , ,

vSphere 5.5 & the Isilon NAS VAAI Plugin – Part 1

September 30th, 2013 4 comments

Just a quick heads up for anyone running vSphere 5.0/5.1 with the Isilon NAS-VAAI plugin for vSphere/OneFS 7.0.

If you are planning to upgrade to vSphere 5.5, there are a couple things to know. The plugin does not work in 5.5 (new or upgraded) installations.

I built a new vSphere 5.5 installation, and the plugin loaded fine.  But… When attempting to configure the credentials for the OneFS 7.0 cluster you are connecting to, the authorization tool fails to operate properly.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 3.39.46 PM

In a new vSphere 5.1 installation, the error is not present.

Proper Loading

I upgraded a vSphere 5.1 host to 5.5 to determine if I would retain functionality.  Maybe the authorization piece (auth_gen) was the only part affected.  On this host that had successfully used the plugin, it no longer worked after the upgrade to 5.5.

In vSphere 5.5, the shared library is, while in vSphere 5.1, it is

I reached out to the team responsible for the plugin, and have confirmed they are aware of the issue, and working on a resolution.

Categories: Storage, Virtualization Tags: , , ,