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

I was out on vacation while it was announced that the Isilon OneFS Virtual Nodes (7.0.2.4 & 7.1.0.0) were available to Partners/Customers/Internal users.

Check out Chad’s blog for more info around that here: http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2014/04/love-isilon-want-to-play-merry-xmas.html

After downloading the appropriate zip, and extracting the contents, it is easy to install/configure.  With the 7.1.0.0 build:

  • Unzip the Isilon_OneFS_Virtual_Nodes_7.1.0.0.zip file and view the contents.
  • Unzip the 7.1.0.0_Virtual_Isilon.zip file and view the contents
  • Open the b.7.1.0.12r.vga 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.

In VMware Workstation (I’m using version 10.0.1), opening the VM config file b.7.1.0.12r.vga.vmx will open the VM, and the Linked Clones will appear as snapshots.
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Opening the b.7.1.0.12r.vga.cloneX.vmx 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.
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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 Workstation/Player – 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 Workstation 10 is performed by selecting the Parent VM, right-clicking, selecting Manage, then Clone.  Choose Next, “The current state in the virtual machine” then Next, Create Full Clone then Next, provide a VM name and location, and finally click Finish.

Alternatively, removing the snapshots in Workstation is easy. Select the Parent VM, right-clicking, selecting Manage, then 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 7.1.0.0_Virtual_Isilon.zip 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: http://storagemonkey.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/deploying-virtual-isilon-on-esxi/

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.

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

Part II covers Isilon Virtual Nodes in VMware Fusion.

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