StorSimple 8100 installation step by step
Due to a ‘known issue’, it’s recommended not to configure interface Data 1 and to leave it disabled until the next major StorSimple software release (version 1.2)
In this post, I will go over StorSimple 8100 array step by step installation. StorSimple 8k series is the first generation running Windows 2012 R2 core OS and has the advantages of having 10 Gbps Network interfaces and interoperability with SVA (StorSimple Virtual Array). For more background on StorSimple see these posts.
StorSimple 8100 is a 2 RU iSCSI SAN that seamlessly extends to the cloud. It has SSD, SATA tiers in the box and uses Azure as the third tier. Data is automatically tiered at the block level where most frequently accessed blocks are stored in the linear SSD tier, less frequently accessed blocks are automatically tiered down to the deduplicated SSD tier, less frequently accessed blocks are automatically tiered down to the deduplicated and compressed SAS tier, and finally less frequently accessed blocks are automatically tiered down to the deduplicated, compressed, and encrypted Azure tier.
All local storage in the StorSimple array enjoys RAID 10 configuration protection and speed, fully redundant controllers, power supplies, and redundant data paths both on the iSCSI and network sides.
Racking and stacking:
Along with the array comes this box of goodies:
Power connections are straight forward. 2 cables should connect each of the power supply units to 20 AMP outlets on 2 separate fault domains. For more details on StorSimple power requirements see this link.
The package comes with transceivers that plug in to the 10 Gbps data ports:
Plug the other sides of the 2 twinax cables connected to Data2 ports to one 10 Gbps switch, and the other sides of the 2 twinax cables connected to Data3 to another 10 Gbps switch. This will provide full wire and switch redundancy. These 4 ports on the 2 switches should have access to your iSCSI vlan/subnet.
Similarly, wire 2 ports marked Data0 to 1 Gbps ports on one switch and ports marked Data1 to 1 Gbps ports on another switch. These 4 ports will need to have access to your data (corporate/production) network and require outbound access to the Internet on the following ports:
- UDP port 53 for DNS
- TCP port 80 for HTTP
- UDP port 123 for NTP
- TCP port 443 for HTTPS/SSL
- TCP port 9354 for StorSimple Manager
If you have to setup outbound firewall rule(s) for StorSimple,
- The source IPs will be the 4 IPs assigned to Data 0, Data 1, Fixed Controller 0 IP and Fixed Controller 1 IP
- The destination ports will be UDP 53 and 123, and TCP 80, 443, and 9354
- The destination IPs will be ‘any’. I know most organizations will not like that, but this is practically what most end up doing here. Alternatively, the destination IPs can be all Azure IP subnets. Microsoft makes this IP list available for download, but it changes quite frequently.
The array features active/passive architecture. This means only one controller will be on at a time, with its 2x 10 Gbps ports and 2x 1 Gbps ports. So, although we wired 8 ports, we require 6 IP addresses. 4 on the data/vlan/subnet side (for data 0, data 1, and controller 0 fixed IP and controller 1 fixed IP), and 2 on the iSCSI/vlan/subnet.
For more information on wiring a StorSimple 8k series array see this document.
Next, power on the array.
Initial array setup is done via serial interface and serves mainly to assign the array IP addresses. Everything after that is done from the Azure management interface.
The recommended setup is to connect both the serial cables to the serial ports on the 2 controllers of the array and wire the other side to a device in the data center that has a serial port.
This provides remote access to the serial ports if that’s ever needed. Other options include serial over IP devices. The image above shows 1 port connected. To ensure access, wire up both serial ports.
On the server (or laptop) where the serial port is connected, start a connection using Putty for example:
Select the language to use, like ‘1’ for English
Enter ‘1’ to login with full access:
Type in ‘Password1’ to continue:
After successful login, the following prompt is presented:
Type in ‘Invoke-HcsSetupWizard’ as suggested:
Hit ‘Enter’ to accept the default choice and configure IPv4 on interface Data0
Enter the IP address you would like to assign to interface Data0, subnet mask, gateway, DNS.
Hit ‘Enter’ to accept the default time server ‘time.windows.com’ and ‘Enter’ again to bypass configuring a web proxy.
Change the default administrator password:
Set a password for StorSimple Snapshot Manager:
The next step requires us to login to Azure management interface to obtain our StorSimple Manager service registration key: