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How to run EMC ISilon OneFS simulator in VMware ESXi environment on AWS and Google cloud for user trials, demos and training

Isilon OneFS is a scale out NAS storage solution from EMC and uses intelligent software to scale data across vast quantities of commodity hardware. It replaces the three layers of traditional storage model – file system, volume manager and data protection and provides a unified clustered file system with built-in scalable data protection, and obviating the need for volume management. EMC makes available for download, the Isilon OneFS 7.2.0.1 Simulator at no charge for non-production use. In order to install it in a real data center like environment so as to get a feel of user interface and administrative tasks requires ESXi infrastructure. Now, one could invest in hardware and setup a multi host ESXi lab environment to install the EMC Isilon OneFS simulator. The other alternative is to leverage the public clouds like AWS and Google Cloud infrastructure to setup ESXi lab and install and configure EMC Isilon OneFS simulator modules.

AWS and Google Cloud natively do not support nested virtualization, but Ravello platform HVX(runing on top of AWS and Google Cloud) implements Intel VT/ AMD­V (including NPT nested pages support) in software which enables users to run ESXi with hardware acceleration in AWS or Google.

This enables you to build complex and large ESXi lab setup which mimics your data center and run and test EMC Isilon simulator components on top of it. The entire lab can be provisioned on-demand, is available across the world and you pay for only when you use it.

In this blog we will cover installing and configuring an EMC Isilon OneFS Simulator 3 node cluster as a second level guest running on a Nested Ravello ESXi hosts managed by VMware vSphere 6.0.

Once we have the first Isilon node deployed within vSphere, we will save it as a vCenter template so that additional nodes are much easier to add to the Isilon Cluster.

Prerequisite

  • A Ravello account. If you don’t already have one, you can start your free trial.
  • A working VMware vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 environment running on your Ravello Cloud. More information can be found in this post.
  • One or more ESXi nodes setup with access to external network as found in this post.

Virtual infrastructure Requirements

  • VMware ESXi 5.5.x or 6.0
  • VMware vCenter 6.0 (Windows or Linux)
  • VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5 or 6.0

Disk Space

  • 17 GB of free space for the first node
  • 16 GB per additional node

Additional VMs

  • Windows Server Jump host within the Ravello environment/application

High level overview of the steps involved

  1. Download the EMC Isilon VM from the EMC trialware site. (An EMC Support account is not required)
  2. Deploy the VM using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone
    1. Convert the VM for use with VMware vSphere
    2. Deploy the VM to vCenter Server
  3. Save the VM as a vCenter template and/or to the vSphere Library (for vCenter 6.0 only)
  4. Configure the first node in the cluster
  5. Configure subsequent nodes in the cluster

Ravello Environment

VMware vSphere 6.0a

  • ESXi 6.0a
  • vCenter Server for Windows 6.0a

Each ESXi node requires 3 NICs:

  • 1x External Ravello Network
  • 1x Internal vCenter Only Private Network
  • 1x Bridged Internal Private Network to External Ravello Network

Network Template

Cluster Name: ISI-01

Reserve a min of 3 IPs for each network

Internal Only Isilon Network

  • Int-A Low 192.168.0.101 NIC1
  • Int-A High 192.168.0.103 NIC1
  • Netmask: 255.255.255.0

External Network

  • Ext-1 Low 20.0.0.101 NIC2
  • Ext-1 High 20.0.0.103 NIC2
  • Netmask: 255.255.0.0
  • Gateway: 20.0.0.2
Ravello Networking Overview
Ravello Networking Overview
ESXi vSphere Networking configuration
ESXi vSphere Networking configuration

For vSphere networking, in addition to the vswitch configuration found in this post.

Add an additional vswitch to each node for the internal Isilon network.

Each node must be configured with local storage. If you have followed the instructions in this post, there should be a 100GB local disk attached to your ESXi node. Within the vSphere Client, add this disk to each ESXi node.

ESXi Disk Configuration
ESXi Disk Configuration
ESXi NIC1 Network Configuration
ESXi NIC1 Network Configuration
ESXi NIC2 Network Configuration
ESXi NIC2 Network Configuration – Note that the Gateway is not defined. This creates our internal only network for vSphere guests.
ESXi NIC3 Network Configuration
ESXi NIC3 Network Configuration – This is the internal vSphere to external Ravello network allowing access to the vSphere guest VMs from the Jump host
External Service to allow access to the Isilon management console
External Service to allow access to the Isilon management console

1. Download the EMC Isilon OneFS Simulator

Download the EMC Isilon OneFS Simulator from EMC’s trialware site.

2. Deploy the Isilon VM using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Using the Converter Standalone version that matches your vSphere environment.

Follow the step by step instructions from the “Running virtual nodes on ESX” section of the Virtual Isilon Install Guide PDF available in the Simulator download from EMC’s trailware site.

More information about VMware vCenter Converter can be found on VMware’s Pubs Site.

Ravello specific configuration

Before you save as a template or power on the VM set the Typematic Rate to 2000000:

keyboard.typematicMinDelay = 2000000

keyboard.typematicMinDelay

3. Save the VM as a vCenter template and/or to the vSphere Library (vCenter 6.0 only)

Convert to Template

4. Configure the first node in the cluster

Follow the step by step instructions from the “Install the virtual Isilon cluster” section of the Virtual Isilon Install Guide PDF available in the Simulator download from EMC’s trailware site.

Ravello specific configuration

Deploy the Isilon template to the local storage of the first ESXi node

5. Configure subsequent nodes in the cluster

Follow the step by step instructions from the “Add the rest of the nodes to the cluster” section of the“Virtual Isilon Install Guide.pdf” available in the Simulator download from EMC’s trailware site.

Ravello specific configuration

Deploy the Isilon template the local storage of the remaining ESXi nodes

Accessing the management console

To access the management console, open a browser to https:\\<Ext Network IP of node 1>\

One FS Login

Verify the nodes are connected
Verify the nodes are connected
Cluster Overview
Cluster Overview

Special Notes

Make sure that for Islon guest VM running on top of ESXi in Ravello, The sum total guest CPUs should be =< ESXi host CPUs and same for memory.We have not tested this setup for heavy duty file scanning and other Isilon functional tests. This setup is meant to be used for user trial, demo, training etc. In order to setup a lab with more intensive EMC Isilon OneFS functional operations, would need performance optimizations on underlying ESXi hosts running in Ravello.

About Ravello Systems

Ravello is the industry’s leading nested virtualization and software-defined networking SaaS. It enables enterprises to create cloud-based development, test, UAT, integration and staging environments by automatically cloning their VMware-based applications in AWS. Ravello is built by the same team that developed the KVM hypervisor in Linux.

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How to run EMC ISilon OneFS simulator in VMware ESXi environment on AWS and Google cloud for user trials, demos and training