Getting Started

Getting Started

This chapter contains step-by-step instructions to create a VPSA and then to configure its storage properties.

Registering a Zadara Account & Creating a VPSA

Note

VPSA Object Storage (ZIOS) creation is described in the VPSA Object Storage User Guide.

  • If Create Storage Array was selected the following dialog will appear:

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Enter the following mandatory fields:

  • VPSA Name – Give the VPSA a name. This is how it will appear in the Cloud Console and in the VPSA GUI. If you are planning on having multiple VPSAs, you might want to give it as detailed a name as possible.
  • VPSA Description – Give the VPSA a description.
  • Select Cloud Provider – Select the Cloud or Co-lo where you have your compute instances. VPSAs are able to simultaneously connect to multiple Cloud Providers and Co-locations (within the same geographical region).

Note

From the VPSA Provisioning Portal you can provision and manage all of your VPSAs, even if they are connected to different Cloud Providers & regions.

  • Select a Region – Select the Cloud Provider region where your application servers reside. The servers and the VPSA must reside in the same region in order to establish efficient iSCSI or NFS\CIFS connectivity. Available Regions depend on which Cloud Provider you select.

  • Protection Zone – VPSA supports multiple protection zones in “stretched cluster” configurations, where each VC is in a different zone. In cloud locations that provide protection zones, select in which zone the new VPSA will be built. For multi-zone configurations select Multiple.

  • Select the Zadara IO Engine – The Zadara IO Engine type defines the compute characteristics of your VPSA’s Virtual Controllers (VCs). Each engine type defines the following characteristics:

    • Number of CPUs that are assigned to your VPSA’s VCs.
    • Amount of RAM that is assigned to your VPSA’s VCs.
    • Default size of protected SSD Cache.

    When selecting the IO engine, take into account the capacity planned for this VPSA. Each Engine has a limit to the number of drive it can support, and to the total raw capacity of the VPSA.

    You can change the Zadara Engine type (upgrade or downgrade) at any time throughout the lifetime of your VPSA according to your application’s needs,providing you stay within the maximum limits of the engine type you are moving to

Note

The compute resources (CPU, RAM and Cache) are dedicated to your VPSA, which ensures consistent performance and isolation from other tenants’ workloads and behavior.

  • Select the Cache size (for engines larger than 200) Use the slide bar to set the amount of flash cache allocated to this VPSA. Note that each VPSA engine comes with a minimum amount of cache. The extended cache is allocated in 200GB increments.

  • Select the Zadara Container Services (ZCS) Engine – The Zadara ZCS Engine defines the compute resources of the VPSA’s Virtual Controllers that are allocated for Docker containers within this VPSA. Refer to Managing Container Services for details about Zadara Container Services.

  • Fibre Channel Support – Check this checkbox if you will be connecting hosts to this VPSA over FC SAN.

  • Drive Quantities – Select the type and number of drives that you would like allocated to your VPSA.

    • The Zadara Cloud Orchestrator allocates dedicated drives.

    • Drives are allocated from as many different SNs as possible to provide max redundancy for your VPSA’s RAID groups.

    • There is a limit to the number of drives per Zadara IO Engine type. The larger the Engine is, the more drives you can add. There is also a limit to the total raw capacity of all drives. Make sure the total capacity of all selected drives is within the limit. The following table lists the maximum drives per Engine type:

      IO Engine Type Maximum # of Drives Maximum Raw Capacity
      200 (Baby) 5 24 TB
      400 (Basic) 10 60 TB
      600 (Boost) 20 100 TB
      800 (Blast) 30 150 TB
      1000 (Blazing) 40 200 TB
      1200 60 240 TB
      1600 80 300 TB
      2400 80 360 TB
  • Once you have completed selecting the above VPSA characteristics, press the Submit button to confirm the VPSA creation request. The requested VPSA will appear in the “Awaiting Approval” list.

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  • Completing the VPSA creation requires the approval of a Zadara Storage Cloud admin. Once approved, the new VPSA only takes a few minutes to launch. During that time you’ll see your VPSA in “Launching” status as shown below:

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  • Once the VPSA is ready, you’ll receive an email with a temporary passcode at your registered email address.
  • Use the “Management Address” link to access the VPSA GUI:

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  • Use your registered username or email address and the temporary passcode to enter the VPSA GUI. You will be immediately prompted to set a new password for your VPSA User account.

The VPSA Interface

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The VPSA GUI provides full management and control of your VPSA. It contains the following main components (as numbered in the above screenshot):

  1. Main Navigation Left Panel – Traverse through the various VPSA entities. The selected entity is highlighted.
  2. The Center Pane – Displays a list of objects from the selected entity type (e.g. Drives in the above screenshot example) and for each object it displays the main properties.
  3. The South Pane – Displays detailed information regarding the selected object. All objects have at least 3 tabs:
    1. Properties – Detailed properties of the object.
    2. Metering – Typically IO workload metering info.
    3. Logs – List of event-log messages related to that object.
  4. Logged-in username – Displayed at the top right corner.
  5. Selected Language – Displayed at the top left corner. You can use this drop down to change the displayed language.

Creating RAID Group, Pools, and Volumes

  • Create a RAID Group to define the level of data protection needed. For more details see here: Creating a RAID Group
  • Create a storage Pool by using aggregated capacity from one or more RAID Groups. For more details see here: Creating a Pool
  • Create an iSCSI\FC\NFS\SMB Thin Provisioned Volume to be used by your servers. For more details check here: Creating and Deleting a Volume
  • Add a server. The server objcet represents the host using the storage volume. Follow the instructions depending on OS and connectivity of your server: Adding a Server
  • Attach the Volume to a Server. For more details see here: Attaching & detaching Volumes to Servers

Congratulations! You have a new VPSA provisioned and ready to use.

The following sections describe in detail the various capabilities and services of your VPSA.

Provisioning your VPSA

You create, add, change, delete and manage the resources composing your VPSAs via the Zadara Provisioning Portal.

This section describes the available operations in the Provisioning Portal (https://manage.zadarastorage.com).

Adding and removing Disk Drives

To add drives to your VPSA go to the Provisioning Portal, select the VPSA and then press the Add Storage button.

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  • Select the number of drives from each available drive type you wish to add to your VPSA, and press Submit. Keep in mind the RAID Groups you are going to build.
  • This operation requires the approval of a Zadara Storage Cloud Admin. Once approved, you’ll see the number of drives in the Provisioning Portal update accordingly. If you then refresh the Drives page in the VPSA GUI the new drives will be displayed.

You can remove unused Drives (indicated with status “Available”) from within the VPSA.

Go to the VPSA GUI > Drives, select the Drive you wish to remove and press the Remove button:

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If you wish to remove a Drive that is part of a RAID Group you first need to replace it with another Drive as described here: Replacing a Drive

Managing Zadara Engines

The Zadara IO Engine type defines the following characteristics of your VPSA’s Storage Controllers:

  • Dedicated CPU and memory resources - These are dedicated solely to your VPSA. These resources are not shared with any other VPSA or tenant within the Zadara Storage Cloud.

  • Flash Cache Size - Each VPSA is provisioned with a Flash Cache partition to be used for both metadata and read/write caching. The SSD cache partition is protected using RAID-1, where each mirror copy resides on a different SN, thus ensuring cache resilience to SN failure. Each Engine type comes with a base SSD cache partition size. You can request additional flash capacity for caching. For more details see “Adjusting Cache.”

  • Maximum number of drives – The maximum number of drives that can be allocated to each VPSA engine type.

    The following Zadara IO Engines are available:

IO Engine Type Dedicated Compute Resources Base Flash Cache Max # of Drives Max Raw Capacity
200 (Baby) 2 CPU, 6 GB RAM 20 GB 5 24 TB
400 (Basic) 4 CPU, 12 GB RAM 20 GB 10 60 TB
600 (Boost) 6 CPU, 20 GB RAM 40 GB 20 100 TB
800 (Blast) 8 CPU, 28 GB RAM 60 GB 30 150 TB
1000 (Blazing) 10 CPU, 36 GB RAM 80 GB 40 200 TB
1200 12 CPU, 52 GB RAM 100 GB 60 240 TB
1600 16 CPU, 68 GB RAM 120 GB 80 300 TB
2400 24 CPU, 100 GB RAM 180 GB 80 360 TB

The following Zadara Container Services Engines (see: Managing Container Services) are available:

Zadara ZCS Engine Type Dedicated compute resources
01 2 CPU, 512 MB RAM
02 2 CPU, 1 GB RAM
04 4 CPU, 2 GB RAM
06 6 CPU, 4 GB RAM
08 8 CPU, 8 GB RAM

To change both types of Zadara Engines, press the Change Engine(s) button in the VPSA Provisioning Portal:

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When selecting any engine larger than 200 you can also select the required flash cache size for that engine. For Flash Cache limits see here.

Completing this operation requires the approval of the Zadara Storage Cloud Admin.

The Zadara Engine upgrade/downgrade process may take a few minutes. During that time, your VPSA status will change to “Upgrade Pending”.

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When the process completes the VPSA status will change back to “Ready”.

Assigning Public IPs

By default you cannot access the VPSA from the public Internet for security and privacy reasons. The VPSA Front-End IP address which is used for VPSA management (via GUI and REST API) and for data IO workload (host connectivity via iSCSI/NFS/SMB protocols), is allocated on the Zadara Storage Cloud “Front-End” network 10GbE interface which is routable only from the Cloud Servers network. Servers outside of your Cloud Servers network cannot reach this IP address. This means you cannot access your VPSA GUI from the Internet.

A typical use case requiring Public IP addresses is when you’re running Asynchronous Remote Mirroring between two VPSAs in different regions, between on premise and cloud deployments or even between different Cloud Providers for Disaster Recovery (DR). Communication between the VPSAs is done via an authenticated and encrypted channel over the public Internet, thus requiring Public IPs.

To assign a Public IP address to your VPSA, go to the Provisioning Portal and press the Assign Public IP button. You can see the assigned IP address in your VPSA details in the Provisioning Portal and in the VPSA GUI, under Settings > General > Public IP. To remove it, simply click the Remove Public IP button in the Provisioning Portal.

Note

Access to the VPSA GUI and API is blocked through the Public IP for security reasons.

Note

NAT’d server IP connections are not supported for iSCSI, NFS, and SMB protocols over the Public IP.

Adjusting Flash Cache

Each VPSA is provisioned with a base flash cache partition, which is utilized by the VPSA for both metadata and read/write caching. The initially assigned default SSD cache size is also the minimal cache size for a given Zadara Engine. The flash cache partition is protected using RAID-1, where each mirror copy resides on a different SN, thus ensuring cache resilience to multiple types of failure.

On top of the base flash cache desribed above, you can add an extended cache. The VPSA extended flash cache size is elastic, so you can increase or decrease the cache size according to the needs of your workload.

Each Engine type has a minimum (default) and maximum SSD Cache size, as shown in the table below:

Zadara Engine Base Flash Cache Default Extended Flash Cache Size Max Extended Flash Cache Size
200 (Baby) 20 GB 0 GB 0 GB
400 (Basic) 20 GB 200 GB 400 GB
600 (Boost) 40 GB 400 GB 800 GB
800 (Blast) 60 GB 600 GB 1200 GB
1000 (Blazing) 80 GB 800 GB 1600 GB
1200 100 GB 1200 GB 2400 GB
1600 120 GB 1600 GB 3200 GB
2400 180 GB 1600 GB 3200 GB

To change the Extended Flash Cache size for your VPSA, go to the Provisioning Portal and press the Adjust Cache button:

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Hibernating your VPSA

You can hibernate your VPSA when it is not in use for some period of time in order to reduce its associated service cost. While the VPSA is in a hibernated state you will only be billed for the drives, not the engine. Hibernating a VPSA involves the process of deleting its Virtual Controllers (the VPSA) while maintaining the data drives and all the necessary metadata to resume its operation at a later stage. No data is lost! The hibernated VPSA is not accessible to any GUI or REST API commands, nor will it present any iSCSI or NFS\SMB volumes. Resuming a hibernated VPSA only takes a few minutes.

To hibernate a VPSA, go to the VPSA Provisioning Portal and press the Hibernate button:

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To resume access to the VPSA, go to the Provisioning Portal and press the Restore button. (The Hibernate and Restore buttons toggle depending on the current state of the VPSA.)