Friday, June 28, 2013

How to create a datastore cluster in VMware

1.  Open vCenter and go to the Home tab.

2.  Click on the Datastores and Datastore Clusters option

3.  Right click on your Datacenter

*Note:  Datastore clusters cannot travers multiple datastores
4.  Select the New Datastore Cluster option from the pull-down menu

5.  A wizard will open.  Provide a name for your datastore cluster and make sure there is a check mark next to Turn on Storage DRS.

6.  Choose No Automation (Manual) or Fully Automated.

*I decided to use No Automation for now, at least in the testing phase.  No Automation makes recommendations to move virtual disks to other datastores that either have more space available and/or better I/O resources.  Fully Automated makes the changes automatically without getting administrator input.
7.  You can accept the defaults for the next couple steps of the wizard.

8.  When it’s time to select datastores, choose the datastores you’d like to put in this cluster.

Since we chose the No Automation method, we’ll need to check the recommendations SDRS has made manually.  To do this go to Home>>Datastores and Datastore Clusters.  Highlight the datastore cluster and then choose the Storage DRS tab.  All of the recommendations will be listed and selected by default.  You can click the Override Storage DRS Recommendations and select them individually if you so desire. Then click on Apply Recommendations and the appropriate tasks will execute.

This manual method, although safe, may go unnoticed by administrators.  To combat this, you might decide to create an alert notification that gets triggered whenever there is a Storage DRS alarm.  To set this up, highlight vCenter at the top of the tree on the left.  Click on the alarms tab, right-click the Storage DRS Recommendations and choose Edit Settings.  From this menu you can set it up to email you whenever this alarm is triggered.

There are many more details surrounding the implementation Storage DRS, but this brief overview is enough to set it up and start using it.  With alarm notifications you get the best of both worlds.  Using this strategy you won’t get caught off guard if SDRS tries to automatically storage vMotion a virtual machine using full automation, but you will be immediately notified of any recommended changes.

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