vmware with VSA

Posted on 2013-11-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-20
Hi Experts,

I want to use VMWARE with VSA.
I have a license for Essentials Plus and I want to use two hosts.
But I will not use an extra SAN.

Can I use this technology VSA with my two hosts ?
Each hosts has 10 TB of disk space, but no SSD.
Can I create a virtual storage with this two hosts ?
Do I need a SA switch for it ?
Question by:Eprs_Admin
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Author Comment

ID: 39659203
Do I need a SAN switch for it ?
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Joseph Daly
Joseph Daly earned 100 total points
ID: 39659217
From the information you provided you should be able to run VSA on these two hosts.

Your Essentials Plus license version is supported.

Your disk space is sufficient as long as you follow vmwares guidelines for storage.

VSA is meant to be used in situations where a san is not available/affordable.

See the specs below.
LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 39659414
You can create VSA on your two hosts.

Please take care to follow the prerequisites for VSA, they are not as straight forward as you may think.

e.g. networking IP Addresses, Subnets, vCenter Installation, RAID type and number of disks in RAID.

You do not need a SAN Switch, as networking is completed internally, using existing switches.

Ensure you are using HA and DRS (if applicable), and please ensure you TEST TEST TEST and TEST again before you go to Production, many mistakes are made, and VSA is not tested, before you jump in, and go into Production.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

robocat earned 100 total points
ID: 39659502
Actually you need a third physical machine which runs the VSA cluster service. This can be any server, eg. it can be combined with the virtual center server.

Three hosts are always needed because the VSA cluster requires for 2 members to be online to work. The third host does not need to be an ESX host.

Author Comment

ID: 39661649
Hi Robocat,

I never heard about it.
From my point of view, 2 HOSTS are minimum, better three hosts.
But with 2 hosts it should work too.
Can anyone confirm this ?
LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 39661680
Yes, two hosts are fine, for the storage, but @robocat is also pointing out that you need a server physical or virtual for the VSA cluster service, many use their vCenter Server for this role.

Author Comment

ID: 39661686
ok I see, it is not needed to have a physical one.
LVL 121

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 39661693
No requirement for a physical server, only for storage nodes, do you require physical.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 39661870
Actually, you do need a third physical server.

The VSA cluster uses a voting system that requires two out of three members to be online at all times. Two cluster members are the physical ESX hosts, the third can be a service than is installed on any Windows server.

Suppose you put this third cluster member in a VM on one of the ESX hosts. If one physical host experiences a total failure, you can lose 2 cluster members at once (the ESX server + the VM containing the service).

The third member should be on an unrelated host to avoid this situation. But it can be anything, an old PC can suffice if you don't have a physical vcenter server.

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