Creating a Win2k12 R2 SAN with HA failover

metazend
metazend used Ask the Experts™
on
Hey guys,

So I have the hardware I require for a nice SAN, including a 10Gbps switch and NICs.  The OS I installed on the servers are Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.

I know I can create an iSCSI target on the system, and access it from something like Xen Server, VMware, etc...

What I am confused about is setting two of these systems up such that if one fails, the other one automatically takes over.  Ideally, they would be mirrored, like a Raid 1 for drives, so there would be no loss of data.

What do you guys recommend?

Yes, I am also willing to switch OSes, although I am keeping with MS right now as this is what the client wants.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
What do you want to failover Virtual Machines, Printers, Storage?

Do you have two servers and a SAN?

Author

Commented:
I'd like it to be active-active HA, for storing VMhosts.

I have a few servers (running hypervisors like Xen Server), and two identical Storage servers that I want to use as mirrored SANs.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
So you want this to store Virtual Machines? e.g. storage

or Hosting for Virtual Machines? e.g. a Hypervisor ?

e.g. why don't you just connect Xen Server directly to SAN?
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Author

Commented:
I won't be installing a hypervisor on these two systems, I have existing ones that will connect to it like you mentioned.

My concern is, how do I go about making the two SANs mirrored?  Similar function to a RAID 1 storage array, except this is to mirror two entire SANs.  At the very least, the iSCSI targets I create on them.

Why do I concern myself with this?  Well, in case one SAN Fails, I need the other to keep doing the work so there is no down time.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Okay, I think I understand now, you want to create HA Storage for other Hypervisors.

As you already have SANs, you would need to attach these SANs via iSCSI to the Existing Servers to provide local storage.

There is then one product called Starwind iSCSI software, which can create HA Storage

http://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-iscsi-san-overview

there are also products for VMware Hypervisors,  HP LeftHand VSA, VMware VSA, DataCore VSA, San Symphony.

other option is to look at new Storage Pools in Windows 2012 R2, but these often are designed around local and DAS disks.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
The short answer is you don't yet have ALL the hardware you need to build a "nice SAN."

Storage mirroring across multiple servers is not trivial and is not very performant. There are a few software packages that do this, such as Starwinds Virtual SAN, but as I said, you take a huge performance hit.

If you really want a *nice* SAN, you need shared storage, not mirrored storage, An external SAS box with redundant connections to both of your servers would provide true HA for storage and allow the servers to handle the I/O portion. Or you can buy a commercial packaged SAN that basically does similar stuff under the hood.

Author

Commented:
Thank you for the info.  I'll look more into the software specified, and an external SAS.

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