Adding iomega iSCSI to your home VMware Lab

 

I just recently added a 2TB iomega ix2 “Cloud Edition” to my VMware Home Lab and have been pretty impressed with some of its upgrades.  As I noted in my last VMware Home Lab blog post I’ve been using another ix2 NFS for my datastores and have been wanting to add iSCSI to it the last few weeks.  The problem is I’ve run out of space !!  So, the new ix2 was added. 

Here is a quick step by step guide on how to add an iomega “Cloud Edition” iSCSI lun to your VMware home lab !!

First things first – I’m assuming you have already setup your storage (Static IP address, etc) and it’s just waiting for you to manage it.

1)      Surf over to the Management Screen – it should look like this:

 2)      Click on the Storage Button – that will take you to the following page:

 3)     Click on the iSCSI Device –  That will take you to the following screen:

 4)      Click on Enable and just use the local iSNS Server unless you are running some UBER iSCSI stuff in your home lab !!  Click Apply.

 5)       let’s create an iSCSI Drive –Click on the “Add an iSCSI Drive” link:

6)      Name your iSCSI Drive, set the amount of capacity and click “Create” – it will look like the following:

When it’s completed it should look like this:

 Notice that it assigned it an IQN Name.  By the way, you are done with this part !!

Let’s move over to my vSphere Client to complete this quick / easy task !!

7)      Log into vSphere Client – click on Hosts and Clusters, then select a Hosts -> Configuration -> Storage Adapters and then in the list of Storage Adapters scroll down to iSCSI Software Adapter – it should look like this:

 

 8)      Click on Properties of the Storage Adapter and then click Configure:

 9)      Check the box “enabled” and I added an iSCSI Alias – not sure why – but I did it 🙂

 10)   That takes you back to the main iSCSI Initiator Properties page, we now need to add our iSCSI Device to the “Dynamic Discovery” tab – so click on that – it should look like this below:

 11)   Add the ip address of your iomega ix2 “cloud edition” to this iSCSI Server Field and just leave everything else default.  It should look like what I have above.  Once you are done with that – it takes you to the following screen:

 12)   Click on Close. – Notice your iSCSI Device / LUN shows up in the details section:

 We are done with that part !!  Now, let’s add it as a Datastore.  Now from the Configuration Screen on your hosts – click on “Storage” – and then “Add Storage”

 13)   This should be straight forward – Click Next on “Disk/Lun” :

 

14)    You should see your new iSCSI Lun in the options area – since this is a new lun, it needs to have a partition created – so click Next:

15)   Name your datastore:

16)   Select your block size – I just kept the default – Click Next:

17)    That leaves us with the summary – click “Finish” and you just added your LUN to your host !!

18)   Done !!

That was “easy peasy” as my kids would say.  Now I’m going to vMotion some VM’s around and start to take advantage of this new space !!  By the way, if you have one of the “Non-Cloud Edition” iomega devices (like the other one I have) – you should check out Trainsignal.com’s free video on how to add iSCSI to your lab – You should bookmark that whole site – David Davis has done a FANTASTIC job of publishing quick and easy “how to’s” around VMware.

If you have any questions – just let me know !! 

@vTexan

8 thoughts on “Adding iomega iSCSI to your home VMware Lab

  1. I have a ix2-200 classic edition and I’m wondering if it is feasible to ‘upgrade’ it to the Cloud Edition since the web interface is much more appealing and user-friendly… I will have to dig into that 🙂

    BTW great post, thx for sharing your exeprience!

    Cheers,
    Didier

  2. Hi guy!

    I’m thinking about buy an ix2-200 for VMware LAb as you do.. But I’m not sure about if I should buy an ix2 or ix4.. =/

    How much ESX(i) did you put on ix2-200?

    Could you comment anything about this indecision?

    Tks from Brazil!

  3. Nice, I just bought this for my lab without seeing your blog. But like your blog as a reference for the setup process.

  4. How much IO can it handle? I’m wanting to use this for my home lab as well. I want to make sure if I put 20, 30+ virtual desktops on this it’s not going to bog down on me.

  5. Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, the x6 is more $ than I’m wanting spend at this time. The ix4 is more in the price range I’m looking for. I gotta find out if it will support SSDs though because I’ll need them. It’s odd that their website just has it coming with 4 SATA drives and doesn’t give you the option to mix and match. Same thing with the x6 as well though…

    1. The IX2 and 4 line doesn’t support adding/changing drives in it – and it only ships with SATA (as far as I know) – the PX line does give you that ability (adding your own drives/mixing drives). You can actually order the PX without disks if that helps lower the price.

      Please note – the following information is just “finger in the wind” calculations and wild assumptions 🙂

      As far as the Virtual Desktops – you could look at putting SSD in your vSphere host and setting them up as a Datastore – if your plan is to use Linked Clones in View, you could put the replica’s (master desktop image – which are 100% reads) on that SSD disk. It should help with some of the performance issues but in reality we see 80/20 (write/read) performance with Virtual Desktops so you will also have to figure out how to compensate for the writes. For 20 Virtual Desktops you are looking at roughly 680 RAID 5 IOPS (you could go to RAID 10 and cut that number down to 340) but a SATA disk drive only does about 80 to 100 IOPS so even if we went aggressive and said 100 IOPS you would need at least 7 spindles to hit that 680 number. By the way – you would also be looking at 24GB of host memory just for those 20 virtual desktops – I’m also assuming 100% concurrent VM’s . In other words, all 20 desktops running at the same time.

      I would recommend heading over to http://www.myvirtualcloud.net and using Andre’s calculator to play around with some numbers but at the end of the day, you might need to adjust down your desktop count or look to see how you might be able to justify the PX.

  6. Great article. Same steps can can followed on the ix2-dl from Lenovo (basically the same nas w/ the lenovo brand). Works great in my home lab.

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