02 October 2013

Building Hyper-V Clusters Step by Step - Part V - iSCSI Dell PowerVault MD3200i

In the previous articles in the series We stepped through all the different steps in creating the clusters form scratch. This article will focus primarily on the step required to configure the PowerVault and SCVMM.  Because of the large number of step I have kept the article a brief as possible, so it is more of a rough guide.

Design Goals

  • Two node Hyper-V cluster
  • Using iSCSI as shared storage on a Dell PowerVault target
  • Using a single Cluster Shared Volume between 2 nodes
  • Using only single NIC per server
  • Using DHCP
  • Import the cluster into SCVMM


Step 1 - Configure Storage Disk
Open the PowerVault Modular Disk Storage Manager

  • Select Logical Tab
  • Right Click Unconifgured Capacity
  • Select Create Disk Group
  • Next
  • Give it a meaningful name (30 char limit)
  • Next
  • Select the RAID Level
  • Select a Capacity
  • Finish
  • You will be prompted to create a virtual disk using the group - Select Yes
  • On the Introduction Screen - Next
  • Specify disk capacity and a disk name
  • (Here I create a small disk for Quorum and additional disks for VM Data
  • Finish
  • You will be prompted to create another virtual disk - Repeat for all the volumes you want to create
  • You will be reminded to create mappings
  • Click OK
Step 2 - Configure iSCSI target
Next up we need to configure the hosts and host groups.  For this we will need the iSCSI initiator names from the Hyper-V servers.


  • On each server
  • Open the iSCSI Initiator
  • Select the Configuration tab
  • Copy the the value of the Initiator Name: field


  • In the PowerVault Modular Disk Storage Manager
  • Select the Mappings Tab
  • Right Click Storage Array
  • Define Host
  • Host Name can be your actual Hyper-V host name
  • Select "Add by creating a new host port identifier" 
  • Past the iSCSI initiator name you copied in the previous section
  • User Lable cannot  be the Server host name again
  • Click Add
  • Click Next
  • Select Windows form the Host type list
  • Next
  • Select "Yes - this host will share access to the same virtual disks with other hosts"
  • Enter the name of the hosts group (cluster name)
  • Next Finish
  • Repeat the process for the second host



  • Right Click the Host group
  • Define > Storage Partitioning
  • Next
  • Select the correct host group
  • Select and add the relevant disks
  • Finish


Step 3 - Configure a host to connect to storage
The first host in the cluster will be used to prepare the volumes. From the server manager - 

  • iSCSI Initiator
  • Discovery
  • Discover Portal
  • Specify IP of the PowerVault
  • Advanced
  • Local Adapter select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator
  • Initiator IP select the correct one
  • OK
  • OK
  • Select Targets Tab
  • Select the Target - Connect
  • Select Volumes and Devices - Auto Configure
  • Ok

  • Server Manager
  • File And Storage Services
  • Select Disks
  • Bring online
  • Right Click  - new Volume
  • Complete the wizard 
NOTE* Formatting large volumes will take a Looooooong time - like half and hour ish for 1TB

Complete this for all of the volumes you want to add to the cluster.


Step 4 - Configure the second host to connect to storage
On the second host configure and connect the iSCSI initiator.

At this point both nodes should be able to see the disks and volumes but only online on one of the hosts.

Step 5 - Create the cluster

  • Start Fail-over cluster manager
  • Create cluster
  • Add nodes
  • Provide Cluster Name
  • Finish The Wizard


You should now have a cluster that is up and running.

Step - 6 Add the storage to SCVMM
Next up we need to import the cluster into VMM.  However to do this correctly we need to provision the storage in VMM.  For this we need a provider for the PowerVault.

You have to make use of the VCenter Plugin

Note: It only runs on 2008 R2  - not 2012

You can follow these step http://vinfrastructure.it/en/2012/05/manage-a-dell-powervault-array-with-system-center-vmm-2012/


  • In SCVMM
  • Select Fabric - Storage - Providers - Add Storage Devices
  • SAN and NAS devices discovered and managed by a SMI-S provider
  • Protocol SMI-S CIMXML
  • IP address is the server hosting the VCentre Plugin
  • Specify an admin account for that server

  • You should now see that the PowerVault is listed
  • Select the Storage Devices
  • Here you will see the Storage groups as defined on the PowerVault
  • Create a classification and add the relevant group


Select Fabric - Storage - Classification and pools
Expand the new Classification you created - you should now see the LUNs that are mapped to the storage group


Step 7 - Import the cluster
Next up import the Cluster as Hyper-V hosts

  • Select the properties of the host
  • Select available storage - here you should see the cluster disks
  • Select them and Convert to CSV


The setup is now complete.


Please note the following:
This is purely a lab configuration, actual real world performance of this single NIC configuration will be potentially unpredictable with periods of lag.  When building this for a production environment it is suggested that you use dedicated NICs for storage, MPIO also add redundant links to the storage.

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