Stage XVIII: vSAN + vVOL

After completing the last HomeLab / HomeDC Upgrade Stage XVII: 10GbE for all it was time to get another host to support several usecases…..

I was able to get a cheap IBM x3650M3 server and upgraded it.

This machine is equipped now with:

  • 2 x Quad-Core Xeons 2,66 GHz
  • 192 GB RAM
  • 1 x Dual Port 10GbE
  • 1 x Dual Port FC
  • 2 x local SSDs
  • 2 xFusion-IO ioDrive2 Flash Devices.

I wanted a host, that is able to be powered-on on Demand using the vCenter Stand-by feature. The configuration of this feature is pretty easy. Simply enter UEFI, choose the correct IP settings and write down the MAC address for the IPMI interface. Enter the IPMI login values, IP and MAC. Test the feature using the Enter Stand-by Mode.

I used my new Super-Host to create several training and demo Use-Cases:

·  VSAN 5.5 with 3 virtual hosts

·  VSAN 6.0 with 3 virtual hosts

·  VSAN 6.1 with 3 virtual hosts

·  VSAN 6.1 All Flash with 3 virtual hosts

·  VSAN 6.1 ROBO with 2 virtual hosts

·  VSAN 6.1 Failure Domains with 3 virtual hosts

·  VSAN 6.1 Streched-Cluster with 4 virtual hosts

·  VVOLs EMC vVNX with 3 virtual hosts

All VSAN virtual Flash Disks are placed onto my FusionIO Cards and the HDDs are placed onto my existing FibreChannel storage. The VSAN6.1 Stretched-Cluster and the ROBO solution is build with the VSAN Witness appliance running also onto the host, but not inside the cluster. The Virtual Volumes demo is placed completely onto the FusionIO drives. All solutions are implemented using vApps with configured Start and Stop orders.


With this new environment I am able to test migration of VSAN Version or to show a customer how it works. The Virtual Volumes vApp is created with the EMC vVNX virtual appliance and 3 virtual ESXi hosts.


The IBM x3650M3 host is powered-down by default, the power-on operation took 3-10 minutes and the vApp Boot procedure took another 2 minutes per solution.

The next HomeLab / HomeDC stage is already implemented, but not documented. So stay tuned for the next episode…..

And here it is: Stage XIX: Backup and Desaster Recovery