Monday, February 23, 2015

Microsoft Windows File Sharing with Nimble Storage - Direct Attached

Hi Friends,

A few blogs ago I showed you how easy it is to set up a Windows File Share on Nimble Storage using VMware with VMDK attached storage.  But what if you want to directly attach Nimble to a physical or virtual host using iSCSI?  Remember onions, ogres and file shares have layers.

The first thing you'll need is to download and install the Nimble Storage, Windows Toolkit, you can get that off the InfoSight site.  In the toolkit you'll get the Nimble Connection Manager and Setup Manager.  The setup manager is for setting up arrays, so we're going to focus on the connection manager.  We'll want to use the connection manager instead of the native Microsoft iSCSI Initiator tool since the Nimble tool has lots of cool Nimble smart stuff built right in!

When you launch the connection manager you'll see the addresses of the file share server on the System Settings page.  Select the addresses you want data traffic to go over.  Here I'm selecting two 10 gig IP addresses in Included that can talk to my storage.  The two in Excluded are my management and a private IP I use for client machines.  Yours will probably look different, but the concept is the same.

Next we'll add our Nimble discovery address so Windows and Nimble can talk to each other.  Click on Add > Advanced and enter the IP of your Nimble discovery address.

You can get this from the Nimble Storage GUI.  Administration > Network Configuration > Active Settings.

After we add the discovery IP address, you should see the Nimble Storage volume.  The red X circle on the volume indicates the volume hasn't been connected yet.  Click on the Connect button.

We've got a few choices, but typically the default "Connect on startup" works.  The other options are there if your environment needs the extra settings.

You should now get the green check mark, the size, connections, etc.  Let's click on Properties to see some important information.  Here I've got 4 paths to the volume, which is a Nimble best practice.  You can add more paths through a Windows registry setting, but 4 active paths is recommended.

Head over to Windows Computer Management > Disk Management and you can setup the new drive.  Here my drive is setup and ready to go!

Hooray, you're done!

Until Next Time!

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