Part 2 – Configure the LeftHand VSA with the CMC

This is the second post in the series.  In the first post I explained how to get the VSA, install it in VMware, and set its static IP.  In this post we are going to finish the actual configuration of the VSA using the LeftHand CMC.  So if you haven’t installed the CMC from the VSA download do so now.  Then double click the link on your desktop and let’s get started.

Step 1 – Find the storage Node
After the CMC finishes loading it should come up with a status window that says “Searching for Nodes”.  After a few seconds it should go away and you should be prompted with the “Find New Nodes Wizard” as shown below.

Press NEXTimage

On the next screen you are asked if you want to broadcast search or find an individual node.  We’ll select the second option since we hopefully remember what IP we set on the VSA.  Press NEXTimage

On the next screen select the add button and enter the IP that you set in the VMware console for the VSA.  Press FINISH


After you press FINISH the CMC will run a quick search and after the status menu goes away you should notice the status changed to “Newly Found”.  Press close to exit the wizard.image

  You should now be back at the main CMC window.  On the far left your VSA should be displayed and you should be able to hit the plus sign next to it to expand its options.  As you can see on the screen below it found my 10 gig disk.  Now lets get it ready to attach to a ESX machine.

Step 2 – Create Management Group, Cluster, and Volume
Click on the “Tools” menu at the top of the screen, select “Management Group”, and then select “New Management Group”.  The new Management Group Wizard should appear as shown below right.  Click NEXT.

image image

Ensure the “New Management Group” option is selected and press NEXT.


On the next screen give the Management Group a name (I’m pretty generic: MG1) and ensure that your node is selected.image

On the next screen it forces you to create a new admin user to use when you login into the Management Group.  Enter in the required information and press NEXT.image

On the next screen you are requested to set the time.  I always use NTP servers and I set the NTP server as an IP address so that if DNS goes down we still have NTP.  Set a NTP server or do it manually, then press NEXT.image

Ensure “Standard Cluster” is selected on the next page and press NEXT.  We’ll get into Multi-Site configurations later on in a different post.image

Now comes the fun part.  We need to create a cluster.  Clusters are what ISCSI initiators communicate with and with LeftHand a cluster is 1 or more nodes.  For now it will be just one node but we still need to configure the cluster.  Give it a name, ensure your VSA is selected, and press NEXT.image

Now we add the VIP (Virtual IP) for the cluster.  Again this is what ISCSI initiators will use for their connection to the VSA.   Nodes can still be managed with their own IP address, however it’s best practice to use the cluster VIP for ISCSI traffic.  Add a VIP and then press NEXT.image 

The next screen gives you the option to create a volume in the cluster.  If you don’t want to create the volume right now check the box that says “Skip Volume Creation” and just press FINSIH.  I’m going to go ahead and create a 5 gig volume right now.  Give it a name, description, set the volume size, choose thin of full provisioning (I always use Thin), and then press FINISH.image

After you press finish you’ll get to watch the CMC do all the work.  Once the numerous status/progress windows go away you are presented with your summary of what just happened.  Press CLOSEimage

After you press CLOSE you’ll get the registration warning shown below.image  I’ll talk here a little about the VSA licensing.  If you noticed I haven’t had you do anything with a license key yet.  That being said without adding in a license key none of the advanced features are possible.  What you do get without an eval key is a fully functional ISCSI target that can do snapshots.  At first I thought you got 30 days total, but after reading the LeftHand documentation I found the following information…

From the VSA documentation included in the VSA download

When using the demo version, the full suite of features in the
SAN/iQ software is enabled for 30 days. After 30 days, volumes
become unavailable if any licensed features are in use. Licensed
features include:
• Multi-Node Virtualization and Clustering
• Managed Snapshots
• Remote Copy
• Multi-Site SAN
The VSA can be used for free indefinitely as a single node iSCSI
target with snapshots. “

So the bottom line here is that if you only need a single node that can do snapshots and acts as a enterprise level ISCSI target; this is a super good deal.  I need to be very clear here though that the VSA should ONLY be used for testing purposes unless you have purchased an actual VSA license.  If you are interested in the other features or in purchasing, contact your local HP reseller.

Step 3 – Add a Server and assign your volume to it
At this point the VSA is almost fully configured to allow an ISCSI initiator to attach to the volume we just created.  The last part is to assign the volume to a server.  To do this select “Servers” from the left hand side of the screen, on the right side under “Server Tasks” select “New Server…”image 

On the next screen enter your Server information.  This includes either selecting CHAP Authentication OR entering the initiator’s node name.  Since we haven’t setup ESX yet for ISCSI I’ll configure CHAP Authentication.  Enter your information and press OK.image

Now that you have the server created you can assign the volume to the server.  To do this select your newly defined server from the left hand side of the screen and then under “Tasks” select “Assign and Unassign Volumes and SnapShots”


On the next screen the volume you created earlier should appear.  Simply check the “Assigned” box next to the volume name and then press OK.image

That’s it!  The rest needs to be done from the VMware side but at this point you have successfully installed a Enterprise level Virtual ISCSI target, provisioned it, created volumes, and assigned them to servers.  More to come in the next post where we attach to the volume to ESX.

3 thoughts on “Part 2 – Configure the LeftHand VSA with the CMC

    1. admin

      No Problem! Thanks for reading, Im heading over to your blog right now to check it out.

      Thanks – jon

  1. Ivo

    Thanks for the clear documentation you have made. It is very useful and very handy for a person like me who needs to touch the storage technical segment for the first time.
    Thank You


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