Recently, received a request for large single namespace file server on vSAN. Given vSAN today don't yet support file services, the options are 3rd party solutions such as Dell EMC IsilonSD Edge, Dell EMC CloudArray or NetApp OnTAP Select vNAS.
Decided to run an install to check out Isilon on vSAN given that I have spent years at a competitor previously (competing with it), and heard good stuff about Isilon.
IsilonSD Management Server
Step 1: We start by installing the IsilonSD Management Server. Loaded the OVA appliance via vCenter, powered on, and off to the races!
Step 2: Unlike other appliances, network details were not configured during the OVA deployment. It had to be done via the console. It will prompt you to reset the default passwords, IP addresses and change hostnames if you like.
Step 3: Once done, straight to the browser. https://<FQDN>:9443. Note : the Username/Password here is neither of those you configured at the console (bizarre). Use, admin/sunshine. Once you are logged in, it will prompt you to reset your passwords.
Step 4: Time to register your vCenter details. Click on the "vCenter tab", fill in the details. This will install the Isilon Management Plug-in onto vCenter.
Step 5: Head back to vCenter Web Client. Find Administration > vCenter Server Extensions. Verify that you have the IsilonSD Management Plug-in.
Step 6: Next, we will load the OneFS Node OVA's onto the management tool. The IsilonSD Management Console will use this OVA's and push it as VM's when we create the cluster.
Creating an IsilonSD Cluster
Step 1: Go to the IsilonSD Cluster tab. Click on "Create IsilonSD Cluster"
Step 2: Select the appropriate licenses, and select the vCenter and Datacenter. Most of it would have been cached. Fill in the details as to how large the cluster should be, and towards the end, remember to mark 'vsan' as your storage type.
Step 3: Select the ESXi host which will host the virtual nodes. I picked a single host, so I only needed to pick one.
Step 4: Next, select the vSAN Datastore and networks to use. Click on "Complete Hosts", then "Next".
Step 5: Key in the cluster details and credentials. You may have noticed, I have selected Japan as my timezone. It's odd because, there was no option for all timezones globally. I'm sure it could be set in CLI, but didn't matter for now.
Step 6: Next screen will be the necessary IP Address, Default GW, and etc. Self explanatory. Important to note, Internal Network needs to be on a different subnet (will fail if you didn't). It is mainly used for intra-node communications.
Step 7: The next screen is a Confirmation screen. Validate it, and voila. You have an IsilonSD Cluster!
To be honest, the installation and deployment wasn't hard, but there were many things that would you to consult the manual, probably a good idea to RTFM. There we some configuration caveats that could have been made better with tool tips of sorts, but not a show stopper. There are some configuration minimums that made it hard for me to play around with it in a small lab setup. To be fair, it is made for the Enterprise :).
I didn't deploy InsightIQ (which is another OVA) because I was running thin on resources. I just ran simple tests on the cluster. Nothing around performance because the limited resources wouldn't have proven much. The intent of the post was really to test IsilonSD Edge running on vSAN and I think it worked as expected.
vSphere ESXi v6.5U1
IsilonSD Edge OneFS 220.127.116.11