VSAN Goodness and Lessons Learned

I’ve been working on my homelab for the last few days and have had a hard time getting VSAN working. In the end it was a combination of misconfigurations in my lab and me trying to be ‘creative.’ Moral of the story is don’t be creative….

So after getting everything online my 2 year old thought it would be fun to press the bright blue LED power button on one of my NUCs. Thankfully I had the FTT setting to 1 on my cluster so the other 2 nuc’s were able to handle the failure and I never lost my VM’s (yay vSAN.)

Once I turned on the third nuc however it kept showing as degraded in my environment no matter what I did. Turns out the way to fix this was to change the FTT policy to ‘0’ and apply the new storage policy to all VM’s in the environment.

This took a bit to sync the VM data but once complete I was able to once again change the FTT policy to ‘1’ and again apply to all the VM’s.

I had roughly 200GB of data to sync but it was showing the esxi01 nuc as ‘reconfiguring’ rather then ‘degraded’ and I was able to see all the VM’s now syncing via the vSAN health monitor.

Now if I had a fourth node in the cluster, this would not have happened but alas I can only support 3 at the moment, so this is a compromise I can work with.

New HomeLab!

I’ve been working on my homelab for the last few months and I finally have it at a point where I am content with how it’s behaving.

I opted to use the Intel NUC i7 model for several reasons, not the least is the high wife approval factor of low energy, low heat and quiet running. My old lab was a 2u Dell R710 that sounded like an airplane taking off, needless to say the wife did not approve.

I chose the NUC5i7RYH model and threw in a 250GB SSD along with 16GB of RAM and this SSHD

Now one major drawback of the NUC is of course the low amount of supported RAM which has recently been addressed with the new skylake chipsets from intel (now supports 32GB) but I can live with 16GB. I went ahead and purchase 3 of the nodes along with 3x 32GB low profile USB drives that I could install ESXi onto.

If you’re following closely you can see that I went ahead and decided to go with a vSAN setup for my shared storage which has worked out nicely for myself. In case you haven’t signed up yet, the VMUG advantage program is fantastic for the licenses you get so head on over and sign up asap.

I do not have a 10GB switch at home but I do have a dedicated 1GB switch I use on my lab and so far the performance has been just fine, I’m not building a production level lab so having resyncs and vMotions max out at 1GB is just fine for me.

I’ve installed vSphere6 and NSX within the environment. This has allowed me to dive into my nesting experience and setup multiple versions of vSphere all running on the host parent lab. Currently I am running vSphere5 and vSphere6 in a nested environment with 3 nested ESXi hypervisors and “shared” storage in each lab. I tend to keep the nested labs powered down unless they are in active use since memory is at a premium in my lab.

I’ll post more in following posts regarding powercli automation used to deploy, configure and manage these nested labs. In the meantime reach out if you have any questions.

New Beginnings

It’s been awhile since I updated the blog but things have been quite busy for myself. My family and I will be welcoming our third child in 2 months and I’ve left my previous job of over 9 years to join VMware. I’ll be taking on the role of NSX Technical Account Manager, something I am really looking forward to.

Now that things have somewhat calmed down I plan to get back to updating the blog on a semi-regular basis. Feel free to hit me up with any topics or ideas you’d like to see.