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Storage

KVM Stands for Kernel Virtual Machine.  KVM is a virtualization technology built into the Linux Kernel based on QEMU (Quick Emulator).  QEMU allows for virtualizing hardware, all the way from a complete hardware stack to a single device.  KVM basically takes QEMU and allows it to use hardware extensions to achieve better performance.

In this article I will outline the steps it takes to get a two node KVM farm running using Open Filer for your storage and Fedora Core 14 for your KVM hosts.  By the end of this tutorial you should know how to install and configure KVM, create a virtual machine and perform a live migration between two hosts.

Throughout these instructions I will use gedit for the text editor.  you can of course use any text editor you are comfortable with.  For example, if you are doing this through SSH you will want to use vi or nano.

When considering your storage systems you will be faced with many choices covering a whole range of price ranges. In this chapter I will cover some of the differences and similarities between consumer grade and enterprise grade equipment.

At first glance Network Attached storage, also called  NAS is not much different from a Storage Area Network (SAN).  They both attach to a network, they both provide storage to computers on their network.  There are some major differences between the two storage roles.  However, these two things are becoming more and more the same thing.

As there are a variety of tasks you may need to achieve, there are many different ways to connect to your storage system.  Each operating system has differing methods for utilizing these protocols, and different operating systems will perform differently with each protocol.  For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on two methods of connecting to storage; LUN’s and File Shares.   In my examples I will be using Open Filer as the storage device, then various Linux and Windows editions to connect to the storage system.

In this article I will be covering only the client side of things.  You can see my article on Configuring Open Filer if you wish to quickly setup the server side of any of the protocols I have outlined in this article.  In the future I will post more articles detailing how to create shares without using a pre-packaged solutions like Open Filer.

I have spent a lot of time with various vendors support departments; and I have to say, Netapp has one of the best support departments.  If I call Netapp at 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning, I can get someone on the phone right away.  My one complaint is that I cannot open a ticket via E-Mail.  Fortunately that is not a big hurdle to cross.

When you are working with Netapp support you can either open a ticket over the phone or via the Now website.  If you do not have a NOW login, I would recommend getting one.  The NOW site is what will give you access to Netapp Documentation, Updates for your Filer, performance metrics from your Filer, and access to the support Portal.

In today's video I will cover how to configure Open Filer; including authentication, creating volumes and several connection protocols.  For information on how to install Open Filer, please see my tutorial on installing open filer.  That can be found at the following link:

http://www.everythingvm.com/content/openfiler-version-23-install-tutorial

*Note* Written instructions are at the bottom of the page

Today's video shows how to install Open Filer in a Virtual Machine. I will be including more videos soon on how to configure the various parts of Open Filer.

Open Filer is a very easy to use storage system which integrates with Active Directory and LDAP. It supports NFS, iSCSI, SMB, etc... It has many features including Snapshots, Replication, and High Availability. There is a both a Community Version (Free) and a Commercial Version (Not Free).

When troubleshooting performance issues on a Netapp storage system, Perfstat is a very useful utility.  There are other ways to get performance statistics, but they are not quite as detailed.

The perfstat file at first glance can be rather daunting.  Perfstat files get very large, very fast, and may scare away the faint at heart.  But, if you spend a little time looking them over, they start to make some sense.

For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on three areas which will help you to pinpoint the performance problem you be experiencing on your SAN; these areas are Disk, CPU, and Network.
 

In the field of storage, you used to be able to simply buy enough hard drives to fill your space needs and you would end up with sufficient disks to fulfill your performance needs.  Unfortunately with hard disks getting so large, this is no longer the case.

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