You use the VSA Installer to deploy vSphere Storage Appliance and create a VSA cluster. A VSA cluster enables shared datastores that are connected to all hosts in the datacenter. The VSA Installer enables and configures vMotion and High Availability on the created VSA cluster.

Note

When you use the VSA Installer, it deletes the existing data on the local hard disks of each host and changes configuration of the hosts to support vMotion and High Availability. Hosts might reboot during the installation process.

Assign a static IP address to the vCenter Server system.

Clear all vCenter Server alarms for the hosts that you plan to add to the cluster.

If ESXi hosts you use for the cluster have virtual machines running on their local datastores, make sure that these virtual machines do not have reserved memory. Disable memory reservations by deselecting the Reserve all guest memory (All locked) check box. For information, see Change Memory Reservations on a Virtual Machine in the vSphere Web Client.

Ensure that you have the right number of static IP addresses available for you VSA cluster. For more information about IP address requirements, see VSA Cluster Requirements.

1

Start the VSA Installer wizard.

In vSphere Client, select a datacenter that has two or more ESXi hosts, and click the VSA Manager tab.

In the vSphere Web Client, select a datacenter that has two or more ESXi hosts, and click Manage > VSA Manager.

The VSA Installer wizard appears in the tab.

2

Review the vSphere features that the VSA cluster enables and click Next.

3

On the Datacenter page, select a datacenter for the VSA cluster and click Next.

4

If your environment has hosts of different version, select the version on the Hosts page.

Only hosts of the same version are displayed.

5

Select two or three ESXi hosts and click Next.

The wizard categorizes the hosts by CPU family and subnet. You can include only hosts that have CPUs from the same CPU family and are on the same subnet.

If you select hosts from different CPU families or with different hardware configurations, the wizard informs you that the hosts cannot join the same VSA cluster.

6

On the Configure Network page, provide the IP addresses and configuration for the VSA cluster network, and click Next.

VSA Cluster Network Configuration Values

Option

Action

VSA Cluster IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the VSA cluster. The VSA cluster IP address is assigned to the VSA cluster member that is the leader of the cluster. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

VSA Cluster Service IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the VSA cluster service. The VSA cluster service must already be installed and running at the IP address you provide. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet. In a simple two member configuration, you can use the IP address of vCenter Server.

Network of ESXi Host 1

Management IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the management network of the VSA cluster member. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

Datastore IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the NFS volume that is exported as a VSA datastore. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

vSphere Feature IP Address

This is the IP address used by vMotion.

Select the Use DHCP check box to assign an IP address to the ESXi feature network.

Deselect the Use DHCP check box and assign a static IP address to the ESXi feature network.

Subnet Mask

The subnet mask for the ESXi host IP address. The wizard detects the subnet mask. You cannot change it.

Gateway

The gateway in the subnet of the ESXi host IP address. The wizard detects the gateway IP address and you cannot change it.

VLAN ID

Assign a VLAN ID for the management network.

Back-end IP Address

Assign a static IP address to the back-end network of the VSA cluster member.

Note

You cannot assign a back-end static IP address that is in a subnet different from 192.168.x.x.

Back-end Subnet Mask

The subnet mask for the back-end network. The wizard adds this value for the back-end private subnet and you cannot change it.

Back-end VLAN ID

Assign a VLAN ID to the back-end network.

Network of ESXi Host 2

Management IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the management network of the VSA cluster member. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

Datastore IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the NFS volume that is exported as a VSA datastore. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

vSphere Feature IP Address

Select the Use DHCP check box to assign an IP address to the ESXi feature network.

Deselect the Use DHCP check box and assign a static IP address to the ESXi feature network.

Subnet Mask

The subnet mask for the ESXi host IP address. The wizard detects the subnet mask. You cannot change it.

Gateway

The gateway in the subnet of the ESXi host IP address. The wizard detects the gateway IP address and you cannot change it.

VLAN ID

Assign a VLAN ID for the management network.

Back-end IP Address

Assign a static IP address to the back-end network of the VSA cluster member.

Note

You cannot assign a back-end static IP address that is in a subnet different from 192.168.x.x.

Back-end Subnet Mask

The subnet mask for the back-end network. The wizard adds this value for the back-end private subnet and you cannot change it.

Back-end VLAN ID

Assign a VLAN ID to the back-end network.

Network of ESXi Host 3

Management IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the management network of the VSA cluster member. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

Datastore IP Address

Assign a static IP address for the NFS volume that is exported as a VSA datastore. Do not use an IP address from the 192.168.x.x private subnet.

vSphere Feature IP Address

Select the Use DHCP check box to assign an IP address to the ESXi feature network.

Deselect the Use DHCP check box and assign a static IP address to the ESXi feature network.

Subnet Mask

The subnet mask for the ESXi host IP address. The wizard detects the subnet mask. You cannot change it.

Gateway

The gateway in the subnet of the ESXi host IP address. The wizard detects the gateway IP address and you cannot change it.

VLAN ID

Assign a VLAN ID for the management network.

Back-end IP Address

Assign a static IP address to the back-end network of the VSA cluster member.

Note

You cannot assign a back-end static IP address that is in a subnet different from 192.168.x.x.

Back-end Subnet Mask

The subnet mask for the back-end network. The wizard adds this value for the back-end private subnet and you cannot change it.

Back-end VLAN ID

Assign a VLAN ID to the back-end network.

7

On the Select Storage page, specify the amount of available storage capacity to be used for the VSA cluster.

The VSA Installer calculates the maximum allowable value based on the currently available space on the hosts you selected. You might need to reduce that value if, for example, you plan to share storage with the vCenter Server virtual machine that will run on the host's local datastore.

8

Select when to format the disks on the Format Disks page.

Option

Description

Format disks on first access

Disks are formatted after installation on first read or write. Takes less time for installation.

Format disks immediately

Disks are formatted during the installation with zeroes. This requires additional time during the installation process, but result in improved disk performance until all disk blocks are written to. After that, the difference in performance between the two choices is unnoticeable.

9

On the Verify Configuration page, review the configuration of the VSA cluster and confirm that you accept the VSA security policy.

10

Click Install.

The Ready to Install page provides information about the ESXi hosts and the network configuration of each VSA cluster member.

11

In the Start Installation window, click Yes to confirm the creation of the VSA cluster.

The Installing Features page appears and shows the progress of the tasks that are required to create a VSA cluster.

Depending on the number of hosts that you selected, the VSA Installer wizard mounts two or three shared datastores on each ESXi host in the datacenter.

12

After the VSA Installer finishes creating the VSA cluster, click Close.

The VSA Manager tab shows information about the VSA datastores, VSA cluster members, and the configuration of the VSA cluster network.

The VSA Installer wizard closes and the VSA Manager tab shows information about each datastore, VSA cluster member, and allows you to troubleshoot issues that might arise.

Click the Datastores view and verify that all shared datastores have the same capacity and that their status is Online. If the columns shows correct data, you can start creating virtual machines and storing their files on the shared datastores.

Change the default password.

Perform a network redundancy check by disconnecting one of the back-end ethernet ports. This check ensures that both back-end ethernet ports are properly configured.