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VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster certification podcast

CartoonCalvin100X100.JPGBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vmw-vexpert.jpg

I literally just walked in the door from being in Las Vegas at an HP Storage marketing meeting with over 200 of the best storage marketing team anywhere.  It was an excellent few days and I may talk more about that soon but I wanted to get this podcast out. 


While in Las Vegas, I had Eric Siebert (blogger at and our VMware solution manager in HP Storage) and Brad Katz (HP LeftHand software product manager) to join me to talk about the vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) certification and impending certification of the P4000. 


What is vMSC?

Duncan Epping has a very nice blog post talking about vMSC and how a stretch cluster behaves compared to vSphere HA.  This goes deep but Duncan is that kind of guy and has an excellent VMware focused blog that is always loaded with lots of information.  Eric and Brad give me a high level over view of vMSC and talk about HP LeftHand stretched cluster - something we've done for a long time. 


If you use VMware, have a P4000 or are thinking about either, this is a very informative podcast. 


You can download this podcast by doing a right-click and "Save as" here OR you can download all of my podcasts from iTunes by clicking here - it will open iTunes and allow you to download all of my recent podcasts.  If you have any issues with this second link, paste this into your browser: itpc://   "itpc" is a special format that opens iTunes and lets you download the podcasts from iTunes. 


You can learn more about the P4000 at


Inks | ‎03-21-2012 05:53 AM

Hi Calvin,


That's great news about pending vMSC for Lefthand. We've been using Mult-site Lefthand for about 2 years now with vSPhere and MS Failover clusters and it's the bomb! we bring down entire sites for maintenance with no business impact.

My questions are :


when is the vMSC due for Lefthand? Will the IP on how it's done be made public?


Where is the difinentive guide to Mutli-Site configiuration that clearly states what you do about routing iscsi traffic. which is required for mutli site?

What is HP Lefthand recommendation on how to deal isolation responses in multi-site SAN especially when the storage fails in onesite but the host does not.


The biggest compliment I get is when consultants and vendors ask why we'd spend so much money on DR /HA. I laugh and say our business is too important not to have it. They don't realise how affordable Lefthand is!!




Sordini | ‎03-23-2012 01:30 PM

Hi, Calvin,

I would like to join the previous question - our customer got brand new HP blades including storage blades and Lefthand appliances and now they would like to build a metro cluster nased on it.

Do zou have anz detailed documentation about Lefthand vMSC



| ‎03-25-2012 05:31 AM

Steve and Seva - here's what I can tell you today (answer Steve's questions):

1).  When is vMSC due? 

HP and VMware expect the solution to be posted to the HCL soon. The teams have completed testing and are working through the final program requirements to ensure readiness on both sides before making the HCL listing official.  As we talked about in the podcast, we expect to be the first iSCSI vMSC solution.


2).  Where is the definitive guide for multi-site configuration with LeftHand? 

There will be both a VMware KB article and (I hope) an HP Technical Whitepaper on vMSC available at or near the time we are posted provide technical and configuration details. In addition to that, the HP LeftHand team will be updating documentation to (1) provide better guidance for customers who choose to run dual subnet multi-site clusters where routing is required, and (2) to highlight a single network approach that we believe will become the preferred approach for most customers.


3).  What is HP Lefthand recommendation on how to deal with isolation responses in multi-site SAN especially when the storage fails in one site but the host does not? 

 I may not be interpreting this question correctly, but the key to getting the right/expected functionality in all scenarios is to have a Failover Manager (FOM) at a 3rd site. The FOM ensures that if the storage at either site fails, the volumes remain available at the other site. It also ensures that if the ISL (inter site link) fails, availability is maintained at the site designated as primary by the administrator. You will see that the vMSC recommendation for HP LeftHand is to use redundant ISL links, which makes it unlikely (but not impossible) that an ISL would fail. To try and answer this specific question, if the storage fails in one site (say site B) but the hosts do not, all the hosts in site B will be able to connect to the storage in site A.


While not specific to VMware, this multi-site HA/DR solution guide will help: HP StorageWorks P4000 Multi-Site HA/DR Solution Pack user guide


Hope that helps - as soon as the vMSC is completed, I'll write another blog post to point to the resources.  


Inks | ‎03-25-2012 11:08 PM

Thanks Calvin,
Guidance on the ISCSI routing configuration would be very helpful. We've been using our configuration for 2 years and even though we tested all the failover scenarios we could think of it still would great to know if it followed best practice guidlines ! . I'm excited about seeing the 1 subnet approach as with a mutli-site this was originally not possible. If HP need some testing done with some real world environments I would like to participte.



Thomas Jönsson | ‎05-07-2012 06:51 PM

There are some great updated documents about VMware vSphere stretched cluster configurations with HP P4000 LeftHand SAN Solutions.


HP P4000 Multi-Site HA/DR Solution Pack User Guide


Best practices for deploying VMware vSphere 5 with VMware High Availability and Fault Tolerance on HP LeftHand Multi-Site SAN cluster


HP P4000 LeftHand SAN Solutions with VMware vSphere Best Practices


Looking forward to when HP P4000 LeftHand will be officially certified as an iSCSI vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC), so far only one solution is certified for vMSC and that is only on FC not on iSCSI.

| ‎05-08-2012 09:47 PM

Thanks Thomas - some very helpful links!

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25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..

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