HPE StoreVirtual for Hyper-V .NET 3.5

VSAAs part of transitioning my lab to Hyper-V I’m using a HPE StoreVirtual VSA to provide shared storage to the Hyper-V Hosts.

When trying to load ‘HPE_StoreVirtual_VSA_2014_and_StoreVirtual_FOM_Installer_for_Microsoft_Hyper_V_TA688-10552’ I encountered the error ‘The Hyper-V for VSA deployment wizard requires version of .NET 3.5 to be installed on the system’.


Easy, I thought go into roles and features and add .NET 3.5.  However, you encounter the following error ‘Do you need to specify an alternate source path? One or more installation selections are missing source files on the destination’.

.NET 3.5 Error


The first thing to do is mount your Windows Server 2016 Datacenter CD.  Once done, select ‘Specify an alternate source path’

.NET 3.5 Resolution 1

Type in G:\Source\SxS and click OK, followed by Install.

.NET 3.5 Resolution 2


HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual System – Questions Answered


HP released two offerings of the HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual System last year.  Essentially they have taken ESXi, HP StoreVirtual VSA, OneView for vCenter and automated the setup process using OneView Instant On.

HP Converged System 200-HC Diagrams v0.1

Two models are available which are:

  • HP CS 240-HC StoreVirtual System, this has 4 nodes each with:
    • 2 x Intel E5-2640v2 2.2GHz 8 Core Processor
    • 128GB RAM
    • 2GB Flash Backed HP Smart Array P430 Controller
    • 2 x 10GbE Network Connectivity
    • 1 x iLO4 Management
    • 6 x SAS 1.2TB 10K SFF Hard Drives
    • Around 11TB of usable capacity
  • HP CS 242-HC StoreVirtual System, this has 4 nodes each with:
    • 2 x Intel E5-2648v2 2.2GHz 10 Core Processor
    • 256GB RAM
    • 2GB Flash Backed HP Smart Array P430 Controller
    • 2 x 10GbE Network Connectivity
    • 1 x iLO4 Management
    • 4 x SAS 1.2TB 10K SFF Hard Drives
    • 2 x 400GB Mainstream Endurance SSD
    • Around 7.5TB of usable capacity

These are marketed with the ability to provision virtual machines within 30 minutes.

What Does Provision Virtual Machines Within 30 Minutes Really Mean?

To answer this question you need to understand what HP have saved you from doing, which is:

  • Installing ESXi across 4 x Hosts
  • Installing vCenter to a basic configuration
  • Installing HP StoreVitrual VSAE to a basic configuraiton across 4 x Hosts
  • Pre-installed Management VM running Windows Server 2012 Standard that has OneView for vCenter and CMC for StoreVirtual Management

So after completing the initial setup, you do have the ability to upload an ISO and start deploying an OS image.

What About The Stuff Which Marketing Don’t Mention? AKA Questions Answered?


  • SQL Express is used as the database (local instance on Management VM).  I have real concerns around the database if logging levels are increased to troubleshoot issues and/or the customer doesn’t perform an kind of database maintenance
    • I’m waiting on confirmation from HP as whether you can migrate the SQL database instance to a full blown version

Host Profiles

  • Grey area, these can be used.  However HP rather you stay with the base configuration of the nodes (much like the networking see below).


  • The solution is only supported using Enterprise or Enterprise Plus VMware licenses, with the preference being HP OEM.
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard is supplied as the Management VM.  Initially, this runs from a local partition and is then Storage vMotioned onto the HP Converged Cluster.  Windows licensing dictates that when a OS is moved across hosts using Standard Edition you cannot move the OS back for 90 days or you need to license each node for the potential number of VM’s that could be ran.
    • HP have confirmed that you receive 2 x Windows Server 2012 Standard licenses and DRS Groups Manager rules are configured to only allow the Management VM to migrate between these two ESXi Hosts.

Management Server

  • You are able to upgrade the Management Server VM in terms of RAM, CPU and Disk Space and be supported.
  • You cannot add additional components to the Management Server VM and be supported e.g. VUM, vCenter SysLog Service
    • I’m waiting on confirmation from HP around what is and isn’t supported, I would air on caution and not install anything extra


  • The 1GbE connections are not used apart from the initial configuration of the Management Server.  My understanding is that these are not supported for any other use.
  • HP prefer you to stay with the standard network configuration, this causes me concern.  10GbE Network providing Management, iSCSI, Virtual Machine and vMotion traffic.  How do you control vMotion bandwidth usage on a Standard vSwitch? You can’t a Distributed vSwitch is a much better option, but if you need to reconfigure a node, you will need to perform a vSS to vDS migration


  • You can upgrade individual components separately, however you must stay within the HP Storage SPOCK for the Converged System 200-HC StoreVirtual (Note a HP Passport login is required)


At the time of this post, the latest supported versions are as follows:

  • vSphere 5.5 U2 , no vSphere 6
  • vCenter 5.5 U2
  • HP StoreVirtual VSA 11.5 or 12.0
  • HP OneView for vCenter Storage/Server Modules 7.4.2 or 7.4.4
  • HP OneView Instant On 1.0 or 1.0.1
  • PowerCLI 5.8 R1

Final Thoughts

HP have put together a slick product which automates the initial installation of ESXi and gives you a basic configuration of vCenter.  What it doesn’t give you is  design to say that your workloads are going to be suitable on the environment and or a solution that meets a client requirements.

How To: HP StoreVirtual LeftHand OS 12.0 With T10 UNMAP

HP have announced the release of LeftHand OS 12.0 which finally includes T10 UNMAP which means we can now start and stay thin with StoreVirtual.

A list of feature enhancements are:

  • Space Reclamation
    • Reclaim space on thinly and fully provisioned volumes used by Windows Server 2012 or later, and vSphere 5 or later
  • StoreVirtual Multi-Path Extension Module (MEM) for vSphere
    • Provides data path optimization similar to StoreVirtual DSM for Microsoft MPIO
  • REST API for StoreVirtual
    • Enables automation and scripting of clusters, provisioning and volume management
  • StoreVirtual VSA Term LicenseManagement
    • Enforces term licensing for StoreVirtual VSA

So lets take LeftHand OS 12.0 for a spin and test out T10 UNMAP.

Centralised Management Console Upgrade

The first step is to upgrade your Centralised Management Console to LeftHand OS 12.0.  Once done, you will be greeted by your new 12.0 screen.  First impressions, it is a lot faster to discover StoreVirtual nodes and access Management Groups, well done HP!

StoreVirtual Node Upgrade

Just a word of warning, I would always recommend performing upgrades out of hours as when a StoreVirtual node reboots you will loose a percentage of your clusters performance e.g. if you have two nodes in your cluster and your reboot one, then you will loose approximately 50% of your performance.

The good news for those that are using physical StoreVirtuals, HP have reduced the reboot time.

When you are ready to upgrade, the procedure is as slick as always.  Download your updates via the CMC and then apply them to your nodes one at a time.

Enable Space Reclamation

Space reclamation is enabled manually at the Management Group level.  Right Click your Management Group and Select Enable Space Reclamation

Space Reclaimation 01


Next we receive a warning that once upgraded you cannot downgrade to previous versions of LeftHand OS that do not support space reclamation.

Enter your Management Group name, in my case DC01-MG01 and accept the disclaimer and enable Space Reclamation.

Space Reclaimation 01

I suggest checking your Device and RAID status to ensure everything is OK before moving forward.  This is done by selecting your Cluster, followed by the Node and then selecting Storage.  As you can see I have Adaptive Optimisation enabled and my RAID Status is normal.

Space Reclaimation 03

Space Reclamation Test

Space reclamation can be performed either on vSphere after a Storage vMotion has taken place or when files have been deleted from with a guest operating system.

In this test I’m going to perform a Storage vMotion from one datastore another and then zero the space on the VMFS file system.

The test is going to be ran on the datastore DC02-NODR02 which has a single virtual machine inside of it, with the following storage storage characteristics:

  • Datastore DC02-NODR02
    • Capacity 199.75GB
    • Provisioned Space 45.01GB
    • Free Space 177.29GB
    • Used Space 22.46GB

Space Reclaimation 08

  • Volume – 17.50GB consumed space
    • 200GB Fully Provisioned with Adaptive Optimisation enabled

Space Reclaimation 09

Next I’m going to perform a Storage vMotion of the virtual machine onto the datastore DC02-NODR03.  Time to grab a cup of tea before we move on and run VMKFSTools to reclaim the space.


Now the Storage vMotion has finished, we need to run vmkfstools on the datastore to reclaim the space.  Jason Boche has an excellent blog post entitled ‘Storage: Starting Thin and Staying Thin with VAAI UNMAP‘ on the vmkfstools command.

On an ESXi Host that can see the datastore DC02-NODR02, I’m going to run the command ‘vmkfstools -y 90’

Space Reclaimation 10

Note in a production environment you would reclaim the space out of hours and use 60% of the available space

If we now check the volume DC02-NODR02 it’s consumed space is 0.46MB which is the VMFS file system

Space Reclaimation 11


Monitoring Space Reclamation

HP have introduced some extra performance statistics to enable space reclamation to be monitored which include:

  • IOPS Space Reclamation
  • Latency UNMAP

These can be accessed by added to the Performance Monitor window so that you can verify the effect of space reclamation on your StoreVirtual node.

Space Reclaimation 12

Whats New? StoreVirtual VSA – LeftHand OS 11.0

T-smb-storevirtual-VSA__153x115--C-tcm245-1404104--CT-tcm245-1237012-32It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the StoreVirtual, which you can see by the number of blog posts I have made about the subject.

HP have announced the next iteration of LeftHand OS, which is version 11.0, this has a number of enhancements which are covered by Kate Davis (@KateAtHP).  These include:

  • Smarter updates with Online Upgrade enhancements to identify updates per management group, plus you can choose to only download newer versions, hooray!
  • Faster performance for command-line interface improves response times for provisioning and decommissioning of storage, and retrieving info about managements groups, volumes and clusters
  • Increased IO performance on VMware vSphere with support for ParaVirtualized SCSI Controller (PV SCSI) which provides more efficient CPU utilization on the host server
  • More control over application-managed snapshots for VMware and Microsoft administrators with quicker and simpler install and configuration process
  • Optimization of snapshot management to minimize the burden on the cluster when handling high-frequency snapshot schedules with long retention periods
  • Fibre Channel support for HP StoreVirtual Recovery Manager for servers with FC connectivity to StoreVirtual clusters can be used to recover files and folders from snapshots.
  • LeftHand OS 11.0 will be certified with at least one 10Gbe cards for use with StoreVirtual VSA on launch.

What I’m most excited about is the new Adaptive Optimization feature which is introduced in LeftHand OS 11.0 .  Last night Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy) hosted a live podcast covering AO in more depth.  So without further a due:

  • Adaptive Optimization will be completely automated, with a simple on or off.
  • Adaptive Optimization will work automatically e.g. no schedule
  • Adaptive Optimization will use a ‘heat tier’ map to work out the hot areas and check the IO and CPU levels, if these are high then AO will not move the blocks, it will wait until IO and CPU levels have dropped and then perform the region moves.
  • Adaptive Optimization will allow for support of two storage tiers and works at node level.
  • Adaptive Optimization will use a chunk size of 256K for region moves.
  • Adaptive Optimization will work on ‘thick’and ‘thin’ volumes
  • Adaptive Optimization will work on all snapshots of a given volume.
  • Adaptive Optimization will be included for free for anyone who has a StoreVirtual VSA 10TB license already.
  • Adaptive Optimization will not be included for the new 4TB StoreVirtual VSA license
  • Adaptive Optimization will work with PCIe Flash, SSD, SAS and SATA drives.

During the podcast I asked a number of questions, one of which is the potential to use HP StoreVirtual VSA with HP IO Accelerator cards, with C7000 blades and local storage for VDI deployments.  The StoreVirtual representative (who was at LeftHand networks before HP acquired them) mentioned this is the one of the primary use cases for AO and they are going to be performing some benchmarks.

The StoreVirtual representative was also able to field a number of other questions for the StoreVirtual road map which are:

  1. T10 UNMAP will be coming, just not in LeftHand OS 11.0
  2. Changes to LeftHand OS will be made to make manual adjustments to gateway connections for vSphere Metro Storage Clusters see this blogpost.
  3. Adaptive Optimization is likely to be coming to the physical StoreVirtual.

We also spoke about performance, the StoreVirtual representative explained about all the lab tests they had performaned and to get StoreVirtual working at it’s correct capacity you should try and keep the number of nodes per management group to 32 and have a maximum of 16 clusters.

Gotcha: vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (VMSC) & HP StoreVirtual

So you have put together an epic vSphere Metro Storage Cluster using your HP StoreVirtual SAN (formerly Lefthand) using the following rules:

  • Creating volumes for each site to access it’s datastore locally rather than going across the inter site link
  • Creating DRS ‘host should’ rules so that VM run on the ESXi Hosts local to the volumes and datastores they are accessing.

The gotcha occurs when you have a either a StoreVirtual Node failure or a StoreVirtual Node is rebooted for maintenance, let me explain why.

In this example we have a Management Group called SSDMG01 which contains:

  • SSDVSA01 which is in Site 1
  • SSDVSA02 which is in Site 2
  • SSDFOM which is in a Site 3

We have a single volume called SSDVOL01 which is located at Site 1

StoreVirtual uses a ‘Virtual IP’ Address to ensure fault tolerance for iSCSI access, you can view this under your Cluster then iSCSI within the Centralized Management Console.  In my case it’s

Even though iSCSI connections are made via the Virtual IP Address, each Volume goes via a ‘Gateway Connection’ which is essentially just one of the StoreVirtual Nodes.  To check which gateway your ESXi Hosts are using to access the volumes, select your volume and then choose iSCSI Sessions.

In my case the ESXi Hosts are using SSDVSA01 to access the volume SSDVOL01 which is correct as they are at Site 1.

Let’s quickly introduce a secondary a second Volume called SSDVOL02 and we want this to be in Site 1 as well.  Let’s take a look at the iSCSI sessions for SSDVOL02

Crap, they are going via SSDVSA02 which is at the other site, causing latency issues.  Can I do anything about this in the CMC? Not that I can find.

HP StoreVirtual is actually very clever, what it has done is load balance the iSCSI connections for the volumes across both nodes in case of a node failure.  In this case SSDVOL01 via SSDVSA01 and SSDVOL02 via SSDVSA02.  If you have ever experienced a StoreVirtual node failure you know that it takes around 5 seconds for the iSCSI sessions to be remapped, leaving your VM’s without access to there HDD for this time.

What can you do about this? Well when creating your volumes make sure you do them in the order for site affinity to the ESXi Hosts, we know that the HP StoreVirtual just round robins the Gateway Connection.

That’s all very well and good, what happens when I have a site failure, let’s go over this now.  I’m going to pull the power from SSDVSA01 which is the Gateway Connection for SSDVOL01.  It actually has a number of VM’s running on it.

Man down! As you can see we have a critical event against SSDVSA01 and the volume SSDVOL01 status is ‘data protection degraded.

Let’s take a quick look at the iSCSI sessions for SSDVOL01, they should be using the Gateway Connection SSDVSA02

Yep all good, it’s what we expected.  Now let’s power SSDVSA01 back up again and see what happens.  You will notice that the HP StoreVirtual re syncs the volume between the Nodes and then it’s shown as Status: Normal.

Here’s the gotcha, the iSCSI sessions will continue to use SSDVSA02 in Site 2 even though SSDVSA01 is back online at Site 1.

After around five minutes StoreVirtual will automatically rebalance the iSCSI Gateway Connections.  Great you say, ah but we have a gotcha.  As SSDVOL02 has now been online the longest, StoreVirtual will use SSDVSA01 as the gateway connection meaning we are going across the intersite link.  So to surmise our current situation:

  • SSDVOL01 using Site2 SSDVSA01 as it’s Gateway Connection
  • SSDVOL02 using Site1 SSDVSA02 as it’s Gateway Connection

Not really the position we want to be in!

Rebalance 2Rebalance

We can get down and dirty using the CLIQ to manually rebalance the SSDVOL01 onto SSDVSA01 perhaps? Let’s give it a whirl shall we.

Login to your VIP address using SSH but with the Port 16022 and enter your credentials.

Then we need to run the command ‘rebalanceVIP volumeName=SSDVOL01’

Rebalance 3

If your quick and flick over to the CMC you will see the Gateway Connection status as ‘failed’ this is correct don’t panic.

Rebalance 4

Do we have SSDVOL01 using SSDVSA01? Nah!

Rebalance 2

The only way to resolve this is to either Storage vMotion your VM’s onto a volume with enough capacity at the correct site or reboot your StoreVirtual Node in Site 2.

In summary, even though HP StoreVirtual uses a Virtual IP Address this is tied to a Gateway Connection via a StoreVirtual Node, you are unable to change the iSCSI connections manually without rebooting the StoreVirtual Nodes.

Hopefully, HP might fix this with the release of LeftHand OS10.1