Product Documentation

StorageLink Storage (XenServer 5.6 FP1)

Oct 10, 2013

On pools and standalone servers running XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1, you can create StorageLink SRs that use your existing Network Appliance (NetApp) or Dell EqualLogic storage infrastructure or that use a Citrix StorageLink Gateway (CSLG) to access a range of different storage systems.

Important: This information is valid for pools and standalone servers running XenServer version 5.6 Feature Pack 1 and does not apply to later XenServer versions, where the StorageLink SR configuration process is different; see StorageLink storage for details of how to configure Dell EqualLogic and NetApp storage in newer versions of XenServer.

Connecting to a Citrix StorageLink Gateway

Installation and configuration of the StorageLink service must be done outside of XenCenter; for more information, please see the StorageLink documentation.

Note that these configuration instructions are valid for pools and standalone servers running XenServer version 5.6 Feature Pack 1 only.

When you connect to a StorageLink Gateway (CSLG), the connection details are stored in XenCenter and can be viewed and changed from the pool's Properties window (for standalone servers, via the server's Properties window).

To connect to a CSLG

  1. Select the pool or standalone server in the Resources pane and then click Properties on the General tab.

    Alternatively, do one of the following:

    • Right-click in the Resources pane and then click Properties.
    • For a pool, click Properties on the Pool menu.
    • For a standalone server, click Properties on the Server menu.
  2. Click on the Citrix StorageLink Gateway tab and enter the hostname or IP address of the machine running the StorageLink service, the user name (default is admin, this cannot be changed), and password (default is storagelink).
  3. To test the connection to the server, click Test. If you have connectivity to the server, the dialog box will indicate this with a message that says "Connection Successful" to the right of the Test button.
  4. If you if are using the same CSLG server to provide storage for several different pools or standalone servers, you can select Use these StorageLink Server credentials for all pools and standalone servers to use the same CSLG credentials across all managed pools and servers.
  5. Click OK to save the connection information and close the Properties window.

Creating a CSLG SR

Note that these configuration instructions are valid for pools and standalone servers running XenServer version 5.6 Feature Pack 1 only.

A CSLG SR enables you to access a range of different storage systems via a Citrix StorageLink Gateway (CSLG), providing native access to a range of iSCSI and Fibre Channel arrays and automated fabric/initiator and array configuration features. The exact features available for a given SR depend on the capabilities of the array. CSLG SRs can co-exist with other SR types on the same storage array hardware, and multiple CSLG SRs can be defined within the same resource pool.

  1. Open the New Storage Repository wizard: click New Storage on the toolbar.
  2. Select StorageLink technology as the physical storage type and then click Next.
  3. On the Name page, enter the name of the new SR. By default, a description of the SR will be generated automatically by the wizard, including a summary of the configuration options you select as you progress through the wizard. To enter your own description, clear the Auto-generate description check box and type in the Description box.

    Click Next to continue.

  4. On the Storage System page, choose a storage system:

    If you have already configured a CSLG server connection for the pool:

    1. To use an existing storage system on the CSLG server, select it from the Storage system list.
    2. To add a new storage system from your CSLG server to this list, click Add and then enter the storage system details in the dialog that appears: select the storage adapter, provide the hostname or IP address name, the CIMOM namespace (for SIMS-S compliant storage systems), the Port number, the User name, and Password; repeat the password in the Confirm password field, then click OK.

    If you have NOT already configured a StorageLink server connection for the pool:

    1. Click on Configure the Citrix StorageLink Gateway Server connection.
    2. Enter the connection details in the Properties dialog: provide the hostname or IP address of the machine running the StorageLink service, the user name (default is admin, this cannot be changed), and password (default is storagelink).

      When this is done, you can select storage systems on the CSLG server from the Storage system list as described above.

  5. In the next page of the wizard, define the CSLG SR settings; the set of available settings depends on the storage system vendor/model and the configuration of the storage pool you've selected:
    Location Identify the server where the new SR will be located.
    Storage pool Identify the StorageLink storage pool on which to create the new SR. On some types of storage, for example, NetApp, you can use the Show all check box to list all storage pools here.
    Raid type Select the level of RAID to use for the SR, as supported by the storage array
    Provisioning type Set the provisioning type (Default, Thick or Thin)
    Provisioning options Set the provisioning options (for example, deduplication)
    Protocol Set the storage protocol used to connect the managed server to the storage (iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or Auto to have the system choose)
    Use CHAP authentication If the server is configured to used CHAP authentication, select this check box and fill in the username and password to be used.
  6. Click Finish to complete the new CSLG SR configuration and close the wizard.

Configuring a Dell EqualLogic SR (direct connection)

Note that these configuration instructions are valid for pools and standalone servers running XenServer version 5.6 Feature Pack 1 only.

A XenServer Dell EqualLogic SR connects to a Dell EqualLogic filer, providing a scalable form of high performance network attached storage. Virtual disks are stored on the filer using one LUN per virtual disk, and the SR will be able to take advantage of the thin provisioning, snapshot, and fast clone features of the filer by directly controlling the storage array.

  1. Open the New Storage Repository wizard: click New Storage on the toolbar.
  2. Select StorageLink technology as the physical storage type and then click Next.
  3. On the Name page, enter the name of the new SR. By default, a description of the SR will be generated automatically by the wizard, including a summary of the configuration options you select as you progress through the wizard. To enter your own description, clear the Auto-generate description check box and type in the Description box.

    Click Next to continue.

  4. On the Storage System page, select Dell EqualLogic and click Next.
  5. Enter the filer details and then click Next:
    Name The name of the new storage repository; this will appear in the Resources pane.
    Dell EqualLogic filer address The IP address or DNS name of the filer
    Username The login username used to manipulate the LUNs on the array
    Password The login password used to manipulate the LUNs on the array
    Use CHAP If the Dell EqualLogic Filer is configured to used CHAP authentication, select the Use CHAP check box and fill in the details:
    • CHAP User: the CHAP authentication username credential that should be applied when connecting to the target.
    • CHAP Secret: the CHAP authentication password credential that should be applied when connecting to the target.

    On clicking Next, the filer is scanned for existing SRs.

  6. To use one of the existing SRs found on the filer, Click Reattach one of the existing SRs on the filer and select an SR from the list.
  7. To create a new SR on the filer, click Create a new SR on the following storage pool and then select a storage pool from the list. Information about each available storage pool is shown, including the total size and amount of free space available, the number of volumes and the number of pool members.
  8. To use the EqualLogic thin provisioning feature, select the Use thin provisioning check box. The default is to use thick provisioning.
  9. Click Finish to complete the new SR configuration and close the wizard.

Configuring a NetApp SR (direct connection)

Note that these configuration instructions are valid for pools and standalone servers running XenServer version 5.6 Feature Pack 1 only.

The NetApp storage system must be running a version of Data ONTAP 7G (version 7.0 or greater), enabling the use of fast snapshot and clone features on the filer.

To configure a NetApp SR

  1. Open the New Storage Repository wizard: click New Storage on the toolbar.
  2. Select StorageLink technology as the physical storage type and then click Next.
  3. On the Name page, enter the name of the new SR. By default, a description of the SR will be generated automatically by the wizard, including a summary of the configuration options you select as you progress through the wizard. To enter your own description, clear the Auto-generate description check box and type in the Description box.

    Click Next to continue.

  4. On the Storage System page, select NetApp and then click Next.
  5. On the NetApp filer page, enter your NetApp filer details:
    NetApp filer address The IP address or hostname of the NetApp server in which the SR will reside
    Username The login username used to manipulate the LUNs on the filer
    Password The login password used to manipulate the LUNs on the filer
    Use CHAP If the NetApp Filer is configured to used CHAP authentication, select the Use CHAP check box and fill in the details:
    • CHAP User: the username to be used during CHAP authentication
    • CHAP Secret: the password to be used during CHAP authentication
  6. Click Next: XenCenter polls the NetApp filer for existing SRs and aggregates, and after a few moments, the NetApp settings page appears.
  7. Specify whether you want to reattach an existing SR, or create a new SR on an existing aggregate, and then provide the following NetApp configuration information:
    Number of FlexVols (Optional) The number of FlexVols to allocate to the new SR. You can use between 1 and 32 FlexVols; the default is 8. Using a greater number of FlexVols makes snapshotting VMs more efficient, because there are fewer VMs backed off the same FlexVol. Also there is a maximum possible number of snapshots per FlexVol, typically 256. However, the disadvantage is that the ONTAP deduplication algorithm currently only operates within a FlexVol, so using more FlexVols substantially reduces the benefits of deduplication across VMs.
    Use NetApp thin provisioning (Optional) Select this check box if you want to use NetApp thin provisioning. The default is to use thick provisioning. If the filer is ONTAP deduplication-capable, you can also select the Enable ONTAP deduplication check box.
  8. Click Finish to complete the new SR configuration and close the wizard.