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Using QNAP vSphere Plug-in with QNAP ES (Enterprise Storage) NAS

Functionality Description

QNAP vSphere Plug-in Introduction

The vSphere Client Plug-in for QNAP ES NAS is an interface between ESXi and the ES NAS.

vSphere client integration allows managing VMware datastores which reside on the QNAP ES NAS directly from the vSphere client console, and verifying the status of all QNAP ES NAS managed by QNAP vSphere plug-in.

Benefit

  • Easy creation of datastores from multiple ESXi hosts in just a few clicks.
  • Easy status control of the ES NAS and datastores.
  • Support for NFS or iSCSI datastores.
Creating datastores in a cluster with number of N ESXi host
Without vSphere Plug-in With vSphere Plug-in
  • Connect to the NAS
  • Create LUN target on the NAS
  • Create the LUN on the NAS
  • Connect to vSphere Client
  • Connect to ESXi #1 to the target
  • Rescan all HBA(Host Bus Adapter)
  • Add the datastore
  • Connect to ESXi #2 to the target
  • Rescan all HBA
  • Connect to ESXi #3 to the target
  • Rescan all HBA
  • …(repeat for all hosts in cluster)
  • Connect to vSphere Client
  • Create a datastore
  • Wait for the plug-in to process to task

Installation & Verifying

To install the plug-in simply run the QNAP_vsphere_plug-in_setup.exe from the local computer where the vSphere client is installed. It would be straight forward by following the instructions to complete the plug-in installation.

To verify whether the plug-in is installed, or to check the plug-in version, open the vSphere Client console and navigate the menu “Plug-ins”> “Manage Plug-ins…”.

The QNAP plug-in is listed in Plug-in Manager after installation.

Add QNAP Storage

Once the plug-in has been installed, you can follow the steps below to add a QNAP NAS and manage it by the plug-in to create a new datastore.

Step 1: Select your Datacenter or Cluster. Then click the "QNAP" tab on the right panel.

Step 2: Add QNAP NAS into the "QNAP Storages" by clicking "Add QNAP Storage". Then fill out the NAS info into the plug-in to add the QNAP storage.

  • Enable iSCSI Security:
    Select this option to enable LUN masking on the QNAP ES NAS.
    All the new LUN created as datastore by plug-in will be secured with LUN masking, so that only the VMware hosts with access right to the LUN can read and write data to the LUN.
  • Enable NFS Security:
    Select this option to enable NFS host access control, and allow only the VMware hosts to connect to the NFS shares that will be used as datastore.
    Once one or multiple QNAP Storages have been added to the plug-in, you can create, mount, unmount, or destroy the datastores.

Datastores Management Introduction

Primary Functions

QNAP vSphere plug-in offers different components with specific features. The primary functions in the plug-in should be listed as below functionality.

  • Create a datastore (NFS or iSCSI)
  • Un-mount/disconnect a datastore
  • Mount/connect a datastore
  • Destroy a datastore

Work Scope

Based on user configuration, vSphere plug-in may support different datastore processes.

Once the ESXi is managed by vSphere Client as a standalone host, i.e. without vCenter to centralized management its host, the plug-in will operate on the host only.

One if the vSphere Client connect to a vCenter server, the plug-in will be able to operate on multiple VMware hosts to facilitate each process.

  • Operations from ESXi host:
    • Creation: The datastore will be created only for the selected host.
      Disconnect/Connect: The datastore can be disconnected from or connected to selected host.
    • Deletion: The datastore will be disconnected from all connected hosts, and will be destroyed. Besides that, all content in the datastore will be deleted.
  • Operations from VMware Cluster: The datastore can be created for all selected members inside cluster.
    • Creation: By default all the cluster members will be selected in order to create and connect the new datastore to all hosts. Users can unselect some hosts when the new datastore is not required on all hosts.
    • Disconnect/connect: By default all the cluster members will be selected in order to disconnect a datastore from or connect it to the selected hosts.
    • Deletion: The datastore will be disconnected from all connected hosts, and will be destroyed and all the content will be deleted.
  • Operations from the VMware Datacenter: The datastore can be created for all selected members inside the Datacenter.
    • Creation: By default all the cluster members will be selected in order to create and connect the new datastore to all hosts. Users can unselect some hosts on the new datastore that are not required on all hosts.
    • Disconnect/connect: By default all the cluster members will be selected in order to disconnect a datastore from or connect it to the selected hosts.
    • Deletion: The datastore will be disconnected from all connected hosts, and will be destroyed and all the content will be deleted.

User Guide – How To

Note:
All of the instructions below should be run after (a) QNAP NAS has been added by vSphere plug-in. Please refer to “Add QNAP Storage” on page 6.

Create a Datastore

Creating a datastore and adding it to all of members in your Datacenter, Cluster, or standalone host.

Step 1: Login vSphere Client.

Step 2: Select your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host.

Step 3: Right click your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host. Select "QNAP" > "Create a datastore".

Step 4: Following the instructions from Wizard to complete a datastore creation.

QNAP vSphere plug-in will create the resources on the ES NAS, and connect all the selected hosts to the new datastore.

Disconnect/Unmount a Datastore

QNAP vSphere plug-in allows disconnecting (unmount) the datastores from multiple ESXi hosts and re-connecting (mount) the datastores to multiple ESXi hosts.

Step 1: Login the vSphere Client.

Step 2: Select your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host.

Step 3: Right click your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host, and select "QNAP" > "Disconnect a datastore".

Step 4: Following the instructions to disconnect/unmount a datastore from the selected hosts.

The disconnected datastores will list under the "QNAP" tab. Please refer to "Status Monitor" on page 14.

Datastore Reconnection

QNAP vSphere plug-in allows users to reconnect a previously disconnected/unmounted datastore to some selected hosts.

Step 1: Login the vSphere Client.

Step 2: Select your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host.

Step 3: Right click your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host, and select "QNAP" > "Connect datastores to a new ESX host".

Step 4: All existing datastores that can be connected to the selected host, will be listed.

Step 5: Follow the wizard instructions to reconnect a datastore to one or multiple hosts.

Destroy a Datastore

QNAP vSphere plug-in allows users to destroy a datastore.

Step 1: Login the vSphere Client.

Step 2: Select your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host.

Step 3: Right click your Datacenter, Cluster, or Host, and select "QNAP" > "Destroy a datastore".

Note: The “destroy” process will follow below VMware behavior.

  • iSCSI:
    All the data contained in the datastore will be irremediably deleted without any possible recovery.
  • NFS:
    The datastore will be disconnected from the ESX hosts. All references to the NFS datastore will be destroyed. The Data contained in the NFS datastore will remain.

Status Monitor

QNAP vSphere Plug-in supports status monitor for each ES NAS added into the plug-in, connected datastores, and the datastore disconnected by the plug-in previously.

Monitor QNAP Storage

Step 1: Select your Datacenter, Cluster, or ESXi host.

Step 2: Navigate to "QNAP" tab.

Step 3: It will display all QNAP NAS added to the plug-in, including the information of NAS status, firmware version, free capacity and so on in QNAP Storages.

Step 4: Right click an item to list the menu options:

  • Set the NAS credentials if they have been changed.
  • Remove the NAS from the plug-in. All existing datastores will remain connected to their existing hosts.
  • Quickly open the NAS web administration page.
  • Enable storage protocols (NFS and/or iSCSI).

Monitor QNAP Datastores

Step 1: Select your Datacenter, Cluster, or ESXi host.

Step 2: Navigate to "QNAP" tab> "QNAP Datastores".

It’s easy to monitor VMware datastore which is created from QNAP ES Storage in “QNAP Datastores”. The plug-in will list the information of datastore type, status and capacity and so on for connected datastores; besides that, you can also remove a disconnected datastore by right click the datastore entry and click “Remove entry” in “Disconnected Datastores” list.

Release date: 2016-06-02
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