How to Create L2 Cache in #StarWind Virtual SAN for Hyper-V Failover Cluster? #HyperV

Hello folks,

In StarWind V8 – Virtual SAN, StarWind introduced a new feature called L2 cache.

The L2 cache is used to avoid an overall drop in performance while processing the spiked data through the cache.

The L2 cache has a defined size that is why it’s advisable to be located on SSD storage, as when L2 cache is stored on SSD, it results in additional wearing off the flash memory.

It’s recommended to be using the write-through mode for L2 cache instead of write-back mode, taking the following example into consideration:

{L1 cache is configured in the write-back mode, L2 cache on SSD configured in the write-through mode, and the flat storage will be on spinning HDD disks}.

Adding of a device with L2 cache is actually an easy thing to do, as shown in the steps below:

1. Open StarWind Management Console
2. Select the StarWind server on Node 1
3. Press the Add Device (advanced) button on the toolbar
4. Add Device Wizard will appear. Select Hard disk device and click Next.
5. Select Virtual disk and click Next.
6. Specify the virtual disk location and size.

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7. Click Next
8. Specify virtual disk options (Thick-provisioned).

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9. Click Next.
10. Define the L1 caching policy (Write-Back) and specify the cache size (in MB).

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11. Click Next.
12. Define the L2 caching policy (Write-Through) and size (in GB). Click Next to continue.

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13. Specify the destination directory for the L2 Cache.
Note: It is strongly recommended to use SSD-based storage for L2 caching.

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14. Click Next.
15. Specify target parameters.
Select the Target Name checkbox to enter a custom name of a target.

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16. Click Next to continue, and then click Create to add a new device and attach it to the target.

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17. Click Finish to close the wizard.

The added device will appear in the StarWind Management Console. If you noticed, the L1 Cache and L2 Cache have been created on Node 1!

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Now in order to create a Highly Available Storage for Hyper-V failover cluster, you need to right-click on the device that we just created in above steps and select Replication Manager.

Replication Manager Window will appear. Press the Add Replica button.

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Select Synchronous “Two-Way” Replication.

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Click Next to proceed. Specify the partner server IP Address or Host name (Node 2).
By default StarWind management listen on port 3261. If you have configured a different port, please type it in the Port number field.

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Click Next. Choose Create new Partner Device.

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Please leave the default path to header file on this step. Click Next.

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Click Next. Click Change network settings….and specify the interfaces for network Synchronization and Heartbeat.

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Click OK. Then click Next. Press the Create Replica button. Then click Finish to close the wizard.

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The added device will appear in the StarWind Management Console.

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Here is the right time to be very attentive.

We have already successfully created the L1 Cache.

In order to configure the L2 Cache on Node 2 you have to do the following:

  • Create the same image device with L2 Cache on Node 2 as well, but this time, in the Target Parameters window, please choose the Target Attachment Method: Unassigned as showing on below figure:

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  • Run “Add replica” wizard on Node 1, and “Select existing Device” instead of “Create new Partner Device” on Partner device setup window.

Let’s walk through the wizard again and show you how to create the L2 Cache on Node 2 Smile.

Please repeat Step 1 through Step 17 on Node 2 as described above, and select “Unassigned” as target parameters

When you are done with above steps, then you can move with the following steps.

1. Select the StarWind server on Node 1.
2. Right-click on the device that you created on Node 1 and then select Replication Manager.
3. Replication Manager Window will appear. Press the Add Replica button.

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4. Select Synchronous “Two-Way” replication.

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5. Click Next to proceed. Specify the partner server IP Address or Host name (Node 2).

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6. Click Next.

7. Here is the important step, Choose Select existing Device” instead of “Create new Partner Device”.

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8. Please leave the default path to header file on this step. It is name of the new header file replicated devices. It is a wrapper for existing device that you have created during previous steps. Click Next.

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9. As you can see, the wizard will ask you for existing device name, please select the “image file” device name here. Click Next.

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10. Click Change network settings….and specify the interfaces for synchronization and Heartbeat.

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11. Click Next. Press the Create Replica button. Then click Finish to close the wizard.
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Congratulations! The operation is succeeded… Winking smile

The L1 Cache and L2 Cache are created on both Hyper-V Nodes!

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Once StarWind team adds the L2 replication configuration to the 2nd node through the console during one of their upcoming product updates, it will take you even less time to create the Cache on the 2nd node.

You may also like to check these resources (created by StarWind Support Team) on this topic.

Hope this helps!

Enjoy your day!

Cheers,
-Charbel

About Charbel Nemnom 310 Articles
Charbel Nemnom is a Microsoft Cloud Consultant and Technical Evangelist, totally fan of the latest's IT platform solutions, accomplished hands-on technical professional with over 15 years of broad IT Infrastructure experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize performance of mission-critical enterprise systems. Excellent communicator adept at identifying business needs and bridging the gap between functional groups and technology to foster targeted and innovative IT project development. Well respected by peers through demonstrating passion for technology and performance improvement. Extensive practical knowledge of complex systems builds, network design and virtualization.

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