Introducing “The Essential”- A Quick-Start NexentaStor Virtual Storage Appliance

In any datacenter there is a built-in need for enterprise file and block storage services. However, in smaller branch offices or in cloud deployments, deploying a bare-metal appliance might not be feasible or economical. Never the less, file storage is almost always needed for applications and document storage.

These are the use cases where the NexentaStor Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) shines. It’s easy to deploy and can leverage existing virtualization solutions to provide enterprise storage capabilities out of your existing infrastructure.

While I will focus this blog on a smaller configuration, keep in mind that the NexentaStor VSA solution can scale as long as you provide additional compute and storage resources. Some of our customers run NexentaStor VSAs with hundreds of terabytes of usable capacity.

Below I will walk you through how you can download and deploy “The Essential”, a NexentaStor VSA that is preconfigured with 8TiB of usable storage for File or Block services. It deploys with ease, directly into your VMware environment.

All you need is a VMware ESX server and storage for the NexentaStor VSA.

It really is this easy – Don’t be afraid to try it out in your lab!

  1. In VMware vCenter, right click on your ESX server and choose “Deploy an OVF Template”.

vCenter is not required, but if you use the ESX host directly the screenshots may not match.

ess01.png

  1. When asked to enter the URL of the OVA/OVF enter

https://prodpkg.nexenta.com/nstor/5.2.1.8/addons/NexentaStorVSA-Essential-5.2.1.8.ovf, and if asked, click “Yes” to trust the SSL certificate.

  1. Pick a name your Virtual Storage Appliance and then choose a folder.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 1.31.40 PM.png

  1. Select where you want to run your VSA.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 1.31.59 PM.png

  1. Review the details.

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  1. Select a datastore, and the storage type.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 1.39.37 PM.png

  1. Select the Network to connect to the VSA.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 1.40.23 PM.png

  1. Confirm the final details and click “Finish” to deploy your Virtual Storage Appliance.

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When the NexentaStor Virtual Storage Appliance has been deployed by VMware, there are a few steps left to complete the setup. To perform these steps the administrator must login through the console using the default credentials:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: Psswd1234
  1. Run the system setupcommand to update hostname, change any network configuration and update your passwords.
  2. Add your license using the “license activate <token>” command.

Note that you can register for a Community Edition license at https://community.nexenta.com/s/community-edition, or request a free Enterprise Edition trial license: https://nexenta.com/downloads

  1. To use the preconfigured VMDK’s you will need to create a storage pool. Use the below command to create a pool named “tank”:

pool create-auto stripe tank -M 4

  1. The last step to give users access to the files is to create a filesystem and share it via NFS or SMB. This can be done through the CLI, throughNexentaFusion or through the NexentaStor vCenter Plugin.
Posted in Uncategorized

Taking the EZ-Pass Lane to a Hybrid Storage Cloud

Everyone wants to get from point a to point b as fast as possible and transitioning from a traditional datacenter to a modern hybrid or all cloud based infrastructure should not be any different.  Just like the EZ-Pass lanes at toll booths get you moving quicker, the new One-Click Deployment of NexentaCloud will move you from a traditional on-prem storage to a cloud based storage solution quickly and easily.  The steps below will walk you through the simple wizard that is built into NexentaFusion to deploy NexentaCloud in less than 30 minutes for up to 300TB!

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Posted in cloud

File Services for HCI and Block Storage Simplified

Check out our video “Deploying NexentaStor as a Virtual Storage Appliance“.

Today’s modern datacenter has a combination of compute, storage and networking options.  This includes an ever-growing use of hyperconverged and block only storage systems.  These systems are great for running virtual machines, but users and applications still require file services to conduct daily business.  Deploying a file services solution for NFS or SMB connections can be a labor intensive and expensive proposition; to combat that, Nexenta provides a quick and easy way for administrators to add file services to their existing virtual infrastructure. One of the many deployment models of the NexentaStor solution is as a virtual storage appliance (VSA).  To make this even simpler and faster for our end users, we have packaged NexentaStor as an OVF appliance. The NexentaStor OVF is installed directly from a single URL for the OVF:

https://prodpkg.nexenta.com/nstor/5.2.1.8/addons/NexentaStorVSA.ovf

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Posted in NAS, Software-defined storage, Virtualization

“NAS-up” Your Hyper-converged Infrastructure or SAN with NexentaStor (and get hybrid cloud, too)

By Michael Richtberg, Nexenta Advisory Board Member

It’s a great day when you get a deal on something you really need. Getting the most out of your existing IT infrastructure can really help you afford adding other business critical investments instead of duplicating something you already own. In the case of hyper-converged infrastructure or SAN block storage, you can increase the usefulness of these investments by adding full NAS capabilities without adding more hardware by using Nexenta’s leading storage software solution, NexentaStor.

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Posted in cloud, NAS, Software-defined storage, Uncategorized, Virtualization

NexentaCloud Complements On-Prem NexentaStor for Hybrid Deployments

By Michael Richtberg, a Nexenta Advisory Board member and former VP of Strategy and Corporate Development at SoftNAS.

Thousands of Nexenta customers have come to trust our open-source driven software-defined storage software that enables a truly hardware independent storage solution. We offer full enterprise class data services for industry standard NAS and SAN protocols, which have become table stakes, used by virtually all organizations to run their business applications. All of these on-premises qualities found in our flagship NexentaStor solution are now available to our customers via the public cloud with NexentaCloud, running on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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Posted in Uncategorized

Employee Perspective: Why Legal Professionals Should Embrace SDS

Photo by Sanwal Deen on Unsplash.

The legal profession traditionally moves very slowly when it comes to new technologies. Some might even say that attorneys have a difficult time changing. They prefer technologies tested repeatedly before adopting them. However reluctantly, the legal profession has finally agreed that the internet is here to stay and that perhaps this cloud-computing thing might be of great help in a various number of tasks.

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Posted in Corporate, Uncategorized

Employee Perspective: How to Build a Thriving Storage Ecosystem

Infrastructure leaders face the daunting task of keeping up with the business at the same time dealing with a technology landscape that is changing at a relentless pace.

Gone are the days when the only thing we had to manage was the data center. Today’s businesses are demanding that infrastructure leaders orchestrate internal and external systems and services in an efficient and effective manner.

The one thing we can count on in our line of work is that everything in our environment will land into one of three system states:

  • Legacy systems – Those that you just can’t seem to get rid of. They are getting more expensive by the day and are distracting from other work.
  • Steady State – The core production systems that are running your business and need most of your attention.
  • Inbound Projects – The laundry list of requests for resources to support initiatives ranging from the well thought-out and resourced, to the unfunded science project that failed to account for any of the supporting infrastructure.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Employee Perspective: A Multi-Protocol Solution

After three and a half years at Nexenta, I joined another storage software company, an early stage start up. It was all very exciting and seemed like an amazing opportunity for me to share my software-defined storage skills and knowledge to help customers be successful and grow the company. Unfortunately, after four months I parted ways due to several factors.

At first, I was really impressed with the work the engineering team had done to build a software-defined storage (SDS) product with such intentionality. However, there were several factors that I began to question:

  1. It’s still hard to convince customers to change from old habits to SDS.

Software Defined Storage isn’t the new buzz word it once was. Companies can find it a difficult paradigm to accept when it’s compared to appliance-based storage. Humans don’t like change, even if it’s a good kind of change. So it takes a lot of effort by a sales team to help bridge that gap of doubt. Customers want to see demo’s, proof of concepts (POCs), technical deep dives, customer references, the list goes on and on. And it’s all reasonable. When faced with something different and new, many customers want to be thorough to ensure that you’re making the right choice. Nexenta is the leader is SDS, with a 6000+ customers deployments that run their products. Any new customer can have the confidence that they aren’t the only person on the planet running SDS- and that they were in fact choosing the right solution as many enterprises are making the switch.

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Posted in Software-defined storage, Uncategorized

Employee Perspective: Software Defined Infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud Systems

Companies consider cloud usage for enterprise IT infrastructure, yet the majority of data stays in its own organization. They have to decide what data and system should go public and private. Two big trends, Big Data and Cyber Security, do not allow them enough time to construct both systems in public and private separately. Data and security threats are increasing enormously in such short period, and will continue to do so. IT organization also needs to face the fact that they cannot have both an unlimited budget and time for the infrastructure to solve those issues. In this case, I believe Software Defined Infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud systems are the solution. It gives you the tremendous flexibility to adopt the system to public and private cloud based on the commodity hardware platform.

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Posted in cloud, Corporate, Software-defined storage, Uncategorized

Employee Perspective: SDS – Bringing parity to the rest of the infrastructure stack

When you purchase any OS today, it doesn’t come locked to specific hardware (sorry Apple). I can purchase Microsoft Office and it doesn’t care if I’m running it on a Dell PC, an Acer/Supermicro/HP. If you use applications like Salesforce you aren’t worried about the hardware. They are totally independent of the underlying hardware, and each is sized according to the job at hand. You buy hardware to fit your budget, on aesthetics, or its gaming performance (if you are my son). You buy software similarly and largely because it provides a function you need. So then why are so many people still buying storage hardware and software that are tied together?

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Posted in Corporate, Software-defined storage