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EMC ScaleIO Software Defined Storage with ESXi 5.5 based ScaleIO Data Client (Partner Verified and Supported) (2096169)

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This article provides information about Partner Support (PVSP) for the deployment of the ScaleIO data client (SDC) as a VMkernel module on ESXi 5.5.

Note: The Partner Verified and Supported Products (PVSP) policy implies that the solution is not directly supported by VMware. For issues with this configuration, contact EMC directly. For more information on engaging partners with VMware, see the Support Workflow. It is the partner's responsibility to verify that the configuration functions with future vSphere major and minor releases, as VMware does not guarantee that compatibility with future releases is maintained.

Disclaimer: The partner products referenced in this article are hardware devices or software that are developed and supported by stated partners. Use of these products is also governed by the end user license agreements of the partners. You must obtain the application, support and licensing for using these products from the partners. For more information, see EMC Support

Note: The preceding link was correct as of November 20, 2014. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.



EMC ScaleIO is a software-only server-based storage area network (SAN) that converges storage and compute resources to form a single-layer, enterprise-grade storage product. ScaleIO storage is elastic and delivers linearly scalable performance. Its scale-out server SAN architecture can grow from a few to thousands of servers.

For supported EMC ScaleIO versions with ESXi releases, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

: This ScaleIO 1.31 and 1.32 solution is only supported on ESXi 5.5 GA. The solution is not supported on any installations or upgrades to any other versions of ESXi.

Minimum requirements

These are the minimum system requirements for a ScaleIO 1.31 and 1.32 implementation:

  • Three ESXi servers with 100 GB of free capacity per server
  • Operating system: ESX 5.5 GA
  • 1 Gbps network
  • Four 7,200 rpm SATA disks per node

The ScaleIO vSAN consists of a dedicated ScaleIO Virtual Machine (SVM) and three software components:

  • ScaleIO Virtual Machine (SVM): The SVM is a Linux-based virtual machine dedicated to ScaleIO and is used to host the different ScaleIO software components described here.
  • Meta Data Manager (MDM): Configures and monitors the ScaleIO system. The MDM can be configured in redundant Cluster Mode with three members on three servers (Primary MDM, Secondary MDM and a Tie-Breaker) or in Single Mode on a single server. The MDM is installed on the SVM.
  • ScaleIO Data Server (SDS): Manages the capacity of a single server and acts as a back-end for data access. The SDS is installed on all servers contributing storage devices to the ScaleIO system. These devices are accessed using SDS. The SDS is installed on the SVM.
  • ScaleIO Data Client (SDC): A lightweight device driver exposes ScaleIO volumes as block devices to the application located on the same server on which the SDC is installed. The SDC creates a logical adapter, which is an ESXi kernel construct. The logical adapter informs the ESXi about the arrival and disappearance of SCSI devices. These LUNs can be formatted with VMFS and then exposed using the ESXi host to the virtual machine or can be used as RDM devices. Figure 1 depicts the former while the latter could be depicted with the same figure without the VMFS layer.


Figure 1: ScaleIO implementation in ESXi with SDC in VMkernel.

For more information, see the ScaleIO User Guide.

Recommendations and limitations

These recommendations must be taken into account when deploying a ScaleIO system:

  • When disks are connected to a RAID controller, each disk must be configured as a standalone RAID-0.
  • For better performance:

    • If cache is available on the RAID controller, it is recommended to configure it as READ cache.
    • If the cache is non-volatile, it is recommended to configure it as Write-Back cache.

  • The physical media must be exposed to the SVM through RDM.
  • For better performance and faster storage rebuild, use a 10 Gbps Ethernet network.

Additional Information

For more information on configuration guidelines and deployment best practices, see EMC Support.

Note: You must be registered with EMC to view the preceding link.

Note: The preceding link was correct as of December 16, 2014. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

A certified configuration of ScaleIO 1.31 is available, and is listed in the VMware Compatibility Guide, in which the SDC is VM-based. For more information, see EMC ScaleIO Software Defined Storage - virtual machine-based SDC (2080144)



See Also

Update History

Added version 1.3.2

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