Exchange 2007 SCC Clustering in VMWARE using iSCSI for the Massess (the Good Bits) – part 5

Sorry for the delay in getting this part out to you folks, I have alas been very busy not just only in work – but also working hard to get the new version of my site up and working. For those of you whom have just joined us this is part 5 of a series that I have been doing which shows you how you can create an Exchange 2007 SCC Cluster using iSCSI – if you wish to catch up on the goings on (I know that I need to) the previous 4 parts are below:

In the last part (Part 4) we had added a disk to the OpenFiler based SAN and created 3 partitions on this disk for use with our Exchange SCC cluster. We also configured the correct network access range to allow for these disks to be accessed over iSCSI.

In this part of the article I will show you how you can configure each of the partitions that we have created to be presented as iSCSI targets to the Windows 2003 iSCSI initiator.

Step 1 Logon to the OpenFiler Management Interface – configure the iSCSI Targets

As covered in Part 3 of this series OpenFiler is managed from a web interface which is located at http://172.31.253.160:446/admin (you will need to substitute the IP address that I have given for that of you own) when you have logged in and are presented with the system status – click on the "Volumes" tab – see below;

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When you have selected the Volumes tab the screen will change to show you the volume configuration that you did in Part 4 – see below;

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From the right hand side of the screen you will see a menu entitled "Volumes Section" within this menu is an option called "iSCSI Targets" – choose this option – see below;

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When you have clicked on the "iSCSI" targets options the main screen will change to look like the following:

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From this screen you will complete the following actions:

  • Create an iSCSI target
  • Map a LUN (one of the volumes) to that target
  • Give the network that you configured in Part 4 access to the LUN

Therefore ensure that you are on the "Target Configuration" tab of the screen – under the Add New iSCSI target section make a note of the Target IQN (iSCSI Qualified Name) and then click on the "Add" button – the screen will then change to reflect the changes that you have made. When you are happy with the changes click on the "LUN Mapping" tab which will change the screen to look like the following:

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You will see all of the volumes that you created in Part 4 of this article and beside then is a button entitled "Map" click on it for each LUN entry – when you are done click on the "Network ACL" tab which will change the screen to look like the following:

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From the section marked "Access" change the value from "Deny" to "Allow" and then click on the Update Button.

Step 2 – Configuring the volumes in Windows

We are now ready to configure the volumes that we have created in OpenFiler on the first node of our SCC cluster – as you will remember we installed the Microsoft iSCSI initiator in Part 3 of this series – therefore the first thing that we need to do on the cluster node is register the disks with the Initiator.

On your Windows 2003 cluster node to to [ START->Programs->Microsoft iSCSI initiator->Microsoft iSCSI initiator ] which will present you will the following dialogue box – click on the "Discovery" tab and then from the section entitled "Target Portals" click on the "Add" button – see below;

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The following popup will appear – within it provide the IP address of the OpenFiler NAS that you have created:

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When you are done click on the "OK" button and then click on the "Targets" tab

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Choose the target from the "Targets" window and then click on the "Log On" button – see below

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Tick the box entitled "Automatically restore this connection when the system boots"

When you have clicked on the "OK" button open the the computer management MMC – [ START->Programs->Administrative Tools->Computer Management ] and navigate to the Disk Management node – right click on Disk Management and choose "Rescan Disks" – see below;

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The three partitions that you have created should now appear in the disk manager – see below;

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Create primary partitions on each of these disks and format them with the NTFS file system – you should label them accordingly – for example;

Disk 1 = 1.46 GB – Quorum = Q:

Disk 2 = 3.90 GB – Exchange_Binaries – X:

Disk 3 = 2.59 GB – Exchange_Databases – G:

We are now ready to install Windows clustering.

Step 3 – Configuring Windows Clustering

We now have our disks configured, presented to Windows and Formatted – therefore we are ready to configure Windows 2003 clustering on the first node of our cluster. This section of the document is going to largely assume that you are familiar with complexities of Windows clustering and therefore will not be a hugely in depth guide.

On the first node of your Windows Cluster – Navigate to [ START->Programs->Administrative Tools->Cluster Administrator ] when the cluster admin tool opens go to [ File->New->Cluster ] – see below;

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You will then be presented with the "New Server Cluster" wizard – click on the "Next" button to configure your cluster – see below;

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You will then be asked to confirm the details of the domain that the cluster will be a member of and provide a cluster name – I have named mine "LAB-SSC-CLINST" – note that this is NOT the name of your clustered Exchange instance, just the name of the cluster – see below;

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When you are done click on the "Next" button you will be presented with the "Select Computer" dialogue – click on the "Advanced" button – from the box that appears select the "Advanced (minimum) configuration” radio option and then click on the "OK" button then you will be returned to the select computer parent dialogue – click on the "Next" button – see below;

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Upon clicking on the "Next" button you the configuration tool will go away an analyse your cluster configuration – when it is done (and indeed if it is successful) click on the "Next" button – see below;

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You will now need to provide and IP address for the clustered instance – you will need to use a free address on your network, when you are done – click on the “Next” button which will then present you with the domain credentials screen – you will need to provide an account which has the correct rights to add the cluster to the domain but is also a local admin on each node – for simplicity I have used the domain admin account – however for hardened production environments it is perhaps better to review this – see below;

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When you have provided the account information click on the “Next” button.

You will then be presented with the “Proposed Cluster configuration screen” – click on the “Quorum” button and from the box that opens choose disk Q: and then click on the “OK” button – see below;

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When you have clicked on the “OK” button you will be returned to the Proposed Cluster Configuration screen – click on the “Next” button – the installation wizard will now re-analyse your cluster – when it is done click on the “Next” button – see below;

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The installation will then complete and you should then have a fully formed and functional cluster.

Creation of the iSCSI mount points and Cluster Installation of the second node;

Now that you have installed clustering on the first node and configured a cluster you are now in a position to configure the second node – essentially you will need to follow the same sequence as described in the above section “Step 2 – Configuring the volumes in Windows” – how you should NOT attempt to FORMAT the disks after performing the disk Rescan.

In terms of the clustering setup you should follow the same procedure as described in “Step 3 – Configuring Windows Clustering” – however instead of choosing [ File->New Cluster ] you should choose [ File->Open Connection ] then locate the cluster that you have created using the “Browse” button – then from the actions list choose the “Add Nodes to Cluster” and then follow the wizard though.

Troubleshooting

I have seen some issues whereby the iSCSI targets do not appear in the targets list – if this happens open the Access Control up to the entire subnet – for example if your subnet is 192.168.1.0 the mask for the access list should be 255.255.255.0 – apply this to your iSCSI target access control list (within OpenFiler) and then refresh the targets list in the iSCSI initiator within Windows.

In the final part;

Yes it is almost at an end – in the final part of this series I will take you through the installation of Exchange 2007 using SCC clustering

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