Tintri Lab Setup Part 1

I was recently lucky enough to get ahold of a Tintri VMstore T540 (here are the specifications) to use in my test lab, so I thought some unboxing and setup pics would be appreciated. The plan is to beat on the T540 a while and get a good idea of how long it takes to setup and how many IOPS it can deliver. I’ll be using Horizon View and vCAC on it over the coming weeks and see how it handles noisy neighbors. Hat tip to Justin Hakimi over at Tintri for setting this up.

I was originally going to use this in my home lab, but it was too loud, so I worked with Brett Wish @vrazorback to get it setup in our Austin office.

It took longer to grab the pics and do this write up than it took to set the unit up. If you’re not doing anything fancy like link aggregation, its a half hour, tops.

Unboxing

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Yes, it was heavy.

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Top view of one of the two controller blades.

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Here is the motherboard model number, X8DTS-F. This is an older demo unit, however, so your milage may vary.

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The fans are LOUD. My wife got pretty pissed.

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The unit comes with 8 x 300 GB (MLC) RAID6 hot-plug 3.5” carriers and 8 x 3 TB RAID6 hot-plug 3.5” carriers for 13.5TB usable. The promised IO from flash is > 99%, i’ll be putting this to the test in the next few posts.

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Rack and stack complete.

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Pardon the glare. Here is the Tintri unit mounted in the fishbowl at our Austin office. One of the beauties of working for a VAR/Integrator is that we are truly hardware neutral (we get to play with all the nice toys).

Initial Setup

The setup is pretty straight-forward. Use the KVM dongle that is provided and connect to the blade on the right (from the rear). There is a short console session required to give the appliance a management IP address and the usual other network details- there is an idiot-proof set of instructions for this part. Open a browser and hit the address you entered.

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The main page comes up with a Getting Started window. This makes it simple to see the NFS mount info you need for vSphere.

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The array was previously configured, so we’ll need to change the IP address for the NFS ports. We are waiting some new Arista 10G switches, so we will be leaving Jumbo Frames off and use a 1GB switch and see how it performs (it was instantly obvious that the network was the bottleneck)

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Here is the main console before we messed it up with a bunch of VMs.

Connect to vCenter

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I’ll list the steps, but this is really easy.

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We have some security options, I’ll use to keep VDI hosts separate from server stuff.

Replication

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We don’t have a replication license or a second array to use for a replication partner. We’d love to detail a SRM deployment on Tintri. Justin, do you have another one of these laying around? Just kidding. Well, kinda.

Alerts

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The alerts section is a little different. You can set the types of email alerts that are sent by moving a slider bar. There are three settings:

  1. Get Alerts Only
  2. ???
  3. Alerts & All Notices

Add the usual To/From email addresses and an internal relay server. Optionally, click on “more” to configure mail server login and SSL settings.

The array can also send SNMP traps and do Syslog forwarding.

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Autosupport is no longer optional- they’re virtually expected these days. Enabling it is as simple click to a check box. I think we’ll leave this unchecked during stress testing.

LACP

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Configure DNS and then check out the LACP options. We’ll be playing with these at both 1GB and 10GB.

Add the Tintri Datastore to vCenter

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Add a Network File System and click Next.

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Enter the server address, the folder name and a meaningful datastore name.

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And Finish.

As you can see, it’s dead easy to add a pretty significant amount of fast storage to your virtualized datacenter. I’ll be doing some follow up posts on stress testing this puppy and how it interacts with Horizon View and vCloud Automation Center. We’ll also compare and contrast with some other storage platforms out there.

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  1. #1 by Justin H. on March 26, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    Great write up B-Rad! We at Tintri are very excited about the thought of a TintriPod to back end VCAC! Lets talk soon about unit #2 to replicate to.

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