Shared VHDX–an Experiment

Welcome to the new world of shared VHDX! Ok, let’s backup a bit. Here’s my scenario, which will likely sound familiar to you:

I have a SQL 2008 R2 cluster. For that to happen, I had to create shared disks among my two servers. In my modest lab, all I could do was to share some drives among them using my QNAP NAS. So, that’s what I did: Created three targets and mapped them using the iSCSI initiator:

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Now, what if I didn’t want to create (or couldn’t) create all these targets? Or couldn’t access the target from the VMs? Even if I had the storage space to (SMB3 maybe?), that wasn’t possible before Hyper-V R2, but now it is. Hyper-V 2012 R2 will allow you to share SCSI disks among virtual machines.

Let’s see an example.

Here’s my SQL1 server configuration:

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Let’s start humble and create a disk for the Quorum:

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You may have guessed that, but only VHDXs are supported.

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So far, nothing new. But here’s the magic:

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And…

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Ha ha. Too good to be true. Let’s shutdown both of them and do it right.

Drum roll…

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Crashed and burned. I should have read the requirements. And should have you. Here they are: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn265980.aspx

Now, what could we do. It seems we will need a storage drive anyways. Let’s create one and map from the host. I will also give it a try without the cluster, since I have recently simplified my lab:

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The dynamic is because I’m reusing an old DPM volume. Not a requirement.

Let’s move the storage:

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No go! Hum…I’m not feeling like putting an SMB 3.0 Scale-out share in place. Let’s try CSV then. That’s what I was trying to avoid, but…

So, I have moved the storage back, deleted the volume. Created a single node cluster, recreated the volume and added it to the cluster as a CSV volume.

If that that do it…

So, here is my disk:

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Adding to the CSV volumes:

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There is my Storage Volume:

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Let’s move again:

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And try to enable the Sharing feature:

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Awesome! It worked!

Now, on SQL 2, let’s add the disk as well:

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Bam! Worked like a charm!

Let’s start these babies and see how it looks:

SQL1 sees this:

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And so does SQL2. Promising.

Let’s do the cluster procedure: bring online, initialize, offline.

Let’s now add the disk to the cluster:

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Hum, no disk was found. As per http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn281956.aspx, only 2012  and 2012 R2 are supported as Guest OSes. I should have checked…again. Well, I won’t forget next time.

But let’s try something:

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I will upgrade the SCSI drivers and see what happens.

And ta-da!

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And I can even pick the disk as the Witness!

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Ok, so, remember that this configuration (Windows 2008 R2) doesn’t seem to be supported. Nevertheless, it is a pretty cool feature!

 

Hope it helps!