This post is a quick guide on how to create a Scale Out File Server using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 starting from existing Windows Server 2012 R2 hosts. The scenario is different form provisioning a SOFS from bare metal. I hadn’t been able to find a comprehensive documentation for this scenario so here it is.
– At least 2 Windows Server 2012 R2 hosts (winrm configured and proper ports opened on firewall to permit VMM agent installation)
– The hosts need to have access to the shared storage to be used for the scale out file server
– Create a domain account (SOFS Runas Account), set it as local administrator for all the cluster nodes, add it as an administrator on the VMM Server. This runas account must be created, it must be different from the VMM Service account
– Pre-provision the computer accounts needed for the cluster in Active Directory (see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731002.aspx for details)
o Create the cluster name computer account, give the SOFS RunAs Account rights to provision the computer. Disable the account.
o Create the SOFS name computer account, give the cluster computer account Full Control rights to the account. Disable the account.
Pre-provisioning the computer accounts in Active Directory is the only way I’ve been able to make the SOFS creation works from VMM. This is what’s really missing from the product documentation. If you don’t pre-provision the accounts, once the cluster is created (provided the runas account you’re using has the rights to join new computer accounts to the OU where the nodes computer accounts reside) the SOFS cluster name creation will fail. The SOFS computer account is created in the context of cluster computer account, this is the reason we need to pre provision.
Once the previous steps are completed the documented procedure on technet works fine.
Just to recap, create a new file server cluster and specify the runas account previously created.
Add the cluster and sofs name, the ones that need to be pre-provisioned
Add the nodes and everything is set to run.
One final note on Azure, if you’re trying to use Azure to test this feature you must be aware that on Azure VMs are still not able to have multiple IPs, so to make the whole scenario work you must:
– Define a static IP during the cluster creation Wizard in VMM. To define a static IP you must add an address pool in VMM, the IP must be part of this pool
– Add an entry on the hosts. file on the VMM server where the cluster name must be resolved by the owner node (it is a good idea to force the cluster name to be bound to just one node, after all this is a test environment). For example if the node IP address is 10.1.0.1 and the cluster name is Cluster, a row for “10.1.0.1 Cluster” must be added to hosts.