Use a dedicated network for storage traffic in a Mirage cluster

For optimizing the performance and stability of a Mirage cluster it is highly recommended to use a dedicated network interface for the SMB storage traffic. The following article will guide you through the process of getting an dedicated storage network up and running and how to move your existing Mirage volumes to the dedicated network.

Please validate this guide in an test environment before applying any chances to your production environment.

Create dedicated network

It is recommended to use a dedicated network for just the storage traffic. In this example a dedicated virtual switch is created which is only used for storage traffic.

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In a productive environment you can use a dedicated network switch, or VLAN. If VLAN is not an option the physical separation of the storage network is the best option. For this scenario you need a minimum of four NICs (2 for storage network and 2 for client network)

A new network card, connected to the dedictated network, was added to each Mirage server.

Mirage server configuration

As a new network card was added to each Mirage servers this cards need to be configured correctly.

First of all the order in which the network cards are accessed by network services needs to be correct.

The primary network card which is used for the general communcation (Active Directory, Mirage server, Backup, Management, etc.) needs to be the first card in the list.


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This option can be found under Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network Connections –> Advanced -> Adapters and Bindings.

After configuring the order of the new network card for the dedicated storage the network needs to be configured.

In this example the IP range 192.168.89.0/24 is used for this cluster network. Therefore the first Mirage server gets the IP 192.168.89.1.

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The use of DNS isn’t necessary and it is not recommended to configure an additional default gateway. The storage network should be a none routed network with direct connect tot he storage, if possible.

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It is also necessary to leave the services „Client for Microsoft Networks“ and „File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks“ checked for the storage interface. If these services are disabled no access to the network share is possible.

Network share configuration

To use a network share as Mirage storage volume the account used for the Mirage services needs to be granted full permissions on the share.

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Also, if a Windows file server it used, it also has to have full permissions granted at NTFS level.

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If the network share used for the Mirage storage is provided by the Mirage servers itself, no additional configuration steps are needed. Windows automacially binds network shares on all network interfaces which have the „Files and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks“ enabled.

If a dedicated Windows file server or network filer (like NetApp) is used additional configuration steps are necessary to make the used network share available on the dedicated cluster network. These configuration steps are not covered in this article. Please contact your Windows file server administrator or storage vendor for further information on this topic.

Change path of an existing volumes to use the dedicated network

Before the current path of the Mirage volume can be changed the volume needs to be unmountend first. Unmounting a volume places the volume in a non-operational status but retains the CVD and Base Layer data on the volume. This means for time the volume is unmounted CVDs placed on this volume aren’t centralized or backed up.

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As unmounting and changing the path of the volume only takes a few moments this shouldn’t be a problem.

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When the storage is unmounted the path can be changed to the dedicated network. In this example the path is change from \mirage2.fluxhorizon.commiragelocalstorage$ to \192.168.89.1miragelocalstorage$.

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After the path is changed the volume needs to be mounted again.

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These steps need to repeated on each Mirage volume which should be placed on the dedicated network interface.

s11This article was originally published by Tim Arenz (@timarenz) at horizonflux.com.

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