StarWind Virtual SAN®: NVMe-oF

In this guide I will explain how to create an NVMe-oF target using StarWind Virtual SAN that runs on top of Windows Server 2016. Then you will be able to connect to this shared storage on CentOS host for instance. 

What is NVMe Over Fabric (NVMe-Of) ?

NVMe-over-Fabric is a newer standard that maps NVMe to RDMA in order to allow remote access to storage devices over an RDMA fabric using the same NVMe language.

NVMe-OF has lower latency than iSCSI and it’s faster and more efficient.

Creating the target

The NVMe-oF Target will be created on Windows Server 2016 using StarWind NVMe over Fabrics Target service and discovered and connected on CentOS 7.5. I will not describe how to configure the CentOS machine but you can check the StarWind website to perform this task.

Login to Windows host and install StarWind VSAN by following the guide here: http://get-cmd.com/?p=5190

Launch StarWind Management Console from the StarWind icon in the tray.

To add a StarWind server to the console, use the Add Server button on the control panel.

StarWind Management Console will ask to specify the default storage pool on the server.


Press the Yes button to configure the storage pool. If the storage pool destination needs to be changed, click Choose path

In StarWind Management Console, open the server configuration tab and click the Network button. Check that iSER support is enabled.

To enable iSER support, click on the network, press the Modify button and enable the checkbox Enable iSER for this Interface… in the appeared window.

Click OK to confirm.

Right click on the server and choose Add NVMe-oF… option in the appeared list. Specify virtual disk name, its location, and size.

Click OK to save the settings.

Click on the newly created target and press the Config… button in order to complete the configuration. Click the Add File-Based Disk…button.

Conclusion

You should test this new feature because the advantages of NVMe-Of are great:

  • Lower latency
  • Greater throughput and speed

StarWind published some pretty cool tools such as the V2V Converter and the Deduplication Analyzer. These tools are great for sysadmin.

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @PrigentNico

About Nicolas 256 Articles
I work as an IT Production Manager, based in Paris (France) with a primary focus on Microsoft technologies. I have 10 years experience in administering Windows Servers. . I am a Microsoft MVP for Cloud & Datacenter Management. I also received the PowerShell Hero 2016 award by PowerShell.0rg. And finally, I am "MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure", "MCSA: Windows Servers", "Administering & Deploying SCCM", and CheckPoint CCSA certified.