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Click on "Storage" section header, below "Guest/Host/Pool". The new section will show the following subsections:

  • Image Storages: An "Image Storage" is a storage space available to a group of hosts. For instance, it may represent a shared storage box or a software defined storage space, distributed among one or more hosts of the flexVDI cluster. It contains "Volume" objects, which represent blocks of storage space used to store the virtual disk images. A Volume can be created from a block device (a SAS disk, a iSCSI LUN, a Ceph volume, ...) or from a directory that is already mounted by all the Image Storage hosts. Any Host associated to the Image Storage of a Volume can execute the virtual machines (Guests) stored in it.
  • Media Storages: To install Guests you will need access to OS installation Media. A "Media Storage" represents a shared folder that is used as a repository of ISO files, containing such Media. Full exported Virtual Machines are stored on these too.
  • Direct Storages: This option is used to give Guests direct access to physical disks.

Image Storages

Image Storages provide disk space to host the virtual disks of the Guests.

Right click on "Image storages", and then on "New Image Storage". The "Create Image Storage" window will open.

Read the help text, and click "Next".

Enter myImageStorage as Name, and press "Next".

Select the host name, and click Finish. You have created a Image Storage.

Volume

A Volume is created from a disk with a SCSI identifier that is visible by all the hosts associated with an Image Storage. These disks can be, for instance, physical SAS disks or iSCSI targets. SAS disks are autodetected during boot. iSCSI targets must be first configured with the iscsiadm tool:

~]# iscsiadm -m discovery -t sendtargets -p 192.168.1.1
Starting iscsid:     [ OK ]
192.168.1.1:3260,1 iqn.2015-06.com.example.test:target1
~]# iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2015-06.com.example:target1 --login
Logging in to [iface: default, target: iqn.2015-06.com.example:target1, portal: 192.168.1.1,3260] (multiple)
Login in to [iface: default, target: iqn.2015-06.com.example:target1, portal: 192.168.1.1,3260] successful.

In order to discover and configure the different types of shared storage that can be made available in a flexVDI cluster, read the Red Hat storage management documentation.

When the host has detected the new disk, you have to execute:

~]# service flexvdi-agent restart

This command makes flexVDI software to update its internal list of attached disks, without interrupting service.

The Dashboard shows the disks that are available from all the hosts of an Image Storage, an which ones have already been associated to a Volume:

In order to create a new Volume with one of these disks, click with the right mouse button on an Image Storage and select the New Volume option. Then, input the new Volume's name:

Select the SCSI identifier of the disk you want to use:

Confirm the operation, and the Volume will be formated and prepared to be used. You can create new virtual disk images from the context menu of the Volume, or more confortably during the new guest creation process.

External Volume

Some times you will want to store virtual disk images in certain directories of the Hosts file system. That kind of Volumes based on shared directories (where the system Administrator mounts disks so that they can be accessed by all the Hosts of an Image Storage) are called "External Volumes" in flexVDI. We will create an "External Volume" now.

Right click on "myImageStorage", and then click on "New External Volume".

Provide "myVolume" in the Name field, and click Next. It is the name of the new External Volume that will be shown in flexVDI Dashboard.

Now enter the path of the Hosts where the disk images will be stored.

In our simple installation we will use /home. It is the path of a directory that was created during Host installation. If you followed "Installation Guide for flexVDI 3.0", most of your Host disk space will be available there. Write "/home" as the mount  point and click Finish.

Now you can see the Image Storage and the Volume you have just created in the tree.

The flexVDI Dashboard lets you perform powerful actions from the GUI, like:

  • create Volumes directly from physical disks (with or without redundancy) attached to Hosts (regular Volumes)
  • provide Guests direct access to physical disks (Direct Storage).

These options are beyond the scope of this "first steps" guide, and we won't see them in detail.

Media Storage

In order to install the Operating System of your Guest systems, you will need access to the installation media. A Media Storage is a repository where these installation media are made available to Guests. It relies on a CIFS (or SMB) server to store and share ISO format files with the images of the installation media.

During the Host installation, as a convenience for users, you had the option to automatically create a CIFS server in your Host, and a Media Storage called "cifs" in your flexVDI Manager. If you did, you don't need to create a new Media Storage now, and you can skip the rest of the chapter.

To create a Media Storage, right click on "Media Storages", and then on "New Media Storage".

Enter "myMediaStorage" in the Name field, and click "Next". It is the name of the new Media Storage that will be shown in the flexVDI Dashboard.

Select the Hosts that will have access to this Media Storage. Check the box to the left of the name of your Host, and click "Next".

Now enter the required data to connect to the CIFS/SMB server, and click Finish.

You will see the newly created Media Storage. It will be in "unknown" state, with a message "Waiting for first poll" and an alert icon on it, until the Host checks that it can connect to the server, and flexVDI Manager polls the Host for information. This initial operation will take several seconds until the client refreshes the information on screen.

Direct Storage

flexVDI allows you to attach physical disks to guests in an exclusive way. To do so, first you must create a Direct Storage object. Select a name for it and the set of hosts that will have access to it:

The Dashboard will show which disks are shared by all the hosts of the Direct Storage, and which ones are already assigned to a Volume in another Image Storage:

Once the Image Storage is created, you can select its disks in the Guest creation and modification wizard, and attach them exclusively to a Guest. Take into account that you cannot create Clones of a Guest with disks from a Direct Storage attached to it.

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