Dell AX-7525 Owner's Manual


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Dell AX-7525 Owner's Manual | Manualzz

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell

Technologies: End-to-End Deployment with

Scalable Networking

Deployment Guide

Abstract

This end-to-end deployment guide focuses on deploying a scalable hyperconverged infrastructure that is built by using the validated and certified Dell Storage Spaces Direct

Ready Nodes, Microsoft Windows Server, and Azure Stack HCI operating systems. This includes procedures for configuring scalable networking and Day One operations.

Dell Technologies Solutions

Part Number: H19285

December 2022

Notes, cautions, and warnings

NOTE: A NOTE indicates important information that helps you make better use of your product.

CAUTION: A CAUTION indicates either potential damage to hardware or loss of data and tells you how to avoid the problem.

WARNING: A WARNING indicates a potential for property damage, personal injury, or death.

© 2022 - 2022 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Dell Technologies, Dell, and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Contents

Chapter 1: Deployment Introduction.............................................................................................. 7

Document overview............................................................................................................................................................ 7

Audience and scope............................................................................................................................................................ 7

Known issues........................................................................................................................................................................ 8

Chapter 2: Solution Overview........................................................................................................9

Solution introduction...........................................................................................................................................................9

Deployment models.............................................................................................................................................................9

Scalable infrastructure................................................................................................................................................. 9

Single-node cluster.............................................................................................................................................................11

Solution integration and network connectivity............................................................................................................11

Secured-Core.......................................................................................................................................................................11

Chapter 3: Solution Deployment.................................................................................................. 12

Solution deployment introduction.................................................................................................................................. 12

Deployment prerequisites.................................................................................................................................................12

Predeployment configuration.......................................................................................................................................... 13

Configuring network switches.................................................................................................................................. 13

Configuring iDRAC and BIOS.....................................................................................................................................13

Configure QLogic NICs............................................................................................................................................... 14

Operating system deployment........................................................................................................................................ 14

Manual operating system deployment.................................................................................................................... 15

Factory-installed operating system deployment...................................................................................................15

Upgrade using sConfig (Standalone systems)......................................................................................................15

Install roles and features.................................................................................................................................................. 16

Verifying firmware and software compliance with the support matrix.................................................................16

Update out-of-box drivers...............................................................................................................................................16

Change the hostname....................................................................................................................................................... 17

Registry settings.................................................................................................................................................................17

PAL and DPOR registration for Azure Stack...............................................................................................................18

Joining cluster nodes to an Active Directory domain................................................................................................18

Chapter 4: Introduction to network integration............................................................................19

Network integration overview........................................................................................................................................ 19

Configuring host networking.......................................................................................................................................... 20

Chapter 5: Scalable Architecture................................................................................................. 21

Scalable architecture for Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI..............................................................21

Fully converged network configuration........................................................................................................................ 21

Deployment instructions for fully converged network configuration............................................................. 24

Non-converged network configuration........................................................................................................................26

Storage on physical adapters................................................................................................................................... 27

Storage using SET.......................................................................................................................................................32

Contents 3

Chapter 6: Additional guidance for all configurations.................................................................. 36

Enable jumbo frames........................................................................................................................................................ 36

Update network adapter advanced properties.......................................................................................................... 36

RDMA configuration......................................................................................................................................................... 37

VLAN.................................................................................................................................................................................... 37

Chapter 7: Deploying and Configuring a Host Cluster.................................................................. 38

Overview of host clusters............................................................................................................................................... 38

Creating the host cluster...........................................................................................................................................38

Enabling Storage Spaces Direct...............................................................................................................................38

Configuring the host management network as a lower-priority network for live migration..................... 39

Updating the page file settings................................................................................................................................39

Configuring a cluster witness................................................................................................................................... 40

Azure onboarding for Azure Stack HCI operating system................................................................................ 40

Best practices and recommendations.......................................................................................................................... 40

Disable SMB Signing...................................................................................................................................................40

Update the hardware timeout for the Spaces port............................................................................................ 40

Enable jumbo frames.................................................................................................................................................. 40

Recommended next steps............................................................................................................................................... 41

Deployment services......................................................................................................................................................... 41

Chapter 8: References.................................................................................................................42

Dell Technologies documentation..................................................................................................................................42

Microsoft documentation................................................................................................................................................42

Chapter 9: GPU Integration......................................................................................................... 43

Installing and configuring GPUs on AX platforms......................................................................................................43

AX-650 GPU configuration....................................................................................................................................... 43

AX-750 GPU configuration....................................................................................................................................... 43

AX-7525 GPU configuration.....................................................................................................................................44

GPU physical installation............................................................................................................................................44

Deploy GPU devices using Discrete Device Assignment (DDA)............................................................................ 44

Chapter 10: Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI............................................................. 52

Configuring persistent memory for Windows Server HCI....................................................................................... 52

Persistent memory requirements............................................................................................................................ 52

Configuring persistent memory BIOS settings.....................................................................................................53

Configuring Windows Server HCI persistent memory hosts.................................................................................. 54

Managing persistent memory using Windows PowerShell................................................................................55

Chapter 11: Day 1 operations........................................................................................................ 57

Day 1 operations overview.............................................................................................................................................. 57

Known issues......................................................................................................................................................................57

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies overview.....................................................................................57

Deployment guidance....................................................................................................................................................... 58

Azure onboarding for Azure Stack HCI operating system...................................................................................... 59

Creating virtual disks........................................................................................................................................................59

4 Contents

Chapter 12: Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center............................... 60

Overview............................................................................................................................................................................. 60

Install Windows Admin Center....................................................................................................................................... 60

Add the HCI cluster connection..................................................................................................................................... 61

Access the HCI cluster.................................................................................................................................................... 62

View server details............................................................................................................................................................63

View drive details.............................................................................................................................................................. 64

Managing and monitoring volumes............................................................................................................................... 65

Creating volumes in Storage Spaces Direct......................................................................................................... 66

Managing volumes.......................................................................................................................................................67

Enabling data deduplication on Storage Spaces Direct........................................................................................... 67

Monitoring and managing VMs...................................................................................................................................... 67

Managing virtual switches.............................................................................................................................................. 69

Chapter 13: Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center........................................71

Overview.............................................................................................................................................................................. 71

Prerequisites for managing AX nodes........................................................................................................................... 71

Installing the OMIMSWAC license.................................................................................................................................72

Managing Microsoft HCI-based clusters..................................................................................................................... 72

Overview........................................................................................................................................................................72

Prerequisite checks.....................................................................................................................................................73

Health status.................................................................................................................................................................74

Inventory........................................................................................................................................................................74

Locating physical disks and viewing their status................................................................................................. 75

Viewing update compliance and updating the cluster........................................................................................ 75

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Offline Updating................................................................................................................. 76

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Updating for Azure Stack HCI clusters using the OpenManage Integration snap-in..............................................................................................................................................................................77

Updating a standalone node before adding it to the cluster.................................................................................. 78

Secure cluster with Secured-core.................................................................................................................................78

Enabling operating system features.............................................................................................................................. 81

Protect your infrastructure with infrastructure lock................................................................................................82

Enable or disable infrastructure lock...................................................................................................................... 83

Manage CPU cores in Azure Stack HCI clusters ......................................................................................................83

Cluster expansion .............................................................................................................................................................84

Validate and remediate Azure Stack HCI clusters.................................................................................................... 86

View HCP compliance summary.............................................................................................................................. 87

Onboard Dell policies to Azure Arc from Windows Admin Center to manage Azure Stack HCI clusters....88

View recommendations for storage expansion.......................................................................................................... 89

View node level storage configuration details......................................................................................................90

Known issues.......................................................................................................................................................................91

Chapter 14: Updates and maintenance......................................................................................... 93

Annual feature update for an Azure Stack HCI Solution......................................................................................... 93

Recommended methods for feature update.........................................................................................................94

Firmware and driver updates using the manual method..........................................................................................96

Preparing for maintenance operations...................................................................................................................96

Placing an AX node in maintenance mode............................................................................................................ 96

Contents 5

Obtaining the firmware catalog for AX nodes or Ready Nodes using Dell Repository Manager............. 97

Updating the AX node by using iDRAC out of band............................................................................................97

Updating the out-of-box drivers..............................................................................................................................98

Exiting the AX node from maintenance mode......................................................................................................99

Restarting a cluster node or taking a cluster node offline...................................................................................... 99

Expanding the Azure Stack HCI cluster.....................................................................................................................100

Azure Stack HCI node expansion...........................................................................................................................100

Storage Spaces Direct storage expansion............................................................................................................101

Extending volumes.......................................................................................................................................................... 102

Performing AX node recovery...................................................................................................................................... 102

Configuring RAID for operating system drives................................................................................................... 102

Operating system recovery........................................................................................................................................... 104

Manual operating system recovery....................................................................................................................... 104

Factory operating system recovery...................................................................................................................... 105 iDRAC Service Module (iSM) for AX nodes and Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes........................... 105

FullPowerCycle...........................................................................................................................................................105

Index..........................................................................................................................................107

6 Contents

1

Deployment Introduction

Topics:

Document overview

Audience and scope

Known issues

Document overview

This end-to-end deployment guide provides an overview of Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies, guidance on how to integrate solution components, and instructions for preparing and deploying the solution infrastructure. Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies includes:

● Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI (based on Azure Stack HCI operating system)

● Dell HCI Solutions for Microsoft Windows Server (based on Windows Server 2019 or 2022 operating system)

This guide applies only to infrastructure that is built using the validated and certified AX nodes from Dell Technologies and

Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, and the Azure Stack HCI operating system.

Audience and scope

The audience for this document includes systems engineers, field consultants, partner engineering team members, and customers with knowledge about deploying hyperconverged infrastructures (HCIs) with Windows Server 2019, Windows Server

2022, the Azure Stack HCI operating system, Hyper-V, and Storage Spaces Direct. Customers who do not have Volume License agreements with Microsoft can order AX nodes from Dell Technologies with a factory-installed operating system and OEM license or as a bare-metal installation.

An Azure Stack HCI cluster can be deployed in the following ways:

● Dell Technologies Services-led—Certified deployment engineers ensure accuracy, speed, and reduced risk and downtime.

● Customer led—Customers who have the qualified level of technical expertise follow the instructions in this guide.

● Using Windows Admin Center—Deployment services engineers or customers perform the Azure Stack HCI solution deployment using Windows Admin Center.

NOTE: Instructions in this deployment guide are applicable only to:

● The Windows Server 2019 GA build with the latest operating system updates

● The Windows Server 2022 GA build with the latest operating system updates

● The GA operating system builds of the Azure Stack HCI operating system with the latest cumulative update

These instructions are not validated with Windows Server version 1709. AX nodes from Dell Technologies do not support the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel release. Dell Technologies recommends that you update the host operating system with the latest cumulative updates from Microsoft before starting the Azure Stack HCI cluster creation and configuration tasks.

Assumptions

This guide assumes that deployment personnel understand the following technologies and tasks:

● AX nodes from Dell Technologies

● Deploying and configuring BIOS and integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) settings

● Deploying and configuring Windows Server core operating system Hyper-V infrastructure

Deployment Introduction 7

Known issues

Before starting the cluster deployment, see Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI - Known Issues .

8 Deployment Introduction

2

Solution Overview

Topics:

Solution introduction

Deployment models

Single-node cluster

Solution integration and network connectivity

Secured-Core

Solution introduction

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies include various configurations of AX nodes. These AX nodes power the primary compute cluster that is deployed as an HCI. The HCI uses a flexible solution architecture rather than a fixed component design.

For information about supported AX nodes and operating system support for each of the AX nodes, see the Support Matrix for

Microsoft HCI Solutions .

The solutions are available in both hybrid and all-flash configurations. For more information about available configurations, see the AX nodes specification sheet .

Deployment models

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies offer the following types of cluster infrastructure deployments:

● Switchless storage networking

● Scalable infrastructure

● Stretched cluster infrastructure

NOTE: This guide does not provide deployment instructions for stretched cluster infrastructure. For information about this infrastructure, see the Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI: End-to-End Deployment with Stretched

Cluster Infrastructure .

Scalable infrastructure

The scalable offering within Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies encompasses various AX node configurations. In this

Windows Server HCI solution, as many as 16 AX nodes power the primary compute cluster.

The following figure shows one of the flexible solution architectures. It includes the Azure Stack HCI cluster, redundant top-of-rack (ToR) switches, a separate out-of-band (OOB) network, and an existing management infrastructure in the data center.

Solution Overview 9

Figure 1. Scalable solution architecture

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies does not include:

● Management infrastructure components such as a cluster for hosting management virtual machines

● Services such as Microsoft Active Directory, Domain Name System (DNS), and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

● Microsoft System Center components such as Operations Manager (SCOM)

10 Solution Overview

The instructions in this guide do not include deployment of any of these services and components, and they assume that at least an Active Directory domain controller is available in the existing management infrastructure. In a remote office scenario,

Dell Technologies recommends that you deploy either an Active Directory replica or read-only domain controller (RODC) at the remote office. If you are using an RODC at the remote site, connectivity to the central management infrastructure with a writeable domain controller is mandatory during deployment of the Azure Stack HCI cluster.

NOTE: Dell Technologies does not support expansion of a two-node cluster to a larger cluster size. A three-node cluster provides fault-tolerance only for simultaneous failure of a single node and a single drive. If the deployment requires future expansion and better fault tolerance, consider starting with a four-node cluster at a minimum.

NOTE: For recommended server and network switch placement in the racks, port mapping on the top-of-rack (ToR) and

OOB switches, and details about configuring the ToR and OOB switches, see Introduction to network integration

.

This deployment guide provides instructions and PowerShell commands to manually deploy an Azure Stack HCI cluster. For information about configuring host networking and creating an Azure Stack HCI cluster by using System Center Virtual Machine

Manager (VMM), see Preparing and Using SCVMM for Azure Stack HCI Network and Cluster Configuration .

Single-node cluster

Microsoft added a feature to support single-node clusters on the Azure Stack HCI operating system. Single-node clusters are similar to stand-alone Storage Spaces nodes but are delivered as an Azure service. Single-node clusters support all the Azure services that a multi-node Azure Stack HCI cluster supports. On a single-node cluster, there is no automatic provision of failover to another node. A physical disk is the fault domain in a single-node cluster and only a single-tier configuration (All-Flash or

All-NVMe) is supported.

While node-level High Availability cannot be supported on a single-node cluster, you can choose application-level or VM-level replication to maintain High Availability in your infrastructure.

NOTE: For more information about single-node deployment, see Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies: End-to-

End Single-Node Deployment.

NOTE: For single-node guidance from Microsoft for all the known issues, see Using Azure Stack HCI on a single server -

Azure Stack HCI | Microsoft Learn

Solution integration and network connectivity

Each of the variants in Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies supports a specific type of network connectivity. The type of network connectivity determines the solution integration requirements.

● For information about all possible topologies within both fully converged and nonconverged solution integration, including with switchless storage networking and host operating system network configuration, see

Network integration overview

.

● For switchless storage networking, install the server cabling according to the instructions detailed in https:// infohub.delltechnologies.com/t/reference-guide-network-integration-and-host-network-configuration-options-1/ .

● For sample switch configurations for these network connectivity options, see Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solutions from

Dell Technologies: Switch Configurations - RoCE Only (Mellanox Cards) and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solutions from Dell

Technologies: Switch Configurations - iWARP Only (Qlogic Cards) .

Secured-Core

Secured-Core is a Windows Server security feature available in Windows Server 2022 and Azure Stack HCI OS or higher.

Enabling Secured-Core involves modifying BIOS and operating system level settings.

The AX-7525 (with AMD Epic 7xx3 Milan CPUs), AX-650, and AX-750 platforms support the required BIOS settings to enable the Secured-Core feature. Also, each of these platforms ship with the required TPM 2.0 v3 hardware installed from the factory.

You can enable operating system-level settings using Windows Admin Center.

To enable Secured-Core, see Managing and Monitoring the Solution Infrastructure Life Cycle Operations Guide

Solution Overview 11

3

Solution Deployment

Topics:

Solution deployment introduction

Deployment prerequisites

Predeployment configuration

Operating system deployment

Install roles and features

Verifying firmware and software compliance with the support matrix

Update out-of-box drivers

Change the hostname

Registry settings

PAL and DPOR registration for Azure Stack

Joining cluster nodes to an Active Directory domain

Solution deployment introduction

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies can be deployed in the following ways:

● Manual operating system deployment—Begin by manually installing the operating system on AX nodes.

● Factory-installed operating system deployment—Begin with AX nodes that have factory-installed Windows Server 2019 with the Desktop Experience feature or the Azure Stack HCI operating system. The core edition is not available as a factory-installed operating system for Windows Server 2019.

Each deployment method has its own prerequisites, including configuring network switches, as described in this guide.

NOTE: Instructions in this deployment guide are applicable to only the following:

● Windows Server 2016 generally available (GA) build with the latest applicable updates

● Windows Server 2019 GA build

● Azure Stack HCI operating system, version 21H2 or 22H2

● Windows Server 2022

AX nodes from Dell Technologies do not support the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel release. Dell Technologies recommends that you update the host operating system with the latest cumulative updates from Microsoft before starting the cluster creation and configuration tasks.

NOTE: Each task in this deployment guide requires running one or more PowerShell commands. Dell Technologies recommends using these commands to complete the deployment tasks because the UI might not work as expected in some scenarios. For example, the cluster validation UI wizard within the Failover Cluster Manager fails intermittently due to a known issue in the Microsoft code.

Deployment prerequisites

Dell Technologies assumes that the management services that are required for the operating system deployment and cluster configuration are in the existing infrastructure where the Azure Stack HCI cluster is being deployed.

The following table describes the management services:

Table 1. Management services

Management service

Active Directory

Purpose

User authentication

Required/optional

Required

12 Solution Deployment

Table 1. Management services (continued)

Management service

Domain Name System

Purpose

Name resolution

Windows Software Update Service

(WSUS)

Local source for Windows updates

Required/optional

Required

Optional

Predeployment configuration

Before deploying AX nodes, complete the required predeployment configuration tasks.

Complete the following predeployment configuration before deploying the Azure Stack HCI solution.

NOTE: If the cluster has persistent memory devices, preoperating-system deployment configuration, as well as postoperating-system deployment configuration is required. For more information, see

Appendix: Persistent Memory for Azure

Stack HCI .

Configuring network switches

Based on the selected network topology, configure the ToR network switches to enable storage and VM/management traffic.

NOTE: The switchless storage networking deployment model requires configuration of switches that are deployed for host management and OOB traffic only. Storage traffic uses full-mesh connectivity between the nodes.

NOTE: Management network redundancy is a combination of either iDRAC or operating system DNS/IP resolution. Dell

Technologies recommends that you deploy a network topology that supports a dual control plane while sharing a single data plane. Virtual Link Trunking (VLT) is Dell Technologies proprietary technology that provides network resiliency for data I/O.

NOTE: If you are using an All-Flash or All-NVMe solution, it is highly recommended to use 25GbE or above switches for

SMB traffic. Any solution should be sized before taking a decision on bandwidth of SMB switch to be used.

Configuring switch VLT redundancy with Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) provides a virtual floating IP address that any node can reference as a gateway. If a switch fails, the virtual IP address is transferred to a peer switch.

VRRP is an active/standby, first-hop redundancy protocol (FHRP). When used with VLT peers, VRRP becomes an active/active protocol. The VRRP virtual MAC address is the local destination address in the forwarding information base (FIB) table of both

VLT peers. Using this method, the backup VRRP router forwards intercepted frames that have a destination MAC address that matches the VRRP virtual MAC address.

A standard Storage Spaces Direct deployment requires three basic types of networks: OOB management, host management, and storage. The number of network ports (two or four) that are used within the storage configuration determines whether you have two or four fault domains.

For sample switch configurations, see Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies: Switch Configurations –

RoCE Only (Mellanox Cards) and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies: Switch Configurations - iWARP

Only (Qlogic Cards) .

For configuration choices and instructions about different network topologies and host network configuration, see Introduction to network integration

.

Configuring iDRAC and BIOS

The AX nodes are factory-configured with optimized system BIOS and iDRAC settings. This preconfiguration eliminates the need for you to manually configure the settings to a recommended baseline.

The iDRAC in AX nodes can be configured to obtain an IP address from DHCP or can be assigned a static IP address. When the

OOB network in the environment does not provide DHCP IP addresses, you must manually set a static IPv4 address on each iDRAC network interface. You can access the physical server console to set the addresses by using KVM or other means.

Solution Deployment 13

Configure BIOS settings including the IPv4 address for iDRAC

Perform these steps to configure the IPv4 address for iDRAC. You can also perform these steps to configure any additional

BIOS settings.

Steps

1. During the system boot, press F12.

2. At System Setup Main Menu , select iDRAC Settings .

3. Under iDRAC Settings , select Network .

4. Under IPV4 SETTINGS , at Enable IPv4 , select Enabled .

5. Enter the static IPv4 address details.

6. Click Back , and then click Finish .

Configure QLogic NICs

The QLogic FastLinQ 41262 network adapter supports both iWARP and RoCE.

When used with the QLogic network adapters, the AX nodes are validated only with iWARP. Manually configure the adapter to enable iWARP based on the chosen network configuration.

Perform the following steps to configure the QLogic network adapter for each port.

1. During system startup, press F2 to enter System Setup.

2. Click System BIOS and select Device Settings .

3. Select the QLogic network adapter from the list of adapters.

4. Click Device Level Configuration and ensure that Virtualization Mode is set to None .

5. Click Back , and then click NIC Configuration .

6. On the NIC Configuration page, select the following options:

● Link Speed: SmartAN

● NIC + RDMA Mode: Enabled

● RDMA Operational Mode: iWARP

● Boot Protocol: None

● Virtual LAN Mode: Disabled

7. Click Back , and then click Data Center Bridging (DCB) Settings .

8. On the Data Center Bridging (DCB) Settings page, set DCBX Protocol to Disabled .

9. Click Back , click Finish , and then click Yes to save the settings.

10. Click Yes to return to the Device Settings page.

11. Select the second port of the QLogic adapter and repeat the preceding steps.

12. Click Finish to return to the System Setup page.

13. Click Finish to reboot the system.

Operating system deployment

These instructions are for manual deployment of the Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, or

Azure Stack HCI operating system version 21H2 or 22H2 on AX nodes from Dell Technologies. Unless otherwise specified, perform the steps on each physical node in the infrastructure that will be a part of Azure Stack HCI.

NOTE: The steps in the subsequent sections are applicable to either the full operating system or Server Core.

NOTE: The command output that is shown in the subsequent sections might show only Mellanox ConnectX-4 LX adapters as physical adapters. The output is shown only as an example.

14 Solution Deployment

Manual operating system deployment

Dell Lifecycle Controller and iDRAC provide operating system deployment options. Options include manual installation or unattended installation by using virtual media and the operating system deployment feature in Lifecycle Controller for Windows

Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, and Azure Stack HCI operating system version 21H2 or 22H2.

A step-by-step procedure for deploying the operating system is not within the scope of this guide.

This guide assumes that:

● Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, or Azure Stack HCI operating system version 21H2 or

22H2 installation on the physical server is complete.

● You have access to the iDRAC virtual console of the physical server.

NOTE: For information about installing the operating system using the iDRAC virtual media feature, see the Using the

Virtual Media function on iDRAC 6, 7, 8 and 9 Dell Knowledge Base article.

NOTE: The Azure Stack HCI operating system is based on Server Core and does not have the full user interface. For more information about using the Server Configuration tool (Sconfig), see Deploy the Azure Stack HCI operating system

Microsoft article.

Factory-installed operating system deployment

If the cluster nodes are shipped from Dell Technologies with a preinstalled operating system, complete the out-of-box experience (OOBE):

● Select language and locale settings.

● Accept the Microsoft and OEM EULAs.

● Set up a password for the local administrator account.

● Update the operating system partition size, and shrink it as needed.

NOTE: Partition size adjustment is not available with the factory-installed Azure Stack HCI operating system.

The OEM operating system is preactivated and the Hyper-V role is predeployed for Windows Server 2019/2022. After completing the OOBE steps, perform the steps in

Install roles and features

to complete the cluster deployment and Storage

Spaces Direct configuration. For the Azure Stack HCI operating system, roles and features are preinstalled.

The Azure Stack HCI operating system factory image has multilingual support for these languages: English, German, French,

Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Polish, and Italian. To change language:

● Run the following PowerShell commands. <LANGUAGE> can be en-US, fr-FR, ja-JP, ko-KR, de-DE, pl-PL, it-IT, or es-ES.

○ Set-WinUserLanguageList <LANGUAGE>

○ Set-WinSystemLocale -systemlocale <LANGUAGE>

● Reboot after running the commands.

NOTE: For all of the languages except Polish, the main screen changes to the appropriate font. For Polish, the English font is used.

If you purchased a license for a secondary operation system to run your virtual machines, the VHD file is located in the

C:\Dell_OEM\VM folder. Copy this VHD file to a virtual disk in your Azure Stack HCI cluster and create virtual machines using this VHD.

NOTE: Do not run your virtual machine with the VHD file residing on the BOSS device (for example, c:\ ). It should always be on c:\clusterstorage\<VD1>

Upgrade using sConfig (Standalone systems)

Using a sconfig menu (Server Configuration from command prompt), you can update the servers one at a time. Customers who receive HCI OS 21H2 can update to 22H2 using this method so that a cluster can be created on 22H2 without having to upgrade after cluster creation.

Steps

1. On the sconfig menu, select option 6 and update all quality updates.

Solution Deployment 15

2. Once all quality updates are completed, go to Feature Updates on the sconfig menu and perform an OS upgrade from

21H2 to 22H2. After completing the OS upgrade, perform step 1 to install all the quality updates for 21H2 and 22H2. You may have to run this multiple times to get to the latest cumulative update.

3. Use Windows Admin Center to update each node to the latest hardware support matrix. See Dell Integrated System for

Microsoft Azure Stack HCI: End-to-End Deployment - Cluster Creation Using Windows Admin Center .

4. When the operating system on all nodes is updated to the latest CU of21H2 or 22H2, you may go to creating the cluster using PowerShell or Windows Admin Center.

Install roles and features

Deployment and configuration of a Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, or Azure Stack HCI operating system version 21H2 or 22H2 cluster requires enabling specific operating system roles and features.

Enable the following roles and features:

● Hyper-V service (not required if the operating system is factory-installed)

● Failover clustering

● Data center bridging (DCB) (required only when implementing fully converged network topology with RoCE and when implementing DCB for the fully converged topology with iWARP)

● BitLocker (optional)

● File Server (optional)

● FS-Data-Deduplication module (optional)

● RSAT-AD-PowerShell module (optional)

Enable these features by running the Install-WindowsFeature PowerShell cmdlet:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Hyper-V, Failover-Clustering, Data-Center-Bridging, BitLocker,

FS-FileServer, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, FS-Data-Deduplication -IncludeAllSubFeature

-IncludeManagementTools -verbose

NOTE: Install the storage-replica feature if Azure Stack HCI operating system is being deployed for a stretched cluster.

NOTE: Hyper-V and the optional roles installation require a system restart. Because subsequent procedures also require a

restart, the required restarts are combined into one (see the Note in the "Changing the hostname"

section).

Verifying firmware and software compliance with the support matrix

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies are validated and certified with certain firmware versions that are related to the solution infrastructure components.

Use the validated firmware and software, as specified in the support matrix , to ensure that the solution infrastructure remains supported and delivers optimal performance.

You can verify compliance and update the nodes with an Azure Stack HCI online or offline catalog by using Dell OpenManage

Integration with Windows Admin Center. To verify compliance and to update firmware and drivers on a standalone node, see the

Day 1 operations overview

.

Update out-of-box drivers

For certain system components, you might have to update the driver to the latest Dell Technologies supported version.

About this task

NOTE: This section is optional if you are using OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center to update the nodes.

16 Solution Deployment

Steps

1. Depending on the platform, many devices may not automatically be recognized with in-box drivers. Install the proper Intel or

AMD chipset drivers.

2. Run the following PowerShell command to retrieve a list of all driver versions that are installed on the local system:

Get-PnpDevice | Select-Object Name, @{l='DriverVersion';e={(Get-PnpDeviceProperty -

InstanceId $_.InstanceId -KeyName 'DEVPKEY_Device_DriverVersion').Data}} -Unique |

Where-Object {($_.Name -like "*HBA*") -or ($_.Name -like "*mellanox*") -or ($_.Name

-like "*Qlogic*") -or ($_.Name -like "*X710*") -or

($_.Name -like "*Broadcom*") -or

($_.Name -like "*marvell*")

3. Update the out-of-box drivers to the required versions, if necessary.

For the latest Dell Technologies supported versions of system components, see the Support Matrix for Microsoft HCI

Solutions .

Download the driver installers from https://www.dell.com/support or by using the Dell Azure Stack HCI Solution Catalog .

4. Attach a folder containing the driver DUP files to the system as a virtual media image: a. In the iDRAC virtual console menu, click Virtual Media .

b. In the Create Image from Folder window, click Create Image .

c. Click Browse , select the folder where the driver DUP files are stored, and, if required, change the name of the image.

d. Click Create Image .

e. Click Finish .

f. From the Virtual Media menu, select Connect Virtual Media .

g. Select Map Removable Disk , click Browse , and select the image that you created.

h. Click Map Device .

After the image is mapped, it appears as a drive in the host operating system.

5. Go to the driver DUP files and run them to install the updated out-of-box drivers.

Change the hostname

By default, the operating system deployment assigns a random name as the host computer name. For easier identification and uniform configuration, Dell Technologies recommends that you change the hostname to something that is relevant and easily identifiable.

Change the hostname by using the Rename-Computer cmdlet:

Rename-Computer -NewName S2DNode01 -Restart

NOTE: This command induces an automatic restart at the end of rename operation.

Registry settings

NOTE: This registry key procedure only applies if the operating system is Azure Stack HCI OS. It does not apply for

Windows Server OS (WS2019 or WS2022).

● Azure Stack HCI OS is available in multiple languages. You can download the ISO file of Azure Stack HCI OS (in any language) from Microsoft | Azure Stack HCI software download .

● After installing Azure Stack HCI OS on an AX node, you must perform the following registry configuration before Azure onboarding to ensure the node gets identified as one sold by Dell.

● PowerShell commands:

New-ItemProperty "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OEMInformation"

-name SupportProvider -value DellEMC

To verify "DellEMC" is successfully entered into the registry, run the following command:

(get-itemproperty "HKLM:

\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OEMInformation").SupportProvider

Solution Deployment 17

Figure 2. Registry settings

PAL and DPOR registration for Azure Stack

Partner Admin Link (PAL) and Digital Partner of Record (DPOR) are customer association mechanisms used by Microsoft to measure the value a partner delivers to Microsoft by driving customer adoption of Microsoft Cloud services.

Currently, Dell Azure projects that are not associated through either of these mechanisms are not visible to Microsoft and, therefore, Dell does not get credit. Dell technical representatives should attempt to set both PAL and DPOR, with PAL being the priority.

To register the PAL or DPOR for the Azure Stack system, refer to PAL and DPOR Registration for Azure Stack under

Deployment Procedures in the Azure Stack HCI generator in SolVe.

Joining cluster nodes to an Active Directory domain

Before you can create a cluster, the cluster nodes must be a part of an Active Directory domain.

NOTE: Connecting to Active Directory Domain Services by using the host management network might require routing to the Active Directory network. Ensure that this routing is in place before joining cluster nodes to the domain.

You can perform the domain join task by running the Add-Computer cmdlet on each host that will be a part of the Azure Stack

HCI cluster.

NOTE: Optionally, you can add all newly created computer objects from the cluster deployment to a different

Organizational Unit (OU) in Active Directory Domain Services. In this case, you can use the -OUPath parameter along with the Add-Computer cmdlet.

$credential = Get-Credential

Add-Computer -DomainName S2dlab.local -Credential $credential -Restart

NOTE: This command induces an automatic restart at the end of the domain join operation.

18 Solution Deployment

4

Introduction to network integration

Topics:

Network integration overview

Configuring host networking

Network integration overview

Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI encompasses various configurations of the following platforms to power the primary compute cluster that is deployed as Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI):

● AX-640

● AX-650

● AX-740xd

● AX-750

● AX-6515

● AX-7525

These configurations use a flexible architecture rather than a fixed component design. This flexibility in component choice provides different options for integrating the server nodes as a solution and in the host network configuration.

Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI can be deployed in two different usage models:

● The scalable model supports from one to 16 nodes in a cluster, and uses top-of-rack switches for management and storage traffic networking.

● The switchless storage usage model uses full mesh connections between the cluster nodes for storage traffic and supports from two to four nodes in a cluster.

Host management and storage networking in each usage model can be implemented in different ways:

● The scalable model supports fully converged, non-converged physical, and non-converged Switch-Embedded Teaming (SET) storage options.

● The switchless storage networking model supports single-link full mesh and dual-link full mesh topologies.

A detailed description of these different topologies across usage models is available in subsequent sections.

The following figure shows the network integration options available based on Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI:

Introduction to network integration 19

Figure 3. Network integration options

This guide describes the complete list of integration options for the scalable storage usage model, host operating system configuration options, and provides PowerShell commands to complete the host operating system network configuration.

The following documents provide instructions to configure top-of-rack networking switches:

● Switch Configurations – RoCE Only (Mellanox Cards) Reference Guide

● Switch Configurations – iWARP Only (QLogic Cards) Reference Guide

This guide provides an overview of the topology and deployment instructions for the scalable integration option.

Configuring host networking

Configure Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies to implement a fully converged or nonconverged network for storage and management connectivity.

Complete the following steps to configure host networking:

1. Create VM switches (based on topology).

2. Create VM adapters, and configure VLANs and IP addresses.

3. Map the VM storage adapters (based on topology).

4. Enable RDMA for the storage adapters.

5. Change RDMA settings on the QLogic NICs.

6. Configure the QoS policy.

7. Disable the DCBX Willing state in the operating system.

NOTE: Dell Technologies recommends implementing a nonconverged network and using physical network adapters for the storage traffic rather than using SET. However, in a nonconverged configuration, if virtual machine adapters must have

RDMA capability, SET configuration is necessary for storage adapters.

For more information about each of the preceding steps and all possible topologies within both fully converged and nonconverged solution integration and host operating system network configuration, see

Introduction to network integration

.

NOTE: The host operating system network configuration must be complete before you join cluster nodes to the Active

Directory domain.

NOTE: Steps on the configuration of RDMA adapters do not apply to single node clusters.

20 Introduction to network integration

5

Scalable Architecture

Topics:

Scalable architecture for Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI

Fully converged network configuration

Non-converged network configuration

Scalable architecture for Dell Solutions for Microsoft

Azure Stack HCI

The Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI scalable architectures support from two to 16 nodes in a cluster. The scalable architectures support fully converged and non-converged network topologies.

Dell Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI consists of two top-of-rack network switches that implement SET and connect the nodes to two separate network switches for high availability.

When you use Remote Direct Memory Access over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), configure data center bridging (DCB) in both fully converged and non-converged topologies. DCB provides enhancements to the Ethernet protocol, which improves the functionality of data center networks. To take advantage of the Mellanox RoCE network adapters, Priority Flow Control

(PFC) and Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS) are required. PFC and ETS must be configured on all nodes and all network switches interconnecting the nodes.

Fully converged network configuration

The following figure depicts the integration of the fully converged architecture.

Scalable Architecture 21

Figure 4. Fully converged network topology with two NIC ports

The following figure depicts the fully converged network topology with four NIC ports.

22 Scalable Architecture

Figure 5. Fully converged network topology with four NIC ports

In the fully converged network topology, all storage ports from the server are connected to the same network fabric. In the host operating system, the NIC ports are used for both storage and management/VM traffic. The following figure shows this configuration in the host operating system.

Figure 6. Host operating system network configuration in fully converged topology with two NIC ports

Scalable Architecture 23

In this host operating system network configuration, a SET is created with two or four physical ports and virtual adapters in the host operating system that is implemented for Storage 1, Storage 2, and Management traffic.

NOTE: The number of virtual storage adapters in the host operating system must match the number of physical ports in the

SET.

The following figure depicts using four NIC ports for the Switch-Embedded Team in a fully converged topology.

Figure 7. Host operating system network configuration in fully converged topology with four NIC ports

The storage adapters in this configuration can use either one, two, or four VLANs.

Deployment instructions for fully converged network configuration

This section provides the PowerShell commands to configure the fully converged network topology in which a single SET switch is used for both storage and management/VM traffic.

$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'

#region Variables for the scenario

# You must specify 2 or 4 network adapter port names

$netAdapterName = @('SLOT 2 PORT 1','SLOT 2 PORT 2')

$switchName = 'S2DSwitch'

# Management Adapter Parameters

$managementAdapterName = 'Management'

# VLAN ID for host management traffic; if no VLAN is preferred set this to 0

$managementVlanId = 102

# Management Gateway address

$managementGateway = '172.16.102.1'

# DNS server address

$managementDns = '172.16.102.2'

# Set this to a string 'DHCP' for a dynamic IP address

$managementIPAddress = '172.16.102.51'

24 Scalable Architecture

# Management address prefix (24 translates to subnet mask 255.255.255.0)

$managementAddressPrefix = 24

# Storage Adapter Parameters

$storageAdapterPrefix = 'Storage'

# You must specify 1 or 2 or 4 VLANIDs

# You can use 0 as the value if you don't want to use VLANs for storage traffic

$storageVlanId = @(103,104)

# You must specify 2 or 4 IP Addresses

# DHCP as a value is accepted if you want dynamically assigned IP addresses

$storageIPAddress = @('171.16.103.51','172.16.104.51')

# You can specify 1 or 2 or 4 prefix length values

$StorageAddressPrefix = @(24)

#endregion

## Create a VM switch for management and Storage traffic

$null = New-VMSwitch -Name $switchName -AllowManagementOS 0 -NetAdapterName

$netAdapterName -Verbose

## Add VM Network Adapters and configure VLANs and IP addresses as needed

### Management Adapter

$managementAdapter = Add-VMNetworkAdapter -SwitchName $SwitchName -ManagementOS

-Passthru -Name $managementAdapterName -Verbose if ($managementVlanId -and ($managementVlanId -ne 0))

{

Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -VMNetworkAdapter $managementAdapter -Access -VlanId

$managementVlanId -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

} if ($ManagementIPAddress -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($managementAdapterName)"

-IPAddress $managementIPAddress -DefaultGateway $managementGateway -PrefixLength

$managementAddressPrefix -Verbose

Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($managementAdapterName)"

-ServerAddresses $managementDns -Verbose

}

### Storage Adapters for ($i = 0; $i -lt $netAdapterName.Count; $i++)

{

$storageAdapterName = "${storageAdapterPrefix}$($i+1)"

# if there is a single VLAN for storage use the first and only element

if ($storageVlanId.Count -eq 1)

{

$storageVlan = $storageVlanId[0]

}

else

{

# else use the right index to get the VLAN ID

$storageVlan = $storageVlanId[$i]

}

# Check if only one prefix is provided

if ($StorageAddressPrefix.Count -eq 1)

{

$StoragePrefix = $StorageAddressPrefix[0]

}

else

{

# if more than one, use the right index to get the address prefix

$StoragePrefix = $StorageAddressPrefix[$i]

}

$storageAdapter = Add-VMNetworkAdapter -SwitchName $SwitchName -ManagementOS

Scalable Architecture 25

-Passthru -Name $storageAdapterName -Verbose

if ($storageVlan -and ($storageVlan -ne 0))

{

# Set VM Network adapter VLAN only if the VLAN ID specified is other than 0

Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -VMNetworkAdapter $storageAdapter -Access -VlanId

$storageVlan -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

}

if ($StorageIPAddress[$i] -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($storageAdapterName)"

-IPAddress $StorageIPAddress[$i] -PrefixLength $StoragePrefix -Verbose

}

## Set VMnetwork adapter to Physical adapter mapping

Set-VMNetworkAdapterTeamMapping -VMNetworkAdapterName $storageAdapterName –

ManagementOS –PhysicalNetAdapterName $netAdapterName[$i]

}

Non-converged network configuration

In the non-converged network configurations, storage traffic is separated from management/VM traffic using dedicated storage network adapters. The following figure depicts this network integration option.

Figure 8. Network integration in a non-converged configuration with two NIC ports

26 Scalable Architecture

The following figure depicts using four NIC ports for storage in a non-converged topology.

Figure 9. Network integration in a non-converged configuration with four NIC ports

In the non-converged configuration, storage traffic can either be on the physical ports or implemented as virtual adapters in the host operating system that is connected to a Switch-Embedded Team.

Storage on physical adapters

In the non-converged configuration, Dell Technologies recommends the following:

● Storage traffic is on the physical storage network adapter ports.

● Management/VM traffic goes through a SET that is created using network ports of the server rNDC.

The following figure depicts this configuration.

Scalable Architecture 27

Figure 10. Storage on physical links in a non-converged topology with two NIC ports

The following figure depicts the non-converged topology with four NIC ports that are used as physical adapters.

Figure 11. Storage on physical links in a non-converged topology with four NIC ports

There are two different variants of the non-converged topology with storage on physical adapters.

28 Scalable Architecture

In the first variant, one port per network adapter is used for the physical storage links and the rest of the 25 GbE ports from each NIC are used for management/VM traffic. The following figure depicts this host operating system network configuration.

This topology is useful in scenarios where you require higher bandwidth for VMs without compromising on bandwidth for storage traffic.

Figure 12. Non-converged topology with storage and management using 25 GbE network ports

The second variant is similar to the configuration depicted in Figure 9

but adds mandatory bandwidth weight configuration on the host management VM switch and an additional virtual adapter in the host operating system for backup traffic. The following figure depicts this host operating system network configuration.

Scalable Architecture 29

Figure 13. Non-converged topology with additional backup virtual adapter and bandwidth shaping

Bandwidth shaping is necessary to ensure that there is no contention between different traffic classes going through the same

VM switch and that every traffic class gets its fair share of bandwidth.

In the non-converged topology with storage on physical ports, there is no SET or native team created for storage traffic. The physical adapter ports in the host operating system are configured with the VLAN and IP configuration that is needed for storage communication across nodes in the cluster.

Deployment instructions for non-converged network configuration

This section provides the PowerShell commands to configure the non-converged network topology in which the physical links are used for storage traffic and a SET is implemented for management/VM traffic. The following instructions are applicable to all three variants of topologies shown in

Figure 9 , Figure 10

,

Figure 11

, and

Figure 12 .

$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'

#region Variables for the scenario

## Optional bandwidth shaping parameters. Change the values to suit your

$defaultFlowMinimumBandwidthWeight = 50

$backupBandwidthWeight = 40

$managementBandwidthWeight = 10

## Backup Adapter (Optional)

$backupAdapterName = 'Backup'

# VLAN ID for backup traffic; if no VLAN is preferred set this to 0

$backupVlanId = 100

30 Scalable Architecture

# Set this to a string 'DHCP' for a dynamic IP address

$backupIPAddress = '172.16.105.51'

# Backup network address prefix (24 translates to subnet mask 255.255.255.0)

$backupAddressPrefix = 24

## Management Adapter

$ManagementSwitchName = 'Management'

$ManagementNetAdapterName = @('NIC1','NIC2')

$ManagementAdapterName = 'Management'

# VLAN ID for host management traffic; if no VLAN is preferred set this to 0

$ManagementVlanId = 102

# Management Gateway address

$ManagementGateway = '172.16.102.1'

# DNS Server Address

$ManagementDns = '172.16.102.2'

# Set this to a string 'DHCP' for a dynamic IP address

$ManagementIPAddress = '172.16.102.51'

# Management address prefix (24 translates to subnet mask 255.255.255.0)

$ManagementAddressPrefix = 24

## Storage Adapters

### You must specify 2 or 4 network adapter port names

$StorageNetAdapterName = @('SLOT 2 PORT 1', 'SLOT 2 PORT 2')

### You must specify 1 or 2 or 4 VLANIDs

### Specify 0 if you want the network not tagged with any VLAN

$StorageVlanId = @(103, 104)

### You must specify 2 or 4 IP Addresses

### DHCP as a value is accepted if you want dynamically assigned IP addresses

$StorageIPAddress = @('172.16.103.51', '172.16.104.51')

### You can specify 1 or 2 or 4 prefix length values (24 translates to subnet mask

255.255.255.0)

$StorageAddressPrefix = @(24)

#endregion

## Create a VM switch for management

$null = New-VMSwitch -Name $ManagementSwitchName -AllowManagementOS 0 -NetAdapterName

$ManagementNetAdapterName -MinimumBandwidthMode Weight -Verbose

## Add VM Network Adapters and configure VLANs and IP addresses as needed

### Configure Management Adapter

$managementAdapter = Add-VMNetworkAdapter -SwitchName $ManagementSwitchName

-ManagementOS -Passthru -Name $ManagementAdapterName -Verbose if ($ManagementVlanId -and ($ManagementVlanId -ne 0))

{

# Set VM Network adapter VLAN only if the VLAN ID specified is other than 0

Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -VMNetworkAdapter $managementAdapter -Access -VlanId

$ManagementVlanId -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

} if ($ManagementIPAddress -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($ManagementAdapterName)"

-IPAddress $ManagementIPAddress -DefaultGateway $ManagementGateway -PrefixLength

$ManagementAddressPrefix -Verbose

Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($ManagementAdapterName)"

-ServerAddresses $ManagementDns -Verbose

}

### Configure Backup Adapter

$backupAdapter = Add-VMNetworkAdapter -SwitchName $ManagementSwitchName -ManagementOS

Scalable Architecture 31

-Passthru -Name $backupAdapterName -Verbose if ($backupVlanId -and ($backupVlanId -ne 0))

{

# Set VM Network adapter VLAN only if the VLAN ID specified is other than 0

Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -VMNetworkAdapter $backupAdapter -Access -VlanId

$backupVlanId -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

} if ($backupIPAddress -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($backupAdapterName)" -IPAddress

$backupIPAddress -PrefixLength $backupAddressPrefix -Verbose

}

### Management and backup adapter optional configuration

Set-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name $ManagementAdapterName -MinimumBandwidthWeight

$managementBandwidthWeight

Set-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name $backupAdapterName -MinimumBandwidthWeight

$backupBandwidthWeight

Set-VMSwitch -Name $ManagementSwitchName -DefaultFlowMinimumBandwidthWeight

$defaultFlowMinimumBandwidthWeight

### Configure storage adapters for ($i = 0; $i -lt $StorageNetAdapterName.Count; $i++)

{

# if there is a single VLAN for storage use the first and only element

if ($storageVlanId.Count -eq 1)

{

$storageVlan = $storageVlanId[0]

}

else

{

# else use the right index to get the VLAN ID

$storageVlan = $storageVlanId[$i]

}

# Check if only one prefix is provided

if ($StorageAddressPrefix.Count -eq 1)

{

$StoragePrefix = $StorageAddressPrefix[0]

}

else

{

# if more than one, use the right index to get the address prefix

$StoragePrefix = $StorageAddressPrefix[$i]

}

if ($storageVlan -and ($storageVlan -ne 0))

{

# Set VM Network adapter VLAN only if the VLAN ID specified is other than 0

Set-NetAdapterAdvancedProperty -Name $StorageNetAdapterName[$i] -DisplayName

'VLAN ID' -DisplayValue $storageVlan -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

}

if ($StorageIPAddress[$i] -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias $StorageNetAdapterName[$i] -IPAddress

$StorageIPAddress[$i] -PrefixLength $StoragePrefix -Verbose

}

}

Storage using SET

In the second host operating system network configuration option within a non-converged topology, the storage traffic uses virtual adapters in the host operating system connected to a SET.

32 Scalable Architecture

Figure 14. Storage on SET in a non-converged topology with two NIC ports

The following figure depicts storage on SET with four NIC ports.

Figure 15. Storage on SET in a non-converged topology with four NIC ports

As shown in

Figure 13 and Figure 14

, different SET switches get implemented for storage and management/VM traffic.

Scalable Architecture 33

Deployment instructions for storage using SET

This section provides the PowerShell commands to configure the non-converged network topology in which the SET switches are used for both storage traffic management/VM traffic.

$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'

#region Variables for the scenario

## Management Adapter

$ManagementSwitchName = 'Management'

$ManagementNetAdapterName = @('NIC1','NIC2')

$ManagementAdapterName = 'Management'

# VLAN ID for host management traffic; if no VLAN is preferred set this to 0

$ManagementVlanId = 102

# Management Gateway Addreess

$ManagementGateway = '172.16.102.1'

# DNS Server Address

$ManagementDns = '172.16.102.2'

# Set this to a string 'DHCP' for a dynamic IP address

$ManagementIPAddress = '172.16.102.51'

# Management address prefix (24 translates to subnet mask 255.255.255.0)

$ManagementAddressPrefix = 24

## Storage Adapters

$storageSwitchName = 'Storage'

### You must specify 2 or 4 network adapter port names

$StorageNetAdapterName = @('SLOT 2 PORT 1', 'SLOT 2 PORT 2')

### You must specify 1 or 2 or 4 VLANIDs

### Specify 0 if you want the network not tagged with any VLAN

$StorageVlanId = @(103, 104)

### You must specify 2 or 4 IP Addresses

### DHCP as a value is accepted if you want dynamically assigned IP addresses

$StorageIPAddress = @('172.16.103.51', '172.16.104.51')

### You can specify 1 or 2 or 4 prefix length values (24 translates to subnet mask

255.255.255.0)

$StorageAddressPrefix = @(24)

#endregion

# Add VM Network Adapters and configure VLANs and IP addresses as needed

## Management Adapter

### Management VM Switch

$null = New-VMSwitch -Name $ManagementSwitchName -AllowManagementOS 0 -NetAdapterName

$ManagementNetAdapterName -MinimumBandwidthMode Weight -Verbose

$managementAdapter = Add-VMNetworkAdapter -SwitchName $ManagementSwitchName

-ManagementOS -Passthru -Name $ManagementAdapterName -Verbose if ($ManagementVlanId -and ($ManagementVlanId -ne 0))

{

# Set VM Network adapter VLAN only if the VLAN ID specified is other than 0

Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -VMNetworkAdapter $managementAdapter -Access -VlanId

$ManagementVlanId -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

} if ($ManagementIPAddress -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($ManagementAdapterName)"

-IPAddress $ManagementIPAddress -DefaultGateway $ManagementGateway -PrefixLength

$ManagementAddressPrefix -Verbose

Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($ManagementAdapterName)"

-ServerAddresses $ManagementDns -Verbose

}

34 Scalable Architecture

## Storage Adapters

### Storage VM Switch

$null = New-VMSwitch -Name $StorageSwitchName -AllowManagementOS 0 -NetAdapterName

$StorageNetAdapterName -Verbose

## Add VM Network adapters and configure VLANs and IP addresses as needed

### Configure storage adapters for ($i = 0; $i -lt $StorageNetAdapterName.Count; $i++)

{

$storageAdapterName = "${storageAdapterPrefix}$($i+1)"

# if there is a single VLAN for storage use the first and only element

if ($storageVlanId.Count -eq 1)

{

$storageVlan = $storageVlanId[0]

}

else

{

# else use the right index to get the VLAN ID

$storageVlan = $storageVlanId[$i]

}

# Check if only one prefix is provided

if ($StorageAddressPrefix.Count -eq 1)

{

$StoragePrefix = $StorageAddressPrefix[0]

}

else

{

# if more than one, use the right index to get the address prefix

$StoragePrefix = $StorageAddressPrefix[$i]

}

$storageAdapter = Add-VMNetworkAdapter -SwitchName $storageSwitchName -ManagementOS

-Passthru -Name $storageAdapterName -Verbose

if ($storageVlan -and ($storageVlan -ne 0))

{

# Set VM Network adapter VLAN only if the VLAN ID specified is other than 0

Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -VMNetworkAdapter $storageAdapter -Access -VlanId

$storageVlan -Verbose

Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

}

if ($StorageIPAddress[$i] -ne 'DHCP')

{

$null = New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet ($storageAdapterName)"

-IPAddress $StorageIPAddress[$i] -PrefixLength $StoragePrefix -Verbose

}

## Set VMnetwork adapter to Physical adapter mapping

Set-VMNetworkAdapterTeamMapping -VMNetworkAdapterName $storageAdapterName –

ManagementOS –PhysicalNetAdapterName $netAdapterName[$i]

}

Scalable Architecture 35

6

Additional guidance for all configurations

This section provides guidance that applies to all configurations described in this guide.

Topics:

Enable jumbo frames

Update network adapter advanced properties

RDMA configuration

VLAN

Enable jumbo frames

Enabling jumbo frames specifically on the interfaces supporting the storage network might help improve the overall read/write performance of the Azure Stack HCI cluster. An end-to-end configuration of jumbo frames is required to take advantage of this technology. However, support for jumbo frame sizes varies among software, NIC, and switch vendors. The lowest value within the data path determines the maximum frame size that is used for that path.

Card

Mellanox CX5/CX6

Qlogic 41262

Maximum frame size supported

9614 bytes

9614 bytes

For the storage network adapters in the host operating system, enable jumbo frames by running the Set-

NetworkAdapterAdvancedProperty cmdlet.

NOTE: Network adapters from different vendors support different jumbo packet sizes. The configured value must be consistent across the host operating system and network switch configuration.

For information about configuring jumbo frames at the switch port level, see Sample Network Switch Configuration Files .

Update network adapter advanced properties

QLogic 41262 NICs are configured to use iWARP. However, the operating system driver defaults to RoCEv2 for RDMA.

Configure Mellanox NICs to ensure that the DcbxMode property is set to Host in charge .

The following commands update these advanced properties based on the network adapter type.

$StorageAdapters = @('SLOT 1 PORT 1','SLOT 1 PORT 2')

ForEach ($port in $StorageAdapters)

{

$adapterProperties = Get-NetAdapterAdvancedProperty -Name $port -AllProperties

$driverDesc = $adapterProperties.Where({$_.RegistryKeyword -eq

'DriverDesc'}).RegistryValue

if ($driverDesc -like "*Mellanox*")

{

# For Windows Server 22 and 21H2 installations.

Get-NetAdapter $port | Set-NetAdapterAdvancedProperty -DisplayName

"NetworkDirect Technology" -DisplayValue "RoCEv2"

# Check if the DcbxMode property exists

if ($adapterProperties.Where({$_.DisplayName -eq 'DcbxMode'}))

{

Set-NetAdapterAdvancedProperty -Name $port -DisplayName 'DcbxMode'

-DisplayValue 'Host In Charge'

}

#Set NetworkDirect Technology to RoCEv2

36 Additional guidance for all configurations

if ((Get-ComputerInfo).OSDisplayVersion -like "*21H2*") {

Get-NetAdapter $port | Set-NetAdapterAdvancedProperty -DisplayName

"NetworkDirect Technology" -DisplayValue "RoCEv2"

}

}

elseif ($driverDesc -like "*Qlogic*")

{

# Check if the NetworkDirect Technology property exists

if ($adapterProperties.Where({$_.DisplayName -eq 'NetworkDirect Technology'}))

{

Set-NetAdapterAdvancedProperty -Name $port -DisplayName 'NetworkDirect

Technology' -DisplayValue 'iWarp'

}

}

}

RDMA configuration

Storage Spaces Direct hyper-converged Infrastructures with Mellanox ConnectX-4 LX, Mellanox ConnectX-5, Mellanox

ConnectX-6 DX, and QLogic FastLinQ 41262 adapters use converged network design and RDMA for storage traffic.

It is important to ensure that the physical and virtual adapters used for storage traffic have RDMA enabled.

# Variables for the scenario

$StorageAdaptersAll = @('SLOT 1 PORT 1','SLOT 1 PORT 2','vEthernet

(Storage1)','vEthernet (Storage2)')

Enable-NetAdapterRdma -Name $StorageAdaptersAll

VLAN

Table 2. VLAN information

Traffic class

Backup

Out of Band

Host Management

Storage 1

Storage 2

Storage 3

Storage 4

Purpose

Used for backup traffic

Used for OOB management of nodes and ToR switches

Management of cluster and cluster nodes

SMB traffic

102

103

104 SMB traffic

SMB traffic

SMB traffic

VLAN ID

100

N/A

105

106

Untagged/Tagged

Untagged/Tagged

Untagged

Untagged/Tagged

Untagged/Tagged

Untagged/Tagged

Untagged/Tagged

Untagged/Tagged

Additional guidance for all configurations 37

7

Deploying and Configuring a Host Cluster

Topics:

Overview of host clusters

Best practices and recommendations

Recommended next steps

Deployment services

Overview of host clusters

After joining the cluster nodes to an Active Directory domain, you can create a host cluster and configure it for Storage Spaces

Direct.

Creating the host cluster

Verify that the nodes are ready for cluster creation, and then create the host cluster.

Steps

1. Run the Test-Cluster cmdlet:

Test-Cluster -Node S2Dnode01, S2DNode02, S2dNode03, S2dNode04 –Include 'Storage Spaces

Direct', 'Inventory', 'Network', 'System Configuration'

The Test-Cluster cmdlet generates an HTML report of all performed validations and includes a summary of the validations. Review this report before creating a cluster.

2. Run the Get-PhysicalDisk command on all cluster nodes.

Verify the output to ensure that all disks are in the healthy state and that the nodes have an equal number of disks. Verify that the nodes have homogenous hardware configuration.

3. Run the New-Cluster cmdlet to create the host cluster.

NOTE: For the -IgnoreNetwork parameter, specify all storage network subnets as arguments. Switchless configuration requires that all storage network subnets are provided as arguments to the -IgnoreNetwork parameter.

New-Cluster -Name S2DSystem -Node S2Dnode01, S2DNode02, S2dNode03, S2dNode04

-StaticAddress 172.16.102.55 -NoStorage

In this command, the StaticAddress parameter is used to specify an IP address for the cluster in the same IP subnet as the host management network. The NoStorage switch parameter specifies that the cluster is to be created without any shared storage.

The New-Cluster cmdlet generates an HTML report of all performed configurations and includes a summary of the configurations. Review the report before enabling Storage Spaces Direct.

Enabling Storage Spaces Direct

After you create the cluster, run the Enable-ClusterS2D cmdlet to configure Storage Spaces Direct on the cluster. Do not run the cmdlet in a remote session; instead, use the local console session.

Run the Enable-ClusterS2d cmdlet as follows:

Enable-ClusterS2D -Verbose

The Enable-ClusterS2D cmdlet generates an HTML report of all configurations and includes a validation summary. Review this report, which is typically stored in the local temporary folder on the node where the cmdlet was run. The verbose output of

38 Deploying and Configuring a Host Cluster

the command shows the path to the cluster report. At the end of the operation, the cmdlet discovers and claims all the available disks into an auto-created storage pool. Verify the cluster creation by running any of the following commands:

Get-ClusterS2D

Get-StoragePool

Get-StorageSubSystem -FriendlyName *Cluster* | Get-StorageHealthReport

Configuring the host management network as a lower-priority network for live migration

After you create the cluster, live migration is configured by default to use all available networks.

During normal operations, using the host management network for live migration traffic might impede the overall cluster role functionality and availability. Rather than disabling live migration traffic on the host management network, configure the host management network as a lower-priority network in the live migration network order:

$clusterResourceType = Get-ClusterResourceType -Name 'Virtual Machine'

$hostNetworkID = Get-ClusterNetwork | Where-Object { $_.Address -eq ‘172.16.102.0’ } |

Select-Object -ExpandProperty ID

$otherNetworkID = (Get-ClusterNetwork).Where({$_.ID -ne $hostnetworkID}).ID

$newMigrationOrder = ($otherNetworkID + $hostNetworkID) -join ';'

Set-ClusterParameter -InputObject $clusterResourceType -Name MigrationNetworkOrder -Value

$newMigrationOrder

Updating the page file settings

To help ensure that the active memory dump is captured if a fatal system error occurs, allocate sufficient space for the page file. Dell Technologies recommends allocating at least 50 GB plus the size of the CSV block cache.

About this task

1. Determine the cluster CSV block cache size value by running the following command:

$blockCacheMB = (Get-Cluster).BlockCacheSize

NOTE: On Windows Server 2016, the default block cache size is 0. On Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, and Azure Stack HCI operating system version 21H2 and 22H2, the default block cache size is 1 GB.

2. Run the following command to update the page file settings:

$blockCacheMB = (Get-Cluster).BlockCacheSize

$pageFilePath = "C:\pagefile.sys"

$initialSize = [Math]::Round(51200 + $blockCacheMB)

$maximumSize = [Math]::Round(51200 + $blockCacheMB)

$system = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_ComputerSystem -EnableAllPrivileges if ($system.AutomaticManagedPagefile) {

$system.AutomaticManagedPagefile = $false

$system.Put()

}

$currentPageFile = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_PageFileSetting if ($currentPageFile.Name -eq $pageFilePath)

{

$currentPageFile.InitialSize = $InitialSize

$currentPageFile.MaximumSize = $MaximumSize

$currentPageFile.Put()

} else

{

$currentPageFile.Delete()

Set-WmiInstance -Class Win32_PageFileSetting -Arguments @{Name=$pageFilePath;

Deploying and Configuring a Host Cluster 39

InitialSize = $initialSize; MaximumSize = $maximumSize}

}

Configuring a cluster witness

A cluster witness must be configured for a two-node cluster. Microsoft recommends configuring a cluster witness for a four-node Azure Stack HCI cluster. Cluster witness configuration helps maintain a cluster or storage quorum when a node or network communication fails and nodes continue to operate but can no longer communicate with one another.

A cluster witness can be either a file share or a cloud-based witness.

NOTE: If you choose to configure a file share witness, ensure that it is outside the two-node cluster.

For information about configuring a cloud-based witness, see Cloud-based witness .

Azure onboarding for Azure Stack HCI operating system

Clusters deployed using Azure Stack HCI operating system must be onboarded to Microsoft Azure for full functionality and support. For more information about firewall requirements and to connect Azure HCI clusters, see Firewall requirements for

Azure Stack HCI and Connect Azure Stack HCI to Azure respectively.

After Microsoft Azure registration, use the Get-AzureStackHCI command to confirm the cluster registration and connection status.

Best practices and recommendations

Dell Technologies recommends that you follow the guidelines that are described in this section.

Disable SMB Signing

Storage Spaces Direct uses RDMA for SMB (storage) traffic for improved performance. When SMB signing is enabled the network performance of SMB traffic is significantly reduced.

For more information, see Reduced networking performance after you enable SMB Encryption or SMB Signing in Windows

Server 2016 .

NOTE: By default, SMB Signing is disabled. If SMB Signing is enabled in the environment through a Group Policy Object

(GPO), you must disable it from the domain controller.

Update the hardware timeout for the Spaces port

For performance optimization and reliability, update the hardware timeout configuration for the Spaces port.

The following PowerShell command updates the configuration in the Windows registry and induces a restart of the node at the end of the registry update. Perform this update on all Storage Spaces Direct nodes immediately after initial deployment. Update one node at a time and wait until each node rejoins the cluster.

Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\spaceport\Parameters -Name

HwTimeout -Value 0x00002710 -Verbose

Restart-Computer -Force

Enable jumbo frames

Enabling jumbo frames specifically on the interfaces supporting the storage network might help improve the overall read/write performance of the Azure Stack HCI cluster. An end-to-end configuration of jumbo frames is required to take advantage of this

40 Deploying and Configuring a Host Cluster

technology. However, support for jumbo frame sizes varies among software, NIC, and switch vendors. The lowest value within the data path determines the maximum frame size that is used for that path.

Card

Mellanox CX5/CX6

Qlogic 41262

Maximum frame size supported

9614 bytes

9614 bytes

For the storage network adapters in the host operating system, enable jumbo frames by running the Set-

NetworkAdapterAdvancedProperty cmdlet.

NOTE: Network adapters from different vendors support different jumbo packet sizes. The configured value must be consistent across the host operating system and network switch configuration.

For information about configuring jumbo frames at the switch port level, see Sample Network Switch Configuration Files .

Recommended next steps

Before you proceed with operational management of the cluster, Dell Technologies recommends that you validate the cluster deployment, verify that the infrastructure is operational, and, if needed, activate the operating system license.

1. Run the test-Cluster cmdlet to generate a cluster validation report:

Test-Cluster -Node S2DNode01, S2DNode02, S2DNode03, S2DNode04 -Include 'System

Configuration', 'Inventory', 'Network', 'Storage Spaces Direct'

This command generates an HTML report with a list of all the tests that were performed and completed without errors.

2. If the operating system was not factory-installed, activate the operating system license.

By default, the operating system is installed in evaluation mode. For information about activating the operating system license as well as the management and operational aspects for the Azure Stack HCI solution, see the

Day 1 operations overview

.

Deployment services

Dell Technologies recommends using the company's deployment services to install Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell

Technologies. Issues that arise during do-it-yourself installations and configuration are not covered even if you have purchased

Dell Technologies ProSupport or ProSupport Plus. Support for installation and configuration issues is provided under a separate paid services package.

When you call Dell Technologies with an installation and configuration issue, Dell Tech Support routes you to your Sales Account

Manager. The Account Manager will then help you to purchase the onsite deployment services package.

Deploying and Configuring a Host Cluster 41

Topics:

Dell Technologies documentation

Microsoft documentation

Dell Technologies documentation

These links provide more information from Dell Technologies:

● iDRAC documentation

● Support Matrix for Microsoft HCI Solutions

Microsoft documentation

The following link provides more information about Storage Spaces Direct:

Storage Spaces Direct overview

8

References

42 References

9

GPU Integration

Topics:

Installing and configuring GPUs on AX platforms

Deploy GPU devices using Discrete Device Assignment (DDA)

Installing and configuring GPUs on AX platforms

This section provides the procedure to install and configure the GPUs on AX platforms. GPU supported AX servers, for a full list of supported AX servers and GPU, see Support Matrix for Microsoft HCI Solutions .

NOTE: Ensure to order the AX nodes preconfigured for GPU integration, or converted for GPU use including the required components.

AX-650 GPU configuration

● AX-650 GPU ready servers must have the following:

○ Microsoft Azure Stack HCI operating system (version 21H2 required).

○ GPU ready configuration cable install kit.

○ Heatsink for two CPUs and GPU.

○ High performance Fans or very high performance Fans.

○ All-SSD, All-NVMe and Hybrid config Riser config support GPU.

○ PSU configuration must be large enough to support additional GPU(s) power requirements.

Up to a max of two A2 GPUs per AX-650 are currently supported.

AX-750 GPU configuration

● AX-750 GPU ready server order includes:

○ Microsoft Azure Stack HCI operating system (version 21H2 required).

○ GPU enablement.

○ GPU ready configuration cable install kit R750.

○ Heatsink for two CPUs with GPU configuration.

○ Very high-performance Fan x6 or very high-performance Fan x6 with 30C max ambient temp.

○ Fan foam, HDD 2U.

○ Riser Config 2, full length, 4x16, 2x8 slots, DW GPU capable or Riser Config 2, half length, 4x16, 2x8 slots, SW GPU capable.

○ PSU configuration must be large enough to support additional GPU(s) power requirements

● AX-750 GPU slot priority matrix:

○ Dual width GPUs in slot(s): 7,2

Figure 16. Riser Config 2.

GPU Integration 43

AX-7525 GPU configuration

● AX-7525 GPU ready server order includes:

○ Microsoft Azure Stack HCI operating system (version 21H2 required) .

○ GPU ready configuration cable install kit R7525.

○ Heatsink for two CPUs and GPU/FPGA/Full Length card configs configuration.

○ High performance Fan x6 or very high performance Fan x6.

○ Fan foam, HDD 2U.

○ Riser Config 3 full length V2 or Riser Config 3, half length, 5 x16 slots.

○ PSU configuration must be large enough to support additional GPU(s) power requirements.

● GPU Slot Priority Matrix:

○ Dual width GPUs in slot(s): 2,5,7

Figure 17. Riser Config 3.

GPU physical installation

For deployed clusters, place each node into maintenance mode before changing the hardware. For undeployed nodes, install the cards as per the instructions.

● For information on installing a GPU and slot matrix of GPU on AX-750 , see section Installing a GPU and Table: Configuration

2-1: R1A + R2A + R3B + R4A (FL) in Dell EMC PowerEdge R750 .

● For GPU kit, see Dell EMC PowerEdge R750 Installation and Service Manual

● For information on installing a GPU and slot matrix of GPU on AX-7525 , see section Installing a GPU and Table:

Configuration 3-1. R1A+R2A+R3A+R4A (FL) in Dell EMC PowerEdge R7525 .

● For information on installing a GPU and slot matrix of GPU on AX-650 , see section Installing and removing system components Dell EMC PowerEdge R650 .

● For GPU kit, see Dell EMC PowerEdge R7525 Installation and Service Manual

● Show installation of M10 GPU but is representative of all GPU cards. ( Video )

NOTE: Remove the BOSS card power and data cables from Riser 1 before removing them. The power connection is fragile.

Deploy GPU devices using Discrete Device

Assignment (DDA)

Prerequisites

● Deploy the HCI cluster, see

Deployment models

● Download and install the latest Nvidia driver package to each GPU equipped cluster node. For free CUDA drivers (see

NVIDIA Driver Downloads for the latest versions)

● Create the cluster from a machine running HCI operating system 21H2 at or greater than the nodes. It is recommended to create the cluster from the node.

● Download and install the latest INF package from NVIDIA GPU Passthrough Support . Place the correct INF for the GPU on the system. Ensure that all the cluster nodes install it. To install, run the PNPUTIIL command. For example: pnputil /add-driver .\nvidia_azure_stack_GPUMOEL_base.inf /install

44 GPU Integration

About this task

Dell Technologies supports GPU integration through Discrete Device Assignment (DDA) on Azure Stack HCI. DDA allows the

GPU to be assigned to a virtual machine (VM) directly as a hardware component.

NOTE: This technology does not support GPU partitioning.

DDA is accomplished either through the Windows Admin Center (WAC) or PowerShell command line on the node.

Steps

1. Create one VM per physical GPU on the cluster. Install a GPU supported operating system (see supported operating system list on Nvidia website), complete installation, and power off the VMs.

2. Mapping GPU through DDA.

a. For Microsoft instruction, see Discrete Device Assignment b. For Powershell Script, see Deploy graphics devices using DDA c. General idea: i.

Set the VM configuration (MMIO limits).

● Formula: 2 x (card memory) x (number of cards)

● Example with 16 GB A2s (1 per server) -> 2 x 16 x 1 = 32 GB ~ 32768 MB

● Example with 24 GB A30s (2 per server) -> 2x24x2=96 GB ~ 98304 MB ii. Locate the correct PCI location for the card.

iii. Disable the GPU.

iv. Dismount the GPU.

v. This removes the PCI device from the host server.

vi. Assign PCI resource (GPU) to VM.

WARNING: Multiple cards mean multiple device locations. Be careful not mixing them.

Set the VM configuration (MMIO limits).

vii. Log in to the node through RDP or iDRAC.

viii. Run the following script one line at a time.

#Configure the VM for a Discrete Device Assignment

$vm = "ddatest1"

#Set automatic stop action to TurnOff

Set-VM -Name $vm -AutomaticStopAction TurnOff

#Enable Write-Combining on the CPU

Set-VM -GuestControlledCacheTypes $true -VMName $vm

#Configure 32 bit MMIO space

Set-VM -LowMemoryMappedIoSpace 3Gb -VMName $vm

#Configure Greater than 32 bit MMIO space

Set-VM -HighMemoryMappedIoSpace 33280Mb -VMName $vm

#Find the Location Path and disable the Device

#Enumerate all PNP Devices on the system

$pnpdevs = Get-PnpDevice -presentOnly

#Select only those devices that are Display devices manufactured by NVIDIA

$gpudevs = $pnpdevs |where-object {$_.Class -like "Display" -and $_.Manufacturer

-like "NVIDIA"}

#Select the location path of the first device that's available to be dismounted by the host.

$locationPath = ($gpudevs | Get-PnpDeviceProperty

DEVPKEY_Device_LocationPaths).data[0]

#Disable the PNP Device

Disable-PnpDevice -InstanceId $gpudevs[0].InstanceId

#Dismount the Device from the Host

Dismount-VMHostAssignableDevice -force -LocationPath $locationPath

#Assign the device to the guest VM.

Add-VMAssignableDevice -LocationPath $locationPath -VMName $vm d. It is critical that you iterate the device number when you install the second GPU.

3. Mapping a GPU though WAC (recommended).

a. Go to the main settings on the upper right corner and click Extensions .

GPU Integration 45

The Extensions page is displayed.

b. Select GPUs and click install .

This installs the GPU controls at a cluster level.

c. Go to the cluster and perform the following: i.

Ensure that the VM is turned off.

ii. Under Extensions, click the GPUs tab.

Under the GPUs tab, all the GPUs are listed per node.

NOTE: The Nvidia driver package on installed to each server does not include the '3D Video Controller' INF driver. After the GPU is dismounted from the host, the Nvidia driver package that is installed on the VM will properly recognize the full Nvidia device ID.

46 GPU Integration

iii. Click the GPU Pools tab to create the GPU pools. Enter the following details:

● Servers – Enter the server details.

● GPU pool name – Enter the name of the GPU pool.

● Select GPUs - Only one GPU per node per pool is allowed.

● Select Assign without mitigation driver (not recommended) - This is because the mitigation driver is not available in the current release.

iv. Select the Assign VM to GPU Pool to assign the GPU to the VM.

v. Select the server , pool and virtual machine .

vi. Click advance and enter input the memory requirements.

● Low memory mapped I/O space (in MB)

● High memory mapped I/O space (in MB) – Adjust the maximum memory mapped I/O space to match your particular GPU. The formula is 2 x GPU RAM per attached GPU. So, a VM with two 16 GB A2s will need ((2x16GB) x 2) = 64 GB memory.

GPU Integration 47

NOTE: This can be calculated by known specifications, or you can run Survey DDA.ps1 provided my

Microsoft. For more information, see Virtualization-Documentation and Discrete Device Assignment

● MMIO - Set on per VM basis

● Install the drivers inside the VM.

● Transfer the executable files to the VM and run.

48 GPU Integration

GPU Integration 49

4. Migration of VMs

NOTE:

● There must be a free GPU on the destination node to migrate a GPU VM otherwise the VM stops.

● This only works with the February ’22 Windows Update – earlier versions are not supported.

NOTE: Microsoft February 8, 2022 Security update (KB5010354) or later is required for proper VM migration functionality. For more information, see February 8, 2022 Security update (KB5010354) a. Perform the following steps to migrate a VM between nodes when there is a per-node-pool:

50 GPU Integration

i.

Turn off the VM.

ii. Remove the GPU pool assignment inside WAC.

iii. Quick/Live Migrate VM to the new node.

iv. Assign the GPU pool on the destination node to the VM (if none exists, create one).

v. Power on the VM.

vi. Log in to ensure that the VM is created successfully.

b. Perform the following steps to migrate a VM if the GPUs per node are all combined into one pool: i.

Turn off the VM.

ii. Remove the GPU pool assignment inside WAC.

iii. Quick/Live Migration is possible, and the GPU assignment must change (automatic assignment of GPU on the correct node).

This triggers a driver failure in the VM.

iv. Unassign the VM, and then reassign the VM to the correct GPU in the pool.

v. Power on the VM.

vi. Log in to ensure that the VM is created successfully.

c. Migrating the VMs with attached GPU is not currently supported – only failover.

5. Linux VMs a. Linux VMs behave in the same way both through WAC and DDA.

b. Run the command “lspci” to reveal the pci device that is attached to the VM.

There are different driver versions.

GPU Integration 51

10

Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI

Topics:

Configuring persistent memory for Windows Server HCI

Configuring Windows Server HCI persistent memory hosts

Configuring persistent memory for Windows Server

HCI

Intel Optane DC persistent memory is designed to improve overall data center system performance and lower storage latencies by placing storage data closer to the processor on nonvolatile media. The persistent memory modules are compatible with DDR4 sockets and can exist on the same platform with conventional DDR4 DRAM DIMMs. In App Direct Mode, the operating system distinguishes between the RAM and persistent storage memory spaces.

Intel Optane DC persistent memory provides an ideal capacity to be used as a cache device (SBL) for Microsoft Storage

Spaces Direct. Storage data is interleaved between the Intel Optane DC persistent memory DIMMs within each CPU socket to achieve the best performance. A single region per CPU socket is configured in the system BIOS. Thus, a dual CPU server platform provides Storage Spaces Direct with two persistent memory cache devices. These high-endurance, write-intensive cache devices can be used to enhance the performance of many slower-performing NVMe/SAS/SATA devices that are used for storage capacity, as shown in the following figure:

Figure 18. Persistent memory

Persistent memory requirements

Persistent memory requirements for Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies:

● AX-640 nodes

● 2 x Intel Xeon Cascade Lake-SP Gold or Platinum CPUs (models 52xx, 62xx, or 82xx) per server

● 12 x 32 GB RDIMMs in DIMM slots A1-A6 and B1-B6 (white slots) per server, totaling 384 GB of RAM per server

● 12 x 128 GB Intel Optane DC Persistent DIMMs in DIMM slots A7–A12 and B7–B12 (black slots) per server, totaling 2 x 768

GB cache devices per server

● Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2022 Datacenter

52 Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI

Configuring persistent memory BIOS settings

Configure the BIOS to enable persistent memory.

Steps

1. During system startup, press F12 to enter System BIOS .

2. Select BIOS Settings > Memory Settings > Persistent Memory .

3. Verify that System Memory is set to Non-Volatile DIMM .

4. Select Intel Persistent Memory .

The Intel Persistent Memory page provides an overview of the server's Intel Optane DC persistent memory capacity and configuration.

5. Select Region Configuration .

To be used as a Storage Spaces Direct cache device, Intel Persistent Memory must be configured in App Direct Interleaved mode. App Direct Interleaved Mode creates two regions—one region for each CPU socket, as shown in the following figure:

Figure 19. Persistent memory region configuration

6. If the configuration is missing or incorrect, select Create goal config to reconfigure the persistent memory regions.

CAUTION: Performing these steps erases all previous persistent memory regions.

a. In Create Goal Config , for Persistent (%) , select 100 .

b. For Persistent memory type , select App Direct Interleaved .

A warning is displayed. All Intel Persistent Memory data is erased when changes are saved to the BIOS configuration.

7. Exit the BIOS and save the configuration.

Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI 53

Configuring Windows Server HCI persistent memory hosts

Three types of device objects are related to persistent memory on Windows Server 2019 and Windows Sever 2022: the

NVDIMM root device, physical INVDIMMs, and logical persistent memory disks. In Device Manager, physical INVDIMMs are displayed under Memory devices , while logical persistent disks are under Persistent memory disks . The NVDIMM root device is under System Devices . The scmbus.sys

driver controls the NVDIMM root device.

The nvdimm.sys

driver controls all NVDIMM devices, while the pmem.sys

driver controls the logical disks. Both the nvdimm.sys and pmem.sys drivers are the same for all types of persistent memory, such as NVDIMM-N and Intel Optane

DC Persistent Memory (INVDIMM).

The following figure shows the Device Manager on a system with 12 INVDIMMs across dual CPU sockets and two persistent storage disks:

Figure 20. Device Manager example

54 Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI

Managing persistent memory using Windows PowerShell

Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2022 provides a PersistentMemory PowerShell module that enables user management of the persistent storage space.

PS C:\> Get-Command -Module PersistentMemory

CommandType Name Version Source

----------- ---- ------- ------

Cmdlet Get-PmemDisk 1.0.0.0 PersistentMemory

Cmdlet Get-PmemPhysicalDevice 1.0.0.0 PersistentMemory

Cmdlet Get-PmemUnusedRegion 1.0.0.0 PersistentMemory

Cmdlet Initialize-PmemPhysicalDevice 1.0.0.0 PersistentMemory

Cmdlet New-PmemDisk 1.0.0.0 PersistentMemory

Cmdlet Remove-PmemDisk 1.0.0.0 PersistentMemory

● Get-PmemDisk —Returns one or more logical persistent memory disks that were created by New-PmemDisk . The returned object includes information about size, health status, and the underlying physical NVDIMM devices.

● Get-PmemPhysicalDevice —Returns one or more physical persistent memory NVDIMM devices. The returned object includes information about size, firmware, physical location, and health status. In App Direct Interleaved mode, each

INVDIMM device displays its full capacity as Persistent memory size .

NOTE: The Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory firmware might have to be periodically updated. For the supported firmware version, see the Support Matrix for Microsoft HCI Solutions . After identifying the required firmware version, download the Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory Firmware Package from Dell Technologies Support or use the

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies Update Catalog.

● Get-PmemUnusedRegion —Returns aggregate persistent memory (Pmem) regions that are available for provisioning a logical device. The returned object has a unique region ID, total size, and list of physical devices that contribute to the unused region.

● Initialize-PmemPhysicalDevice —Writes zeroes to the label storage area, writes new label index blocks, and then rebuilds the storage class memory (SCM) stacks to reflect the changes. This cmdlet is intended as a recovery mechanism and is not recommended for normal use.

● New-PmemDisk —Creates a disk out of a given unused region. This cmdlet writes out the labels to create the namespace, and then rebuilds the SCM stacks to expose the new logical device. The new logical persistent disk is added in Device

Manager under Persistent memory disks . Get-PhysicalDisk displays the storage device as MediaType SCM .

● Remove-PmemDisk —Removes the given persistent memory disk. This cmdlet accepts the output of Get-PmemDisk . It deletes the namespace labels and then rebuilds the SCM stacks to remove the logical device.

Configuring persistent memory as SCM logical devices

On each server node, verify unused persistent memory regions and configure them as new SCM logical devices:

1. Run Get-PmemPhysicalDevice to verify that 12 INVDIMM physical devices are available and healthy:

PS C:\> Get-PmemPhysicalDevice

DeviceId DeviceType HealthStatus OperationalStatus PhysicalLocation FirmwareRevision Persistent memory size Volatile memory size

-------- ---------- ------------ ----------------- ---------------- ----------------

---------------------- --------------------

1 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} A7 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

1001 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} B7 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

101 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} A10 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

1011 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} B8 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

1021 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} B9 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

11 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} A8 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

1101 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} B10 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

111 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} A11 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

1111 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} B11 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

1121 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} B12 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

121 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} A12 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

21 008906320000 INVDIMM device Healthy {Ok} A9 102005395 126 GB 0 GB

2. Run Get-PmemUnusedRegion to verify that two unused Pmem regions are available, one region for each physical CPU:

PS C:\> Get-PmemUnusedRegion

RegionId TotalSizeInBytes DeviceId

-------- ---------------- --------

Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI 55

1 811748818944 {1, 111, 21, 101...}

3 811748818944 {1001, 1111, 1021, 1101...}

3. Run the Get-PmemUnusedRegion | New-PmemDisk script to create two Pmem disks, one for each Pmem region:

PS C:\> Get-PmemUnusedRegion | New-PmemDisk

Creating new persistent memory disk. This may take a few moments.

Creating new persistent memory disk. This may take a few moments.

4. Run the Get-PhysicalDisk | ?{$_.MediaType -eq "SCM"} script to verify that both Pmem disks are available as physical disk devices:

PS C:\> Get-PmemDisk

DiskNumber Size HealthStatus AtomicityType CanBeRemoved

PhysicalDeviceIds

---------- ---- ------------ ------------- ------------

-----------------

11 756 GB Healthy None True {1, 111, 21, 101...}

12 756 GB Healthy None True {1001, 1111, 1021, 1101...}

When you run the Enable-ClusterS2D command to enable Storage Spaces Direct, the SCM logical devices are automatically detected and used as cache for NVMe and SSD capacity devices.

56 Persistent Memory for Windows Server HCI

11

Day 1 operations

After deploying the Azure Stack HCI cluster, complete Day 1 operations.

Topics:

Day 1 operations overview

Known issues

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies overview

Deployment guidance

Azure onboarding for Azure Stack HCI operating system

Creating virtual disks

Day 1 operations overview

This section includes an overview of Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies, guidance to monitor and manage bare metal, and instructions for performing operations on clusters and updating the cluster-aware system. This guide is applicable only to infrastructure that is built by using the validated and certified Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies.

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies refers to:

● Dell Integrated System for Azure Stack HCI (based on Azure Stack HCI operating system).

● Dell HCI Solutions for Microsoft Windows Server (based on Windows Server 2019 or 2022).

Instructions in this section are applicable only to the generally available operating system build of Windows Server 2019,

Windows Server 2022, and Azure Stack HCI operating system with the latest applicable updates. These instructions are not validated with Windows Server version 1709. Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies does not support the Windows

Server Semi-Annual Channel release. Dell Technologies recommends updating the host operating system with the latest cumulative updates from Microsoft before starting the cluster creation and configuration tasks.

Known issues

Before starting the cluster deployment, see Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI - Known Issues for known issues and workarounds.

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies overview

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies encompass various configurations of AX nodes from Dell Technologies to power the primary compute cluster that is deployed as a HCI. The HCI that is built by using these AX nodes uses a flexible solution architecture rather than a fixed component design. The following figure illustrates one of the flexible solution architectures. It consists of a compute cluster alongside the redundant top-of-rack (ToR) switches, a separate out-of-band network, and an existing management infrastructure in the data center.

Day 1 operations 57

Figure 21. Hyperconverged virtualized solution using AX nodes

Deployment guidance

For deployment guidance and instructions for configuring a cluster using Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies, see

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies . This operations guidance is applicable only to cluster infrastructure that is built using the instructions provided in the deployment documentation for AX nodes.

58 Day 1 operations

Azure onboarding for Azure Stack HCI operating system

Clusters deployed using Azure Stack HCI operating system must be onboarded to Microsoft Azure for full functionality and support. For more information about firewall requirements and to connect Azure HCI clusters, see Firewall requirements for

Azure Stack HCI and Connect Azure Stack HCI to Azure respectively.

Creating virtual disks

Cluster creation and enabling Storage Spaces Direct configuration on the cluster creates only a storage pool and does not provision any virtual disks in the storage pool. Use the New-Volume cmdlet to provision new virtual disks as the shared volumes for the cluster.

When creating volumes in the Azure Stack HCI cluster infrastructure:

● Ensure that you create multiple volumes—a multiple of the number of servers in the cluster. For optimal performance, each cluster node should own at least one virtual disk volume. Virtual machines (VMs) on each volume perform optimally when running on the volume owner node.

● Limit the number of volumes in the cluster to 32 on Windows Server 2016, and to 64 on Windows Server 2019/2022 and the

Azure Stack HCI operating system.

● Ensure that the storage pool has enough reserve capacity for any in-place volume repairs due to failed disk replacement. The reserved capacity must be at least equivalent to the size of one capacity drive per server and up to four drives.

● A single node cluster supports two three-way mirror volumes and nested two-way mirror volumes.

For general guidance about planning volume creation, see Planning volumes in Storage Spaces Direct .

NOTE: Dell Technologies recommends that you use the following resiliency settings when you create virtual disks:

● On Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, and the Azure Stack HCI operating system clusters with three or more nodes—Three-way mirror.

● On Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, and Azure Stack HCI operating system clusters with four or more nodes—Three-way mirror or mirror-accelerated parity.

NOTE: A physical disk is the fault domain in a single node cluster, as compared to StorageScaleUnit in a multi-node cluster.

Day 1 operations 59

12

Managing and monitoring clusters with

Windows Admin Center

Topics:

Overview

Install Windows Admin Center

Add the HCI cluster connection

Access the HCI cluster

View server details

View drive details

Managing and monitoring volumes

Enabling data deduplication on Storage Spaces Direct

Monitoring and managing VMs

Managing virtual switches

Overview

Windows Admin Center is a browser-based management tool developed by Microsoft to monitor and manage Windows Servers, failover clusters, and hyperconverged clusters.

The AX nodes for Storage Spaces Direct offer software-defined storage building blocks for creating highly available and highly scalable HCI. The AX nodes are preconfigured with certified components and validated as a Storage Spaces Direct solution that includes Dell PowerSwitch S-Series switches, with simplified ordering and reduced deployment risks. Dell Technologies offers configuration options within these building blocks to meet different capacity and performance points. With Windows Admin

Center, you can seamlessly monitor and manage the HCI clusters that are created on these building blocks.

Install Windows Admin Center

Download Windows Admin Center version 2211 or later from Microsoft download center and install it on Windows 10, Windows

Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2022, or Windows Server version 1709. Install Windows Admin Center directly on a managed node to manage itself. You can also install Windows Admin Center on other nodes in the infrastructure or on a separate management station to manage the AX nodes remotely. It is possible to implement high availability for Windows

Admin Center by using failover clustering. When Windows Admin Center is deployed on nodes in a failover cluster, it acts as an active/passive cluster providing a highly available Windows Admin Center instance.

The Windows Admin Center installer wizard performs the configuration tasks that are required for Windows Admin Center functionality. These tasks include creating a self-signed certificate and configuring trusted hosts for remote node access.

Optionally, you can supply the certificate thumbprint that is already present in the target node local certificate store. By default,

Windows Admin Center listens on port 443 (you can change the port during the installation process).

NOTE: The automatically generated self-signed certificate expires in 60 days. Ensure that you use a certificate authority

(CA)-provided SSL certificate if you intend to use Windows Admin Center in a production environment.

For complete guidance about installing Windows Admin Center on Windows Server 2016 or higher with desktop experience or

Server Core, see Install Windows Admin Center .

NOTE: This section assumes that you have deployed the Azure Stack HCI cluster from Dell Technologies following the deployment guidance that is available at: https://dell.com/azurestackhcimanuals .

After the installation is complete, you can access Windows Admin Center at https:// managementstationname: <PortNumber> .

60 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 22. Windows Admin Center start screen

Add the HCI cluster connection

About this task

This task applies to Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server. For monitoring and management purposes, add the hyperconverged cluster that is based on Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies as a connection in Windows Admin Center.

Steps

1. Go to Windows Admin Center > Cluster Manager .

Figure 23. HCI cluster navigation

2. Click Add .

The Add Cluster window is displayed.

3. Enter the cluster FQDN and select Also add servers in the cluster .

Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center 61

Figure 24. Adding the HCI cluster

Windows Admin Center discovers the cluster and nodes that are part of the cluster.

4. Click Add .

The cluster is added to the connection list and Windows Admin Center is configured to monitor and manage the HCI cluster.

Access the HCI cluster

To view the dashboard for the HCI cluster that you have added to Windows Admin Center, click the cluster name in the Cluster

Manager window.

This dashboard provides the real-time performance view from the HCI cluster. This view includes total IOPS, average latency values, throughput achieved, average CPU usage, memory usage, and storage usage from all cluster nodes. It also provides a summarized view of the Azure Stack HCI cluster with drives, volumes, and VM health.

You can examine an alert by clicking the alerts tile in the dashboard.

62 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 25. HCI dashboard in Windows Admin Center

View server details

To view the server details, click the tools pane and go to Servers > Inventory .

Figure 26. Servers: Inventory tab

NOTE: The metrics in the figure are for a four-node Azure Stack HCI cluster with all-flash drive configuration.

Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center 63

View drive details

About this task

View the total number of drives in the cluster, the health status of the drives, and the used, available, and reserve storage of the cluster as follows.

Steps

1. In the left pane, select Drives .

2. Click the Summary tab.

Figure 27. Drives: Summary tab

To view the drive inventory from the cluster nodes, from the left pane, select Drives , and then click the Inventory tab.

64 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 28. Drives: Inventory tab

The HCI cluster is built using four AX-740xd nodes, each with two 1.92 TB NVMe drives.

By clicking the serial number of the drive, you can view the drive information, which includes health status, slot location, size, type, firmware version, IOPS, used or available capacity, and storage pool of the drive.

Also, from the dashboard, you can set the drive options as Light On or Light Off , or Retire or Unretire from the storage pool.

Managing and monitoring volumes

You can manage and monitor the Storage Spaces Direct volumes using Windows Admin Center.

The following features are supported in Windows Admin Center:

● Create volume

● Browse volume

● Expand volume

● Delete volume

● Make volume offline or online

To access the volumes on the HCI cluster, select the cluster and, in the left pane, click Volumes . In the right pane, the

Summary and Inventory tabs are displayed.

The Summary tab shows the number of volumes in the cluster and the health status of the volumes, alerts, total IOPS, latency, and throughput information of the available volumes.

Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center 65

Figure 29. Volumes: Summary tab

The Inventory tab provides the volume inventory from the HCI cluster nodes. You can manage and monitor the volumes.

Figure 30. Volumes: Inventory tab

Creating volumes in Storage Spaces Direct

About this task

Create volumes in Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Admin Center as follows.

Steps

1. Go to Volumes > Inventory .

2. Click Create .

The Create volume window is displayed.

3. Enter the volume name, resiliency, and size of the volume, and then click Create .

The volume is created.

66 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Managing volumes

About this task

Open, expand, delete, or make a volume offline as follows.

Steps

1. Go to Volumes > Inventory .

2. Click the volume name.

3. Click Open to open the volume folder.

4. Click Offline or Delete to make the volume offline or to delete the volume.

5. Click Expand to expand the volume.

The Expand volume window is displayed.

6. Enter the additional size of the volume.

7. Select the volume size from the drop-down list and click Expand .

Enabling data deduplication on Storage Spaces Direct

About this task

Data deduplication helps to maximize free space on the volume by optimizing duplicated portions on the volume without compromising data fidelity or integrity.

NOTE: To enable data deduplication on an HCI cluster, ensure that the data deduplication feature is enabled on all the cluster nodes. To enable the data deduplication feature, run the following PowerShell command:

Install-WindowsFeature FS-Data-Deduplication

NOTE: To ensure the deduplication activities run in an optimized way, see Microsoft recommended workload Determine which workloads are candidates for Data Deduplication and for Advanced Data Deduplication settings, see Advanced Data

Deduplication settings .

Enable data deduplication using WAC and compression on a Storage Spaces Direct volume as follows.

Steps

1. Go to Volumes > Inventory .

2. Click the volume on which to enable data deduplication.

3. In the optional features, switch the ON button to enable deduplication and compression on that volume.

The Enable Deduplication window is displayed.

4. Click Start and select Hyper-V from the drop-down list.

5. Click Enable Deduplication .

Deduplication is enabled, and the Storage Spaces Direct volume is compressed.

Monitoring and managing VMs

You can use Windows Admin Center to monitor and manage the VMs that are hosted on the HCI cluster.

To access the VMs that are hosted on the HCI cluster, click the cluster name and, in the left pane, select Virtual machines . In the right pane, the Inventory and Summary tabs are displayed.

The Inventory tab provides a list of the VMs that are hosted on the HCI cluster and provides access to manage the VMs.

Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center 67

Figure 31. VMs: Inventory tab

The Summary tab provides the following information about the VM environment of the HCI cluster:

● Total number of VMs, their state, and alerts

● Host and guest CPU utilization

● Host and guest memory utilization

● VM total IOPS, latency, and throughput information

68 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 32. VMs: Summary tab

You can perform the following tasks from the Windows Admin Center console:

● View a list of VMs that are hosted on HCI cluster.

● View individual VM state, host server information, virtual machine uptime, CPU, memory utilization, and so on.

● Create a new VM.

● Modify VM settings.

● Set up VM protection.

● Delete, start, turn off, shut down, save, delete saved state, pause, resume, reset, add new checkpoint, move, rename, and connect VMs.

Managing virtual switches

The virtual switches tool in Windows Admin Center enables you to manage Hyper-V virtual switches of the cluster nodes.

The virtual switches tool supports the following features:

● View existing virtual switches on the server.

● Create a new virtual switch.

● Modify virtual switch properties.

● Delete a virtual switch.

Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center 69

Figure 33. Virtual switches

70 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

13

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows

Admin Center

Topics:

Overview

Prerequisites for managing AX nodes

Installing the OMIMSWAC license

Managing Microsoft HCI-based clusters

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Offline Updating

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Updating for Azure Stack HCI clusters using the OpenManage Integration snap-in

Updating a standalone node before adding it to the cluster

Secure cluster with Secured-core

Enabling operating system features

Protect your infrastructure with infrastructure lock

Manage CPU cores in Azure Stack HCI clusters

Cluster expansion

Validate and remediate Azure Stack HCI clusters

Onboard Dell policies to Azure Arc from Windows Admin Center to manage Azure Stack HCI clusters

View recommendations for storage expansion

Known issues

Overview

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center enables IT administrators to manage the HCI that is created by using

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies. OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center simplifies the tasks of IT administrators by remotely managing the AX nodes and clusters throughout their life cycle.

For more information about the features, benefits, and installation of OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center, see the documentation at https://www.dell.com/support/home/product-support/product/openmanage-integration-microsoftwindows-admin-center/docs .

NOTE: For Storage Spaces Direct Ready Node, if you want to use the Cluster Aware Update premium feature to update the cluster using the Dell extension, contact a Dell sales representative to get an Azure Stack HCI license. See the

Firmware and driver updates using the manual method

section.

Prerequisites for managing AX nodes

The prerequisites for managing AX nodes are:

● You have installed the following:

○ Windows Admin Center version 2211 or later and you are logged in as a gateway administrator.

○ Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center extension version 3.0. For more information about the installation procedure, see the Dell OpenManage Integration Version 2.3 with Microsoft Windows Admin Center

Installation Guide .

○ Microsoft failover cluster extension version 2.20.0 release or above.

○ An OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center (OMIMSWAC) Premium License on each AX node.

● You have added the

HCI cluster connection

in Microsoft Windows Admin Center.

● You can access the Windows Admin Center remotely using domain administrator credentials. Otherwise, use local administrator credentials to access the Windows Admin Center locally. For more information, see What type of installation is right for you?

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 71

Installing the OMIMSWAC license

If you are using AX nodes, skip this step, because AX nodes have a preinstalled OMIMSWAC license. Storage Spaces Direct

Ready Nodes require the installation of an After Point of Sale (APOS) license.

Steps

1. Log in to iDRAC.

2. Select Configuration > Licenses .

3. Select Import , browse to and select the license, and then click Upload .

Managing Microsoft HCI-based clusters

Steps

1. In the upper left of Windows Admin Center, select Cluster Manager from the menu.

2. In the Cluster Connections window, click the cluster name.

3. In the left pane of Windows Admin Center, under EXTENSIONS , click OpenManage Integration .

4. Review the Dell Software License Agreement and Customer Notice , and select the check box to accept the terms of the license agreement.

Overview

Select View > Overview . The Overview page displays the following:

Cluster level information that includes:

● Number of cluster nodes

● Health of cluster that includes total number of components with health as critical across nodes or Health Ok if all components are healthy.

○ Green: Healthy

○ Yellow: Warning

○ Red: Critical

○ Grey: Unknown

● Secure core status:

○ Green: Enabled as all BIOS features are enabled on all nodes.

○ Yellow: Partially enabled as one or more nodes do not have all BIOS features enabled.

○ Red: Disabled as no node has all BIOS features enabled.

● Compliance status:

○ Green: Compliant as all cluster nodes are compliant with all Dell policies.

○ Yellow: Warning as one or more cluster nodes is not compliant with any optional policy.

○ Red: Error as cluster node is not compliant with Dell Hardware Symmetry Policy.

○ Grey: Unknown as any cluster node is not reachable.

Azure:

● Azure integration status and option to configure cluster settings.

● Policy onboard status and option to configure policies.

HCP and Firmware Compliance:

When extension loads for the first time, this section remains empty. This section is populated once you generate the reports from the Action menu.

72 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

● HCP Compliance: Displays the compliance status of HCI cluster with number of components for each status.

○ Green: Components are compliant with Dell policies.

○ Yellow: Warning as components are not compliant with any optional policy.

○ Red: Error as components are not compliant with Dell Hardware Symmetry Policy.

● Firmware update: Firmware compliance status of cluster.

○ Green: Compliant as cluster nodes have same version of BIOS, firmware, and driver as of imported catalog.

○ Yellow: Warning as one or more cluster nodes is not compliant with any optional policy.

○ Red: Non-compliant as BIOS, firmware, and drivers need updates.

Security:

● Secure core status:

○ Green: Enabled as all BIOS features are enabled on all nodes.

○ Yellow: Partially enabled as one or more nodes do not have all BIOS features enabled.

○ Red: Disabled as no node has all BIOS features enabled.

● Infrastructure lock status:

○ Green: Enabled as all nodes of the cluster are locked.

○ Yellow: Partially enabled as one or more nodes of the cluster are unlocked.

○ Grey: Unknown as unable to connect the cluster nodes.

Resources:

● Current storage details such as used storage and available storage.

● Current CPU core details such as current cores and available cores.

Quick Task:

Provides direct links to perform different actions using OpenManage Integration extension. Some actions may be disabled if it has dependency on another action.

Prerequisite checks

Use stand-alone prerequisite checks to verify if the connection meets the requirements for monitoring and management operations.

About this task

When you perform any operation using OpenManage Integration extension, the extension automatically runs the prerequisite checks to verify the hardware and software requirements. If any prerequisite checks fail, the View Details button appears on the respective pages. Click View Details to see how to resolve the issues before performing the operation.

In addition, OpenManage Integration extension also provides an option for stand-alone prerequisite checks. Before you run any operation using the extension, use the stand-alone Prerequisite Checks to verify the server or cluster readiness. Use this check to identify and fix any problems for all operations together for seamless monitoring and management experience.

If any of the prerequisite checks fail, it can be resolved manually or automatically based on the nature of the check. For Auto

Fix, the extension allows you to resolve the issues by clicking Resolve . For Manual fix, the extension displays recommendations on how to resolve issues manually. Once prerequisite checks are all compliant, you can use the extension to seamlessly perform server or cluster management operations.

Steps

1. Click View > Prerequisite Checks .

2. Click Select Operation to choose the operation you want to run the prerequisite checks. By default, all the operations are selected.

3. Click Check to run the prerequisite checks for the selected operations.

4. After the prerequisite checks are done, View Details appears next to the Select Operation button. Click View Details to see the prerequisite check report.

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 73

5. To fix the prerequisite issues with Auto Fix category, ensure that the prerequisites are selected, and then click Resolve .

6. To fix the prerequisite issues with Manual Fix category, see the recommendations on how to resolve the issue.

7. After the issues are resolved, click Rerun to see the updated prerequisite checks status report. For more information, see list of prerequisite checks in the OMIWAC user guide .

Health status

1. To view the overall cluster health status, health status of each node and its components, click View : Health . The Health page appears and checks the inventory prerequisites. If all the prerequisites are compliant, the page displays the health status of all hardware components. If one or more checks are not compliant, an error message appears.

Figure 34. Health page

2. Click View Details to see the prerequisites that have failed.

3. Click Resolve to fix the issues that belong to the Auto Fix category. For issues that belong to Manual Fix , see the recommendations on how to resolve them. See Prerequisites check details for more information about inventory prerequisites checks.

4. To view the latest health information, click Refresh .

Overall Health Status

A doughnut chart displays the overall health status of a cluster using a color code. Green color indicates the cluster is healthy.

Yellow indicates the cluster is not in recommended state. Red indicates the cluster is in critical state. And unknown indicates that the cluster nodes are not reachable. The number of nodes in the doughnut chart indicates the number of cluster nodes that have the same health status as in the cluster. In addition, different color codes show the respective health status of number of nodes. To filter the health status of nodes and its components, click the respective color code in the doughnut chart. For example, click red color to see the nodes and its components that are in critical health status.

Inventory

The Inventory tab lists the servers that are part of the cluster.

1. Select View > Inventory . The Inventory page appears and checks the inventory prerequisites. If all the prerequisites are compliant, the page displays the hardware and firmware information for cluster nodes. If one or more checks are not compliant, an error message appears.

2. Click View Details to see the prerequisites that have failed.

3. Click Resolve to fix the issues that belong to the Auto Fix category.

4. For issues that belong to Manual Fix, see the recommendations on how to resolve them. See

Prerequisites check

for details about inventory prerequisites checks.

74 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

5. To view the latest hardware or firmware information, click Refresh .

Clicking a server name on the inventory list provides details about the following components:

● System

● Firmware

● CPUs

● Memory

● Storage controllers

● Storage enclosures

● Network devices

● Physical disks

● Power supplies

● Fans

Locating physical disks and viewing their status

The Blink and Unblink feature of Windows Admin Center enables you to locate physical disks or view disk status.

Steps

1. Under the Inventory tab, from the Components list, select Physical Disks .

2. For each physical disk, select Blink or Unblink to control the disk's LED.

Viewing update compliance and updating the cluster

About this task

To view and update the hardware compliance, select View > Compliance . Another menu button with drop-down appears next to the Node button. Select Hardware updates to go to the compliance page.

Use the Update tab of the OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center UI to view update compliance and update the cluster.

To view the latest update compliance report and update the cluster using an offline catalog, OpenManage Integration with

Windows Admin Center requires that you configure the update compliance tools.

Steps

1. At Check Compliance , select the online catalog or offline catalog to configure update tools.

If you select the online catalog, OpenManage Integration downloads the Azure Stack HCI catalog, system tools, and the required Dell Update Packages from the Internet.

To use an offline catalog, configure the update tools under Hardware updates and select the Configure DSU and IC option. The catalog file must be exported using the Dell Repository Manager and placed in a shared folder. See

Obtaining the firmware catalog for AX nodes or Ready Nodes using Dell EMC Repository Manager

.

2. Click Check Compliance to generate the update compliance report.

By default, all the upgrades are selected, but you can make alternate selections as needed.

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 75

Figure 35. Compliance details

3. Click Fix compliance to view the selected component details.

NOTE: Cluster Aware Update is a license feature. Ensure that the Azure Stack HCI license is installed before proceeding.

4. To schedule the update for a later time, click Schedule later , select Date/time and click Next cluster aware update to download the required updates.

To use the schedule later feature, download the required downloads and keep them ready to update at the specified time.

5. Click Update to begin the update process and click Yes at the prompt to enable Credential Security Service Provider

(CredSSP) to update the selected components.

When the update job is completed, the compliance job is triggered automatically.

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Offline Updating

About this task

If an Internet connection is not available, run Full Stack Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) in offline mode as follows:

Steps

1. Download the asHCISolutionSupportMatrix.json

and asHCISolutionSupportMatrix.json.sign

files from http://downloads.dell.com/omimswac/supportmatrix/

2. Place these files in the C:\Users\Dell\SymmetryCheck folder in the gateway system where Windows Admin Center is installed.

3. Run Full Stack CAU.

Results

For more information about CAU, see the Cluster-Aware Updating Overview .

76 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Updating for Azure Stack

HCI clusters using the OpenManage Integration snapin

About this task

Windows Admin Center with the Dell extension makes it easy to update an Azure Stack HCI cluster using the cluster aware update feature. The feature updates the operating system and Dell-qualified firmware and drivers. When an update is selected, all the updates are installed on the cluster nodes. A single reboot is required to install operating system, firmware, and driver updates per server.

NOTE: Full Stack Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) is only available on Azure Stack HCI clusters built using the Azure Stack

HCI operating system. For more information about CAU, see Cluster-Aware Updating Overview .

NOTE: Full Stack CAU is a licensed feature. Ensure that the OMIMSWAC license is installed before proceeding.

To perform both operating system updates and hardware upgrades on Azure Stack HCI cluster nodes, carry out the following steps:

Steps

1. In Windows Admin Center, select Updates from the Operations menu.

You must enable CredSSP and provide explicit credentials. When asked if CredSSP should be enabled, click Yes .

The Updates page is displayed.

2. For an operating system update, see Microsoft's Azure Stack HCI documentation .

3. On the Install updates page, review the operating system updates and select Next: Hardware updates .

4. If the Dell OpenManage Integration extension is not installed, click Install to accept the license terms and install the extension. If you have already installed the OpenManage Integration extension, click Get updates to move to the Hardware updates page.

5. On the Hardware updates page, review the prerequisites listed to ensure that all nodes are ready for hardware updates and then click Next: Update Source . Click Re-Run to run the prerequisites again.

You must meet all the prerequisites listed on the Prerequisites tab, otherwise you cannot proceed to the next step.

6. To generate a compliance report against the validated Azure Stack HCI catalog, follow these steps on the Update source page:

● Select one of these methods to download catalog files:

○ Select Online (HTTPs) - Update Catalog for Microsoft HCI Solutions to download the catalog automatically from dell.com. The online catalog option is selected by default. Online catalog support requires direct Internet connectivity from the Windows Admin Center gateway. The overall download time of a catalog depends on the network bandwidth and the number of components being updated.

NOTE: Accessing the Internet using proxy settings is not supported.

○ Select Offline - Dell Repository Manager Catalog to use the DRM catalog configured in a CIFS location.

OMIMSWAC with or without Internet access allows you to select Offline - Dell Repository Manager Catalog to generate a compliance report. You can use this option when the Internet is not available. For more information, see

Obtaining the firmware catalog for AX nodes or Ready Nodes using Dell Repository Manager

.

○ To use the offline catalog, select DRM Settings to ensure that the CIFS share path is configured with the DRM catalog.

● To use the Dell System Update (DSU) and Inventory Collector (IC) tools, select Advance setting and then do the following:

○ Select Manually configure DSU and IC and then select Settings to manually download and configure DSU and IC tools in a shared location. Dell Technologies recommends using this option when OMIMSWAC is not connected to the Internet. DSU and IC settings that are configured using Update Tool settings in the OpenManage Integration extension are also available under Advanced settings in the OpenManage Integration snap-in.

OMIMSWAC downloads the catalog, collects the DSU and IC tools that are configured in the Settings tab, and generates a compliance report. If DSU and IC tools are not configured in the Settings tab, then OMIMSWAC downloads them from https://downloads.dell.com

to generate the compliance report.

7. On the Compliance report tab, view the compliance report. When finished, click Next: Summary .

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 77

The 'upgradable' components that are 'non-compliant' are selected by default for updating. You can clear the check box for the selected components or select the 'non-compliant,' 'downgradable' components. However, if you want to change any of the default selections, ensure that the dependencies between the corresponding component firmware and drivers are met.

8. On the Summary tab, review the components to be updated and then click Next: Download updates . The download task continues in the background whether the UI session is live or not. If the UI session is live, the node level progress status is displayed. OMIMSWAC creates a notification when the download task is finished.

NOTE: While the download is in progress, it is recommended that you do not exit or close the browser. If you do, the download update operation may fail.

9. If the download operation fails, check the log files stored at the following paths for troubleshooting purposes:

● Gateway system— <Windows

Directory>\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Local\Temp\generated\logs

● Windows 10 gateway system— <Windows installed drive>\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Local\Temp\generated\logs

● After the cluster update is over, DSU logs for individual nodes can be found in the <Windows

Directory>\Temp\OMIMSWAC folder on the respective nodes.

To run the compliance report again, click Re-run Compliance and repeat steps 4 to 7.

10. After the updates are downloaded, follow the instructions in the Windows Admin Center to install both operating system and hardware updates. If the UI session is live, the node level progress status is displayed. Windows Admin Center creates a notification once the update is completed.

Updating a standalone node before adding it to the cluster

Before creating a cluster, ensure that each node is updated with the latest versions of firmware and drivers.

Steps

1. In Windows Admin Center, in the left pane, click Add .

2. In the Windows Server tile, click Add .

3. Enter the node name and click Add .

4. Under All connections , select the server and click Manage as .

5. Select use another account for this connection , and then provide the credentials in the domain\username or hostname\username format.

6. Click Confirm .

7. In the Connections window, click the server name.

8. In the left pane of Windows Admin Center, under EXTENSIONS , click OpenManage Integration .

9. Review the Dell Software License Agreement and Customer Notice and select the check box to accept the terms of the license agreement.

10. Click View > Compliance . Another menu appears, select Hardware Updates.

11. Click Check compliance and select either the online catalog or offline catalog .

12. Click Fix Compliance and select update to update the node.

Secure cluster with Secured-core

A malicious hacker who has physical access to a system can tamper with the BIOS. A tampered BIOS code poses a high security threat and makes the system vulnerable to further attacks. With the Secured-core feature, OMIMSWAC ensures that your cluster boots only using the software that is trusted by Dell.

Prerequisites

Secured-core feature is supported on the following configurations:

● AMD processor types:

78 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

○ AMD Milan with cluster nodes BIOS version must be 2.3.6 or above.

● Intel processor types:

○ Cluster nodes BIOS version must be 1.3.8 or above.

NOTE: The following Intel processor types are not supported for Secured-core feature:

○ E-23 series and Pentium SKUs such as G6605, G6505, G6505T, G6405, and G6405T.

● OS versions:

○ Windows Server 2022 and Azure Stack HCI OS 21H2 or 22H2.

● TPM V2.0 module must be installed with firmware 7.2.2.0 or above.

● OMIWAC Premium License must be installed on each cluster node.

NOTE: To ensure proper functioning of the System Guard OS feature, ensure that the TPM Hierarchy under System

Security section is enabled in the BIOS settings.

About this task

Secured-core feature includes enabling BIOS and OS security features. Both Dell Technologies and Microsoft recommend enabling BIOS security features and OS security features respectively to protect infrastructure from external threats. In

Windows Admin Center, use Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center extension to enable BIOS security features and use Security extension to enable OS security features. For more information about OS security features, see the Microsoft guidelines.

Enable BIOS security features as follows:

Steps

1. Log in to Windows Admin Center and launch Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center extension.

2. Select View > Security .

3. From the drop-down menu, select Secured Core . Alternatively, go to the Action menu, under Security and select Secured

Core .

4. Specify Manage as credentials if prompted.

The Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center validates if the following prerequisites are fulfilled on the target or cluster nodes:

● The supported platform and processor types

● The supported BIOS version

● The supported OS version

● The OMIWAC Premium License is installed

For more information, see

Prerequisites

.

5. If one or more prerequisites are not fulfilled, Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center displays the list of prerequisites and its overall status and recommendation. Review the recommendations with the status showing or and resolve the prerequisites. To see the prerequisites to be fulfilled for each cluster node, switch Show Node Level Details.

After resolving the perquisites, go to Security > Secured-core again to display the overall status. If all the perquisites are met, OMIMSWAC displays the overall secured-core status for both BIOS and OS. The overall BIOS/OS status is the summary of all BIOS/OS feature configuration statuses for the entire cluster.

6. If infrastructure lock is enabled, click Disable . You must disable the infrastructure lock before enabling the BIOS configurations.

7. Review all the BIOS feature status and the corresponding OS feature status. A consolidated view of all BIOS/OS feature configuration status that is displayed in the Cluster level BIOS Features and Status and Cluster level OS Features and

Status' sections.

The following table lists are of the BIOS and corresponding OS features with security functionalities:

Table 3. BIOS, OS feature, and security functionality

BIOS Feature Security Function Corresponding OS

Features

Virtualization Technology Helps BIOS to enable processor virtualization features (such as protecting against exploits in user-mode

● Hypervisor-Protected

Code Integrity (HVCI)

● Virtualization-Based

Security (VBS)

Other Information n/a

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 79

Table 3. BIOS, OS feature, and security functionality (continued)

BIOS Feature Security Function Corresponding OS

Features drivers and applications) and provide virtualization support to the Operating System

(OS) through the DMAR table.

Kernel DMA Protection

Secure Boot

Trusted Platform Module

(TPM) 2.0

TPM PPI Bypass Provision

TPM PPI Bypass Clear

TPM2 Algorithm Selection

When enabled, both BIOS and OS protects devices from Direct Memory Access attacks in early boot by leveraging the Input/Output

Memory Management Unit

(IOMMU).

Boot DMA Protection

Secure Boot ensures that the device boots with trusted,

Dell signed software.

Secure Boot

Trusted Platform Module

(TPM) is a dedicated microprocessor that is designed to secure hardware by integrating cryptographic keys into devices. Software can use a TPM to authenticate hardware devices.

● Trusted Platform Module

(TPM) 2.0

● System Guard

NOTE: To ensure proper functioning of the System Guard OS feature, ensure that the

TPM Hierarchy under the

System Security section is enabled in the BIOS settings.

Other Information n/a n/a

NOTE: If TPM firmware version is less than the 7.2.2.0, Enable BIOS

Configuration button is disabled. You must replace with a hardware that has TPM firmware version 7.2.2.0 or above.

NOTE: TPM2 Algorithm

Selection is set to

SHA256.

(AMD) Dynamic Root of

Trust Measurement

This feature is available for

AMD based processors.

[Intel] Trusted Execution

Technology

Enables AMD Dynamic

Root of Trust Measurement

(DRTM). Also enables AMD secure encryption features such as Secure Memory

Encryption (SME) and

Transparent Secure Memory

Encryption (SME).

Enhances platform security by using Virtualization

Technology, TPM Security, and TPM2 Algorithm (must be SHA256). Intel TXT provides security against hypervisor, BIOS, firmware, and other pre-launch software-based attacks by establishing a root of trust' during the boot process.

n/a n/a This feature is available for

Intel-based processors.

8. To configure secured core for all BIOS attributes, click Enable BIOS Configuration .

9. To apply the BIOS configuration, perform one of the following actions:

● Apply and Reboot Now : Applies the BIOS configuration changes in all cluster nodes and reboot the cluster using Cluster

Aware Updating method (without impacting the workload).

● Apply at Next Reboot : Saves the changes and applies the BIOS configuration in all cluster nodes at the next reboot.

If you choose this option, ensure to exit the Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center extension and restart the cluster using the Windows Admin Center before performing any cluster management operations.

80 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

10. When finished, click Apply .

The operation enables CredSSP. To improve the security, disable CredSSP after the operation is complete.

11. Click View Details to see the status of the BIOS configuration changes at node level.

Enabling operating system features

Prerequisites

1. Intel chipset driver version 10.1.18793.8276 and above should be installed for AX-650 and AX-750xd.

2. AMD chipset driver version 2.18.30.202 and above should be installed for AX-7525.

Steps

1. OS Settings can be enabled by manually modifying the registry settings or by leveraging the WAC Security Extension.

● Using registry settings a. Run the following commands on each server in a cluster: reg add

"HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceGuard\Scenarios\HypervisorEnforcedCodeI ntegrity" /v "Enabled" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f reg add “HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceGuard\Scenarios\SystemGuard” / v “Enabled” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

NOTE: After you run these commands, restart the servers one at a time, see

Restarting a cluster node or taking a cluster node offline

.

● Using Windows Admin Center Security extension: a. Log in to Windows Admin Center and connect to the cluster.

b. In the Extensions, click Security .

c. In the Security page, click Secured-Core .

d. Select Hyper Hypervisor Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI) and System Guard , then click Enable .

NOTE: After you run these commands, restart the servers one at a time, see

Restarting a cluster node or taking a cluster node offline

.

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 81

e. After the settings are enabled and each server is restarted, the Secured-Core section on each server must show all features with the On status.

2. The BIOS and OS settings can be verified using OMIMSWAC.

3. Select View > Security . From the drop-down menu, select Secured Core .

Results

Dell Technologies and Microsoft recommends enabling Secured Core for Azure Stack HCI 21H2, 22H2, and Windows Server

2022 that includes both the Dell Infrastructure and Microsoft Operating System features to protect the infrastructure from external threats.

Protect your infrastructure with infrastructure lock

Infrastructure lock (also known as iDRAC lockdown mode or system lockdown mode) helps to prevent unintended changes after a system is provisioned. Infrastructure lock is applicable to both hardware configuration and firmware updates. When the infrastructure is locked, any attempt to change the system configuration is blocked. If any attempts are made to change the critical system settings, an error message is displayed. Enabling infrastructure lock also blocks server or cluster firmware updates using the OpenManage Integration extension tool.

The following table lists the functional and nonfunctional features that are affected when the infrastructure lock is enabled:

Table 4. Functional and Nonfunctional Features Affected by Infrastructure Lock

Disabled

● Full stack update on clusters

● Individual server update and Cluster-Aware Updating on clusters

● Managing CPU cores on servers and clusters

● Integrated deploy and update clusters

● Preparing nodes for cluster expansion

● Secured core

Remains functional

● Retrieving health, inventory, and iDRAC details

● Blinking and unblinking server LEDs

82 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

Enable or disable infrastructure lock

To enable or disable the Infrastructure lock in Dell OpenManage Integration extension for better security, select View >

Security . From the drop-down menu, select Infrastructure Lock , and then click Enable or Disable .

The infrastructure lock can also be disabled during server or cluster management operations such as server update, CAU, full stack update, manage CPU cores, and so on. If the lock is already enabled, OMIMSWAC displays an error during the management operation and gives an option in the same window to disable the lock and proceed. To allow OMIMSWAC automatically lock the infrastructure after the operation is complete, select Allow OMIMSWAC to re-enable the infrastructure lock after the operation is complete.

NOTE: OMIMSWAC does not allow enabling or disabling the infrastructure lock for individual servers that are part of a cluster to maintain cluster homogeneity.

Manage CPU cores in Azure Stack HCI clusters

Prerequisites

● Ensure that the cluster contains homogenous nodes. For example, the nodes must have the CPUs either from Intel or AMD and from the same processor family. Having nodes that include CPUs from both Intel and AMD or from different processor family is not supported.

● OMIMSWAC Premium License for Microsoft HCI Solutions must be installed on each cluster node.

About this task

To manage workload demands, power consumption and licensing cost, you can change the amount of CPU cores allocated to a cluster by using the "Update CPU core" feature. This feature also helps you to optimize CPU cores in clusters to keep the Total

Cost of Ownership (TCO) at an optimal level.

Steps

1. In Windows Admin Center, connect to a cluster.

2. In Windows Admin Center, under Extensions , click Dell OpenManage Integration .

3. In Dell OpenManage Integration , select View > Configure . Another menu with drop-down appears. Select CPU Core .

4. To manage CPU cores, click Update CPU Core .

The Update CPU Core wizard is displayed on the right.

5. In the Update CPU Core wizard, select the number of cores to be used based on workloads.

Based on the CPU core manufacturer (Intel or AMD), you can configure the cores in the following table. To maintain cluster homogeneity, OMIMSWAC applies the same configuration across all nodes in the cluster.

NOTE: Changing the number of cores impacts the overall core count of the cluster. Ensure that you are using the right number of cores to maintain the balance between power and performance.

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 83

Table 5. CPU

CPU type

Intel CPU

AMD CPU

Instructions

● Select the number of cores you want to enable per CPU.

● Minimum number of cores that can be enabled is four.

You can enable all the cores that you want to manage workloads.

N/A

6. Select one of the following options to apply the changes and reboot nodes:

● Apply and Reboot Now : Select this option if you want to apply the changes and reboot the cluster nodes now. Dell

Technologies recommends using this option as the nodes are rebooted automatically by taking care of the workloads using cluster aware feature.

● Apply at Next Reboot : Select this option if you want to apply the changes now and reboot the cluster nodes later.

Ensure that you reboot the cluster nodes later to successfully apply the CPU core changes. Also, ensure to take care of the workload before rebooting the nodes.

NOTE: The Apply and Reboot now process requires the CredSSP to be enabled. To improve security, disable CredSSP after the CPU configuration changes are complete.

7. To apply the changes, click Confirm .

Cluster expansion

Prerequisites

● The new node must be installed with an operating system as in the current cluster.

● Host network configuration must be configured identical to the existing cluster nodes.

● New node must be added in the Windows Admin Center.

● OMIMSWAC Premium License for Microsoft HCI Solutions must be installed on each cluster node.

By using OMIMSWAC, you can prepare nodes to add to your existing Azure Stack HCI cluster to improve capacity. It is always important for administrators to keep the cluster symmetrical and adhere to Dell recommendations. During cluster expansion, to automate the process and help customers comply with Dell recommendations, OMIMSWAC has introduced a feature that is called Expand Cluster. With the use of Expand Cluster feature, administrators can prepare nodes ensuring the node is compatible and follow Dell recommendations, which can and then be added to the existing cluster.

The cluster expansion process involves the following:

● High-Level Compatibility Check: Helps to identify compatible nodes to add to the cluster.

● License Availability Check: Checks for OMIMSWAC premium licenses available on new nodes and cluster nodes.

● HCI Configuration Profile Check: Helps you to validate new node and cluster nodes HCI configurations based on Dell

Technologies recommendations.

● Update Compliance: Helps you to generate compliance report for both new nodes and cluster nodes and then fix the compliance only for new nodes.

About this task

To prepare nodes for cluster expansion, perform the following steps:

Steps

1. Connect to the cluster using Windows Admin Center and launch OpenManage Integration extension.

2. Select View > Expand Cluster . Another menu with drop-down appears. Select ADD nodes .

3. In the Expand Cluster window, click Select Nodes .

4. In the Cluster Expansion window, under Select compatible nodes , a list of nodes is displayed. The list fetches all nodes available on the Server Manager page in the Windows Admin Center.

a. Select any nodes that you want to add to the cluster. You can also search any node using the search box or click the select all check box to select all nodes. Ensure that new nodes are not part of the cluster.

NOTE: Total number of nodes that are supported in a cluster is 16. For example, for a cluster with existing 4 nodes, you can select up to 12 nodes for cluster expansion.

84 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

b. After nodes are selected, click Check for High Level Compatibility to validate the new nodes and cluster nodes as per

Dell recommendations. The validation happens on a high level as follows:

● Both new nodes and cluster nodes must be from Dell Technologies.

NOTE: Only AX nodes from Dell Technologies are supported for HCI cluster expansion. Storage Space Direct

Ready Nodes are not supported for HCI cluster expansion.

● New nodes and cluster nodes must be of the same model for symmetrical cluster.

● Operating system that is installed on new nodes must be supported and same as cluster nodes. If the high-level compatibility shows:

○ Non-compliant: None of the selected nodes are compliant per Dell recommendations.

○ Partially Compliant: Few of the selected nodes are compliant as per Dell recommendations and you can proceed for License Availability check only for the compliant nodes.

○ Compliant: All the selected nodes are compliant as per Dell recommendations and you can proceed for

License Availability check for all the compliant nodes. If the high-level compatibility shows Noncompliant or

Partially Compliant, click View Details to learn more about the nodes and type of noncompliance.

c. Click Check for License Availability to verify whether new nodes and cluster nodes have 'OMIMSWAC Premium

License for MSFT HCI Solutions' installed. Before moving for HCI Configuration Profile check, ensure that new nodes and cluster nodes have OMIMSWAC premium license installed.

d. Click Check for HCI Configuration Profile to validate new nodes and cluster nodes against symmetrical recommendations from Dell. If an Internet connection is not available, run the HCI configuration profile check in offline mode.

If any of the nodes are not compatible, click View Details to see more information about the nodes, the reason for noncompliance, and recommendations.

NOTE: HCI configuration profile fails if any of the required configurations fail with a Critical error. Review the recommendations and details to resolve any issues to achieve HCI configuration profile and go to the next step.

If the configuration fails with a Warning, this means that the configuration can be supported for cluster deployment, but could result in suboptimal cluster performance. It should be reviewed. Before you go to the next step, ensure HCI configurations of all nodes are compliant as per Dell recommendations.

5. After you successfully complete the high-level compatibility check, license check, and HCI configuration profile check, click

Next: Update compliance to check for firmware, BIOS, and drivers compliance for new nodes and cluster nodes. Using

Expand Cluster flow, you can update firmware, BIOS, and drivers for new nodes only. To generate compliance report for both new nodes and cluster nodes: a. Select one of the methods to download catalog files.

● Online catalog to download the catalog automatically from dell.com for PowerEdge servers. Online catalog is selected by default.

● Offline catalog to use the DRM catalog configured in a CIFS location. OMIMSWAC with or without Internet access allows you to select the Offline - Dell EMC Repository Manager Catalog to generate compliance report. You may use this option when the Internet is not available or to use a customized DRM catalog. When Internet is not available, before using offline catalog, ensure that the DSU and IC settings are configured on the Settings page.

● When finished, click Check Compliance .

6. The Compliance Results section shows compliance reports of cluster nodes and new nodes. Click View Details to see the compliance report or Export to export the report in CSV format.

● If cluster nodes are noncompliant, ensure that the cluster nodes are compliant before adding new nodes in the cluster. To update cluster nodes, exit the wizard and go to the Update tab for cluster update using cluster-aware updating method.

● If new nodes are noncompliant, click View Details in the Cluster Expansion Summary to verify the noncompliant components and then click Finish to update the new nodes and keep them ready for cluster expansion. Click Updating-

View Details to see the update status.

● If new nodes are compliant, click View Details in the Cluster Expansion Summary to see the list of nodes that is prepared for cluster expansion. Then click Exit .

Results

After both new nodes and cluster nodes are updated, go to the Windows Admin Center workflow to add new nodes to the existing cluster.

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 85

Validate and remediate Azure Stack HCI clusters

By using the HCP Compliance feature, you can see the cluster compliance using HCI Configuration Profile (HCP) checks, see the recommendations, and remediate non-compliant components.

Prerequisites

● Cluster must be Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, versions 21H2 or 22H2.

● Cluster nodes must have a valid OMIWAC premium license installed.

● Cluster node models are listed as supported in the support matrix.

Steps

To run HCP Compliance check in OpenManage Integration extension, perform the following steps::

1. Select View > Compliance . Another menu with drop-down appears. Select HCP .

The Compliance Summary page appears. If the Check Compliance button is enabled, go to

step 3

.

2. If the Check Compliance button is disabled, ensure:

Requirements mentioned in the Prerequisites are met.

● Required inputs are provided in the Configure Cluster Settings tab. If not, choose the network topology and the deployment model, and click Save to save the settings for future use. These settings are required to generate compliance for Dell OS Configuration policies.

○ Network topology

■ Fully-converged : All storage ports from the server are connected to the same network fabric. Within the host operating system, the NIC ports are used for both storage and management/VM traffic.

■ Non-converged-Physical : Storage traffic is on the physical storage network adapter ports and management/VM traffic through a SET created using network ports of the server rNDC.

■ Non-Converged-Set : Storage traffic uses virtual adapters in the host operating system connected to a SET.

○ Deployment model

■ Scalable model supports from 2 to 16 nodes in a cluster and uses top-of-rack switches for management and storage traffic networking.

■ Switchless model uses full mesh connections between the cluster nodes for storage traffic and supports from 2 to

4 nodes in a cluster.

■ Stretch cluster with Azure Stack HCI consists of servers residing at two different locations or sites, with each site having two or more servers, replicating volumes either in synchronous or asynchronous mode.

3. Click Check Compliance to

View HCP Compliance Summary

.

● Optional: If Internet connection is not available, perform the following steps to run HCP check in offline mode: a. Download the HCPMetaData.json

and HCPMetaData.json.sign

files from https://downloads.dell.com/ omimswac/ase/ .

b. Place these files in C:\Users\Dell\HCPMetaData folder in the gateway system where Windows Admin Center is installed.

c. Run the HCP compliance check.

OpenManage Integration extension fetches the applicable policies, validates the cluster node(s) attributes with the policy attributes, and displays the compliance summary.

4. Click Fix Compliance to fix non-compliant policies.

NOTE: Fix Compliance button is disabled if Dell Hardware Symmetry Policy is non-compliant with a Critical error.

In this case, you will not be allowed to remediate other policies. Review the recommendations and show details, and contact Dell.com/support to resolve the issue before proceeding to the next step. The critical error states that this aspect of nodes configuration is not supported. You must correct the issue before you can deploy a symmetric HCI cluster.

● Manual Fixes include policies that requires physical interventions and recommendations that can be remediated manually.

NOTE: Ensure your cluster is compliant with Dell Hardware Symmetry Policy and Dell OS Configuration Policies otherwise the cluster performance is not guaranteed.

● Automatic Fixes include policies that can be remediated using OpenManage Integration extension.

5. Choose the reboot option to apply the configurations by restarting your cluster in cluster-aware updating manner if any of the policy fixing requires cluster reboot:

86 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

● Apply and Reboot Now : Applies BIOS, NIC, and iDRAC attributes concurrently to all the cluster nodes now and restart the cluster in cluster-aware update manner.

● Apply at Next Reboot : Applies BIOS, NIC, and iDRAC attributes concurrently to all the cluster nodes when cluster nodes are restarted at the next maintenance window.

a. Click the Schedule Reboot checkbox to schedule the date and time when BIOS, NIC, and iDRAC attributes will be applied concurrently to all the cluster nodes and restart the cluster in cluster-aware update manner.

NOTE: If you select to apply the changes at the next reboot, ensure to disable the infrastructure lock before the next reboot starts to successfully apply the changes.

6. If the infrastructure lock is enabled, a window appears to disable the lock and proceed next. To allow OpenManage

Integration extension automatically locks the infrastructure after the operation is complete, select Allow OMIMSWAC to re-enable the infrastructure lock after the operation is complete.

7. When finished, click Apply to trigger the update.

● If Kernel Soft Reboot is enabled for the cluster, the OpenManage Integration extension ignores this setting and performs a full reboot to apply all the BIOS related settings. See When to use Kernel Soft Reboot .

● The operation enables the CredSSP. To improve the security, disable the CredSSP after the operation is complete.

If any error occurs while applying the updates or update job fails, see the Troubleshooting section to troubleshoot issues.

8. Click View Details to see the update status and progress at node level.

After the status is succeeded, OpenManage Integration extension rechecks the compliance and displays the updated compliance summary.

9. Click Export compliance summary to export the HCP compliance report in an Excel file which can be useful while contacting the Dell Technologies support team.

View HCP compliance summary

OpenManage Integration computes the compliance using different types of Dell HCI Configuration Profile policies that are mentioned and displays the report.

● Dell Infrastructure LockDown policy : Checks whether the HCI cluster infrastructure is locked.

● Dell Hardware Symmetry policy : Checks whether cluster nodes have validated and supported hardware components and have symmetrical hardware configurations. For more information about checks, see OpenManage Integration with Microsoft

Windows Admin Center .

● Dell HCI Hardware Configuration policy : Checks whether cluster nodes have Dell Technologies recommended BIOS, NIC, and iDRAC configurations.

● Dell OS Configuration policy : Checks whether cluster nodes have Dell Technologies and Microsoft recommended operating system configurations.

If the compliance summary is already generated, the last report is displayed with the timestamp. In this case, the Re-Check

Compliance button is enabled. You can click Re-Check Compliance to see the latest compliance report.

The compliance summary is divided into three sections:

● Overall Compliance shows the overall compliance of the cluster such as compliance percentage, number of policies compliant, and total number of policies from the displayed policy types.

● Overall Compliance State shows overall compliance of the cluster using a doughnut chart and color codes. The color codes indicate different compliance types. You can select different color codes, if any, to filter the respective policy details and its cluster nodes. For example, when you select the red color code, policies that are not compliant and their respective cluster nodes are displayed. The color codes are explained below.

Compliant : Shows all cluster nodes are compliant with all Dell policies.

Errors : Shows if any cluster node is not compliant with Dell Hardware Symmetry policy.

Warnings : Shows if any cluster node is not compliant with any optional policies.

○ Unknown : Shows if any cluster node inventory could not be retrieved when the node is down or not reachable.

● Policy Summary shows compliance of each cluster node and its components for each policy types.

○ Policy Name: Name of Dell policies.

○ Description: Description of Dell policies.

○ Overall Status: Overall status of compliance of the cluster for each policy type.

○ Overall State: How many policies are compliant out of the total number of policies and its percentage.

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 87

○ Errors: Number of policies that are non-compliant and must be fixed.

○ Warnings: Number of policies that are non-compliant and must be fixed.

○ Unknown: Number of unknown issues, or unable to run or fetch the data.

○ Details: Click Details to see more information about each node and its components and their compliance status.

Onboard Dell policies to Azure Arc from Windows

Admin Center to manage Azure Stack HCI clusters

This topic explains how to deploy Dell HCI Configuration Profile (HCP) policies in Azure Arc from Windows Admin Center to monitor the compliance of Azure Stack HCI clusters.

Prerequisites

● Cluster must be Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, versions 21H2 or 22H2.

● OMIWAC premium license must be installed on each cluster node.

● The target Windows Servers that you want to manage must have Internet connectivity to access Azure.

● Deploying Azure policies requires that you have administrator rights on the target Windows machine or server to install and configure the agent. Also, you must be a member of the Gateway users role.

● Azure Stack HCI Cluster and WAC gateway must be registered into Azure and use the same account to sign in with resource group edit right. For more information about Azure registration, see Register Windows Admin Center with Azure .

● In all cluster nodes, ensure that all RDMA enabled network adapters are connected to the same NIC ports as recommended by Dell. For more information, see HCI Operations Guide: Managing and Monitoring the Solution Infrastructure Life Cycle in https://infohub.delltechnologies.com/t/guides-74/ .

About this task

Azure Arc is one of the primary management tools for managing resources at cloud and hybrid platforms. Dell Technologies recommends using Dell HCP policies in Azure Arc to maintain compliance with Dell Technologies recommended configurations throughout the life cycle of the Azure Stack HCI cluster/host.

By using OpenManage Integration in Microsoft Windows Admin Center, you can deploy Dell HCP policies to Azure Arc. And then use these policies in Azure Arc to monitor your cluster. In addition, if multiple clusters are onboarded under the same Azure subscription, you can use the same policy to manage and monitor multiple clusters in the Azure Arc.

Steps

Perform the following steps to deploy Dell HCP policies to Azure Arc.

1. Sign in to Windows Admin Center.

2. From the All connections page, select a cluster to connect to it.

3. From the left-hand pane, under Extensions , click Dell OpenManage Integration > Select View > Azure Integration .

4. Click Sign In . A sign-in window opens to let you sign into the Azure account. Specify your Azure subscription account details.

When finished, the button shows as Signed-in .

5. In the Onboarding Checklist section, OpenManage Integration extension verifies and displays the list of prerequisites and shows recommendations if prerequisites are not met.

● Click Show Details to see the list of prerequisites, status, and recommendations if prerequisites do not match. You cannot move to the next step until all the prerequisites match.

● Click Refresh Checklist to see the prerequisites with updated status.

6. In the Onboard Policies section:

● Click View Subcription Details to see the Azure account subscription details.

● To edit network topology and deployment model settings, click Edit Cluster Settings , specify the details, and click

Save to save the settings for future use.

● If policies are not onboarded to Azure Arc, click Onboard Policies to see the details of applicable Dell HCP policies for onboard and go to the next step.

● If policies are already onboarded to Azure Arc, click View Details to see the details about already onboarded policies. To export the onboarded policies in a CSV format, click Export Details .

88 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

7.

Onboard Dell HCI Configuration Profile policies for Azure window appears on the right side showing the available policies for onboarding or updating. It also shows the version of the previously onboarded policy, if any. All the mandatory policies are selected by default and you cannot change it. You can clear the optional policies, if any. To onboard or update the onboarded policies, click Onboard .

8. After the policies are onboarded, next to the Onboard Policies button, the policy onboarding status appears. Click View

Details to see the Policy Onboarding Status page that displays the status of each policy that was onboarded to the Azure

Arc.

● To export the onboarded policies in a CSV format, click Export Details .

9. After the policies are successfully onboarded, to monitor your cluster using Dell HCP policies, log in to Azure portal (Azure

Arc) using the same subscription account. Click the Resource Groups to find the resources you want to manage (

Go to step

6

to find the resource group in the view subscription details).

Cluster node details are displayed.

10. To check the cluster compliance, click Policies under Settings .

The Policy page displays the cluster compliance and lists all the applicable policies including the default policies.

NOTE: Ignore the policy details of the Dell Exempted Policy as it only helps in tracking policy versions of onboarded Dell

HCP policies and it does not impact cluster performance or compliance.

11. In the Search box, enter Dell to find the policies that are onboarded from the OpenManage Integration extension. Select a policy to have a deeper look at the compliance for that particular policy. For more information about viewing compliance data in Azure portal, see Microsoft Azure Policy documentation .

View recommendations for storage expansion

This topic explains how to view recommendations, using OpenManage Integration extension, that enable you to prepare nodes for expanding Azure Stack HCI cluster storage.

Prerequisites

● Cluster must be Dell Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI, versions 21H2 or 22H2.

● Cluster nodes must have valid OMIWAC premium license installed.

● Cluster node models are supported in the support matrix.

About this task

In an HCI cluster, expanding storage by adding drives on the available slots on the cluster nodes adds storage capacity to the cluster and improves storage performance. By using the Expand Storage feature, you can view recommendations based on HCI

Configuration Profile (HCP) policies that enable you to prepare nodes for expanding HCI clusters storage.

Steps

1. In Windows Admin Center, under Extensions , click Dell OpenManage Integration > Select View > Expand Cluster .

From the drop-down menu, select ADD Storage .

a. If the cluster meets the

Prerequisites

, OpenManage Integration extension validates the storage configuration of cluster nodes against HCP policies (Dell Hardware Symmetry Policy rules) and displays the cluster level status and drives details for each cluster node. See

View node level storage configuration details .

The Expand Storage button is enabled. Click Refresh Storage Inventory to see the latest storage configuration details of cluster nodes.

b. If the Expand Storage button is disabled:

● The cluster may not fulfill all the prerequisites. See the banner message and ensure that all the prerequisites

mentioned are met and then refresh the cluster inventory and start from step 1

.

● The cluster may be non-compliant if its storage configuration does not comply with all the critical Dell Hardware

Symmetry Policy rules. Make the cluster compliant first by going to the HCP Compliance tab and following the recommendations and then try again. To learn more about storage and disks specific rules, see OpenManage

Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin Center .

2. Click the Expand Storage if enabled. Storage Expansion Summary appears on the right.

3. In the Storage Expansion Summary wizard, view the summary about the cluster storage configuration:

● Cluster name

● Node counts

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 89

● Available slot count where storage expansion is possible in that cluster. The available slots shows a warning if any of the cluster node has SAS/SATA drives. This is because the exact number of empty slots for drives with media types such as

HDD, SDD may not be derived.

NOTE: Available empty slots are calculated using the total available slots and total connected drives, and may not match the number of empty slots for the HDD SSD. Because these drives are embedded in the server chassis.

● Used storage

● Available storage

4. If the cluster is non-compliant with a warning, follow the recommendations to make the cluster storage symmetric. The

Recommendation section includes the following details:

● The Dell HCP policy rule that does not comply with your cluster.

● The drive details that need to be added or replaced to make your cluster compliant.

After the cluster is compliant (cluster storage is symmetric), go to step 1

and follow the instructions to see storage expansion recommendations.

5. If the cluster is compliant, choose one of the storage expansion options, specify the storage size, and then click Refresh

Recommendation to see the storage expanding recommendations.

● Increase overall capacity: Overall capacity indicates the sum of all the disk storage capacity in a cluster. Specify the storage size as available to increase the overall capacity of the cluster.

● Increase usable capacity: Usable capacity indicates the actual storage size that is used by the cluster after reserving some storage for fault tolerance (resiliency). Specify the overall usable capacity as available for the entire cluster.

OpenManage Integration displays overall capacity based on resiliency type. See the Microsoft document for more information about fault tolerance and storage efficiency on HCI clusters.

The Recommendation section includes the below details:

● STORAGE: Displays node name. Also, displays number of drives that are required with recommended media type, and recommended storage capacity of each drive.

● Supported models

NOTE: AGN MU in the model description indicates that the model is vendor agnostic and mixed use.

● Manufacturer

● Endurance

● Actual capacity

● Bus protocol

● Cache to capacity ratio (only available for hybrid nodes)

NOTE:

● Recommendations are derived based on possible empty slots present in the nodes. For non-uniform media types across the cluster, even after following the recommendation you may see some warnings.

● To order drives, Dell Technologies recommends to use the bus protocol, model, size mentioned in the storage column, and endurance information to identify compatible drives for storage expansion.

Next steps

Insert the recommended drives and then check the updated storage configuration by running HCP compliance. Contact the Dell support for any issues.

View node level storage configuration details

Cluster level status includes the types of cluster storage configuration (whether single media type or hybrid media type), total number of drives in all cluster nodes, and the compliant status below:

● : Cluster is compliant for storage expansion as it meets all the prerequisites. Expand Storage button is enabled.

● : Cluster is noncompliant as its storage configuration does not comply with the Dell Hardware Symmetry Policy rules. You can still continue to view recommendation for storage expansion. However, Dell Technologies recommends you to make the cluster compliant by following the recommendations before continuing for storage expansion.

● : Cluster is non-compliant as its storage configuration does not comply with some of the critical Dell Hardware

Symmetry Policy rules. The Expand Storage button is disabled and you cannot continue for storage expansion. Dell

90 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

Technologies recommends you to make the cluster compliant first by following the recommendations and then continue for storage expansion.

Below drive details for each cluster node are also displayed.

● Node status:

○ Green: Compliant, when there is no critical error or warning.

○ Yellow: Non-compliant but not critical, there is some warning.

○ Red: Non-compliant (Critical), there is critical error.

● Serial number

● Slot number (if applicable)

● Media type

● Bus protocol

● Model: AGN MU in the model description, if present, indicates that the drive is vendor agnostic and of mixed use.

● Manufacturer

● Capacity

● Endurance

● Used for cache or capacity type

● Cache/capacity ratio (available only for hybrid media types)

Known issues

The following table lists known issues and workarounds related to OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows Admin

Center with Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies clusters.

NOTE: For details about troubleshooting steps and known issues, see the Dell EMC OpenManage Integration Version 2.3

with Microsoft Windows Admin Center User’s Guide at https://www.dell.com/support/home/product-support/product/ openmanage-integration-microsoft-windows-admin-center/docs .

Table 6. Known issues

Issue Resolution or workaround

Running Test-Cluster fails with network communication errors.

With USB NIC enabled in iDRAC, if you run the Test-

Cluster command to verify the cluster creation readiness or cluster health, the validation report includes an error indicating that the IPv4 addresses assigned to the host operating system USB NIC cannot be used to communicate with the other cluster networks.

This error can be safely ignored. To avoid the error, temporarily disable the USB NIC (labeled as Ethernet, by default) before running the Test-Cluster command.

The USB NIC network appears as a partitioned cluster network.

When the USB NIC is enabled in iDRAC, cluster networks in the failover cluster manager show the networks associated with the USB NIC as partitioned. This issue occurs because the cluster communication is enabled by default on all network adapters, and USB NIC IPv4 addresses cannot be used to communicate externally, which, therefore, breaks cluster communication on those NICs.

Remove the USB NIC from any cluster communication by using the following script:

$rndisAdapter = Get-NetAdapter

-InterfaceDescription 'Remote NDIS

Compatible Device' -ErrorAction

SilentlyContinue

if ($rndisAdapter)

{

Write-Log -Message 'Remote NDIS found on the system. Cluster communication will be disabled on this adapter.'

# Get the network adapter and associated cluster network

$adapterId =

[Regex]::Matches($rndisAdapter.InstanceID,

Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center 91

Table 6. Known issues (continued)

Issue Resolution or workaround

'(?<={)(.*?)(?=})').Value

$usbNICInterface = (Get-

ClusterNetworkInterface).Where({$_.adapter

Id -eq $adapterId})

$usbNICClusterNetwork =

$usbNICInterface.Network

# Disable Cluster communication on the identified cluster network

(Get-ClusterNetwork -Name

$usbNICClusterNetwork.ToString()).Role = 0

}

While triggering full stack updates, the Tests Summary page might appear.

As a workaround, verify whether the pre-update or postupdate scripts are part of the cluster role. If they are present, remove the scripts from the cluster node by running the following command in PowerShell:

Set-CauClusterRole -PreUpdateScript $null

-PostUpdateScript $null

The update status takes a long time to refresh.

When using CredSSP authentication to run scripts on a remote machine, the update job might fail with an error.

This failure occurs because CredSSP has been disabled in the gateway machine.

For more information about the prerequisites required for a cluster update, see Update Azure Stack HCI clusters .

During full stack cluster updates, the update status shown in the Updates page might take a long time to refresh. If this issue occurs, it is recommended that you stay on the Updates page and wait for the update to complete. The update status will automatically be displayed once the update is complete.

To resolve the issue, follow these steps:

1. From the PowerShell window, run gpedit .

2. In the Group Policy Editor window, browse to Computer

Configurations > Administrative Templates > System

> Credentials Delegation .

3. Select Allow delegating fresh credentials with NTLMonly server authentication and enable it.

4. Run gpupdate /force in PowerShell.

92 Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center

14

Updates and maintenance

Topics:

Annual feature update for an Azure Stack HCI Solution

Firmware and driver updates using the manual method

Restarting a cluster node or taking a cluster node offline

Expanding the Azure Stack HCI cluster

Extending volumes

Performing AX node recovery

Operating system recovery

Annual feature update for an Azure Stack HCI

Solution

Azure Stack HCI is a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) operating system that is delivered as an Azure service. HCI provides the latest security, performance, and feature updates at regular intervals. Updates are provided in the form of monthly quality updates and annual feature updates. The annual feature update is a major update and requires adequate resources and planning. Dell Engineering has worked with Microsoft on listing together prerequisites that should be considered and met before you update your Azure Stack HCI Solution, and also listed the different supported methods of updating your solution. We recommend that you go through this section before you decide which method to choose for updating your infrastructure.

Prerequisites

Following are the prerequisites to consider before you run annual updates on your solution.

1. This activity should preferably be performed during off peak hours, as the upgrade process might require multiple CAU runs and heavy I/O on the subsystem will require long repair times.

2. Ensure that the servers in use are in the compatibility matrix for support with the version of Azure Stack HCI that you intend to upgrade.

3. Ensure that all nodes in the cluster are updated to the latest Windows operation system patches/hotfixes (Quality Updates) and hardware updates as per the latest support matrix/catalog. Drivers and firmware specific to the newer version of Azure

Stack HCI OS, still have to be updated post upgrade.

4. All nodes in the cluster should be available and running.

5. The storage pool and all virtual disks should be healthy.

6. Physical disks should not be in storage maintenance mode.

7. If the cluster is a stretch cluster, see the section

Stretch cluster scenarios

for further details.

8. Any feature upgrade requires the CAU process to download large amounts of data to perform the upgrade. Usually it would be more than 2 to 3 GB.

NOTE: At the time of writing this document, a CAU upgrade downloads all the updates once for each node.

Updates and maintenance 93

Recommended methods for feature update

Dell Engineering has validated and tested the following update paths, and it is highly recommended that you follow the process that is given in these sections.

Connected scenarios

Windows Admin Center based upgrades

All Full Stack updates that are initiated from Windows Admin Center involve a CAU process, running both OS quality and feature updates, and also updating the subsystem components like firmware and drivers. To get an insight on how to run a Full

Stack update using Windows Admin Center and to take advantage of Dell OpenManage Integration with Microsoft Windows

Admin Center extension, see

Full Stack Cluster-Aware Updating for Azure Stack HCI clusters using the OpenManage Integration snap-in .

Once prerequisites to perform a feature update are met, the process of running a WAC full stack update is no different than running any regular end-to-end update. Go to the Updates section and select Feature Updates , to update the cluster to a higher version of Azure Stack HCI.

PowerShell based upgrades

About this task

An update to Azure Stack HCI OS can also be done by using Invoke-CAURun PowerShell cmdlet.

After all prerequisites are met, perform the following steps:

Steps

1. Run the following commands on all nodes to enable the firewall rule and allow automatic restarts:

Set-WSManQuickConfig

Enable-PSRemoting

Set-NetFirewallRule -Group "@firewallapi.dll,-36751" -Profile Domain -Enabled true

2. Run the following command to add a CAU cluster role in the cluster:

Add-CauClusterRole -CauPluginName Microsoft.WindowsUpdatePlugin,

Microsoft.HotfixPlugin,Microsoft.RollingUpgradePlugin

3. Run the following command to test the CAU setup:

Test-CauSetup -ClusterName <ClusterName>

4. You might see an error message The machine proxy on each failover cluster node should be set to a local proxy server . This is normal for nodes that are connected to the internet.

5. Run the following command:

NOTE: The Invoke-CauScan cmdlet performs the scanning of cluster nodes for applicable updates and gets a list of the initial set of updates that are applied to each node in a specific cluster.

Invoke-CauScan -ClusterName <clustername> -CauPluginName

"Microsoft.RollingUpgradePlugin" -CauPluginArguments @{'WuConnected'='true';}

-Verbose | fl *

94 Updates and maintenance

6. The Invoke-cauRun cmdlet can be run on any of the nodes of the cluster or on a remote server running Windows Server

2022 or Azure Stack HCI.

Invoke-CauRun -ClusterName <clusterName> -CauPluginName

"Microsoft.RollingUpgradePlugin" -CauPluginArguments @{'WuConnected'='true';}

-Verbose -EnableFirewallRules -Force -RequireAllNodesOnline -ForceSelfUpdate

7. When the cluster is not connected to the Internet, CAU can be used to upgrade the cluster using extracted Azure Stack HCI media.

Invoke-CauRun –ClusterName <cluster_name>

-CauPluginName Microsoft.RollingUpgradePlugin -CauPluginArguments

@{ 'WuConnected'='false';'PathToSetupMedia'='\some\path\';

'UpdateClusterFunctionalLevel'='true'; } -Force

8. The ForceSelfUpdate switch is needed, if you run the CAU process from a node within the cluster.

Post Update tasks

After an Azure Stack HCI cluster upgrade, perform the following steps:

1. Run the following command to update the cluster functional level:

Update-ClusterFunctionalLevel

2. Run the following command to update the storage pool:

Update-StoragePool -FriendlyName "S2D on hci-cluster"

3. Upgrade VM configuration levels.

You may optionally upgrade VM configuration levels by stopping each VM and using the Update-VMVersion cmdlet.

4. Ensure that the Azure Stack HCI is still connected to Azure.

After Microsoft Azure registration, use the Get-AzureStackHCI command to confirm the cluster registration and connection status.

Stretch cluster scenarios

The upgrading procedure for standalone and stretch clusters are exactly the same.

Ensure that the following steps are performed before attempting a stretch cluster upgrade from 21H2 to 22H2:

1. All the nodes in both sites have access to the internet to download the 22H2 update.

2. All the nodes in the cluster (both sites) are available and running, and no nodes or disks are in maintenance mode.

3. All the resources (Virtual Machines and Virtual Disks) have preferred site set so that they do not live migrate between sites during the upgrade.

Final notes

After upgrading Azure Stack HCI, do the following:

● Run the CAU process again to update all the nodes to the latest Microsoft CU and latest firmware and drivers.

● Ensure that the BitLocker feature is installed on the cluster nodes, if not install using the following powerless command:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name *BitLocker* -IncludeAllSubFeature

-IncludeManagementTools -Verbose

Updates and maintenance 95

Firmware and driver updates using the manual method

These procedures describe how to prepare and update firmware and drivers on an Azure Stack HCI cluster manually.

Preparing for maintenance operations

About this task

Use the following PowerShell commands to ensure that all the requirements are met before proceeding with the maintenance operation of an AX node in an Azure Stack HCI cluster. These steps ensure that all the requirements are met and that no faults exist before placing an AX node into maintenance mode.

Steps

1. Verify that all nodes in the cluster are available, run the Get-clusternode command.

2. Verify that all cluster networks are available, run the Get-ClusterNetwork command.

3. Verify that the cluster status is healthy. Run the following commands:

● Get-ClusterS2D

● Get-StoragePool

● Get-StorageSubSystem -FriendlyName *Cluster* | Get-StorageHealthReport

4. Verify that all the physical and virtual drives are healthy. Run the following commands:

● Get-physicaldisk

● Get-virtualdisks

5. Run the Get-storagejob command to verify that no back-end repair jobs are running.

Placing an AX node in maintenance mode

About this task

After ensuring that the prerequisites are met and before performing the platform updates, place the AX node in maintenance mode (pause and drain). You can move roles or VMs and gracefully flush and commit data in the AX node.

Steps

1. Run the following command to put the node in maintenance mode (pause and drain). Verify that all the roles and virtual drives are drained properly and operational in other nodes after they are moved:

Suspend-ClusterNode -name “Hostname” -Drain

2. Place the target node in maintenance mode:

Get-StorageFaultDomain -type StorageScaleUnit | Where-Object {$_.FriendlyName -eq

"<Hostname>"} | Enable-StorageMaintenanceMode

3. Run the Get-Physical Disk command and ensure that the Operational Status value is in maintenance mode for the drives that belong to that server.

You can also run the following command and verify that the drives all belong to the paused node:

Get-Storagepool -IsPrimordial 0 |Get-PhysicalDisk | ? operationalstatus -eq 'In

Maintenance Mode' |Get-StorageNode -PhysicallyConnected

4. Turn off the System Lockdown mode.

5. Suspend BitLocker if enabled using the following command.

Suspend-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:" -RebootCount 0

96 Updates and maintenance

Obtaining the firmware catalog for AX nodes or Ready Nodes using

Dell Repository Manager

About this task

For a qualified set of firmware and drivers for AX nodes or Ready Nodes, Dell Technologies recommends that you use an Azure

Stack HCI catalog.

You can generate the firmware catalog along with the firmware and drivers by using Dell Repository Manager (DRM) and copy it to a shared path.

Steps

1. Install DRM version 3.0.1.423 or later.

2. On the DRM home page, click the Dell EMC Repository Manager drop-down list.

3. In the Manage section, click Application Preferences .

The Preferences window is displayed.

4. Click Plug-ins .

5. Select all the plug-ins and click Update .

A message is displayed about the successful completion of the update.

6. Click Catalogs .

7. Select all the catalogs and click Update .

8. Click Close to close the Preferences window.

9. On the home page, click Add Repository .

The Add Repository window is displayed.

10. Enter the Repository name and Description .

11. Select Index Catalog-

<version>

from the Base Catalog drop-down menu.

12. Select Update Catalog for Microsoft HCI Solutions from the Catalog Group .

13. Select the latest catalog from the Catalogs section.

14. Click Save .

The Update Catalog for Microsoft HCI Solutions is populated in the Base Catalog section.

15. In the Manual Repository Type, click All systems in base catalog and then click Add .

The repository is displayed on the repository dashboard available in the home page.

16. Select the repository and click Export .

The Export Deployment Tools window is displayed.

17. Select the location to export files and click Export .

The files are exported to the specified location.

Updating the AX node by using iDRAC out of band

About this task

AX nodes offer device firmware updates remotely through iDRAC. For Azure Stack HCI clusters, the recommended option is to use an Azure Stack HCI catalog for a qualified set of firmware and BIOS. Generate the latest

Dell Azure Stack HCI catalog file

through Dell Repository Manager (DRM) and copy the file to a network location before proceeding with the update process.

Steps

1. Log in to the iDRAC web interface.

2. Click Maintenance > System Update .

The Firmware Update page is displayed.

3. On the Update tab, select Network Share as the file location.

4. Provide the details of the network share:

Updates and maintenance 97

Figure 36. Check for updates

5. Click Check for updates .

A list of available updates is displayed:

Figure 37. Select updates

6. Select the updates and click Install Next Reboot to install and reboot the system.

Updating the out-of-box drivers

For certain system components, you might need to update the drivers to the latest Dell supported versions, which are listed in the Supported Firmware and Software Matrix.

Run the following PowerShell command to retrieve the list of all driver versions that are installed on the local system:

Get-PnpDevice | Select-Object Name, @{l='DriverVersion';e={(Get-PnpDeviceProperty -

InstanceId $_.InstanceId -KeyName 'DEVPKEY_Device_DriverVersion').Data}} -Unique |

Where-Object {($_.Name -like "*HBA*") -or ($_.Name -like "*mellanox*") -or ($_.Name

-like "*Qlogic*") -or ($_.Name -like "*X710*") -or

($_.Name -like "*Broadcom*") -or

($_.Name -like "*marvell*")

Run the following PowerShell command to check the chipset driver installation status. If there is an error, install the chipset driver:

Get-PnpDevice -PresentOnly | Where-Object {($_.Status -ne 'OK') -and ($_.Problem -ne

'CM_PROB_NONE' -and $_.Problem -ne 'CM_PROB_DISABLED')}

98 Updates and maintenance

After you identify the required driver version, including for the chipset and the HBA, download the driver installers from https:// www.dell.com/support or by using the Dell Repository Manager (DRM) as described in

Obtaining the firmware catalog for AX nodes or Ready Nodes using the Dell Repository Manager

.

After the drivers are downloaded, copy the identified drivers to AX nodes from where you can manually run the driver DUP files to install the drivers and restart the node.

Alternatively, to install the drivers silently, go to the folder and run the following command:

<DriverUpdate>.EXE /s /f

Exiting the AX node from maintenance mode

After updating the AX node, exit the storage maintenance mode and node maintenance mode by running the following commands:

Get-StorageFaultDomain -type StorageScaleUnit | Where-Object {$_.FriendlyName -eq

"<Hostname>"} | Disable-StorageMaintenanceMode

Resume-ClusterNode -Name “Hostname” -Failback Immediate

Resume-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:"

These commands initiate the operation of rebuilding and rebalancing the data to ensure load balancing.

For the remaining cluster nodes, repeat the preceding procedures for conducting maintenance operations.

Restarting a cluster node or taking a cluster node offline

About this task

Use the following procedure to restart a cluster node or to take a cluster node offline for maintenance:

Steps

1. Verify the health status of your cluster and volumes:

● Get-StorageSubSystem -FriendlyName *Cluster* | Get-StorageHealthReport

● Get-physicaldisk

● Get-virtualdisks

2. Suspend the cluster node:

● Suspend-ClusterNode -name “Hostname” -Drain

3. Enable storage maintenance mode:

● Get-StorageFaultDomain -type StorageScaleUnit | Where-Object {$_.FriendlyName -eq

"<Hostname>"} | Enable-StorageMaintenanceMode

4. Suspend the BitLocker:

● Suspend-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:" -RebootCount 0

5. Restart the server or shut it down for maintenance.

6. Disable storage maintenance mode.

● Get-StorageFaultDomain -type StorageScaleUnit | Where-Object {$_.FriendlyName -eq

"<Hostname>"} | Disable-StorageMaintenanceMode

7. Resume the cluster node:

● Resume-ClusterNode -Name “Hostname” -Failback Immediate

● Resume-BitLocker -MountPoint "C:"

Results

For more information, see Taking a Storage Spaces Direct server offline for maintenance .

Updates and maintenance 99

Expanding the Azure Stack HCI cluster

Expanding cluster compute or storage capacity are tasks performed during cluster operations. This section provides instructions for performing these tasks.

Figure 38. Expanding the Azure Stack HCI cluster

Azure Stack HCI node expansion

In an HCI cluster, adding server nodes increases the storage capacity, improves the overall storage performance of the cluster, and provides more compute resources to add VMs. Before adding new server nodes to an HCI cluster, complete the following requirements:

● Verify that the processor model HBA and NICs are of the same configuration as the current nodes on the cluster and PCIe slots.

● Ensure that all disk types and the amount in each node are the same as the node in use. Do not combine two different disk types in the same cluster or node. For example, you cannot combine SATA and SAS HDD/SSD drives in the same node or cluster. The following table lists the supported options for expanding storage capacity of the cluster.

Table 7. Options to expand storage capacity of the cluster

Option 1 conditions Option 2 conditions

○ Drive is listed in the Support Matrix

○ Same drive manufacturer

○ Same capacity and endurance

○ Latest model

○ Latest firmware

Drive is listed in the Support Matrix

Different drive manufacturer

Same capacity and endurance

Different model

Different firmware

● Ensure that the BIOS, drivers, firmware, and chipset are as listed in the support matrix.

● Apply the BIOS configuration to the node and configure iDRAC. For more information about configuring the node, see

Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies: End-to-End Deployment with Switchless Networking or Microsoft HCI

100 Updates and maintenance

Solutions from Dell Technologies: End-to-End Deployment with Scalable Networking . Do not run the PowerShell commands in the following sections of the deployment guide again because the cluster is already created, Storage Spaces Direct is already enabled, and the management network is already excluded:

○ Creating the host cluster

○ Enabling Storage Spaces Direct

○ Configuring the host management network as a lower priority network for live migration

● Ensure that the following tasks are completed:

1. Pass cluster validation and SES device compliance tests.

2. Verify that the nodes are compliant with the firmware baseline.

3. Update the hardware timeout configuration for the Spaces port.

4. After the node configuration, update Microsoft Windows to bring the node to the same level as the cluster.

Adding server nodes manually

NOTE: The procedure is applicable only if the cluster and Storage Spaces Direct configuration is done manually.

To manually add server nodes to the cluster, see https://technet.microsoft.com/windows-server-docs/storage/storagespaces/add-nodes .

Storage Spaces Direct storage expansion

In an HCI cluster, expanding storage by adding drives on the available slots on the cluster nodes adds storage capacity to the cluster and improves storage performance. Before the storage expansion, ensure that all disk types and the amount in each node are the same and are equal to that of the node in use. Do not combine two different disk types in the same cluster or node.

For example, you cannot combine SATA and SAS HDD/SSD drives in the same node or cluster.

The following options for expanding the storage capacity of the cluster are supported:

● Option 1: Expand the storage with the same drive manufacturer, capacity, endurance, latest model, and latest firmware.

Determine if it is available on the AX node support matrix.

● Option 2: Expand the storage with a different drive manufacturer, model, firmware, and the same capacity and endurance.

Determine if it is available on the AX node support matrix.

When new disks are added to extend the overall storage capacity per node, the Azure Stack HCI cluster starts claiming the physical disks into an existing storage pool.

After the drives are added, they are shown as available for pooling (CanPool set to True) in the output of the Get-

PhysicalDisk command.

Within a few minutes, the newly added disks are claimed in the existing pool and Storage Spaces Direct starts the rebalance job.

Run the following command to verify that the new disks are a part of the existing pool:

PS C:\> Get-StorageSubSystem -FriendlyName *Cluster* | Get-StorageHealthReport

CPUUsageAverage : 2.66 %

CapacityPhysicalPooledAvailable : 8.01 TB

CapacityPhysicalPooledTotal : 69.86 TB

CapacityPhysicalTotal : 69.86 TB

CapacityPhysicalUnpooled : 0 B

CapacityVolumesAvailable : 15.09 TB

CapacityVolumesTotal : 16.88 TB

IOLatencyAverage : 908.13 us

IOLatencyRead : 0 ns

IOLatencyWrite : 908.13 us

IOPSRead : 0 /S

IOPSTotal : 1 /S

IOPSWrite : 1 /S

IOThroughputRead : 0 B/S

IOThroughputTotal : 11.98 KB/S

IOThroughputWrite : 11.98 KB/S

MemoryAvailable : 472.87 GB

MemoryTotal : 768 GB

After all available disks are claimed in the storage pool, the CapacityPhysicalUnpooled is 0 B .

Updates and maintenance 101

The storage rebalance job might take a few minutes. You can monitor the process by using the Get-StorageJob cmdlet.

Extending volumes

You can resize volumes that are created in Spaces Direct storage pools by using the Resize-VirtualDisk cmdlet. For more information, see https://technet.microsoft.com/windows-server-docs/storage/storage-spaces/resize-volumes .

Performing AX node recovery

If a cluster node fails, perform node operating system recovery in a systematic manner to ensure that the node is brought up with the configuration that is consistent with other cluster nodes.

The following sections provide details about operating system recovery and post-recovery configuration that is required to bring the node into an existing Azure Stack HCI cluster.

NOTE: To perform node recovery, ensure that the operating system is reinstalled.

Configuring RAID for operating system drives

Prerequisites

The Dell PowerEdge servers offer the Boot Optimized Storage Solution (BOSS) controller as an efficient and economical way to separate the operating system and data on the internal storage of the server. The BOSS solution in the latest generation of

PowerEdge servers uses one or two BOSS M.2 SATA devices to provide RAID 1 capability for the operating system drive.

NOTE: All Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies are configured with hardware RAID 1 for the operating system drives on BOSS M.2 SATA SSD devices. The steps in this section are required only when recovering a failed cluster node.

Before creating a new RAID, the existing or failed RAID must be deleted.

About this task

This procedure describes the process of creating operating system volumes.

Steps

1. Log in to the iDRAC web interface.

2. Go to Storage > Controllers .

Figure 39. View controllers

3. Go to Configuration > Storage Configuration > Virtual Disk Configuration , and then click Create Virtual Disk .

102 Updates and maintenance

Figure 40. Create a virtual disk

4. Provide a virtual disk name and select BOSS M.2 devices in the physical disks.

Figure 41. Provide virtual disk name

Figure 42. Set physical disks

Updates and maintenance 103

5. Click Add Pending Operations .

6. Go to Configuration > Storage Configuration > Virtual Disk Configuration .

Figure 43. Initialize configuration

7. Select the virtual disk and then select Initialize: Fast in Virtual Disk Actions .

8. Reboot the server.

NOTE: The virtual disk creation process might take several minutes to complete.

9. After the initialization is completed successfully, the virtual disk health status is displayed.

Figure 44. Virtual disk health status

Operating system recovery

This section provides an overview of steps involved in operating system recovery on the Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell

Technologies.

NOTE: Ensure that the RAID 1 VD created on the BOSS M.2 drives is reinitialized.

NOTE: Do not reinitialize or clear the data on the disks that were a part of the Storage Spaces Direct storage pool. This helps to reduce repair times when the node is added back to the same cluster after recovery.

Manual operating system recovery

For manually deployed nodes, you can recover the operating system on the node by using any of the methods that were used for operating system deployment.

104 Updates and maintenance

Factory operating system recovery

For the factory-installed OEM license of the operating system, Dell Technologies recommends that you use the operating system recovery media that shipped with the PowerEdge server. Using this media for operating system recovery ensures that the operating system stays activated after the recovery. Using any other operating system media triggers the need for activation after operating system deployment. Operating system deployment using the recovery media is the same as either retail or other operating system media-based installation.

After completing the operating system deployment using the recovery media, perform the following steps to bring the node into an existing Azure Stack HCI cluster:

1. Update CPU chipset, network, and storage drivers.

2. Configure host networking.

3. Change the hostname.

4. Perform AD Domain Join.

5. Configure the QoS policy (for RoCE for RDMA only).

6. Configure RDMA.

7. Configure the firewall.

8. Perform Day 0 operating system updates.

9. Add server nodes to the cluster.

For instructions on steps 1 through 7, see Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies: End-to-End Deployment with

Switchless Networking or Microsoft HCI Solutions from Dell Technologies: End-to-End Deployment with Scalable Networking .

iDRAC Service Module (iSM) for AX nodes and Storage Spaces

Direct Ready Nodes

The iDRAC Service Module (iSM) is a lightweight software module that you can install on AX nodes to complement the iDRAC interfaces—the user interface (UI), RACADM CLI, Redfish, and Web Services-Management (WS-Man)—with additional monitoring data.

About this task

To install iSM on the operating system, perform the following steps.

NOTE: The ISM application package is installed as part of firmware and driver updates using the ASHCI catalog.

Steps

1. Go to iDRAC > iDRAC Settings > Settings > iDRAC Service Module Setup .

2. Start the virtual console.

3. Log in to the host operating system as an administrator.

4. From the device list, select the mounted volume that is identified as SMINST and then click the ISM_Win.bat

script to start the installation.

Results

After the installation is completed, iDRAC indicates that the iSM is installed and specifies the latest installation date.

FullPowerCycle

FullPowerCycle is a calling interface function that provides a way to reset the server auxiliary power. An increasing amount of server hardware runs on server auxiliary power. Troubleshooting some server issues requires you to physically unplug the server power cable to reset the hardware running on auxiliary power.

The FullPowerCycle feature enables the administrator to connect or disconnect auxiliary power remotely without visiting the data center. This feature is supported on AX nodes and Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes.

These are the relevant commands to run in the PowerShell console:

● To request FullPowerCycle on your system: Invoke-FullPowerCycle —status request

● To get the status of FullPowerCycle on your system: Invoke-FullPowerCycle -status Get

Updates and maintenance 105

● To cancel FullPowerCycle on your system: Invoke-FullPowerCycle -status cancel

106 Updates and maintenance

Index

P predeployment

13

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