Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center. Dell AX-750, AX-640, AX-6515, AX-740XD, AX-7525, AX-650


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Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center. Dell AX-750, AX-640, AX-6515, AX-740XD, AX-7525, AX-650 | Manualzz

9

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> .

30 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 9. 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 10. 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 31

Figure 11. 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.

32 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 12. HCI dashboard in Windows Admin Center

View server details

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

Figure 13. 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 33

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 14. Drives: Summary tab

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

34 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

Figure 15. 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 35

Figure 16. Volumes: Summary tab

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

Figure 17. 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.

36 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 37

Figure 18. 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

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Figure 19. 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 39

Figure 20. Virtual switches

40 Managing and monitoring clusters with Windows Admin Center

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