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AWS Storage Gateway
User Guide (API Version 2013-06-30)

Configuring VMware for Storage Gateway

When configuring VMware for AWS Storage Gateway, make sure to synchronize your VM time with your host time, configure VM to use paravirtualized disk controllers when provisioning storage and provide protection from failures in the infrastructure layer supporting a gateway VM.

Synchronizing VM Time with Host Time

To successfully activate your gateway, you must ensure that your VM time is synchronized to the host time, and that the host time is correctly set. In this section, you first synchronize the time on the VM to the host time. Then you check the host time and, if needed, set the host time and configure the host to synchronize its time automatically to a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server.

Important

Synchronizing the VM time with the host time is required for successful gateway activation.

To synchronize VM time with host time

  1. Configure your VM time.

    1. In the vSphere client, open the context (right-click) menu for your gateway VM, and choose Edit Settings.

      The Virtual Machine Properties dialog box opens.

    2. Choose the Options tab, and choose VMware Tools in the options list.

    3. Check the Synchronize guest time with host option, and then choose OK.

      The VM synchronizes its time with the host.

  2. Configure the host time.

    It is important to make sure that your host clock is set to the correct time. If you have not configured your host clock, perform the following steps to set and synchronize it with an NTP server.

    1. In the VMware vSphere client, select the vSphere host node in the left pane, and then choose the Configuration tab.

    2. Select Time Configuration in the Software panel, and then choose the Properties link.

      The Time Configuration dialog box appears.

    3. In the Date and Time panel, set the date and time.

    4. Configure the host to synchronize its time automatically to an NTP server.

      1. Choose Options in the Time Configuration dialog box, and then in the NTP Daemon (ntpd) Options dialog box, choose NTP Settings in the left pane.

      2. Choose Add to add a new NTP server.

      3. In the Add NTP Server dialog box, type the IP address or the fully qualified domain name of an NTP server, and then choose OK.

        You can use pool.ntp.org as shown in the following example.

      4. In the NTP Daemon (ntpd) Options dialog box, choose General in the left pane.

      5. In the Service Commands pane, choose Start to start the service.

        Note that if you change this NTP server reference or add another later, you will need to restart the service to use the new server.

    5. Choose OK to close the NTP Daemon (ntpd) Options dialog box.

    6. Choose OK to close the Time Configuration dialog box.

Configuring the AWS Storage Gateway VM to Use Paravirtualized Disk Controllers

In this task, you set the iSCSI controller so that the VM uses paravirtualization. Paravirtualization is a mode where the gateway VM works with the host operating system so the console can identify the virtual disks that you add to your VM.

Note

You must complete this step to avoid issues in identifying these disks when you configure them in the gateway console.

To configure your VM to use paravirtualized controllers

  1. In the VMware vSphere client, open the context (right-click) menu for your gateway VM, and then choose Edit Settings.

  2. In the Virtual Machine Properties dialog box, choose the Hardware tab, select the SCSI controller 0, and then choose Change Type.

  3. In the Change SCSI Controller Type dialog box, select the VMware Paravirtual SCSI controller type, and then choose OK.

Using AWS Storage Gateway with VMware High Availability

VMware High Availability (HA) is a component of vSphere that can provide protection from failures in the infrastructure layer supporting a gateway VM. VMware HA does this by using multiple hosts configured as a cluster so that if a host running a gateway VM fails, the gateway VM can be restarted automatically on another host within the cluster. For more information about VMware HA, see VMware HA: Concepts and Best Practices on the VMware website.

To use AWS Storage Gateway with VMware HA, we recommend doing the following things:

  • Deploy the VMware ESX .ova downloadable package that contains the AWS Storage Gateway VM on only one host in a cluster.

  • When deploying the .ova package, select a data store that is not local to one host. Instead, use a data store that is accessible to all hosts in the cluster. If you select a data store that is local to a host and the host fails, then the data source might not be accessible to other hosts in the cluster and failover to another host might not succeed.

  • To prevent your initiator from disconnecting from storage volume targets during failover, follow the recommended iSCSI settings for your operating system. In a failover event, it can take from a few seconds to several minutes for a gateway VM to start in a new host in the failover cluster. The recommended iSCSI timeouts for both Windows and Linux clients are greater than the typical time it takes for failover to occur. For more information on customizing Windows clients' timeout settings, see Customizing Your Windows iSCSI Settings. For more information on customizing Linux clients' timeout settings, see Customizing Your Linux iSCSI Settings.

  • With clustering, if you deploy the .ova package to the cluster, select a host when you are prompted to do so. Alternately, you can deploy directly to a host in a cluster.