Build Your own DIY home or lab Storage Spaces Direct Cluster orderd from ebay Part 1

So i built a 2 node S2D cluster  a while ago at home on some old HP G6 nodes i got cheap. But have decided to get rid of that and setup a new 3 node cluster with bit’s i can find on ebay. And reuse disks i have. This will be a multipart blog post as the parts are orderd and they come in. And during the build process. I will provide a step by step guide in building it, installing, configuring, monitoring and troubleshooting Storage Spaces Direct. Including switch config.

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Replacing a failed Disk on a storage spaces direct pool failed

So yesterday i had to replace a disk on a failed HDD in one of our S2D cluster. After replacing the drive and removing the failed drive from the cluster i ran Get-Physicaldisk and noticed i had no disks with Canpool = True. This is normal as S2D will detect the new disk and add it to the Storage Pool to balance the pool correctly.

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Dataon S2D-3212 HyperConverged Cluster

Updated 27. feb

We have been testing Storage Spaces Direct for a while on our Ebay cluster. We have been running development and some production systems. As the 2nd exchange node, a mediation server and our vmm server.

We have been looking to replace our current Hyper-V solution that consist of HP BL465c G8 and  BL490 G7 blade servers attached to HP P2000 G3 MSA over iscsi. This has been slower and slower as we have setup more virtual machines. This was a 12 disk shelf with 11 disks active with one spare. One 15k disk gives about 170 iops, giving a whopping 1870 iops on max speed. On normal load it would use about 1200-1500  IOPS so not a lot of spare IOPS. We had one pr cluster.

Most of you know what S2D(Storage Spaces Direct) is, if you don’t go look at Cosmos Darwin’s post over at Technet to get some good insight about S2D.

What i am going to focus on in this blog is the new Dataon HyperConverged server. Back at Ignite 2016  Dataon released there first offering the S2D-3110 all flash solution pumping out 2.6 Million IOPS in a 1u form factor. Read more

Setup VPN to use MFA with NPS Extension

In this blog post i will show you how to setup a Microsoft VPN connection with the new NPS Extension for Azure AD MFA.

This is new service that the Microsoft NPS team just released, that adds an Extension to the Windows Network Policy Server.

When using the NPS extension for Azure MFA, the authentication flow includes the following components:

This is copied from https://docs.microsoft.com/nb-no/azure/multi-factor-authentication/multi-factor-authentication-nps-extension

  1. NAS/VPN Server receives requests from VPN clients and converts them into RADIUS requests to NPS servers.
  2. NPS Server connects to Active Directory to perform the primary authentication for the RADIUS requests and, upon success, passes the request to any installed extensions.
  3. NPS Extension triggers a request to Azure MFA for the secondary authentication. Once the extension receives the response, and if the MFA challenge succeeds, it completes the authentication request by providing the NPS server with security tokens that include an MFA claim, issued by Azure STS.
  4. Azure MFA communicates with Azure Active Directory to retrieve the user’s details and performs the secondary authentication using a verification method configured to the user.

The following diagram illustrates this high-level authentication request flow:

Authentication flow diagram

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How to replace a NVME Caching device on a Storage Spaces Direct Cluster

After my initial failure of replacing a NVME Caching card and hitting a bug in the 2016 version i was on, i replaced another one today. As we where starting our cluster out with Intel 750 drives, and these NVME PCIe cards only have 70gb of write’s pr day. So i decided to replace them with the Intel DC P3600. The first failed as can be seen here.

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