Creating a Highly Available SoftNAS POC on Microsoft Azure
As a first time user, the primary goals are simply to see the product in action, to determine its capabilities, and then to determine the requirements. This document will focus on providing you a functional instance, sharing a CIFS volume. It will also provide the additional steps to create a 2nd virtual machine and configure high availability, if you so choose. This basic setup will allow you to test the key features of SoftNAS Enterprise, while providing a baseline for your production requirements.
Note: The guidance in the following document applies equally to all editions of SoftNAS (Enterprise, Platinum and Essentials), however, bear in mind the limitations of Essentials, notably that Essentials is object storage only, and currently does not provide high availability. However, the process of creating your instance, configuring disks, pools and volumes are the same.
Note: Platinum features are not in scope for this Getting Started Guide, however, the setup presented here will provide a strong foundation for your platinum deployment. Simply remember to select the Platinum Edition if you plan to test or deploy Platinum features.
Planning Your Instance
There are numerous considerations when creating any storage solution, and SoftNAS is no exception. Dependent on the use case, the expected performance levels, the platform you select, and much more, one configuration of SoftNAS will look much different from the rest. For the purposes of a basic proof of concept (POC), many of these elements might seem irrelevant, but they are not. For a POC to be of value, it must provide insight into not only the product but also what you intend to use it for. If your POC is not designed to provide you a baseline of the functionality you expect in a production environment, then it may be a wasted exercise.
To ensure your instance meets your needs, the following considerations are key:
- Size – What performance characteristics do you require? A great deal of RAM to handle large-scale data storage? Processing power (vCPU) to handle encryption or compression?
- Storage – What performance characteristics do you require from your storage? Is it an infrequently accessed archive? Is it a database serving a demanding application?
- Network/Throughput – do you require a great deal of throughput? Does your use case require constant and immediate access to the data in question?
- Security – Should data be encrypted? Do you wish to restrict access to a specific IP or IP range? What traffic do you wish to allow?
- High Availability - Will you be leveraging SoftNAS' SNAP HA functionality, or is this a stand-alone deployment?
In order to assist you during the creation of the POC, we will be linking to information on the key considerations listed above as they arise in the creation process.