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Highly-available on-prem storage for User Layers, etc.

Stephen Borrill


There's an increasing list of CVAD-related things that need highly-available SMB storage (with persistent file handles) for VHD/VHDX files such as:


  • FSLogix profile containers
  • Citrix UPM Outlook containers
  • Citrix User Personalisation Layers
  • AppLayering User layers
  • AppLayering elastic app layers


How this storage is actually provided usually seems to be glossed over.  Our customers tend to use on-premises Citrix Hypervisor with LVMoHBA shared block storage. I wanted to use Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), but the PV drivers do not provide a suitable disk bus type so the validation tests fail and a cluster cannot be created (Disk bus type does not support clustering). An alternative would be to do direct LUN passthrough (either HBA LUN or iSCSI) to the VM, but that does not appear to be supported in Citrix Hypervisor. As the hypervisor hosts are covered by Windows Server Datacenter licences, there's no additional cost for implementing Storage Spaces Direct (a Datacenter-only feature) on VMs on those hosts. The same is not true if running on separate physical servers using their local storage and I am keen to keep the cost down.


What other alternatives are there for suitably available on-prem storage (and without HCI)?

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