You can use the VSA Installer wizard to create the VSA cluster manually.

The VSA Installer wizard provides a graphical workflow to install the VSA cluster.

After you complete the steps in the wizard, the VSA Installer performs a set of tasks that create the VSA cluster.

  1. For newly installed ESXi, the installer configures the network of each ESXi host.

    The installer creates a front-end and a back-end virtual switch on each ESXi instance to support the front-end and back-end networks of the cluster. The installer selects two uplink ports for each virtual switch from the four available NIC ports. As a result, each virtual switch has one primary and one redundant uplink.

    If you use existing hosts that have preconfigured vSwitches, the installer audits the vSwitches.

  2. Deploys a vSphere Storage Appliance on each ESXi host.

  3. Configures each vSphere Storage Appliance to export one half of the ESXi VMFS storage space as a VSA datastore, and the other half as a replica of another VSA datastore.

    • VSA 0 exports VSA datastore 0 and maintains a replica of VSA datastore 2.

    • VSA 1 exports VSA datastore 1 and maintains a replica of VSA datastore 0.

    • VSA 2 exports VSA datastore 2 and maintains a replica of VSA datastore 1.

  4. Configures the network interfaces on each vSphere Storage Appliance to establish the front-end and back-end networks of the VSA cluster.

The VSA cluster members form the VSA cluster by establishing a process of electing a cluster leader. The cluster leader is the VSA cluster member that communicates with VSA Manager to report the status of the VSA cluster.