Before You Begin

Please note the following before starting the install process:


  1. When deploying or starting the VM image, you may see error messages like the following:




    To verify that the VM started correctly, check the serial console output by going to Boot Diagnostics. If it looks like this, then the VM is running normally.



  2. V202 virtual devices support single and two-disk (separate OS and data disks) configurations.  Disks can be expanded after deployment.
  3. The shipped VHD file is unique, so it cannot be used to deploy multiple virtual CacheDrives.  For example, if you wish to deploy two virtual CacheDrives, two unique VHD files would be needed.
  4. We do not include an AzureVM agent, so some of the Azure Virtual Machine console functionality is not available.


Recommended VM Sizing

For 10 simultaneous users, we recommend using an F2s v3 instance with 2 vCPUs and 4 GB of memory and at least 256 GB of Standard SSD storage.


For a more in-depth guide on VM sizing, please see the section ‘Azure V202 Virtual Machine Sizing Guide’ below.



Extracting the Disk Image

  1. Download the zip file using the link provided by Morro Data.
  2. Right-click the downloaded file and select Extract All.  Select a location to save the extracted folder.
  3. The extracted folder will contain the virtual disk image (.vhd).  Expected file size is approximately 500 MB.



Preparing the Virtual Hard Drive

  1. Go to the Azure Portal (portal.azure.com).
  2. Select a Storage Account (type Storage or StorageV2), then a Container, and upload the image as a Page Blob.  Note: Storage Accounts of type BlobStorage do not support Page Blobs.



  3. Go to Home -> Images and click Add.
  4. Enter the desired name, resource group, etc.  Set the OS type and VM Generation as below.  Choose the Account Type and Host Caching that best suits your needs.



  5. Click Create.



Creating the Virtual Machine

  1. Go to Home -> Virtual Machines and click Add.
  2. Use the settings below as a guide.

    A few things to note:
    • Select the previously created disk image by clicking “Browse all public and private images”, then selecting “My Items” and choosing the image from the list.
    • Minimum Size is B1s, but it is highly recommended that a larger VM size is used for production.  For reference, Morro Data hardware devices as of 2020 are dual core with 4GB of RAM.
    • Morro Data does not use the Administrator account but the VM creation process requires a username and password.
    • Public inbound ports can be set to None.
    • Remote debugging over SSH by Morro Support requires outbound TCP port 22 to be open.



  3. Click Next : Disks.
  4. Click “Create and attach a new disk”.  Set Source type to None and click Change size to choose the disk size.  Minimum size is 64 GB, but at least 128 GB is recommended for production usage.  The disk can be expanded later.

    For two-disk configurations, create a separate volume for the OS. We recommend using the fastest available storage for the OS volume to maximize database performance. The data volume can use slower storage to reduce costs. The suggested starting size for a separate OS volume is 64 GB and can be expanded later.

    The installer will automatically use the larger volume for data and the smaller volume for the OS.



  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Review + Create.



  7. Review the settings.  If they are correct, click Create.
  8. It may take up to 30 minutes for the deployment to complete.  Note that you may see an error message stating that the provisioning failed (see #1 in Before You Begin).
  9. If the Boot Diagnostics page looks like this, then the deployment was completed successfully:



  10. If the device is not claimed within 8 hours, please reboot the VM to re-enable discovery.



Claiming the Device

If you’re creating a new account, follow the directions here and manually add the new device by UUID.


Morro Account Sign Up


If you’re adding the device to an existing account, go to the Morro Cloud Manager, click Devices, then Add Gateway.  Add your new VM using the UUID shown in the serial console or the disk image delivery email.



Azure V202 Virtual Machine Sizing Guide 


Overview 

The Morro Data CacheDrive in Cloud V202 is deployed as a virtual machine in Azure.  Azure supports a variety of VM types and sizes to suit different performance and budget goals.  This guide will help you determine the right VM specifications for your CacheDrive. 



VM Requirements 

The following are the minimum requirements for V202.  They are suitable only for evaluation purposes and will not have adequate performance or capacity for production environments.  With the minimum disk size of 32 GB, only 16 GB of disk space will be allocated to cache (the rest is reserved for the operating system, working space, etc.) and the maximum file size is 8 GB. 

Minimum Requirements (evaluation only) 


Considerations for Best Practices 

CacheDrives do not require a lot of computational power, but they thrive on high I/O (network and vDisk) throughputs.  Azure allows you to change the VM type easily as your needs evolve.



vDisk Type and Size (Single Disk Installations) 

Virtual Disk or vDisk performance is important.  Azure allocates more throughput as vDisk size increases, so both capacity and performance must be considered when determining the correct vDisk size.  We recommend starting with a vDisk size of at least 256 GiB.  A larger cache will reduce the frequency of cache misses and provide higher overall system performance.


Our testing shows little difference in Standard SSD and Premium SSD performance in standard file system operations.  Operations involving many small files are 25% faster with Premium SSD.


The following chart shows the amount of storage reserved for the operating system and working space for each vDisk size.  The remaining vDisk space will be allocated to cache.


VDisk Size (GiB)Reserved (GiB)Notes
< 3216 GiB
32 to 12816 to 48Linearly increasing
128 to 51248 to 96Linearly increasing
512 to 204896 to 192Linearly increasing
> 2048192



vDisk Type and Size (Separate OS and Data Disks) 

Use the reserved column in the chart above to determine a reasonable disk size for a separate OS volume.  We recommend using 64 GB or more of the fastest available storage to maximize database performance.  The disk can be expanded to a larger capacity later.


The data volume is less sensitive to disk performance differences, so you may choose to use slower storage to reduce costs.  We recommend a minimum size of 128 GB for the data disk, which can be expanded later.



vCPU Type and Quantity 

This is the most important factor for performance.  Although CacheDrives are not computationally intensive, we recommend a minimum of 2 vCPUs.


The following chart compares the performance of VMs with 2 vCPUs with different CPU types and memory configurations.  Please note that the client PC (whether physical or virtual VDI) can also impact performance.  To achieve good overall performance, each component (vCPU, vDisk, and vNet) of both the CacheDrive and client PCs must perform optimally.


Small and large file performance for B2s has been normalized to 1, so D2s, which shows 2x small files performance, will have twice the performance of B2s.


Type
vCPU
Memory
Small Files
Large Files
B2s24 GiB11
D2s28GiB2x2x
F2s24 GiB3x3x

For 10 simultaneous users, we recommend using an F2s v3 instance with 2 vCPUs and 4 GB of memory and at least 256 GB of Standard SSD storage.