- The new node must be installed with an operating system as in the current cluster.
- Host network configuration must be configured identical to the existing cluster nodes.
- New node must be added in the Windows Admin Center.
- OMIMSWAC Premium License for Microsoft HCI Solutions must be installed on each cluster node.
By using OMIMSWAC, you can prepare nodes to add to your existing Azure Stack HCI cluster to improve capacity. It is always important for administrators to keep the cluster symmetrical and adhere to Dell EMC recommendations. During cluster expansion, to automate the process and help customers comply with Dell EMC recommendations, OMIMSWAC has introduced a feature that is called "Expand Cluster". With the use of "Expand Cluster" feature, you as an administrator can prepare nodes ensuring the node is compatible and follow Dell EMC recommendations, which can and then be added to the existing cluster.
The cluster expansion process involves the following major steps:
- High-Level Compatibility Check: Helps to identify compatible nodes to add to the cluster.
- License Availability Check: Checks for OMIMSWAC premium licenses available on new nodes and cluster nodes.
- HCI Configuration Profile Check: Helps you to validate new node and cluster nodes HCI configurations based on Dell Technologies recommendations.
- Update Compliance: Helps you to generate compliance report for both new nodes and cluster nodes and then fix the compliance only for new nodes.
- Connect to the cluster using Windows Admin Center and launch Open Manage Integration extension.
- Click the Configure tab and then click Expand Cluster on the left side.
- In the Expand Cluster window, click Add Nodes.
- In the Cluster Expansion window, under Select compatible nodes, a list of nodes is displayed. The list fetches all nodes available on the Server Manager page in the Windows Admin Center.
- Select any nodes that you want to add to the cluster. You can also search any node using the search box or click the select all check box to select all nodes. Ensure that new nodes are not part of the cluster. Note: Total number of nodes that are supported in a cluster is 16. For example, for a cluster with existing 4 nodes, you can select up to 12 nodes for cluster expansion.
- After nodes are selected, click Check for High Level Compatibility to validate the new nodes and cluster nodes as per Dell EMC recommendations. The validation happens on a high level as follows:
- Both new nodes and cluster nodes must be from Dell Technologies. Note: Only AX nodes from Dell Technologies are supported for HCI cluster expansion. Storage Space Direct Ready Nodes are not supported for HCI cluster expansion.
- New nodes and cluster nodes must be of the same model for symmetrical cluster.
- Operating system that is installed on new nodes must be supported and same as cluster nodes. If the high-level compatibility shows:
- Non-compliant: None of the selected nodes are compliant per Dell EMC recommendations.
- Partially Compliant: Few of the selected nodes are compliant as per Dell EMC recommendations and you can proceed for License Availability check only for the compliant nodes.
- Compliant: All the selected nodes are compliant as per Dell EMC recommendations and you can proceed for License Availability check for all the compliant nodes. If the high-level compatibility shows Noncompliant or Partially Compliant, click View Details to learn more about the nodes and type of noncompliance.
- Both new nodes and cluster nodes must be from Dell Technologies.
- Click Check for License Availability to verify whether new nodes and cluster nodes have 'OMIMSWAC Premium License for MSFT HCI Solutions' installed. Before moving for HCI Configuration Profile check, ensure that new nodes and cluster nodes have OMIMSWAC premium license installed.
- Click Check for HCI Configuration Profile to validate new nodes and cluster nodes against symmetrical recommendations from Dell EMC. If an Internet connection is not available, run the HCI configuration profile check-in offline mode.
If any of the nodes is not compatible, click View Details to see more information about the nodes, reason for noncompliant and recommendations.Note: HCI configuration profile fails if any of the required configurations fail with a "Critical" error. Review the recommendations and details to resolve any issues to achieve HCI configuration profile and go to the next step.
When the configuration fails with a "Warning", this means that the configuration can be supported for cluster deployment, but could result in suboptimal cluster performance. It should be reviewed. Before you go to the next step, ensure HCI configurations of all nodes are compliant as per Dell EMC recommendations.
- Select any nodes that you want to add to the cluster. You can also search any node using the search box or click the select all check box to select all nodes. Ensure that new nodes are not part of the cluster.
- After you successfully complete the high-level compatibility check, license check, and HCI configuration profile check, click Next: Update compliance to check for firmware, BIOS, and drivers compliance for new nodes and cluster nodes. Using 'Expand Cluster' flow, you can update firmware, BIOS, and drivers for new nodes only. To generate compliance report for both new nodes and cluster nodes:
- Select one of the methods to download catalog files.
- Online catalog to download the catalog automatically from dell.com for PowerEdge servers. Online catalog is selected by default.
- Offline catalog to use the DRM catalog configured in a CIFS location. OMIMSWAC with or without Internet access allows you to select the Offline - Dell EMC Repository Manager Catalog to generate compliance report. You may use this option when the Internet is not available or to use a customized DRM catalog. When Internet is not available, before using offline catalog, ensure that the DSU and IC settings are configured on the Settings page.
- When finished, click Check Compliance.
- Select one of the methods to download catalog files.
- The Compliance Results section shows compliance reports of cluster nodes and new nodes. Click View Details to see the compliance report or Export to export the report in CSV format.
- If cluster nodes are noncompliant, ensure that the cluster nodes are compliant before adding new nodes in the cluster. To update cluster nodes, exit the wizard and go to the Update tab for cluster update using cluster-aware updating method.
- If new nodes are noncompliant, click View Details in the Cluster Expansion Summary to verify the noncompliant components and then click Finish to update the new nodes and keep them ready for cluster expansion. Click Updating- View Details to see the update status.
- If new nodes are compliant, click View Details in the Cluster Expansion Summary to see the list of nodes that is prepared for cluster expansion. Then click Exit.