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Getting Started with EMC ScaleIO

Updated by Albert Choi on Aug 10, 2016
Article Code: kb/451

Technology Profile

EMC ScaleIO offers a
software-defined, clustered, block storage appliance. Since it pools
commodity, readily available and/or existing infrastructure, it allows
you to realize a scalable and performant storage solution entirely via


ScaleIO offers a software only solution for storage applications
including shared block devices as well as higher level applications
such as container storage.


This article provides instructions for installing a ScaleIO cluster,
configuring a volume, and exposing the volume to a client.


Architects, DevOps, Storage admins


Required Compute:

  • min: 5 nodes, 5 cores, ~20GB memory, ~500GB disk


  • Java Runtime
  • VPN Access is required in order to administer the cluster via the GUI tool.

Cluster Configuration

The nodes in the cluster run the following components of interest:
(see also ScaleIO Architecture)

  • 1: SDS, MDM (primary), gateway
  • 2: SDS, MDM (secondary)
  • 3: SDS, MDM (tertiary)
  • 4: SDS, TieBreaker
  • 5: SDS, TieBreaker
  • N: SDS

Deploying a EMC ScaleIO cluster

  1. Load the EMC ScaleIO cluster Runner job.

  2. Select a data center and specify a server group name your cluster will provision into.

  3. Configure your server buildout with name, cpu, and memory.

  4. Determine the number of servers for your cluster. A minimum of 5 servers are required.
    If the number of servers is greater than 5, additional nodes will configure as SDS components,
    contributing to the total storage pool.

  5. Specify the size of the attached storage per node. Each node in the cluster will have this
    amount. Consequently, sufficient storage resources should be available.

  6. Admin password is required and will be set on the MDM nodes.

  7. Optionally provide a license key. The default configuration provides an unlicensed evaluation copy.

  8. Optionally provide an ssh key to install on all nodes.

On completion, the Runner job will emit the IP address of the master MDM node. You'll want to jot this down
and use it for administrating the cluster.


The management GUI is available for download here.




The cluster may also be administered via the scli command-line tool (installed on the MDM nodes)
or the REST gateway. Both of which are outside the scope of this article.

Create a Volume

  • From the dashboard, click on "Frontend" and then "Volumes".

  • Under "protection_domain1", right-click on "pool1" and then select "Add Volume".

  • Specify a name and size, click "OK".

  • Right-click on your new volume and select "Map Volumes" to connect it to client nodes.


Connecting Clients

In order to have clients access your volumes, additional software in the form of kernel module must be installed.
Once the kernel module is installed, the client must be registered into the cluster.

To install on Linux systems, a separate SDC installer is available for clients.

The SDC installer will require the IP address of the primary MDM node as well as the admin password.


For optimal performance, consider using cloud or Bare Metal server types for the SDS nodes. To do so,
pre-allocate these machines in a server group of your choice. Then point the cluster installer at the group.


The costs associated with this installer are for the Lumen Cloud
infrastructure only. EMC ScaleIO is free to use for evaluation
purposes. An EMC ScaleIO license is required for normal operation and
available for purchase from EMC directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact for support?

  • For issues related to using EMC ScaleIO, licensing or
    troubleshooting the cluster, please visit
    EMC Support.

  • For issues related to cloud infrastructure (VMs, network, etc.), or
    if you experience a problem deploying the installer, please open a Lumen Cloud Support ticket by emailing or
    through the Lumen Cloud Support website.