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پیکربندی استوریج NetApp ONTAP بر روی VMware vSphere

Configure NetApp ONTAP storage on VMware vSphere


This article shows the options to configure NetApp ONTAP storage. In this instance the NetApp ONTAP Simulator is used and the environment is running on a VMware vSphere homelab. This is the third step after the initial deployment and installation of the NetApp ONTAP virtual appliance.

Before proceeding with the setup and configure NetApp ONTAP storage there is a number of steps required which are preliminary to the correct provisioning of the storage. In this instance the storage provided by NetApp ONTAP will be used in VMware vCenter to create VMFS Datastores. The vSphere Hosts will then connect to this newly created Datastore using the iSCSI protocol. NetApp also provides an additional appliance, the Virtual Storage Console (VSC). The VSC appliance provides and manages access to the available storage created in the NetApp Cluster to the VMware vSphere environment. Moreover, the VSC appliance includes support for the VMware VASA (vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness) and SRA (Storage Replication Adapter) compatible with VMware SRM (Site Recovery Manager). A dedicated article included in this series dedicated to NetApp ONTAP will cover these configurations in more details. At the time of writing the latest version of NetApp VSC (7.2) supports up to VMware 6.5u2. Next release (7.2.1 or 8.0) of NetApp VSC will include support for VMware 6.7u1.

The process to configure NetApp ONTAP storage to provide VMware Datastores is straight forward. Since this is the first one to configure the setup is a bit longer than required just to make sure all components are in place. This is a good exercise to learn more about the NetApp ONTAP solution and tweak settings where required to meet expectations.

The most important parts include:

  • Adding licenses to NetApp ONTAP
  • Configure NTP Client
  • Create Disk Aggregates
  • Configure NetApp Storage Virtual Machine (SVM)
  • Setup iSCSI
  • Create Network Interfaces
  • Create Volume
  • Create LUN


Configure NetApp ONTAP Licenses

After downloading and installing the NetApp ONTAP Cluster it is a good idea to import the licenses shipping with the Simulator release. This opens up the various configurations and features that will be used. From the main Dashboard > Configuration > Licenses a quick page show the status and the option to add new ones. Configure NetApp ONTAP license

The wizard allows to add even multiple licenses based on the different features. All licenses can be added at once using a comma or pointing to a license file when available. Configure NetApp ONTAP license add

After importing the license files available withe the NetApp ONTAP Simulator it should look to something like the following. Configure NetApp ONTAP license status


Configure NetApp ONTAP NTP

In the wheel icon on the top right the option to setup general settings for the Cluster and the Node. In this menu the Date and Time to setup the NTP client. The suggestion is to use the same NTP server used by the vSphere Host where the NetApp ONTAP appliance is running. When this field is empty the VMware tools installed in the appliance will try to get the Time from its vSphere Host. Configure NetApp ONTAP NTP


Configure NetApp ONTAP Disk Aggregates

Disk aggregates are groups of disks logically grouped (even from different disk shelves) which can be configured to large RAID groups. When assigning disks this process also gives the ownership to a specific Nodes and Node as part of a Cluster. In the case of the NetApp ONTAP Simulator the disks are already created during the initial setup from a built-in script when creating the NetApp Cluster.

All available disks can be accessed from Dashboard > Storage > Aggregates & Disks. This also shows the main details and types of disks presented to the NetApp Cluster or Node. Configure NetApp ONTAP assisgn disk

In the section Storage > Aggregates the option to review and create new disk groups and choose on the RAID protection to use. Configure NetApp ONTAP disk aggregates

A nice feature which is built-in the OnCommand System Manager console is a wizard which suggests an aggregate configuration based on available resources. Configure NetApp ONTAP aggreagate recommendation

In this case the disks aggregate will be created manually. As the wizard is showing it provides the option to include a name for the aggregate, the disk types associated to the RAID group, the number of disks to use and other features like the snaplock type and the mirroring feature. Whereas the former provides features for the Write Once Read Many (WORM) capabilities the latter includes the option to duplicate data to an independent RAID group achieving data redundancy. At the moment such feature will not be used. Configure NetApp ONTAP create aggregate

With the RAID configuration NetApp ONTAP offers 3 types of protection: RAID-TEC, RAID-DP and RAID4. More on this in a dedicated article. Upon selection of the RAID type the wizard updates the number and type of disk used including effective usable capacity. Configure NetApp ONTAP aggregate raid configuration


Configure NetApp ONTAP SVM (Storage Virtual Machine)

Once the physical disks have been created and grouped into an aggregate disk group the next step is to create a NetApp Storage Virtual Machine (SVM). SVM provide access to the storage and are a logical configuration of different settings together like the Data Protocol, LIF and more.

From Storage > SVMs the wizard to create a new NetApp ONTAP SVM. In this instance the LUN for the VMware Datastore will be accessed through iSCSI. It is important to define this protocol and the wizard will automatically select the security style and default language. It is important to specify the DNS suffix name and DNS server IP Address for correct name resolution and FQDN queries. Configure NetApp ONTAP create SVM

In this step everything can be left blank except the LUN OS Type where VMware needs to be selected. Configure NetApp ONTAP SVC iSCSI

At this point as a final part for the creation of the SVM is to specify the password for the vsadim account (local to the NetApp Cluster) and create a new LIF. Link Interface is essentially the network binding for this particular Data traffic. It will be separated from the Node Management and Cluster Management traffic. Each NetApp ONTAP Node is shipping with at least 4 network cards. From e0a to e0d. Using the browsing button there is the option to specify a free one not already dedicated to the Node or Cluster Management. Each SVM can have up to 4 LIFs for redundancy. For example 2 LIFs can be configured to point at two separate switches for a fail-over configuration using a Round-Robin (RR) technique. It is also a good idea to create DNS (A) and (PTR) Records for the LIFs to use. So in the case of NetApp ONTAP Simulator would be at least 4. 2 for the first Node and 2 for the second Node. The Simulator license allows booting up to two nodes in the same Cluster! Configure NetApp ONTAP SVM administrator

And a final  page showing the main settings for the NetApp SVM creation. Configure NetApp ONTAP SVM wizard


Configure NetApp ONTAP Network Interfaces

Along with the creation of the NetApp SVM there is an automatic creation of the Network Interface associated with the SVM. Pretty neat. Problem is the Data Protocol is associated to “none” instead of “iSCSI”. As the screenshot is showing the other two interfaces are already associated to Cluster and Node Management Traffic types. Configure NetApp ONTAP network interfaces

Since the existing one cannot be modified it is possible to delete and create a new one specifying the iSCSI and Data type of traffic. This also allows to create a second Network Interface to provide redundancy to the Data Traffic on iSCSI. Configure NetApp ONTAP add network interface


Configure NetApp ONTAP SVM settings

One last configuration step for the SVM is to associate this particular SVM to the iSCSI traffic and the Disk Aggregate group. From Storage > SVMs view the option to edit the current SVM adding iSCSI in the Data Protocols. Configure NetApp ONTAP SVM settings

Next is to associate this particular SVM to the desired disk Aggregate as per previous configuration step. Configure NetApp ONTAP SVM Resource allocation


Configure NetApp ONTAP iSCSI settings

Now that the disks groups and the SVM accessing them have been created the next step is to configure NetApp ONTAP iSCSI server setting to let the Initiator to connect to the iSCSI Target running on the NetApp Cluster or better Node in this case. From Storage > SVMs > SVM Settings>  the iSCSI section shows the service is not running and also no interfaces are associated yet. Configure NetApp ONTAP iSCSI settings

From this section by clicking on Start and Stop service this will generate the iSCSI Target name on the NetApp Node and also the association the create SVM. Configure NetApp ONTAP iSCSI service

When editing the SVM settings in the general tab the option to indicate which iSCSI Initiators will be allowed to connect and with which protocol. Very importantly, it is necessary to also specify the “Operating System”. Since these Initiators will be connecting to a “VMware LUN” will select the type accordingly. Configure NetApp ONTAP Initiator Groups

In the Initiators now it is a matter to past the iSCSI Initiator name as it appears on the software iscsi interface in the VMware vSpehere Host. Configure NetApp ONTAP add initiator

This operation should be repeated for all VMware Hosts intended to connect to the NetApp LUN. Configure NetApp ONTAP iSCSI initiator

When starting the iSCSI service it should now show the iSCSI interface connected. Something similar to the screenshot below where the Data traffic connection is using exactly the intended interface “e0b”. Configure NetApp ONTAP iSCSI service running


Configure NetApp ONTAP Volume

Next step is to create the NetApp Volume where the NetApp LUN will be configured. If all the available license keys with the NetApp ONTAP Simulator have been added this will allow to use nice features with the NetApp storage Volumes.

So from Storage > Volumes section the option to create a Volume for the NetApp LUN. This includes:

  • Name: is simply the desired name for the Netapp Volume.
  • Aggregate: is the group of disks configured with RAID protection.
  • Tiering Policy: defines if the volume stores snapshots only (from other volumes).
  • Size: defines the desired size of the volume based on the size of the aggregate. In theory this should not be overprovisioned but considering aggregate can dynamically expand is making this configuration flexible.
  • Space Reserve: gives the option to use thin or thick provisioning for the volume allocation. Useful when same aggregate is used for multiple volumes. Configure NetApp ONTAP create volume

The creation of the NetApp volume is pretty much instantaneous and also provides the option to review or change settings. More on these in a dedicated article. Configure NetApp ONTAP volume settings


Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN

At this point everything is ready to configure Netapp ONTAP LUN storage which will be presented to VMware vCenter to create a VMFS Datastore. From the Storage > LUNs section the wizard to create a LUN on the selected SVM. Configure NetApp ONTAP create LUN

In this wizard the settings for the Name, description, Type and size of the LUN including the Space Reservation feature. Same as before with thin or thick provisioning. Should there not be enough space to create the LUN the wizard will report this at the end. To know roughly how big should be that LUN as a workaround by opening another Tab on the Web Browser and logging into another session on the NetApp ONTAP is possible to check the size of the selected Aggregate. Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN properties

Next is to select an existing Volume or create a new one on the fly where to create this LUN. Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN qtree

Very importantly now the option to select which VMware vSphere Hosts will be able to connect to the LUN Target as iSCSI Initiators. Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN initiator mapping

NetApp ONTAP also include the option to run Quality of Service (QoS) routines with customizable policy to avoid the network traffic exceeds predefined limits. Very useful with older or mixed storage types by vendor, speed, class and so on. Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN QoS

The wizard has now all the information to create the LUN storage. Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN wizard summary

And in a matter of few moments the LUN is configured and ready to be used by VMware vCenter to provision and additional Datastore. Configure NetApp ONTAP LUN on SVM

Next step involves the NetApp SVC which installs as an appliance on the VMware vSphere environment and by mean of its plugins configures and provisions storage directly to the VMware vCenter. More to be covered in the next steps.

ادامه مطلب

آموزش کامل نصب NetApp ONTAP بر روی VMware

Install NetApp ONTAP on VMware vSphere step by step


The process to install NetApp ONTAP Simulator comes after the first virtual appliance deployment. Overall it is a simple process. Primarily based on command line the NetApp ONTAP appliance based on FreeBSD runs a simple script which guides the admin to the essential steps for the install.

Exactly the same steps can be executed to install NetApp ONTAP cluster and subsequently by additional nodes which will be part of the same cluster. Each NetApp ONTAP Simulator allows two nodes per cluster in the free license. Enough to test the High Availability scenarios. In this case the installation will cover how to install NetApp ONTAP Cluster and first node. A second node will be installed as part of a different Cluster. This way it would be possible to create an environment to test many other features included in the license for Storage Replication like NetApp SnapMirror, SnapVault, FlexClones and more.

Before proceeding, it is recommended to put down on paper and pre-create the DNS entries for:

  • NetApp Cluster name and IP address
  • NetApp Node name and IP Address

As expected the NetApp ONTAP system heavily relies on DNS configuration. So having this one in place it comes handy. From install NetAPP ONTAP point of view Cluster and first Node names are essentials. Other Nodes can be added later on in case the install should move from a single Node Cluster to multiple Nodes.

It is worth noting the built-in setup installer generates the emulated drives in the disk shelves. There are 4 disk shelves (0-1-2-3). Each shelf can host up to 14 disks. Disk size is created at 4 GB which provides a 224 GB of usable storage space. This is also the limit supported on each NetApp ONTAP Simulator Node. This should be enough to cover different testing scenarios configuring disks as separate aggregates covering:

  • VMware Datastores
  • FCoE, iSCSI and File storage
  • NAS Shares based on CIFS and NFS
  • Data Dedupe Storage
  • Other
Install NetApp ONTAP Sim on VMware vSphere

After deploying NetApp ONTAP Sim OVA everything is ready to power on the appliance and start the procedure to install NetApp ONTAP Simulator first Cluster and Node. Install NetApp ONTAP Sim

Upon the first boot the “CTRL” command brings the main install menu where to run the main install wizard. Install NetApp ONTAP Sim Booting

Part of the functionalities are preinstalled but it is necessary to clean the configuration and initialize all disks with option “4”. Install NetApp ONTAP Sim option menu

At the prompt to zero disks and reset configuration let’s proceed with a “y” and confirm again “y”. Install NetApp ONTAP Sim clean configuration

At this point the wizard wipes the configuration for the NetApp Filer. Install NetApp ONTAP Sim wipe filer

The wizard is starting again. First question is about the AutoSupport option. Install NetApp ONTAP sim autosupport

Next question is to accept the default network card interface to associate to this first Node Management. Each Node is configured with 4 network cards: e0a, e0b, e0c, e0d. Install NetApp ONTAP management interface

Next step is to confirm the Network settings to use starting from the IP address. Same applies for Subnet mask and Gateway. Install NetApp ONTAP node management IP

At this point the Management Interface for the first Node is created. Ideally it is possible to point with a web browser to this IP and run the wizard to create the Cluster and associate the first Node to it. For some reason the button to start the web based wizard was not working so carried on with the more efficient command line. By pressing “Enter” allows to continue the wizard using the command line. Install NetApp ONTAP sim wizard

First step is to create the Cluster. In this instance this will work as single Node Cluster. “Create” is the command to type in. Install NetApp ONTAP cluster create

And confirm this Node will be part of the Cluster with a “yes”. Install NetApp ONTAP cluster

The wizard now requires the password for the admin account. Install NetApp ONTAP admin password

and re-type to confirm the admin password. The wizard is now ready to create the Cluster. Ideally the chosen name for the cluster should exist in DNS server already. “NetAppClu” in this case. Install NetApp ONTAP cluster name

As the Cluster name is created next is to provide the Cluster license file. This can be obtained from NetApp ONTAP download page after free registration. Install NetApp ONTAP license key

Next is to specify the network card to use for the Cluster Management and the Intra-Cluster communications. Default value is fine or it allows to specify a different one: from “e0a to e0d”. Install NetApp ONTAP cluster management interface

As part of the Cluster configuration the settings for the DNS IP Address and name suffix. Also, as last steps of the wizard the option to provide the Cluster location and a path where to send a backup of the configuration. Both option can be skipped with “Enter” and complete the NetApp ONTAP Cluster setup. Install NetApp ONTAP DNS configuration

The wizard now shows the chosen IP Address to access the NetApp Cluster and this can be easily done from a Web Browser. Install NetApp ONTAP command line login

From this moment on it is possible to use both the GUI and also the command line to manage all aspects of NetApp ONTAP install. Install NetApp ONTAP web login

After the login as admin and the chosen password the UI shows the main Dashboard from where the storage and other aspects will be configured as per next article. Install NetApp ONTAP dashboard

ادامه مطلب

راه اندازی NetApp ONTAP Simulator در VMware

Deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator on VMware vSphere


This article series focuses on how to deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator in a VMware vSphere homelab. The idea is to visit the deployment and configuration steps including the setup for the Storage. This will provide the resources for creating VMware Datastores and also the option to visit NAS based shares running on CIFS and NFS protocols.

The series is divided in different steps making it easy to deploy NetApp ONTAP. In particular this one refers to the Simulator available from the NetApp Support site and can be used to learn about this solution. NetApp ONTAP comes in two versions available from Support site: Data ONTAP Simulator and ONTAP Select. Whereas the first one does not have time restrictions, it is fully configurable. Only caveat is, it is officially supported on a best effort basis and the NetApp Forums are the best place to exchange knowledge. The documentation provides detailed information on the current limitations. The other option with ONTAP Select does not come with same limitations and is fully configurable and can be activated with a trial of 90 days.

Personal choice goes with the former as it already includes the large majority of Enterprise features now also available for testing and learning even in a homelab. The purpose of the article series to deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator is to learn about the nice capabilities of an Enterprise Class Storage solution integrating with Backup applications and offering advanced configurations covering Storage Snapshots, Replication, Deduplication, Data Analytics and a lot more. The idea is to create an environment and step by step:

  • Deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator on VMware vSphere
  • Install NetApp ONTAP appliance
  • Initial setup for NetApp ONTAP including storage for VMware
  • Provision VMware Datastore from NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC)
  • NetApp SnapMirror benefits
  • NetApp SnapVault benefits
  • Integration with Veeam Backup for best RTO and RPO

As per usual the list is open and will grow with new articles along the way.


Deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator in VMware vSphere

The NetApp ONTAP Simulator is available in the standard OVA format making it easy to deploy the virtual appliance in VMware vSphere environment. The Simulator is also available for the VMware Workstation format. This article refers to the vSphere format.

From the VMware vCenter the wizard to directly deploy from the OVF template. The wizard shows the current version based on NetApp ONTAP 9.4 release. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim OVA template

Next is the location where to create the new virtual appliance. It is possible to deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator in two instances: either two nodes of the same cluster for high availability or two one node clusters. For example Prod and DR environments to test storage replication capabilities. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim ova name and folder

Next is to specify the VMware vSphere Host to associate to the NetApp ONTAP virtual appliance. Each ONTAP node requires 2x CPUs and 8 GB of RAM Memory. Once the virtual appliance is running it is not consuming lots of resources. As long as storage intensive tasks are performed. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim ova compute resource

At this point the wizard shows the different sizes for thin and thick provisioning. Where possible the latter should be used as it provides stable performances over time. In addition, since the ONTAP installer scripts generates the disks for the shelves, it is quicker when the thick provisioning has already allocated the storage in advance. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim ova review details

Next step is to choose the VMware datastore where to deploy the ONTAP Simulator virtual appliance. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim ova select storage

The OVA template includes the creation of two networks. These will be used to configure the Cluster and Management Networks. Each NetApp ONTAP node in reality is shipping with 4 network interfaces. The remaining two can be used for Data traffic including path redundancy. For example pointing at two separate network switches in case of fail-over fail-back scenarios. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim ova select networks

At this point the wizard has collected all the necessary info to deploy NetApp ONTAP Simulator. Next step will cover the virtual appliance installation. Deploy Netapp ONTAP Sim ova wizard complete

ادامه مطلب