April 21, 2014

Installing and Configuring NetApp VASA Provider for vSphere

NetApp VASA Provider Installation and Configuration

Whoa, how did I miss this? Here is the Beta access for our VASA plugin for all you vSphere 5 folks out there! http://t.co/uDLVHkiM
@keith_aasen

As @keith_aasen pointed out on Twitter recently, the NetApp VASA Provider is currently in beta. I configured it in my lab over the weekend and wanted to outline some of the steps to get this running.

First off, if you are not familiar with VASA, it is a new feature if vSphere 5 that stands for vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness. Essentially rather than having to creatively name your datastores something like netapp_3140_prod_sas_600g_sm the array (or the provider) can tell vCenter what features it has – things like disk type (SSD, SATA, SAS, FC), replication so you know whether or not the volume is part of a SnapMirror or SnapVault relationship as well as the ability to tell if deduplication is enabled for the volume. If you want more information, there is a really good post here that has more details on how each vendor will implement VASA.

Requirements

  • NetApp controller running ONTAP 7.3.3 or later
  • A Windows 2008 x64 machine to install the VASA provider on (can be physical or virtual)
  • vCenter 5.0

Installation

This part is pretty straight forward, click next a few times and you are done. One thing to keep in mind is this should not be installed on the vCenter server. In my case I installed it on a standalone VM. If you install it on the vCenter server you will run into a port conflict and find that the VASA provider service will fail to stay running.

Port Conflicts

After you download the netappvp–1–0X2-winx64.exe file from here, double click it to start the install.

Install 1

In my case I’m fine with the default installation directory

Install 2

Click install

Install 3

And you’re done, leave the checkbox for Launch VASA Configuration to automatically launch the configuration window (alternatively, you can double click the shortcut on the desktop)

Install 4

Configuration

The first step is to enter the user account information to register the plugin in vCenter. Enter the account info and click Save. Then enter the vCenter information and click Register Provider.

Configuration 1

After you click Register Provider you should get a prompt telling you it was successful.

Configuration 2

Now we need to add the storage controllers.

Configuration 3

Wrap Up

The only thing left to see is within the vSphere client, if you go into VM Storage Profiles you will see some storage capabilities have been added:

Capabilities

And lastly, if I go into the datastore view I can see the capabilities of my current datastore:

Capabilities 2

Ironically it shows up as high performance even though it’s just the NetApp simulator but that is because the simulator sees it’s “disks” as SAS drives. It showed Replicated because I had setup a SnapMirror relationship in the background to make sure that it would detect it.

I think VASA will be a big benefit to VMware environments, but it still has some work to be done. I like the idea of being able to create a storage profile based on these capabilities that are sent up from the array provider (and being able to see those capabilities in the datastore list like the screenshot above), and more importantly, to ensure that the VM that I created on the “Gold” storage profile that is on high performance, replicated disk stays compliant with that profile by utilizing storage profiles.

About mike
I am currently a Cloud Technical Solutions Architect working for World Wide Technology in the Twin Cities, MN area. My professional summary is available via my LinkedIn page. I can be contacted by the Contact Me link at the top of the site. I also spend (too much) time on Twitter so feel free to follow or send me a tweet.