Monday, 17 December 2018

End of Year 2018 Post (Happy New Year 2019!)

It’s been a bit of a quiet year on Cosonok’s blog. Including this post, I’ll have done 56 posts this year, which is a record minimum number of posts in a full year for Cosonok (61 posts in 2011 being the previous record minimum.) Still been busy though, with other blogs and a tiny bit of YouTube too.

Stats-wise, Cosonok’s blog appears to be in decline. Which is perhaps not surprising since prior to 2013 this was very much an IT generalists blog, but since 2013 it’s been predominantly NetApp, so more specialized and perhaps less reach. The stats, whilst fun, have never been the goal, it’s always about sharing hopefully useful stuff, an aid for my memory, and I’m always amazed and grateful that people read posts from this blog - and leave comments.

Image: Cosonok’s IT Blog Stats

All of the most viewed posts are from 2010/11/12 – which is not unsurprising – but what might be surprising is that the most viewed posts from the last month (November 16 to December 16, 2018) have 6 out of 10 posts from 2010/11/12.

Image: Top 10 Posts by Pageviews (All time)

Image: Top 10 Posts by Pageviews (last month)

I’m actually working over Christmas (except for the usual holidays and 24th) but this will be 2018’s final post. So all that’s left to say is:

Merry Christmas!

- and -

Happy New Year 2019!

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Tech Roundup - 16th December 2018

Stuff collated since Tech Roundup - 6th November 2018. With headings:
FlexPod, NetApp, NetApp ThePub, NetApp TRs, Tech ONTAP Podcast, WFA Guy, DerSchmitz


FlexPod for 3D Graphics Visualization with VMware and NVIDIA

This paper builds upon the:
FlexPod Datacenter with VMware Horizon View 7.3 and VMware vSphere 6.5 Update 1 with Cisco UCS Manager 3.2 for 5000 Seats

New NVAs

NetApp Verified Architecture
FlexPod Express with VMware vSphere 6.7 and NetApp AFF A220
NVA Deployment

NetApp Verified Architecture
FlexPod Express with Cisco UCS C-Series and AFF A220 Series
NVA Design


NetApp blows filer benchmark to smithereens – Blocks and Files

Image: SPEC SFS2014-SW Builds

NetApp Named a Leader in 2018 MQ for General-Purpose Disk Arrays

NetApp: Blog: Solving File Services Challenges with Native Cloud File Services – Part 1 (Compatibility & Continuity)

NetApp: Blog: An Introduction to Kubernetes

NetApp: HCI Means Hybrid Cloud, Not Hyperconverged

Improve Data Analytics with AWS and NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for AWS

Tool Announcement! 2018-2019 NetApp Product Poster:
The 2018-2019 NetApp Product Poster is now available for order from the NetApp Gear Store

2 New Hybrid Cloud Exams - Tips!

Read the CVO documentation as there are questions which require deployment experience i.e. disk type supported with tiering in CVO.

In both of these exams there is lot more emphasis on CVO, CVS and even working out Opex/Capex cost when deciding between on-premise and hybrid-cloud solutions.  There is a test exam on the support site if you would like to test your knowledge before you prepare for these exams.

If you are AWS or Azure certified:
This one has stuff from CVO, CSV, Kubernetes service, S3, Costing models etc.

NetApp The Pub

New since the previous Tech Roundup!

Can you keep a secret?

Just the facts ma’am

Understanding volume migration on OpenStack

Understanding volume migration on OpenStack: Intracluster volume migration

Understanding volume migration on OpenStack: Intercluster volume migration

NetApp TRs

New since the previous Tech Roundup!

Tech ONTAP Podcast (+ WITIB)

New since the previous Tech Roundup!

New ONTAP Release = Updated Technical reports!

ONTAP 9.5RC1 is available!

Episode 169: Quarterly Security Update - Winter 2018

Episode 168: NetApp Insight 2018 - Barcelona Recap

Episode 167: VMware Private Cloud on NetApp HCI

Episode 166: SnapMirror Synchronous

Episode 165: Accelerate your NAS Data with FlexCache

BONUS CONTENT: ONTAP 9.5 Feature Overview

Episode 164 - NetApp Data Availability Services


New since the previous Tech Roundup!

Wfa workflows & Powershell script for SVM Dr

Wfa Setup Workflow Generator

Workflow encrypt all volumes


How to create a NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP instance in AWS

“Madness?” THIS IS NetApp MAX Data!!!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

NetApp HCI Network Essentials

In order to successfully deploy NetApp HCI, it is essential that the network piece is correctly setup beforehand. The below links and diagrams are ones I’ve found helpful.

Switch Requirements for Deployment to be Successful:
(1.4) NetApp HCI Documentation Center
> Setting up and using NetApp HCI 1.4
>> Deploying NetApp HCI
>>> Requirements for NetApp HCI deployment
>>>> Network and switch requirements
(1.3.1) NetApp HCI Documentation Center
> Setting up and using NetApp HCI 1.3.1
>> Deploying NetApp HCI
>>> Requirements for NetApp HCI deployment
>>>> Network and switch requirements

Cisco document on how to set up the VPC:
Products & Services / Switches / Data Center Switches / Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches / White Papers

Some examples of an existing configuration:
NetApp HCI Documentation Center
> Setting up and using NetApp HCI 1.3.1
>> Deploying NetApp HCI
>>> Requirements for NetApp HCI deployment
>>>> Network and switch requirements
>>>>> Switch port configuration examples

NetApp HCI Network Setup Guide

The below diagrams come for the HCI Network Setup Guide - the important thing to note is that it is a requirement to have LACP (vPC) for the Storage Node Bond10G (technically, LACP is not a requirement, but it is highly recommended, and without it, performance will be poor - so don’t even consider it for HCI test/demo configurations.)

Note: The below might be slightly out of date for NDE 1.4.

Image 1/4: Storage Node Network Connections (Configure LACP for Bond10G)

Image 2/4: Storage Node VLAN Map

Image 3/4: Compute Node Network Connections (Do not configure LACP)

Image 4/4: Compute Node VLAN Map - Dedicated vMotion Network*

*vMotion can share the same network as management. vMotion cannot share the iSCSI subnet/VLAN.

Additional Links

NetApp HCI Documentation Resources

NetApp HCI Theory of Operations

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Creating Bootable USB Sticks to RTFI* NetApp HCI Nodes

*RTFI = Return to Factory Image

I needed to prep some USB sticks ready for an upcoming NetApp HCI install. There are various reasons why you might want to RFTI: reset a test/demo/lab environment, apply the latest versions, someone’s muddled the disks up...

Firstly, you will need a bootable USB drive maker. Go to:
And download rufus-2.6p.exe. I know 2.6 works for this purpose (I had issues with 3.3). The ‘p’ is for ‘portable’/don’t-need-to-install which I prefer, but you don’t have to go for the ‘p’ version.

Secondly, you will need to get the NetApp HCI compute and storage node images from (Product = ‘NetApp HCI’):

The ISOs are quite big. Storage node ISOs are ~4GB and Computes node ISOs ~ 15GB (mainly because it contains a few different versions of VMware vSphere).

Here I’m using NetApp HCI 1.3.1 ISOs:
- solidfire-rtfi-neon-patch3- (Storage Node)
- solidfire-NetApp-HCI-Bootstrap-OS- (Compute Node)

Image: NetApp HCI Storage and Compute Node ISOs

Step 1) Double-Click rufus-2.6p.exe to run

Image: rufus-2.6p.exe

Step 2) Storage Node

Step 2.1) Enter settings into Rufus as thus:

First check ‘Create a bootable disk using...’ and click the CD icon to the right, and point to the solidfire-rtfi-neon-patch3- (or whatever version you’re using).

Device = {Your USB Key}
Partition scheme = MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI-CSM
File system = FAT32 (Default)
Cluster size = 8192 bytes
New volume label = solidfire-rtfi
Uncheck ‘Check device for bad blocks’
Check ‘Quick format’
Already checked ‘Create a bootable disk using...’
Check ‘Create extended label and icon files’

Image: Rufus Settings for Storage Node

And click Start

Step 2.2) Select ‘Write in ISO Image mode’

Image: ISOHybrid image detected - Write in ISO Image Mode

Step 2.3) Click OK to the warning


Step 2.4) Wait for Rufus to finish!

Image: Rufus done!

This will probably take about 5 minutes.

Step 3) Compute Node

Setting up Rufus for the Compute Node RTFI USB drive is pretty much the same as for the Storage Node, except you must choose ‘Write in DD Image mode’ (IMPORTANT!)

You will need to point to the solidfire-NetApp-HCI-Bootstrap-OS- (or whatever version you’re using).
I let the ‘New volume label’ autopopulate with ember-hci...

Image: Rufus Settings for Compute Node

Image: ISOHybrid image detected - Write in DD Image Mode

It took a good 40 minutes (on my system) to create the Compute Node RTFI USB drive.

Bonus Material 1 of 2: Correct Syslinux Version

One problem you’ll have with Rufus 2.6, is that it cannot download the correct versions of Syslinux, and you’ll get “The requested item could not be located”. My trick was to use Rufus 3.3 to download the correct versions of Syslinux.

Image: Syslinux 5.10/2013-06-04 is required

Image: Rufus 2.6.818 - “The requested item could not be located.”

Bonus Material 2 of 2: Why Not Use Rufus 3.3?

Rufus 3.3 works fine for the Storage Node, but not the Compute Node. Trying to create the USB key for the Compute Node, you’ll get stuck because you can’t select anything other than NTFS for File System, and when you click START, get the error message: “Unsupported filesystem: The file system currently selected can not be used with this type of ISO. Please select a different file system or use a different ISO.”

Image: Rufus 3.3.1400 - “Unsupported Filesystem”

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

If you’re headswapping to AFF A700 / A700s you might need more disk...

Some of the original NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) platforms are reaching the age where one might consider headswapping them. One of the first things we check before any headswap (this was the same for 7-Mode headswaps) is that the root volume is of sufficient size to support the new platform, and if the root volume is too small, we make it bigger before commencing the headswap.

The AFF8020 / AFF8040 / AFF8060 / AFF8080EX have min. root volume size of 350 GiB.
The AFF A200 / A300 have min. root volume size of 350 GiB.
The AFF A700s / A700 have min. root volume size of 934 Gib / 962 Gib.

So, if you want to headswap to an AFF A700s / A700, and you had ADP RD2 partitioned root aggregates, and the root aggregate size is less than the minimum root aggregate size - which is 1 TiB - for the AFF A700s / A700, then you might need to add more disk so can you can create a root aggregate big enough to hold the root volume.

Image: HWU for NetApp AFFs with ONTAP 9.3P7-P9