Friday, 23 November 2012

Installing and Using the NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for XenServer 6

Following on from Installing the NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for VMware vSphere back in January; the following article is a brief walkthrough on how to install and use the VSC with Citrix XenServer 6.

Things we’ll need

- XenServer or XenServer Resource Pool (Version 6.0 or higher)
- XenCenter installed on a Windows workstation/server
- NetApp 7-mode or Cluster Mode (Version 7.3.6 and higher) with NFS license

Part 1: Obtain the VSC

1.1) Log In to http://support.netapp.com with your NOW login
1.2) Downloads > Software > Virtual Storage Console > Select Platform: Citrix XenServer > Go!
1.3) Virtual Storage Console 1.0 > View & Download
1.4) Confirm your system meets the minimum requirements > CONTINUE
1.5) Accept the EULA
1.6) Click ‘Installation package’ to obtain the VSCX-1.0.exe


Note i: Can also download an Installation and Administration Guide from the above
Note ii: VSC 1.0 for XenServer is the current (as of Nov. 2012) latest version
Note iii: Whilst logged into support.netapp.com, you may also want to download:
- OnCommand System Manager 2.0.2 (current latest version)
- Simulate ONTAP 8.1.1 (current latest version)

Part 2: Install the VSC

Here we install the VSC for XenServer on a machine with the Citrix XenCenter installed.

2.1) Double-click the VSCX-1.0.exe

Fig 2.1.1: VSCX-1.0.exe

2.2) Next > Accept EULA : Next > Choose Installation Location : Next > Close

And that’s it!

Note i: If you’re setting this up in a lab, the XenServer 6 host needs at least a 16GB hard disk, and 2GB of RAM to install
Note ii: The XenCenter.msi is located on the XenServer installation disk (e.g. XenServer-6.0.2\client_install)
Note iii: Default install location is C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\XenCenter\ and it requires less than 40MB disk space

Part 3: Using the VSC

Here we examine some of the new NetApp options that the NetApp VSC makes available in Citrix XenCenter. To demonstrate the usefulness of the VSC tool, the lab XenServer6 host has not even been configured to connect to a NetApp device yet (the NetApp device being the ONTAP 8.1 simulator with basic configuration as detailed in the Appendix below)!

3.1) Log in to your XenCenter

3.2) Provision a Storage Repository

Right-click the XenServer 6 host > NetApp VSC > Provision Storage Repository

Fig. 3.2.1: NetApp VSC > Provision Storage Repository

The XenCenter NetApp VSC GUI will tell us ‘No NetApp controllers are currently managed by the…’

Fig. 3.2.2: Would you like to configure?

Click YES and this brings up the Storage Controllers window
Click on the ‘Add a Controller’ button
Input your controller’s details then click Next >

Fig. 3.2.3: Citrix XenServer NetApp VSC > Storage Controllers > New Controller Wizard

Select the usable interface and aggregates then click Finish!

Fig. 3.2.4: Citrix XenServer NetApp VSC > New Controller Wizard ‘Usables’

Close the Storage Controllers window (when finished adding all necessary controllers)

NFS Storage Repository Provisioning Wizard
Specify the target controller for the storage repository: Next >

Fig. 3.2.5: Citrix XenServer NetApp VSC > Storage Provisioning > Target Controller

Enter details for the storage repository: Next >

Fig. 3.2.6: NetApp VSC XenServer – Storage repository options

Ready to apply your settings: click Finish!

Fig. 3.2.7: NetApp VSC XenServer – New Storage Summary

3.3) NetApp VSC for XenCenter – Things You Can Do to an NFS SR!

Once the NetApp NFS storage repository is added to XenCenter, right-click on the volume brings up the following options:
- Resize Storage Repository
- Deduplicate Storage Repository
- Destroy Storage Repository

Fig. 3.3.1: NetApp VSC in XenServer NFS SR Options

3.4) NetApp VSC for XenCenter – Things You Can Do to a VM!

Right-clicking a Virtual Machine or via the VM menu > NetApp VSC
Bring up the option to use the NetApp VSC for XenServer to Clone Virtual Machines

Fig. 3.4.1: NetApp VSC Clone Virtual Machine

3.5) NetApp VSC for XenCenter – Tools menu

Tools menu > NetApp VSC
Brings up the following options:
- Discovery and Configuration (adding/removing NetApp controllers)
- User Preferences
- View Audit Log
- Export Support Logs

Fig. 3.5.1: XenServer Tools > NetApp VSC options

Final Comment

This is only version 1.0 of the NetApp VSC for XenServer, and I must say I’m impressed. Looking forward to even more features and functionality in future versions!

Appendix: ONTAP 8.1 Simulator Basic Configuration for the Lab Above

The ONTAP 8.1 Simulator used in the lab examples above is a fresh build pretty much as detailed in http://cosonok.blogspot.com/2011/12/netapp-simulator-81-walkthrough-setup.html with the addition of the NFS license, and a basic aggregate setup as below:
> license add BQOEAZL #nfs
> disk assign all
> aggr add aggr0 9@1G
> aggr create aggr1 –B 64 –r 14 –t raid_dp 14@1G

3 comments:

  1. The VSC 1.0 have a bug , in Clone VMs MAC Address always is same :(

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  2. Hi Alex, thanks for the heads up. Shame about the bug, hope it gets fixed soon. Cheers!

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