Tuesday, 30 April 2013

SMVI - Single File Restore IPv6 Address Oddities

A bit of a random problem I came across whilst testing the Single File Restore feature of NetApp’s Virtual Storage Console.

THE PROBLEM

SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure (SMVI) single file restore notification email gives an IPv6 addressed web link to download the single file restore client, and the GuestRestoreClientSession.sfr contains the same IPv6 address

Environment Information:
- NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) 4.1 with Backup and Recovery Version 5.0 (Build: 1445).
- VMware vCenter Server version 5.1.
- The VSC is installed on a Windows Server 2008 R2 box which has IPv6 disabled!
- The VSC and vCenter are on the same server as per best practice, and - being a lab environment - SQL Express is on there too.

Using the Single File Restore feature of the VSC, the restore notification email is delivered successfully but contains an IPv6 addressed web link. The environment is all IPv4 so this doesn’t work. Substituting the IPv6 address with the IPv4 address of the VSC server makes the download possible.

Image: SMVI Single File Restore Notification email with IPv6 web link

After downloading the RestoreAgentSetup.exe via the correct IPv4 address and installing it; the GuestRestoreClientSession.sfr configuration file is loaded into the Restore Agent MMC, only to present the error below:

Error - There was no endpoint listening at https://[FE80:0000:0000:0000:0000:0100:007F:FFFE]:8043/smvi/services/hvss that could accept the message. This is often caused by an incorrect address or SOAP action. See InnerException, if present, for more details.

Examining the contents of the GuestRestoreClientSession.sfr reveals the same IPv6 address.

Image: GuestRestoreClientSession.sfr with IPv6 addressing

THE RESOLUTION

Part 1: Set the Restore Agent location

vSphere Client > Home > Solutions and Applications > NetApp
Backup and Recovery > Setup > Single File Restore > Edit…

Set the ‘Restore agent installer location’ to the correct IPv4 address.

Image: VSC Single File Restore Session Setup

Part 2: Configure the smvi.overrides file

Suspend any SMVI backup jobs.
Stop the service ‘NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure’.
Edit the file C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\etc\smvi.override with the lines:

smvi.address=X.X.X.X
smvi.hostname=FQDN

Restart the service ‘NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure’.
Resume any SMVI backup jobs.

Image: smvi.override file edited as above

THE CAUSE

Unknown (I don’t have a clue)!

In this instance, IPv6 had been disabled from before the VMware vCenter software and the VSC were installed. The IPv6 address could not be found in any config file anywhere.

A scan of the registry was done and picked up one reference to this IPv6 address at -
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.VIM_SQLEXP\MSSQLServer\SuperSocketNetLib\Tcp\IP5
- which turned out to be in the TCP/IP properties of the VIM_SQLEXP SQL instance and the IP5 IP Address, but there’s no reason why SMVI should have picked this up.

The SQL entry was changed to the IPv4 address, but his made no difference. Even re-installing the VSC (retaining the SMVI config for backup and restore purposes) onto a new server, same problem!

Image: The one appearance of the fe80 address in SQL Server Configuration Manager

USEFUL TIP

In the process of troubleshooting this, I learnt the SMVI backup and restore/migrate process very well.

1. Suspend all the backup jobs.
2. Stop the ‘NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure’ service.
3. Take a copy of the folders:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\repository
C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\etc

Since I’m using SV-SMVI, we also need:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\scripts

And the sv-smvi.exe from:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\

4. Uninstall the NetApp Virtual Storage Console 4.1 for VMware vSphere software.
5. Reinstall the NetApp Virtual Storage Console 4.1 for VMware vSphere software (on a different server).
6. Stop the ‘NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure’ service.
7. Restore the folders below (replace the newly installed ones):

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\repository
C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\etc
C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\scripts

And restore the sv-smvi.exe file to:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\

8. Start the ‘NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure’ service.
9. Resume any SMVI backup jobs.

Note: With restoring the VSC config itself, it is sufficient to just add/edit the storage controllers under ‘Monitoring and Host Configuration’ > Overview.

Monday, 29 April 2013

NetApp VSC 4.1 for VMware: SV-SMVI How to Restore

Note: Also see the UPDATE post with a fourth option - CIFS - here

In the last post (here) we looked at using SV-SMVI to have triggered SnapVaults from ‘NetApp Virtual Storage Console for VMware’ backups. Here we look at three restore options from the SnapVault (and this is one of the great things about NetApp - you have loads of freedom to choose the way that suits you best!)

Contents

1. How to mount the SnapVault secondary volume as a read-only NFS datastore and browse the .snapshot folder.
2. How to FlexClone a SnapVault secondary volume/snapshot and mount as writeable.
3. How to perform a SnapVault Restore from SnapVault secondary to a Qtree on the primary.

Restore options

1. How to mount the SnapVault secondary volume as a read-only NFS datastore and browse the .snapshot folder.

If you have remote connectivity from hosts in the primary site to the DR (SnapVault secondary) site, this method is very simple.

1.1 (Recommend) First suspend the SV-SMVI backup job schedule.
1.2 Configure the exports on the DR filer as in the example below:

SEC> exportfs -p rw=10.0.0.0/16,root=10.0.0.0/16 /vol/SVLONNFSWQT

1.3 Mount the volume as a read only NFS datastore.
1.4 Browse the datastore and .snapshot folder for backups, and copy the data (VMDKs etcetera) as required.
1.5 Unmount the volume.
1.6 Resume the SV-SMVI VSC backup job schedule.

Note i: You cannot mount a VMDK from a read-only NFS datastore to a live VM.
Note ii: You could mount the datastore without the “Mount NFS read only” tick, but it is still a read only file system so the above applies.
Note iii: Requires NFS license on the secondary filer.

Image for 1.3: Add Storage - Mount NFS read only

Image for 1.4:  Browsing .snapshot folder and copy

2. How to FlexClone a SnapVault secondary volume/snapshot and mount as writeable.

2.1 License

SEC> license add FLEXCLONECODE

2.2 Create a Flex Clone volume from the SnapVault secondary volume choosing snapshot required:

SEC> vol status -b
SEC> snap list SVSECVOL
SEC> vol clone create SVSECVOL_FCLONE -s none -b SVSECVOL svprivol_backupname.X

Note: When running the vol clone command, the error message below will appear - don’t worry as the error is for the new volume not the SnapVaulted one!
SEC:wafl.qtree.qsmBreak.base:error - Breaking snapmirrored qtree 1 in volume SVSECVOL_FCLONE: base snapshot no longer exists. Use snapmirror resync or initialize to re-establish the snapmirror. Creation of clone volume 'SVSECVOL_FCLONE' has completed.

2.3 Mount the volume as an NFS datastore (this time not read only)
2.4 Then add the required VM to the vCenter inventory or attach VMDK to a live server
2.5 When finished, unmount/unregister any VMs/disks, unmount the datastore, offline the FlexClone volume and destroy it

SEC> vol offline SVSECVOL_FCLONE
SEC> vol destroy SVSECVOL_FCLONE

Image for 2.3: Add Storage - Mount NFS as a writeable volume

Image for 2.4: Adding a VM on the FlexClone snapshot volume to the vCenter inventory

3. How to perform a SnapVault Restore from SnapVault secondary to a Qtree on the primary.

3.1 Suspend the SV-SMVI VSC backup job schedule.
3.2 On the secondary, obtain Qtree name, and list of SnapVault secondary snapshots:

SEC> qtree status SVSECVOL
SEC> snap list SVSECVOL

3.2 On the primary, run snapvault restore and snapvault status to check on progress:

PRI> snapvault restore -s svprivol_backupname.X -S SEC:/vol/SVSECVOL/nonQtreeDataInSVPRIVOL /vol/SVPRIVOL/RestoreQtree
PRI> snapvault status

Note: When the snapvault restore from the secondary to the primary is complete, state will be Broken-off.

3.3 On the secondary, remove the reverse relationship created by the restore:

SEC> snapvault destinations
SEC> snapvault release /vol/SVSECVOL/nonQtreeDataInSVPRIVOL PRI:/vol/SVPRIVOL/RestoreQtree

3.4 On the primary, remove the snapshot that was created for the Qtree SnapMirror (for the SnapVault restore):

PRI> snap list SVPRIVOL
PRI> snap delete -V SVPRIVOL PRI(XXX)_SVPRIVOL_RestoreQtree-dst.X
PRI> snapvault status

Note i: After the above snapvault status, the line with state Broken-off should be gone (snapvault status should show a 1:1 correspondence of state=source on the primary to state=snapvaulted on the secondary)
Note ii: Here I restored back into a new restore Qtree in the snapvault primary volume, the restore could also be done to a qtree in another volume.

3.5 Then add the required VM to the vCenter inventory or attach VMDK to a live server

Image for 3.5: SnapVault restored to RestoreQtree

Sunday, 28 April 2013

NetApp VSC 4.1 for VMware: SnapVault with SMVI Backups

In the last post (here) we looked at integrating SnapMirror with the SMVI backups in NetApp’s Virtual Storage Console for VMware. With SnapMirror, you have effectively a 1-1 relationship of volume and snapshots on primary storage to disaster recovery storage (see image below.)

Image: SnapMirror-SMVI snapshots on source and destination

Q: What if we want to extend our retention capability without using more snapshot space on primary storage?
A: Use SnapVault scripts with SMVI.
And - fortunately - a very clever guy by the name of Matt has created something we can use - SV-SMVI. At the time of writing, the latest version of SnapVault for SMVI (SV-SMVI) is version 3.0.3 (which we use here) and this is available from:

SnapVault Considerations

A few important considerations about SnapVault taken from the:

Data ONTAP 8.1 Commands: Manual Page Reference For 7-Mode, Volume 1
Part number: 210-05884_A0 (Updated for Data ONTAP 8.1.2 on 22 November 2012)

1) “SnapVault replicates data in primary system paths to qtrees on a SnapVault secondary node.”
2) “When the primary system is a node, the path to be replicated can be a qtree, non-qtree data on a volume, or a volume path … the snapvault restore command on a primary node will always restore to a primary qtree regardless ….”

What does this mean?
When the VSC provisions an NFS datastore, it provisions as a volume and not as a qtree in a volume. Also, VMs are contained in folders in the NFS datastore and not in qtrees themselves. This means that with a typically provisioned VMware environment, we can SnapVault the whole NFS datastore but not do more granular backups. If more granular backups are required say to backup individual VMs, these must exist in individual qtrees on the NFS datastore. Also, the restore of a non-qtree datastore can only be done back to a qtree.

Note: For the remainder of this post we’ll assume we’re working with a typically provisioned environment (that is - no qtrees on the primary.)

Part 1: SV-SMVI Installation

Note: “SV-SMVI is not supported through NetApp’s Technical Support Center (TSC). Support is only provided through NetApp Professional Services on a services engagement basis.”

1.1 Download:

After downloading sv-smvi-3.0.3.zip from here and unpacking the contents, we are presented with the following files:

- SV-SMVI User Guide.pdf
- sv-smvi.cmd
- sv-smvi.exe (Windows Executable)
- sv-smvi.pl (Perl Script)

Here we will configure SV-SMVI using the executable (the Perl Script is available as an alternative.)

1.2 Installation of sv-smvi.cmd and sv-smvi.exe:

Note: Here we have a Windows Server 2008 R2 box with VMware vCenter Server 5.1, and the NetApp Virtual Storage Console 4.1 for VMware installed on the same box.

Side note: Check out the SnapManager 2.0 for Virtual Infrastructure Best Practices - TR-3737 which has as best practice to “Install SMVI on the vCenter server to reduce the impact of network disruptions”.

i. Place sv-smvi.exe in the folder:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi

ii. Place sv-smvi.cmd in the folder:

C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi\server\scripts

Part 2: SnapVault Configuration

2.1 License and check licenses:

PRI> license add SVONTAPPRI
SEC> license add SVONTAPSEC
PRI> license
SEC> license

2.2 Create a volume on the secondary to hold the backups (the volume will be a larger size than the primaries if many SMVI backups will be held there) and verify size and options:

SEC> vol create SVSECVOL -s none AGGREGATE SIZE
*(Optional) the -s none creates a thin-provisioned volume
SEC> df -k SVSECVOL
SEC> vol status SVSECVOL

2.3 Allow SnapVault access between primary and secondary, and ping to verify network connectivity:

PRI> options snapvault.enable on
PRI> options snapvault.access host=SEC
PRI> ping SEC
SEC> options snapvault.enable on
SEC> options snapvault.acess host=PRI
SEC> ping PRI

2.4 Create SnapVault primary to secondary relationship and baseline, and monitor the status:

SEC> snapvault start -S PRI:/vol/SVPRIVOL/- SEC:/vol/SVSECVOL/nonQtreeDataInSVPRIVOL
SEC> snapvault status

Note i: The SnapVault volume is ready for future updates when the state is Snapvaulted.
Note ii: If you SnapVault a volume with Qtrees inside, only the non Qtree data comes across!

2.5 Create a SnapVault schedule which only applies a retention policy (SV-SMVI triggers taking the SnapVault snapshot):

SEC> snapvault snap sched SVSECVOL SNAPNAME 21@-

Note i: Later on, we can use the snap list -n SVSECVOL to see the snapshots.
Note ii: Remove any default scheduled snapshots (in case this has not be done already) as below -

PRI> snap sched SVPRIVOL 0 0 0
SEC> snap sched SVSECVOL 0 0 0

Part 3: SV-SMVI.CMD

3.1 Encrypt Password:

From the DOS Command Prompt, run -
sv-smvi.exe -cryptpasswd
- as in the example below.

Example: Encrypting password
C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi>sv-smvi.exe -cryptpasswd
Enter password text to encrypt:
Encrypted password string to use is: 53616c7465645f5f5326c31daa2ea805ad3047ac665ce15049f431daacf69a56

3.2 Edit sv-smvi.cmd as required:

Unedited, the contents of sv-smvi.cmd are:
c:\Temp\sv-smvi.exe -svuser root -svpasswd netapp

The below lists an example working sv-smvi.cmd content - here we’re using the encrypted password from 3.1 and outputting a report:

cd "C:\Program Files\NetApp\Virtual Storage Console\smvi"
sv-smvi.exe -svuser root -svcryptpasswd 536… -report

Note: Check out the ‘SV-SMVI User Guide’ for Command Line Arguments.

Part 4: VSC - Create/Edit Backup Job

4.1 Create/Edit Job using the sv-smvi.cmd script

vSphere Client > Home > Solutions and Applications > NetApp
Backup and Recovery > Backup

Create/edit a backup job, and where prompted select the sv-smvi.cmd script.

Image: Selecting the sv-smvi.cmd script in the VSC Backup Wizard

4.2 Choose a schedule for the SnapVaulting

The SnapVault schedule is dictated via the Backup Wizard in the VSC (only the retention is dictated by the schedule created in 2.5.)

4.3 Run the Job

Check the report to see if SV-SMVI completed successfully:

Example: End of SV-SMVI log and “Command completed successfully”
[15:17:50] SnapVault secondary snapshot created successfully.
[15:17:50] A total of 1 SnapVault relationship update(s) and 1 SnapVault snapshot creation(s) successful.
[15:17:50] Command completed successfully.

Note i: The default location for the SV-SMVI log is C:\NetApp\SV-SMVI\Report (which gets auto-created)
Note ii: If seeing an “ERROR: ZAPI connection” check ‘options httpd.admin.enable’ is set to on (httpd.enable can be off).

Image: SnapVault-SMVI snapshots on source and destination

Useful tip: SnapVault uses the same engine as qtree snapmirror.

APPENDIX: SMVI Command Line Arguments

-svip STR
-svuser STR
-svpasswd STR
-verbose
-debug
-help
-report
-reportdir STR
-noping
-config FILE
-cryptpasswd
-svcryptpasswd STR
-dnslist STR:IP, STR:IP, …
-svschednames STR, STR
-nosvsnap
-https

Saturday, 27 April 2013

NetApp VSC 4.1 for VMware: SnapMirror with SMVI Backups

Following on from recent posts on the NetApp Virtual Storage Console 4.1 for VMware using NFS datastores, here we look at setting up and integrating SnapMirror with SMVI (SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure has been bundled with the VSC from 4.x.)

VSC and SnapMirror

The VSC integrates SnapMirror via the backup job option ‘Initiate SnapMirror update’.

Image: VSC 4.1 B&R - Job Properties

For this to work, a SnapMirror relationship must already exist, and below details how to do this.

How to Create an Asynchronous Volume SnapMirror Relationship (Data ONTAP 7-Mode)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The VSC will update the SnapMirror for us if ‘Initiate SnapMirror update’ is ticked. Step 5 is only required if you want SnapMirror updates outside of the control of the VSC.

1. License:
SRCE> license add SNAPMIRROR_CODE
DEST> license add SNAPMIRROR_CODE

2. Check source volume size and verify status:
SRCE> df -k SOURCE_VOL
SRCE> vol status SOURCE_VOL

*For completeness (not required when setting up SnapMirror for NFS volumes) - if our source volume supported CIFS clients, we would ensure that Unicode is set to ON using:
vol options SOURCE_VOL convert_ucode on

3. Create the destination volume (must be equal or larger to the source), double-check the size is correct, verify volume options, restrict the volume, and verify status=restricted:
DEST> vol create DEST_VOL -s none AGGREGATE SIZE
*(Optional) the -s none creates a thin-provisioned volume
DEST> df -k DEST_VOL
DEST> vol status DEST_VOL
*(Optional) here you might want to compare volume options from the source
DEST> vol restrict DEST_VOL
DEST> vol status DEST_VOL

4. Allow SnapMirror access between the storage controllers, and ping to verify network connectivity:
SRCE> options snapmirror.access host=DEST
DEST> options snapmirror.access host=SRCE
SRCE> ping DEST
DEST> ping SRCE

5. (Optional) Create SnapMirror schedule on the destination (remember that in 7-Mode it is a “pull” relationship) defining when to synchronize (Minute of Hour, Hour of Day, Day of Month, Day of Week):
DEST> wrfile -a /etc/snapmirror.conf
SRCE:SOURCE_VOL DEST:DEST_VOL - * * * *

6. Enable SnapMirror on source and destination systems:
SRCE> snapmirror on
DEST> snapmirror on

7. Initialize transfer of files from source to destination:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Suspend the VSC backup job before initializing the SnapMirror relationship!
DEST> snapmirror initialize -S SRCE:SOURCE_VOL DEST:DEST_VOL
*Remember hostnames are case sensitive

8. Verify transfer/mirror status:
DEST> snapmirror status -l

When the state is Initialized, we’re good to edit the backup job and tick the ‘Initiate SnapMirror update’ box, and Resume the backup job.

SnapMirror Considerations with the VSC

It is recommended to backup all VMs in a datastore. If there are individual backup jobs for VMs in a datastore, each individual backup job requires a volume snapshot, and if all the jobs have update SnapMirror ticked, then a full volume SnapMirror update is run after each individual VM is backed up.

APPENDIX

Volume Options for an NFS Datastore Created via the VSC 4.1 with ‘Thin provision’ Ticked and ‘Auto-grow’ Unticked

Image: VSC 4.1 NFS Datastore Provisioning

> vol status CREATEDBYVSC
Volume         State    Status
CREATEDBYVSC   online   raid_dp, flex
                        sis
                        64-bit

Options
nosnap=on, no_atime_update=on, guarantee=none, fractional_reserve=0

Volume UUID: 85c90f14-af44-11e2-b902-123478563412
Containing aggregate: 'aggr0'

OnCommand Balance - “A vCenter Server is already being monitored with the same URI”

Note: The version of OnCommand Balance here is 4.1

Scenario

A VMware vCenter Server 4.0 had been added to Balance (Discovery > vCenter Servers > + Add vCenter Server). Sometime later, a new vCenter Server 5.1 is built (inside the vCenter Server 4.0), and then the old vCenter Server 4.0 is decommissioned and the new vCenter Server 5.1 acquires all the hosts and guests. Now, quite understandably, Balance is a bit confused. So we delete the old vCenter 4.0, and try and add in the new vCenter 5.1, but we get this error:

“A vCenter Server is already being monitored with the same URI.”

Why?
Well the vCenter 5.1 was already discovered due to being a part of the old vCenter 4.0.

We refresh the - Discovery > vCenter Servers - page, and notice another error:

“An error occurred attempting to retrieve the data”

Now, thinking a reboot might sort it out, we reboot the Balance appliance, but the web interface does not come up!

Connecting to the Balance Advanced Management Tool (AMT) over SSH (e.g. PuTTY to IP_OF_BALANCE_APPLIANCE port 22) or via the console, we are presented with:

Current Status: Not running

WARNING: the product is running in MAINTENANCE MODE

WARNING: The product is NOT RUNNING.
WARNING: The GUI is NOT AVAILABLE.
WARNING: New data will NOT BE COLLECTED.

WARNING: Contact Customer Support for assistance.

Note i: Balance AMT default login username = netapp and password = netapp
Note ii: (For completeness) The Web UI default login username = admin and password = password
Note iii: Please note the warning to ‘Contact Customer Support for assistance.’

Subsequent reboots, same thing.

In case you’re wondering - yes, maintenance mode is not selected when the appliance boots!

Image: Balance boot without maintenance mode

Further troubleshooting via the main menu option 5) System Configuration:

Main Menu:
--------------------------
1 ) Update Balance
2 ) Hypervisor Tools
3 ) IP Management Options
4 ) Balance Backup Options
5 ) System Configuration

x ) Exit

Please enter your choice: 5

And option 1 for Display Balance Status:

System Configuration:
--------------------------
1 ) Display Balance Status
2 ) Reboot Operating System
3 ) Shutdown Operating System
4 ) Change Management Tool Password
5 ) Change 'selfmonitor' Password

b ) Back
x ) Exit

Please enter your choice: 1

Reveals another error message:

ERROR: Balance Monitor is in Maintenance Mode.
use “/etc/init.d/bpm clearmaint” to clear

Now, at this stage you would be forgiven for thinking that just clearing Maintenance Mode will fix the problem in this scenario, it doesn’t quite!

Resolution

Apologies ladies and gentlemen - it would not be appropriate for me to publish the fix that worked in this case on a public blog, since it involves going into a hidden menu from the Balance AMT Main Menu. Nevertheless, I can outline what the fix involved. Best answer though is to contact customer support :-)

The fix involves:

1) Via the Balance AMT:
Disable Data Collection
Clear Maintenance Mode
Reboot

2) After the reboot, the Web UI should now come up and you can delete the new vCenter which had been incorrectly discovered:

Login, and:
- Click Discovery > Servers
- Click ‘Unmonitored Servers’
- Click ‘Edit vCenter settings’
- Click Delete

3) Then - via the Balance AMT - re-enable Data Collection and reboot the Balance VA.

4) Finally, we need to rediscover the vCenter:
- Click Discovery > vCenter Servers
- Click ‘+ Add vCenter Server’

And wait for it to do its discovery!

Note i: The re-discovery might take a long time.
Note ii: If not much configuration has been done on the Balance VA, a re-deploy is a quicker fix.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

NetApp VSC 4.1 Series - Introduction

The following 7 blog posts make up an introduction to/crash course on the excellent NetApp Virtual Storage Console version 4.1 for VMware with a focus on Provisioning, Backup, and Recovery.

Contents:


Here we are using NFS, demo-ing the NetApp Virtual Storage Console 4.1 for VMware, with Data ONTAP 8.1.2 7-Mode controllers (SIM), VMware ESXi 5.1 hosts, VMware vCenter 5.1, and random test VMs all in a nested lab environment. I plan to revisit at a later date (at least in part) for Clustered ONTAP.

NetApp VSC 4.1 Series - Part 1/7: How to Provision an NFS Datastore

This post is the first part of a how-to series using the VSC 4.1 (NetApp Virtual Storage Console) for VMware.

vSphere Client > Home > Inventory > Hosts and Clusters
- Select the VMware vSphere Cluster to which you want to provision more storage.
- Hit the “Provision datastore” button.

Image: NetApp VSC 4.1 “Provision datastore” button

NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard - Step 1: Specify the target storage controller
- Select the ‘Target Storage Controller’ and click Next >

Image: NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard Step 1

NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard - Step 2: Select the datastore type you would like to create
- Select NFS and click Next >

Image: NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard Step 2

Note: The VMFS option is greyed out when the VSC detects FCP is not available, and there are no enabled iSCSI interfaces on the storage controller. The VSC also detects if the hosts support FCP or not.

NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard - Step 3: Specify the details for the new datastore
- Input details as required: Size (GB), Datastore name, Aggregate, Thin Provision or not, Auto-grow or not, Auto-grow options if enabled (Grow increment (GB), Maximum datastore size (GB)), and click Next >

Image: NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard Step 3

NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard - Step 4: Ready to complete the configuration changes
- If all is okay click Apply

Image: NetApp Datastore Provisioning Wizard Step 4

And that’s it, nice and simple! Within 30 seconds or so a new datastore is provisioned.

Image: vSphere Client Recent Tasks for NetApp datastore allocation

NetApp VSC 4.1 Series - Part 2/7: How to Create Rapid Clones

In part 1, we created an NFS datastore, now we’ll use the Rapid Clones feature of the VSC to populate it with some VMs.

vSphere Client > Home > Inventory > Hosts and Clusters (or the ‘VMs and Templates’ view)
- Select the VM to be rapid cloned
- Hit the “Create rapid clones” button.

Image: NetApp VSC 4.1 “Create rapid clones” button

Note: One thing that’s very nice about this tool is that it will check disk alignment before starting, and warn you if the VM you’ve picked for rapid cloning is not disk aligned correctly (the clones would end up being similarly misaligned).

Image: Example warning of trying to rapid clone a VM with VMDK files that are not aligned

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 1: Storage Controller details
- Select the ‘Target Storage Controller’ and click Next >

Image: Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 1

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 2: Clone Source
*This step is skipped since we’ve already selected a VM

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 3: Clone Destination
- Choose the host or cluster for the new clones and click Next >
Note: Optionally, can “Specify the virtual machine folder for the new clones”

Image: Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 3

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 4: Virtual machine folder
*This step is skipped unless you tick the “Specify the virtual machine folder for the new clones” from Step 3

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 5: Disk format
- Choose ‘Same format as source’ / ‘Thin provisioned format’ / ‘Thick format’ and click Next >

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 6: Virtual machine details
- Specify the details of the virtual machine clones (see example below) and click Next >

Image: Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 6 Example Specifications

Note i: The options for broker version are VMware View 4.5/4.6/5.0/5.1, and Citrix XenDesktop 4.0/5.0
Note ii: For the wizard, clones names can only contain A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and - characters!
Note iii: If you already have saved customizations in ‘vSphere Client > Home > Management > Customization Specifications Manager’, and the correct sysprep versions or similar installed on your vCenter, the ‘Apply customization specification?’ tick box can be checked.

Image: vSphere Client and vCenter’s ‘Customization Specifications Manager’

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 7: Datastore creation
*This step is skipped if the ‘Create new datastore(s)’ check box is not ticked in Step 6

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 8: Datastore selection
- Select a datastore to store the files for the virtual machine and click Next >

Note: Clicking the ‘Advanced >>’ button allows you to specify different datastores for configuration files and disks.

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 9: Connection broker
*This step is skipped if a ‘Connection broker version’ of none is selection in Step 6

Create Rapid Clones Wizard - Step 10: Summary
- Review the summary and if AOK click Apply

And that’s it. Wait a little bit and the clones are provisioned!

Image: vSphere Client Recent Tasks for NetApp rapid clone virtual machine

NetApp VSC 4.1 Series - Part 3/7: How to Backup

Note: Here we go in via the NetApp icon under vSphere in ‘Solutions and Applications’, it is also possible (with Storage Systems first configured in the ‘Backup and Recovery’ section of the NetApp VSC interface) to simply right-click a VM or Datastore and Backup from there.

vSphere Client > Home > Solutions and Applications > NetApp
Backup and Recovery > Setup
- Click ‘Add…’ to add in the Storage System(s)

Image: NetApp VSC 4.1 Backup and Recovery - Setup

Note i: The controllers might already have been added in under ‘Monitoring and Host Configuration’ but they need to be entered again in the ‘Backup and Recovery’ section!
Note ii: The VSC can also update SnapMirror relationships if you add in the remote Storage System too.

Backup and Recovery > Backup
- Under ‘All Backup Jobs’ click on Add… which brings up the ‘Backup Wizard’

Image: NetApp VSC 4.1 Backup and Recovery - Backup (also showing fields)

Backup Wizard - Step 1: Job Name
- Enter Name and Description
- Tickable options include: ‘Initiate SnapMirror update’, ‘Perform VMware consistency snapshot’, and ‘Include datastores with independent disks’
- Click Next >

Image: VSC Backup Wizard - Step 1

Backup Wizard - Step 2: Virtual Entities
- Select either the VM(s) and/or Datastore(s) that you want to backup
- Click Next >

Image: VSC Backup Wizard - Step 2 with a selected entity of Datastore

Note i: If a Datacenter is selected in the ‘Entities’ drop down, the ‘Available Entities’ are Datastores.
Note ii: If a Datastore is selected in the ‘Entities’ drop down, the ‘Available Entities’ are VMs.

Backup Wizard - Step 3: Spanned Entities
*This step is skipped if there are no VMs that span datastores outside what was selected. Otherwise - “Some of the virtual machines span multiple datastores. You can exclude datastores from the backup.”

Backup Wizard - Step 4: Scripts
- Select from the Available scripts (** that is if there are any - hope to write more on this at a later date **)
- Click Next >

Image: VSC Backup Wizard - Step 4 (currently showing no available scripts to select)

Backup Wizard - Step 5: Schedule
- Select schedule as required from the options of Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly or One time only
- Click Next >

Backup Wizard - Step 6: Credentials
- Specify the credentials which will be used to run the backup job, this can be the ‘default vCenter credentials’.
- Click Next >

Backup Wizard - Step 7: Retention and Alerts
- Specify backup retention based on maximum days, maximum no of backups, or backup indefinitely
- Specify email alerts settings or set to ‘Notify on: Never’
- Click Next >

Image: VSC Backup Wizard - Step 7

Backup Wizard - Step 8: Ready to Complete
- Review the Summary, and - if all is okay - tick whether to ‘Run Job Now’ or not, and click Finish

Image: VSC Backup Wizard - Step 8

The newly created backup job will then appear in the list of ‘All Backup Jobs’ as in the example below.

Image: VSC 4.1 Backup and Recovery > Backup > All Backup Jobs

And if all’s working then tasks similar to the below example should appear in the vSphere Client.

Image: vCenter vSphere Client NetApp Create Backup tasks