NetApp Simulator 8.1 7-Mode Walkthrough Setup Guide

UPDATE: Also see NetApp Simulator 8.1.2 Cluster Mode Installation Walkthrough

This walkthrough guide is specifically using the current latest version of the NetApp Simulator ONTAP – version 8.1, and running the lab inside VMware Workstation 8 (*see Appendix B for Simulate ONTAP 8.1 Hardware and Software Requirements.) The NetApp Simulator is an excellent tool to learn about NetApp filers in a virtual lab environment.

Step 1: Download or Obtain the Binaries

Go to and login with your NetApp NOW account.

Select the Simulator 8.x link, and choose the links to download the Simulate ONTAP 8.1 7-mode and C-mode simulators for VMware Workstation or ESX as required (*see Appendix C for Differences Between ONTAP 7-Mode and C-Mode,) and the 8.1 licenses
Extract the downloaded zip files – and – to their respective folders.

Note: Whilst we are downloading software, go to and download the OnCommand System Manager (latest version at 7th December 2012 is 2.0R1 which supports ONTAP 7.3.2 and above.) The OnCommand System Manager provides a GUI to manage NetApp Filers. The file name for the Windows version is sysmgr-setup-2-0R1-win.exe .

Step 2: Import the Simulator Into VMware Workstation

In this post we are just going to focus the ONTAP 8.1 7-mode simulator (the procedure for the C-mode simulator is pretty similar)
Create a copy of the vsim-7m folder and within VMware Workstation -> File Menu -> Open
- and point to the DataONTAP.vmx file and select Open
- rename the imported machine as desired and power on

Step 3: Booting the Simulator and Initial Configuration
On first boot, wait for the simulator to reach "Press Ctrl-C for Boot Menu" and press Ctrl-C
- this brings up the boot menu, and choose option 4 for 'Clean configuration and initialize all disks'
- Selection (1-8)? 4
- Zero disks, reset config and install a new file system?: Yes
- This will erase all the data on the disks, are you sure?: Yes

The virtual filer will reboot, re-initialize and run through the wipe procedure
- Please enter the new hostname []: VFILER01
- Do you want to enable IPv6? [n]:
- Do you want to configure interface groups? [n]:
- Please enter the IP address for Network Interface e0a []:
- Please enter the netmask for Network Interface e0a []:
- Please enter media type for e0a {100tx-fd, tp-fd, 100tx, tp, auto (10/100/1000)} [auto]:
- Please enter flow control for e0a {none, receive, send, full} [full]:
- Do you want e0a to support jumbo frames? [n]:
- Please enter the IP address for Network Interface e0b []:
- Please enter the IP address for Network Interface e0b []:
- Please enter the IP address for Network Interface e0b []:
Note: Here I leave configuring the 3 interfaces e0b, e0c, e0d for later
- Would you like to continue setup through the web interface? [n]:
Note: Default answer is no to the above question, and my preference is to continue via the console (also the Filer's interfaces do not come up until after the setup is completed!) For reference, the link given is https://IPADDRESSofFILER/api
- Please enter the name or IP address of the Ipv4 default gateway:
Screen Ouput: The administration host is given root access to the filer's /etc files for system administration. To allow /etc root access to all NFS clients enter RETURN below.
- Please enter the name or IP address of the administration host:
- Please enter timezone [GMT]:
- Where is the filer located? []:
- Enter the root directory for HTTP files [/home/http]:
- Do you want to run DNS resolver? [n]:
- Do you want to run NIS client? [n]:
Screen Output: This system will send event messages and weekly reports to NetApp Technical Support. To disable this feature, enter "options off" within 24 hours. Enabling AutoSupport can significantly speed problem determination and resolution should a problem occur on your system. For further information on AutoSupport, please see:
- Do you want to configure the Shelf Alternate Control Path Management interface for SAS shelves [n]:
- Setting the administration (root) password for VFILER01 ... New password: XXXXXXXX
- Retype new password: XXXXXXXX

Then wait for the network interface to become pingable and the system to complete its initialization.

*Continuing from here, see these later tutorials (time permitting - this list will grow):
NetApp Basic NFS Configuration Walkthrough with VMware
NetApp Basic iSCSI Configuration
Installing the NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for VMware vSphere and Using it to Optimize NFS Settings
NetApp Data ONTAP 8.1 Enabling SFTP Access to /etc

Step 4: Managing Your NetApp Virtual Filer

After the NetApp virtual Filer has initialized, it can be managed using the root credentials via:

1: Direct Console (*see Appendix D: CLI commands)
2: SSH connection (*see Appendix D: CLI commands)
3: NetApp OnCommand System Manager (installable on Linux and Windows platforms)
Feel free to play around with the simulator to your heart's content!

Appendix A: Useful links and Credits – NetApp product documentation

Appendix B: Simulate ONTAP 8.1 Hardware and Software Requirements

Hardware requirements
Dual core 64-bit Intel or AMD system
2 GB RAM for one instance of simulator
3 GB RAM for two instances of simulator (4 GB recommended)
20 GB free disk space for each instance of the simulator
VT support for Intel system
Software requirements
Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows Vista
VMware Workstation, VMware Player, or VMware vSphere Client (if running on a VMware ESX/ESXi host server)

Appendix C: Difference Between ONTAP 7-Mode and C-Mode

FAS arrays run Data Ontap, which is available in two modes:

Data Ontap 7-mode (or classic mode) allows FAS arrays to be deployed as a local two-node cluster, a geographically spanned MetroCluster, and as a remote distributed FlexCache, which enables capabilities like LDVM for VMware.

Data Ontap C-Mode (or cluster mode) expands a NetApp storage cluster from 2 nodes to 24 nodes, increases the features found in 7-mode to include endless scaling, global name spaces, and the complete separation of data and data access from the hardware layer in the form of next generation vFilers (known as vServers).

Appendix D: CLI Commands

acpadmin / aggr / arp / autosupport / backup / bmc / cdpd / cf / charmap / cifs / clone / config / date / dcb / df / disk / disk_fw_update / dns / download / du / dump / echo / ems / environment / exportfs / fcadmin / fcnic / fcp / fcstat / file / flexcache / fpolicy / fsecurity / ftp / halt / help / hostname / httpstat / ic / ifconfig / ifgrp / ifstat / igroup / ipsec / ipspace / iscsi / key_manager / keymgr / license / lock / logger / logout / lun / man / maxfiles / mt / nbtstat / ndmpcopy / ndmpd / ndp / netdiag / netstat / nfs / nfsstat / nis / options / orouted / partner / passwd / ping / ping6 / pktt / portset / priority / priv / qtree / quota / radius / rdate / rdfile / reallocate / reboot / restore / revert_to / rlm / route / routed / rshstat / sasadmin / sasstat / savecore / sectrace / secureadmin / setup / sftp / shelfchk / sis / smtape / snap / snaplock / snapmirror / snapvault / snmp / software / source / sp / stats / storage / sysconfig / sysstat / system / timezone / traceroute / traceroute6 / ups / uptime / useradmin / version / vfiler / vlan / vmservices / vol / vscan / wcc / wrfile / ypcat / ypgroup / ypmatch / ypwhich

SEO: NetApp Simulator 8.1 Step by Step Install Guide


  1. I have a guest NOW account, can not download the simulator, can i download it from someware else?

    thank you.

    1. Hi Riad

      The simulator is only available to NetApp partners. I'd check for it on the net at say,, or a torrent site - it should be out there.

      Please let me know if you cannot find it.


  2. thanks a lot for that tip, I'm currently doing that disk clean now, but it's taking ages... any idea, why this couldnt have been done in the source image itself?

  3. Looks like 2 seperate nodes no CF?

    1. Hi Anonymous, that's right - there is no CF in the SIM. Cheers, V

    2. Thanks for this Vidad. Any idea how a non-NetApp partner can get hold of a demo license for OnCommand.

  4. Thanks a lot, this is very much useful for a beginner like me.

    Can you please share about the fundamentals of Netapp.

  5. How can I get "NetApp OnCommand System Manager"?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hello Vidad, is it possible to simulate 7-mode HA pair?

  8. i have installed netapp Siulator on Work station. but, how can i open it from Windos which is installed on same work station.

  9. How can I get "NetApp OnCommand System Manager"? i use to work on this but forgot and unable to acess now

    1. You'll need to log into the netapp support site and download it from there:
      If you've got ONTAP 8.3+ or better, OCSM is built in, just point a browser at https://CLUSTER_MGMT_IP_or_DNS


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