NetApp HCI: Some Notes, References and Links

I‘ve not posted anything about NetApp HCI since July 2017 (my first and only dedicated post), so about time to update!
Note: The below is correct at time of writing (mid-November 2018)

NetApp HCI Installation Workbook
This is something a customer will be sent prior to a NetApp/Partner Professional Services installation engagement. Essentially it is to make sure the environment and required information (network switches, DNS, NTP, IP address, VLANs, etcetera...) is ready prior to the PS Engineer arriving on site.

NetApp HCI Core Software
The HCI software is pre-loaded on the nodes, but if they shipped on a previous version and you want the latest, or perhaps you’re testing and want to blat it to start anew:
From the above you can download:
Software download for NetApp HCI compute node:
Software download for NetApp HCI storage nodes, Element OS:
Software download for NetApp HCI management node:

(Other) NetApp HCI Software

NetApp HCI Documentation
Key documents:

NetApp Interoperability Matrix Tool
Solution Search > Converged Infrastructure > NetApp HCI
Briefly - supported includes:
- VMware ESXi 6.0 U3 / 6.5 U1 / 6.5 U2 / 6.7
- Element OS 10.0 / 10.1 / 10.2 / 10.3 / 10.4
*See VMware HCL for all Guest OSes that are supported.

Blogs on NetApp HCI
NetApp HCI: It’s So Easy, It’s Almost Anti-Climactic
HCI - Hero from Day Zero
NetApp HCI: The first installation. The force awakens (and it glows)
NetApp HCI: Your Biggest Questions Answered

NetApp HCI YouTube Videos

NetApp TRs and NVAs
General Technical Reports:
Solution Specific Technical Reports and NetApp Verified Architectures

If you have a need to RTFI the nodes (i.e. a new version of the NDE has come out and you want to use the latest), then go to and search for RTFI. To create bootable USB keys you can use the Rufus tool from (can RTFI from the IPMIs also).

Note: If I get around to it I'll do a post on preparing bootable USB keys. The process is a little different for the compute and storage nodes.

Image: After racking, cabling, and powering, just this left to do (from the ISI)

Other Blogs
What is the NetApp Solidfire / HCI mNode?
NetApp SolidFire mNode and ActiveIQ Monitoring

Additionally, if you’re NetApp/Partner, a few extra resources:
1) check out the ‘NetApp HCI Product Page
This includes additional brainshark videos:
Also a Technical Presentation and ‘POC/Test Plan
2) The HCI PS Experts Team Sharepoint page:
Here you will find the HCI_Installation_Workbook_v2.1.xlsm amongst other things.
3) I can't remember where I got this from, but someone did a nice 'HCI SETUP - DEMO.docx'
4) Another interesting document - which came from a HCI Bootcamp - 'HCI_Installation_Process_v1.0_Generic.docx'