The NetApp VSC (Virtual Storage Controller) is a virtual appliance which integrates with VMware vSphere environments. It provides a unified console to deploy and manage storage, acts as a VASA Provider and also as a Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for environments where the VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is used. The purpose of this quick article series is to show the steps on how to deploy NetApp VSC and configure the VASA plugin which allows operations related to the management and provisioning of VMware Datastores.
The main reason to deploy NetApp VSC is to complement the deployment of NetApp ONTAP. In particular NetApp ONTAP deals with all hardware, software and application configurations for the Storage. The NetApp VSC is acting as the “bridge” to present and manage the storage presented to the VMware vSphere environments. NetApp VSC includes the SRA and the VASA Provider plugins for VMware vCenter. This results in an improvement when managing VMware virtual server environments running on NetApp storage and VMware vSphere Web Client
At the time of writing, VMware environments running on 6.7 and later need to deploy NetApp VSC 7.2.1. This version in particular has backward compatibility with previous releases of VMware. A quick look at the NetApp Interoperability Matrix provides more information on the latest. Although it is possible to upgrade from earlier versions of NetApp VSC to the latest (currently 7.2.1) it looks like the upgrade path might not always be successful. If the environment is running on VMware 6.7 and above a fresh install of the NetApp VSC is the case.
How to Deploy NetApp VSC in VMware vSphere
The process to deploy NetApp VSC appliance is straight forward and uses the standard VMware OVA approach where a customised copy is created from the OVA template. First step is to import the OVA template file.
Next is to specify the name and the location in the virtual network infrastructure.
At this point is possible to select the vSphere Host to associate to the virtual appliance.
A quick review shows the main details for the NetApp VSC virtual appliance.
At this point the wizard provides the options to customise the OVA template and get this ready for the deployment.
Next step is to select the storage location for the NetApp VSC appliance. This storage location is used as the “system” disk for the NetApp VSC appliance only.
In the network section the option to specify the Port Group where the NetApp VSC will be able to communicate with both NetApp ONTAP Cluster nodes and the VMware vCenter.
In a final step of the wizard the option to specify various system settings which will be used by the NetApp VSC setup:
- System Configuration
- Application User Password
- NTP Servers
- vCenter Registration Configuration
- vCenter Server Address
- Network Properties
- IP address
- Prefix lenght (IPv6 only)
- Netmask (IPv4 only)
- Primary DNS
- Secondary DNS
- Search Domains
The wizard has now all the necessary info to deploy NetApp VSC virtual appliance. Next step is the configuration and setup with VMware vCenter.