The aim of the article series is to cover the NetApp VSC 9.7 deployment. the idea is to show both types of deployments: a fresh install and the upgrade from an existing install based on 9.7 release and updated to the latest patch release. At the time of “grabbing the screenshots” the latest patch was the 9.7p2. In reality the main steps for this guide apply also to future releases. The idea for this one is to learn and test in a homelab about the NetApp Virtual Storage Controller (VSC) features, capabilities and configuration.
The great news is the NetApp VSC 9.7 ships in a OVA format that can be easily installed in a VMware vSphere environment. Perfect for homelab too! This article series is divided as follows:
- NetApp VSC 9.7 deployment on VMware
- NetApp VSC 9.7 install
- NetApp VSC 9.7 configuration
- NetApp VSC 9.7 patch upgrades
The NetApp Virtual Storage Controller provides a convenient way to easily manage the VMware storage running on the NetApp ONTAP arrays. With the help of the VMware native frameworks like the VASA Provider, the NetApp VSC manages and presents the VMware datastores directly to the vSphere ESXi Hosts and through the VMware vCenter console. NetApp VSC can in fact present storage to VMware using Fiber Channel, iSCSI and NFS protocols. In the case of the NFS datastores an additional NFS VAAI plugin needs to be installed. This guide covers the steps with ISCSI storage.
How to deploy NetApp VSC 9.7
The NetApp VSC 9.7 can be installed both from a VMware vCenter as well as directly from the ESXi Web Client. In this case the process will perform the deployment from the VMware vCenter console. Once the NetApp OVA file is downloaded, next is to run in the vCenter console the wizard to deploy a new OVA template.
As per usual in the next step is a matter of selecting the name of the OVA appliance and in which Data Center this will deployed.
In the next screen and based on the available hosts and clusters in the selected Data Center it is a matter of selecting the desired host. The recommendation is to choose a Host that has at least 8GB-12GB that could be assigned to this appliance, at least for the first install. In reality for standard use is almost never actively using all the assigned memory. Which is a great point especially for a homelab where resources are certainly limited compared to a production environment. Good news is the NetApp VSC also installs the VM tools which help also managing the resources of the Virtual Hardware of the appliance.
In the next screen just a matter of quickly reviewing info and proceed to the next one. For homelab install purposes the thick provisioning is not stricly required which means it helps saving some space.
At this point accept the license to continue.
This is where the NetApp VSC 9.7 appliance will be installed. Changing to Thin Provisioning is absolutely fine also from a performance point of view.
In the next step the wizard prompts for the VMware Port Group where the NetApp VSC appliance will be installed. The advice is to make sure this is mtching at least the same VMware Port Group used to communicate with the NetApp ONTAP Management interface.
This is the most important part of the wizard. This screen requires primarily network information about the appliance and the VMware vCenter. The recommendation is to make sure DNS name resolution is working both ways forward and reverse. Also avoid using DHCP and allocate a Static IP address for greater control. These details are important as the installation phase includes a routine which will create a certificate based on these values.
Once provided and reviewed all the necessary details, the final screen shows a summary of the main settings. The deployment process doesn’t take very long. Next step is to run the installation for the appliance.