Saturday, December 28, 2013

VMware VASA & NetApp - Configuration & Best Practices

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In my previous blog post NetApp VASA provider for VMware – Setup Walkthrough I have shared instructions to setup NetApp VASA provider for VMware using vSphere C# & Web Client. In this blog post I will share information which will help you in configuring NetApp VASA Provider with VMware.
Once you have successfully setup NetApp VASA Provkider for VMware the Storage information will be displayed in Storage Providers section of the vSphere Web Client. In this example the VASA Provider has detected NetApp FAS 3170 with ONTAP version 8.1.1. This confirms that the setup is successful.
Let’s understand the importance of using VASA providers before we start with the configuration steps. With vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness the various storage capabilities of the Storage Array can now be detected by the vCenter Server. This can be further used by Profile Driven Storage (introduced in vSphere 5.0) which enables you to provision VMs based on the defined SLAs and other technical & business requirements. In short by using VASA you ensure that the VMs are provisioned, deployed from template or Storage vMotioned only to specific datastore. Resulting in reduced management costs of the vSphere environment.
This is achieved by creating various storage profiles and assigning VMs to those storage profiles. The Storage Profiles are created using either System Defined or User Defined capabilities. With NetApp VASA the following system defined storage capabilities are reported in vCenter.
Note that the VMFS/NFS datastores are automatically assigned to these System Defined storage capabilities while creating Storage Profiles. For e.g. ONLY LUNs/Volumes that are being replicated using Snapmirror would be detected by VMFS:Replication & NFS:Replication.
Alternatively you can also create User Defined Capabilities and assign them to the datastores which can be further used while creating Storage Profiles.
Create VM Storage Profiles using vSphere Web Client
If you are creating System Profiles using User Defined Capabilities, you would have to create tags and tag categories. In this example I have created a Tag Category User_Stor and assigned a tag “VMFS_Thin’. To create a new tag follow the new tag wizard that is available in vSphere Web Client Home
Once the tag is created, you have to assign it to one or more datastores
We can now create storage profiles either using System or User defined capabilities. To create new Storage Profiles, navigate to vSphere Web Client Home > VM Storage Policies 
You have to enable Storage Profiles either at the cluster level (which will propagate the changes to ESXi hosts) or single ESXi host.
Launch the Create New VM Storage Policy wizard.
Select one of the System Defined Rule-Set, in this case I chose VMFS:Performance. 
Alternatively, you may also create on “Add tag-based rule” to assign User Defined capabilities.
Select the datastores that you want to tag to this profile.
Ready to complete

Assign VM Storage Profiles to VMs
To assign the storage profile to the VM, select the VM and Navigate to Manage > VM Storage Policies > Manage VM Storage Profiles
You will find that the VM is not compliant because this is an existing VM which resides on a datastore which is not assigned to the VM Storage Policy.
To fix this, Storage vMotion the VM to a datastore that is compliant with the VM Storage Policy that is assigned to the VM.

Consider the following when using VM Storage Profiles
  • Assigning VM Storage Profiles to existing VMs does not relocate the VMs to the compatible datastores, you have to Storage vMotion the existing VMs to the compatible datastores.
  • Assign VM Storage Profiles to VM templates, so that the new VMs  deployed from template can be provisioned on the compatible datastore.
  • Create multiple rule sets in VM Storage Profiles for VMs with multiple requirements for e.g. you may want a datastore which is based on high performance SSD drives and is also replicated using SAN replication.
  • When you create Datastores Clusters, chose the compatible datastores with same capabilities so that datastore cluster is marked compatible.


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