NetApp PowerShell Toolkit 101: Storage Virtual Machine Configuration

Storage Virtual Machines (SVM) are the entity in clustered Data ONTAP which the storage consumer actually interacts with. As the name implies, they are a virtual entity, however they are not a virtual machine like you would expect. There are no CPU, RAM, or other cache assignments that must be made. Instead, we assign storage resources to the SVM, such as aggregates and data LIF(s), which the SVM then uses to provision FlexVols and make them available via the desired protocol.

In this post we will look at how to configure an SVM using PowerShell.

  • Create an SVM
  • Aggregate Access
  • SVM DNS Service
  • Configuring Data LIF(s)
  • Configuring Protocols

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NetApp PowerShell Toolkit 101: Node Configuration

In the last post we looked at some settings that apply to the cluster. This time, let’s look at how to administer nodes.

In this post we will cover using the NetApp PowerShell Toolkit to manage these aspects of nodes:

  • Network Port Configuration
  • Node Management LIFs
  • Service Processor
  • CDP
  • Aggregates

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NetApp PowerShell Toolkit 101: Cluster Configuration

Using the NetApp PowerShell Toolkit (NPTK) can sometimes be a daunting task. Fortunately, it is pretty intuitive on how to configure most aspects of your storage system. Let’s start by looking at some of the cluster level configuration items that can be managed using the NTPK.

In this post we will cover:

  • AutoSupport
  • Licenses
  • Cluster Management LIF(s)
  • Inter-Cluster LIF(s)
  • SNMP
  • DNS

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NetApp PowerShell Toolkit 101: Getting Started

The NetApp PowerShell Toolkit (NPTK) is a great way to get started administering your NetApp resources, both 7-mode and clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT), in a more efficient and scalable manner.

Getting the Toolkit

The download (version 3.2 at the time of this writing) is available from the NetApp Communities in the Microsoft Cloud and Virtualization board.

From the download page are two links to some great resources: the Getting Started presentation, and Making the Most of the NetApp PowerShell Toolkit. Both of these are excellent reads if you want some starting hints.

Getting Help

  • The NetApp Communities: The communities are a great place to get help quickly for any question you might have. I recommend that you use the Microsoft Cloud and Virtualization Discussions board, however the SDK and API board will infrequently have questions as well.You can also send me a message using the NetApp Communities. My username is asulliva, and I’m happy to respond to questions directly through the Communities messaging system.
  • From the NPTK itself: One of the less known features of the Toolkit is that it has help built in. Yes, you can use the standard Get-Help cmdlet, but there’s a hidden treasure: Show-NcHelp.This cmdlet will generate an HTML version of the cmdlet help and open your default browser to display it.

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    From here you can dig through the cmdlets and view all of the information you want to know about them quickly and easily.

A Few Basics To Get Started

Now that you have the toolkit and have installed it, it’s time to use it. Let’s look at a couple of basic tasks.

Note: I will be using the cDOT cmdlets, however nearly all of the commands have an equivalent available for 7-mode.

Connecting to a controller
Connecting to your cluster is extremely easy. You can specify the cluster management IP address, or any of the node management IPs as well. If you do not provide credentials as a part of the command invocation, it will prompt for them.

Getting Information
Now that we’re connected to the cluster, let’s take a look at some of the information that can be gathered:

Onward to Automation

There are a number of “PowerShell Toolkit 101” posts that introduce some of the possibilities. Be sure to read through these other posts:

This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the NetApp PowerShell Toolkit. Anything that can be done from the command line can be done using the toolkit. If you’re interested in seeing specific examples, need help, or just have questions, please let me know in the comments!

SSH to Clustered Data ONTAP using Key Authentication

This post is an update to the earlier post on key based authentication to a ONTAP 7-mode (or ONTAP 7) system. Clustered Data ONTAP’s authentication mechanism is different because it isn’t tied to each node, but rather the cluster itself.

To configure key based authentication for the cluster admin user, you will need to add the authentication method first:

Note that the above warning will occur after executing the command to warn you that a public key must be imported for the user before it can be used. Import the key using the following command:

Note that the -publickey option has double quotes around the public key text, and the key type prefix (ssh-rsa in this case) remains.

Doing this for Storage Virtual Machine admins/users is the same process, just change the appropriate options (-vserver and -username) to valid values.

Also note that you can have multiple keys (up to 99) for an individual user. If you want to enable the entire storage team to access the cluster admin account without having to worry about shared passwords or shared certificates, that is possible.

Clustered Data ONTAP Snapmirror – Removing a relationship from the source

Encountered a situation where the Snapmirror destination had been removed without properly cleaning up the source. This was on a clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 system where I could not delete a volume because of the Snapmirror relationship. This operation is performed from the source, so snapmirror show does not show any relationships (remember…snapmirror is managed from the destination).

Here is what I did to remove the Snapmirror snapshot and the relationship. First, show the destinations:

Once this information is available, you can simply call the snapmirror delete command with the above information to remove the relationship from the source:

The use of -force may be necessary if the destination is not reachable (check cluster peer show for peer status).

An Exploration of FlexVols that Underlay VMware Datastores

This post is a continuation of the series that I started with aggregates. FlexVols are created inside of an aggregate and are the logical assignment of the aggregate’s capacity to sub-containers. Think of a FlexVol as a folder on a file system with a quota applied to it…while that isn’t technically true, it get’s the gist across.

FlexVols are the data containers from which CIFS/NFS data (including virtual machines) is served, and/or LUNs are hosted from. They are the functional level for which many features are applied, such as deduplication, and provide logical separation for data sets. From a security point of view, no data in one volume is available from another, and even though the disks are shared, there are no shared blocks between volumes (even with deduplication).

Clustered Data ONTAP introduced the ability to move volumes between nodes in the cluster. I won’t preach about the benefits of cDOT, but there are many and they far outweigh the added complexity. This series is meant to stay focused on the data container settings, which are the same between 7-Mode and clustered Data ONTAP.

Before we begin, I want to note that TR-3749 and TR-4068 should always be the primary reference and guide when deploying VMware using NetApp storage.

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An Exploration of Aggregates that Underlay VMware Datastores

NetApp storage, much like ogres and onions, is made up of several layers. Regardless of using Data ONTAP 7-Mode or clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT), there are always aggregates which contain volumes which contain NFS/CIFS shares and/or LUNs. Aggregates are the physical grouping of disks into RAID groups on which all data is stored when using Data ONTAP, they are the foundation on which everything else rides.

Storage Layers

I am going to start examining those configurables which may, or may not, be important when hosting virtual machines. This will be broken into several parts, one for each of the layers:

All of these components are configured similarly with both 7-Mode and C-Mode. C-Mode adds another layer of abstraction, known as the Storage Virtual Machine, which enhances data mobility and manageability on the storage array, but that does not affect the settings on the actual data container constructs.

Each of these entities has configuration options and settings that can be tweaked, tuned, and adjusted for various scenarios. The defaults for these settings are conservative and capable of meeting a broad range of requirements, but they can also be changed to meet a variety of more specific needs for capacity, performance, ease of management, etc. Remember, just because a setting can be adjusted doesn’t mean that it needs to be. All environments are different, and there is rarely only a single “correct” way to configure your storage.

Before we begin, I want to note that TR-3749 and TR-4068 should always be the primary reference and guide when deploying VMware using NetApp storage.

Read moreAn Exploration of Aggregates that Underlay VMware Datastores