Golden Nuggets: #2 NetApp VSC – Provisioning

Wizard_LegoI previously wrote a post or two related to NetApp’s Virtual Storage Console for VMware vCenter, including its uses and how to install it. In this post I would like to highlight its importance in a NetApp/VMware or FlexPod environment.

NetApp’s VSC is a very handy tool that will allow you to achieve many tasks in an automated fashion rather than doing them manually; therefore, it will save you time and eliminate the possibility of human error. During the configuration and provisioning process, the human error factor can result in a lot of frustration for the admin/engineer, as troubleshooting often ends with the finding of a simple step that was missed. VSC is not a new tool, but there is a new version (6.0) that introduces new features and fixes. VVols requires VSC 6.0 , by the way.

One of the coolest features of VSC (IMHO), is the provisioning of storage from the VMware Web client. If we were to create an NFS datastore for VMware, the manual process will include the creation of a volume, granting the correct permissions for the export, and then mounting the datastore to each host. This takes quite a bit of time and requires having to jump between UIs.

VSC allows you to do all the aforementioned steps from the VMware client (Web or C#) from one easy to use provisioning wizard. You can provision datastores, volumes, exports, and permissions by simply right-clicking the cluster or an individual host. If  you do this from the cluster level, VSC will create the volume and exports which is cool, but the coolest part is that it will also add the hosts’ IP addresses with the necessary permissions to the export, and it creates and mounts the datastores on all hosts within the cluster, NFS in this case. That alone is a good reason to have VSC, albeit there are many other tasks that VSC is capable of.

One of the frequently asked questions I see on both the VMware and NetApp communities, relates to errors and failure to mount an NFS datastore in vCenter. Often times it relates to the permissions within the exports, so VSC will do all this for you and prevent such issues.

Note: Please refer to NetApp’s Interoperability Matrix Tool (IMT) to determine which version you need. Specific versions are needed for VMware’s Web client and the same goes for the vSphere Client.









VSC options for Cluster







VSC options for Host



vROps 6.0: Why you need it now

One of the most time-consuming activities within an IT infrastructure is “keeping the lights on”. The operations of an IT environment requires many, many man hours, and this may also vary depending on the type of tool(s) utilized. There are many operations related tools that help administrators manage an environment, but VMware’s vRealize 6.0 brings great enhancement to its predecessors, and definitely sets itself apart from the competitors.

vRealize Operations Manager 6.0 introduces smart alerts. These types of alerts are the result of the aggregation of similar alerts into a single “smart” alert. This approach reduces the number of false-positive alerts, as well as decreasing the alert storms when issues appear. vROps, also provides a mitigation recommendation based on the smart alerts and allows for automatic problem remediation from vROps to the target vCenter, without the need to go to the vCenter Web Client. This integration provides management from one single console. The same applies within the vCenter Web Client, where information from vROps is visible for each entity.

The aforementioned features are key differentiators from older vCOps versions as well as from 3rd party competitors. vRealize Operations Management suite also allows to monitor other aspects outside the VMware environment such as storage, network, OS, and applications among others. This integration is done via management packs and plug-ins that allows businesses of all sizes to monitor their IT infrastructure from one single UI. It is also important to mention that vROps is capable of providing information for both security compliance as well as regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI among others.

For those that are currently running pre-vRealize version of Operations Manager (vCOps), I highly recommend that you make the move to vRealize 6.0. The additional features are worth the migration, which by the way is a breeze. I was able to deploy a new vROps instance and import from vCOps 5.8 in less than an hour. The new version provides many additional reports and dashboards that will reduce the time spent monitoring your IT Infrastructure.

By the way, to migrate to vROps 6.0 you need at least vCOps 5.8.1 version on the source system. I have a post regarding upgrade of vCOps here. You can either deploy vROps as a virtual appliance, on Windows OS or RHEL 6.5. Please refer to VMware’s documentation for details.

Here is a dashboard comparison between vCOps 5.8 and vROps 6.0.

Figure 1: vCOps 5.8.2



Figure 2: vROps 6.0