Using vVols on NetApp HCI

I have a new work lab, and I am turning on vVols so I am documenting what I do.  I have a few questions that I am not finding good answers on.  So working through it and taking notes will help!

I am doing thing in a lab with vSphere 6.7 U3 and Elements

There are a few steps so we will work our way through one at a time, and I will take screenshots to help!

First we need to enable vVols. We will work in the vSphere Plug-in for NetApp HCI.

  • Change to the NetApp Element Configuration option in your vSphere Client.
  • Then change to the Clusters view.

  • Next we select our cluster, as seen above, then use the Actions menu to Enable VVols.

  • Next we will have a warning about how this cannot be undone.

  • I am sure so I select Yes.
  • We can see that it is enabled now, but things are not complete.

  • Now highlight your cluster.
  • Use the Actions menu and select Details.

  • Copy the VASA Provider URL line to your copy / paste buffer.
  • Now highlight the vCenter name in Hosts and Clusters.  Not the vCenter VM.

  • See what I have highlighted?  Not the VCSA but the vCenter entity at the top.
  • Change to the Configure tab.
  • Select Storage Providers as you see above.
  • Use the +Add to your VASA provider.

  • Use a name, the URL and the admin credentials for the storage cluster and hit OK.
  • Note: Make sure your DNS is good, but if you are not sure, or suspicious than replace the short name as you see it above and use IP. Update: confirmed this is a bug, you MUST use IP.
  • You will get a Certificate error but accept it.

  • Now we have a storage provider.
  • Lets now change back to the NetApp Element Management area.

  • Change to the vVols, Storage Containers area.

  • Use the Create Storage Container button.

  • Note I how I used the same name for Storage Container and Datastore. I like things simple.
  • Leave the secrets blanks and automatically generated secrets will be used.
  • Once you select OK, it takes a few minutes to get done.  Watch Recent Tasks to see.

  • It took less than five minutes to complete.

You might seen an error in the Recent tasks.

This is normal as it is doing a scan before things are done.

You will know things are good when you see two Create Virtual Volume Datastore options successful in the recent tasks.

Now change to the Datastore view.

It is likely that your vVols has a red error beside it.  You will need to disable HA, and enable HA then refresh and it will look proper. After that, if you are curious you can confirm that this vVols container is connected to both your hosts.

So now we have the infrastructure done, how do we get our VMs into vVols?

Our VMs are not in vVOLs, but also they are working fine.  I want them on vVOLs so all that is necessary is to Storage vMotion them to it (in my screenshots it is vVols-container).

Once that is done you can see in the Summary where the VM is.

In addition, you can also see it in the SolidFire UI.

BTW, I just SvMotioned the VMs to the vVols container.  I did not worry about policies.  But if I want, I can now work with Storage Polices so that these VMs have the resources that they need - all of the time. NetApp HCI has amazing QoS and it is integrated with VMware’s storage policies so it is a pretty amazing combo.  We will look at that in a future article.

As always, any comments or questions let me know.


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