The Power of NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) in VMware vCenter

In the realm of virtualization, the synergy between storage solutions and management consoles is pivotal. NetApp’s Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for VMware vCenter exemplifies this by offering a seamless integration that empowers administrators to manage their storage infrastructure efficiently.

This blog post delves into the capabilities of NetApp VSC and how it enhances the VMware vCenter experience.

What is NetApp Virtual Storage Console

The virtual appliance for Virtual Storage Console (VSC), VASA Provider, and Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) provides end-to-end life cycle management for virtual machines in VMware environments that use NetApp storage systems. It simplifies storage and data management for VMware environments by enabling administrators to directly manage storage within the vCenter Server.

VSC provisioning operations benefit from using the NFS Plug-in for VMware VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI). The NFS Plug-in for VAAI is a software library that integrates the VMware Virtual Disk Libraries that are installed on the ESXi host.

Key Benefits of Using VSC with VMware vCenter

Simplified Storage Management

VSC simplifies storage and data management by enabling administrators to manage storage directly within the vCenter Server. This integration reduces complexity and streamlines operations.

  • Add storage controllers, assign credentials, and set up permissions for storage controllers to VSC that both SRA and VASA Provider can leverage
  • Provision datastores
  • Monitor the performance of the datastores and virtual machines in your vCenter Server environment
  • View and update the host settings of the ESXi hosts that are connected to storage

VASA Provider

VASA Provider for ONTAP uses VMware vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) to send information about storage used by VMware vSphere to the vCenter Server. The virtual appliance for VSC, VASA Provider, and SRA, VASA Provider is integrated with VSC and VASA Provider enables you to perform the following tasks:

  • Create and use storage capability profiles that define different storage service level objectives (SLOs) for your environment
  • Verify for compliance between the datastores and the storage capability profiles

Efficient Resource Utilization

VSC leverages the NFS Plug-in for VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI), which offloads certain tasks from the physical hosts to the storage array, improving performance and efficiency.

In my previous post, I demonstrated how deploy the NetApp VSC OVA, now let’s configure the VMware Plugin

We need enable support for VMware vStorage over NFS on storage virtual machines (SVMs) by using the vserver nfs modify command.

~vserver nfs modify -vserver vserver_name -vstorage enabled

~vserver nfs show -vserver vserver_name -instance

Click on Getting Started Tab

Click on the ADD Storage System Button

Enter the NetApp array storage credentials and click ADD

The NetApp Storage Array has been successfully added

After about 5-10 minutes the array will be discovered

Notice that the NFS VAAI offload is supported

Click on Settings > NFS VAAI tools

Click on the CHANGE button so we can upload the NetApp VAAI VIB

Click on BROWSE button and locate the downloaded vib

Click the Upload button

As you can see the two servers need the VAAI plugin installed. Just select the servers and click Install

This process usually takes about 2-3 minutes per server

You can monitor the process with Recent Tasks

Click on View Dashboard

The monitoring feature shows us that we need to remediate some ESXi Hosts

Select all the host to be remediated

By selecting the NFS Remediation, this will configure each ESXi Host the NFS best practices

We can also select the Remediation of both HBA (iSCSI / FC) as well as MPIO best practices

This process usually takes 5-10 minutes but you can perform a manual discovery to speed things up

As you can see all ESXi Host Systems are remediated and following best practices

Another great feature of the NetApp VSC is the ability to monitor VMs running on the array.

You have other great features available by clicking on a ESXi host and NetApp ONTAP tools (Provision Datastore, Mount Datastores, Host Monitoring ect…)

The NetApp Virtual Storage Console for VMware vCenter is a powerful tool that brings a new level of efficiency and control to virtualized environments. By leveraging VSC, organizations can ensure that their storage infrastructure is not only robust and secure but also agile and responsive to the demands of modern applications.

Ready to elevate your VMware vCenter with NetApp VSC? The journey towards a more efficient and controlled virtual environment begins here.

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