Netapp VASA Provider 1.0

Netapp has released their vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) provider 1.0 to their support site.  http://support.netapp.com If you’re not that familiar with the VASA concept, this article should explain what it is and how it’s used in regards to VMware vSphere 5.

What is VASA?

VASA Providers collect information about your storage systems and present that information to vSphere.  In previous versions of vSphere, an administrator might need to keep track of hisher datastores in a spreadsheet or have a naming convention that showed the properties of an individual datastore.  For example, if your storage system had both SSD and Sata disks, the Datastore might be named VMFS01_SSD or something similar.

With vSphere 5 we now have storage providers which can either be set manually or now with VASA Provider 1.0 from Netapp we can have the system tell us the capabilities.  Now when we’re creating a new guest machine and we’re deciding which datastore to put the VM in, we can look at the storage profile to determine the best fit.

The below example shows what a datastore might look like both before and after the VASA provider from Netapp is installed.

This screenshot shows what VMFS03 looks like before VASA is installed.  Notice that the storage capabilities are “N/A”.

After the VASA provider was installed and configured, I can look at the datastore again and see that the System Storage Capabilities have changed.  Now, we can easily see that this is a VMFS store and that this datastore is being replicated.

How is this useful?  Now we can setup our storage profiles and whenever we need to create a new VM or do a storage vMotion we can now select the appropriate profile and the datastores will be filtered accordingly.

Installing the Netapp VASA Provider

The installation of the VASA provider is very simple.  Download the installer from the Netapp support site.

Netapp VASA 1.0 Download

The standard “click next” type of installation is given to you.  WARNING:  Do not try to install this on your vCenter server or you’ll end up with a port conflict.  (Yes, I know this from experience)

Once it is installed, a fairly simple configuration is needed to contact the vCenter Server and the storage devices.

9 Responses to Netapp VASA Provider 1.0

  1. What did you have to do on the array to present that info up? Did you have to input those characteristics in a field on the array any place?

    • Nothing was entered on the array itself. The vasa plugin detected that the data store was replicated. It also showed that it was “performance”. The disks were 15k was drives in a Raid DP aggregate of 16 disks.

  2. It seems to work fine for me until I add new NFS datastores. Then, even after a scan, the new datastores never update the Storage Capabilities in vCenter. Hmmmm…

    • I believe you need Netapp to release a plugin for the NFS datastores. The VASA provider 1.0 from Netapp only works with VMFS datastores. Sorry, I should have mentioned that. The NFS plugin might have been released already or it might be coming soon.

      • Actually, it does work with all our existing NFS datastores. It just never analyzes the new ones. I can even see in the VASA logs where it is aware of the new volumes. It just doesn’t seem to update vCenter. Weird.

  3. Great in theory but I wasn’t too happy that I panicked our filers. Do NOT run the VASA plug-in against anything running anything earlier than 8.0.3RC1 if you’re using vfilers. BURT 528458.

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