Netapp VASA Provider 1.0

May 1, 2012 9 By Eric Shanks

Netapp has released their vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) provider 1.0 to their support site. 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.