Module 1: Installing NetApp 7-Mode Data ONTAP Simulator on ESXi 6.5 with larger Disk Shelves

DATA ONTAP is NetApp’s internal operating system which provides an industry-leading, unified platform for higher levels of scalability, and data storage flexibility. The operating system boots from FreeBSD as a stand-alone kernel-space module and also uses command interpreter and drivers stack functions of FreeBSD.

Data ONTAP supports NFS, SMB, iSCSI and Fibre Channel (including Fibre Channel over Ethernet). Data ONTAP powers NetApp’s fabric-attached storage (FAS) hardware line. Data ONTAP 8.x provides two operating modes, clustered Data ONTAP and 7-Mode. The management integration tools of Data ONTAP are OnCommand portfolio’s intuitive graphical user interfaces, OnCommand Management Software, and NetApp command line Interface.

Data ONTAP Simulator

Data ONTAP simulator is a virtual simulator (vsim) of the Data ONTAP operating system software. It is a tool that allows you to use a NetApp Storage System with all features of Data ONTAP at your virtual or testing environment and also provides the experience of administrating. It is usually loaded onto a Red Hat or SuSE Linux box and acts as exactly Data ONTAP.  It is available for Data ONTAP 6.4.5 to 7.2.4, use the same code base with extra features of wrappers to simulate the hardware.  What you can do with the Data ONTAP that exactly things you can do with the simulator. You can practice all of the functionality before implementing in the production environment without purchasing new hardware. It helps you to impact your production environment.

Data ONTAP simulator is a tool that allows you to use a NetApp Storage System with all features of Data ONTAP at your virtual or testing environment and also provides the experience of administrating. It is usually loaded onto a Red Hat or SuSE Linux box and acts as exactly Data ONTAP.  It is available for Data ONTAP 6.4.5 to 7.2.4, use the same code base with extra features of wrappers to simulate the hardware.  What you can do with the Data ONTAP that exactly things you can do with the simulator. You can practice all of the functionality before implementing in the production environment without purchasing new hardware. It helps you to impact your production environment.  Data ONTAP runs hypervisor VMWere as a Virtual Machine, it can be run Windows or Mac system as well.

The tasks for the module 1:

  • To Install data ONTAP Simulator NetApp Release 8.2 7-Mode Version 
  • Replacing the default SIM disk 2x14x1GB Virtual Disks with 2x14x9 GB Disks on a 7 Mode Simulator
  • Assign DataONTAP dedicated root aggregate, Configure the node management network and assign the ownership of the new disks
  • Connecting the network adapter on the switch and ping the simulator VM from client machine in the same network for testing connection

Steps for the task: To Install data ONTAP Simulator NetApp Release 8.2 7-Mode Version 

Step 1: Select the DataONTAP.vmx file from the data centre of VMwere.  Note: In my case, my simulator file is ready in my VMWere Talos platform, but you need to prepare  .vmx configuration file in your environment before installation.

Step 2: Verify that the folder contains the cfcard and uml directories and the following files before starting your installation.
DataONTAP.vmdk
DataONTAP.vmx
DataONTAP-flat.vmdk
DataONTAP-nvram.vmdk
DataONTAP-nvram-flat.vmdk
DataONTAP-s001.vmdk through DataONTAP-s126.vmdk (126 disk files)
DataONTAP-sim.vmdk
DataONTAP-var.vmdk
DataONTAP-var-flat.vmdk
mtoolsrc
nvram

Step3: Add to inventory and VM Hardware configuration. Click on “DataONTAP.vmx file” and Select “Register VM”.1.jpg23.jpg4.jpg

Step4. After register VM, your DataONTAP machine will be ready. In this step, you have to change some hardware configurations such as remove existing and adding new hard Disk, adding new configuration parameter, and network adapter before first-time boot the Data ONTAP VM.

Hard Disk 4 Remove and Add: Before the first boot, you need to change the virtual Hard disk number 4 of the simulator.

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Click “Edit” for Remove disk 4:. An Edit wizard will appear. 6.jpg7.jpg8.jpg

Adding new virtual disk: As I am planning on adding the 2 virtual shelves in the simulator: 2*14*type 36 (9GB)disks. Therefore, I set the hard disk drive to 260 GB; If you plan on using largest disk size such as maximum 4 disk shelves, set large disk size. use Thin provision. After hard disk size, reconnect the new thin disk to the virtual machine in the same IDE channel. 9.jpg

Configuration parameters Setup: You need to add two new parameters lines in the configuration file: PciBridge0.Present=”True” and PciBridge0.PciSlotNumber=’16’. From the Edit screen, Go to the “VM Options, Click “Edit Configuration ” in Configuration Parameters option.10.jpg11.jpg

Network Adapter: As you see, there is four network adapter including two cluster network; this is interconnected for internal communication between nodes in the cluster. The another two is VM Network; that are using for IP storage protocols, management and replication between clusters.12.jpg

Step 5: In this section, you need to boot your Data ONTAP VM first time and create a cluster setup by using the command line interface because vSim operating like as Linux system.

Note: Click inside the console window or press Ctrl-G and, when the boot menu message appears, press Ctrl-C. or If you make a mistake during cluster setup, press Ctrl-C to interrupt the wizard. Restart the wizard by re-entering cluster setup at the cluster shell prompt. The system will reboot automatically after the setup script finished.

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Press Ctrl-C, when the boot menu message appears. The “Boot Menu will be available” message is displayed. 14.jpg

Select option four (4) from the Available boot menu for a clean default configuration. It will clean all the initialized disk and make them available to use.

  • At the “Zero disk, reset config and install a new file system?” prompt, enter the letter y and press the Enter key
  • At the confirmation prompt, enter the letter y and press the Enter key. The VM restarts automatically and starts the reset process.
  • Wait patiently until the reset process is completely finished

Note: If you stop the process, you can corrupt the simulator files that means you must have to the whole setup process from the beginning.15.jpg

After cleaning the all initialized disks, the system will be entered into the setup wizard.

Step 6: The system setup will ask you about hostname and IP address, subnet mask and gateway for the four ethernet adapters cards. Remember: You have to do same things again after destroying all the disks, so don’t be the worry if you make any mistake in this stages.

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Steps for the task: Replacing the default SIM disk 2x14x1GB Virtual Disks with 2x14x9 GB Disks on a 7 Mode Simulator

vSim image comes pre-configured with 2 Virtual shelves of 2x14x1 GB Virtual disks on simulated disk shelves 0 and 1, and shelves 2 and 3 are not populated. In my case, I will replace them with 2x14x9 GB Disks formats. You can have a maximum of four simulated disk shelves with 14 disk drives per shelf, for a total of 56 drives per simulator and Each simulated drive is limited to 9 GB.However, You have the option to create 64-bit aggregates.

Step1: For operating the disk management setup, you need to log in as a privileged user. “Diaguser” is the default admin user of the Data ONTAP operating system. You need to unlock that user by the following command line”

>priv set adanced

*> useradmin diaguser unlock

*>useradmin diaguser password

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Step2: Now login into the system shell through the user account “diag” and password for setup disk directory, devices directory, remove existing disks, and add disks in the simulator.

login command:

*> Systemshell

login: diag

Password:

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Step 3:  You need to add director with the simulator disk tools to the path:

The PATH is an environment variable.  It is a colon-delimited list of directories that your shell searches through when you enter a command and shell execute the command in this path directory.  Command line:

%setenv PATH “${PATH}: /usr/sbin

%echo $PATH

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Step 4:  Now you need to check your devices directory. Go to the simulated directory by following command line:

%cd /sim/dev ( cd: It allows you to change your work directory)

%ls ,disks/(ls files and directories)

or % cd  /sim/dev/ , disks

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After executing the above command line, you can see a list of simulated disks file numbers. All of those files begin with v0 and v1. If you count the files of the disk each of them adapter hold 14 disks and disks is attached to the 0 and 1 adapters. This is similar to the DS14 shelf topology with each shelf attached to its own adapter.

Step 5: Now you need to remove the vX disks from disk directory by the following commands

%sudo rm v0*

%sudo rm v1*

%sudo rm, reservations

% cd /sim/dev

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Step 6: Add two sets of 14 disks to the currently removed adapters 0 and 1. You need to calculate how much actual disk space you have to put the virtual disk space into. In my case, 260 GB of space available and two shelves totalling is about 250 GB optimum.

%vsim_makedisks  -h                     note: vsim_makedisks – n =additional number of disks to create, -t =disk type ID, -a adapter on which to start populating disks.

%sudo vsim_makedisks -n 14 -t 36 -a 0

%sudo vsim_makedisks -n 14 -t 36 -a 1

%ls ,disks/

By the above  commands, It created 14 additional disks (“-n 14”) of type 36 (“-t 36”) on adapters 0 and 1.  Note that Data ONTAP 8.1.1 supports simulated disks up to 9GB (type 36 and 37), but make sure you have the space to add such large disks. (My configuration, I used to type 36). 

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Step 7:  As your disk configuration is finished, now you need to log out from the systemshell. and reboot our system again for further configuration.29.jpg

Steps of the task: Assign DataONTAP dedicated root aggregate, Configure the node management network, and Assign the ownership of the new disks

Step1: Assign three disks the DataONTAP dedicated root aggregate from the Maintenance mode boot, number 5 in the available section menu. Note: The aggregation disks calculation is that 28 total disks – 3 disks for clustered OnTAP root aggregate= 25 disks for a data aggregate, of which 2 disks will be parity, and usable maximum space will be around 23 GB.

*>disk assign v4.16 v4.17 v4.18  (for dedicated system aggregate)

*>disk show

*>halt

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Step 2: Power cycle the simulator. Ctrl-C for Boot Menu when prompted and select number 4: ‘Clean Configuration and initialize all disks ” and press “Y” for two promoted. 32.jpg33.jpg

Note: Now you need to wait a long time around an hour.

Configure the node management network:

Step 3: In this section, you need to give hostname and password, and cluster adapters and  VM  adapters IP address and subnet mask. 34.jpg35.jpg

Assign the ownership of the new disks

Step 4: after all setup is complete, reboot the system again and take ownership of all the new disks by the following command lines:

> disk show -n

> disk assign all

disk show -v

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Steps for the task: Connecting the network adapter on the switch and ping the simulator VM from client machine in the same network for testing connection

Step 1:  You need to connect your network switch with vSIM adapter, and testing the network connection from the client machine in the same network. Because Vsim has four adapters, you need to find out which adapter is active on your network.38.jpg

Step 2: Log in the client machine and ping the Simulator VM for checking which port is connecting with your network. In my case, a0 port is connected with my client network.39.jpg

Problem and solutions:

Even though I’ve not found any error, you may face several errors. Here I am analysing some errors that may help you during vSIm installation.

Problem: Simulator blow up in the middle of the installation or after installation

Reason: This can happen several reasons but mainly it happens if you press any key during vSim installation.

Solution: You need to delete your previous Simulator VM and install and configure it again from the beginning. Copy the vSIM installation folders to the mounting place from the original location. In my case, I kept my .vms file in two folders. The original one is “GOLD Folder”, installing one is “Regular Folder”.

Problem: Unable to reboot the Vsim VM first time.

Solution: If you forget to add parameters lines to the configure scripts. Your system will not boot. You must need to add those two lines in your configuration script file before first-time boot.

PciBridge0.Present=TRUE

PciBridge.pciSlotNumber=16

In the end of this module, You VSim Virtual machine is up and running for a vSphere cluster. The Next module 2, I will discuss “Hardware basics and system manager

Thank you 🙂

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