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NetApp ONTAP Select vNAS for VMware vSAN (2151182)

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This article provides information about NetApp’s ONTAP Select support for VMware vSAN.

Disclaimer: The partner solution referenced in this article is a solution that is developed and supported by a partner. Use of this product is also governed by the end user license agreement of the partner. You must obtain from the partner the application, support, and licensing for using this product. For more information, see ONTAP Select.

The VMware Ready for vSAN File Services certification only verifies the partner solution’s ability to serve SMB and NFS shares using the vSAN datastore. To ensure optimal performance and functionality, VMware does not support hosting VMDK files via a vSAN file services solution. Refer to the vSAN documentation for more details on how to use the vSAN datastore.


Deploying NetApp ONTAP Select on vSAN datastores creates a robust unified solution that allows clients to present and consume the vSAN datastore capacity via block (iSCSI) and file (CIFS / NFS) protocols. ONTAP Select protects the data under management using the ONTAP SnapMirror replication engine.

This architecture is called the ONTAP Select Virtual NAS, or vNAS solution.

vSAN datastores can be provisioned from both hybrid and all-flash vSAN configurations, effectively extending vSAN functionality with NetApp’s NAS and block solution. When consuming vSAN datastores, the local durability of the data managed by ONTAP Select is provided by the Failures To Tolerate (FTT) and Fault Tolerance Method (FTM) configurations. The data is protected using ONTAP native replication technology (SnapMirror).

The following benefits make the NetApp ONTAP Select vNAS solution a flexible and powerful offering.


ONTAP Select supports data-at-rest encryption through NetApp Volume Encryption, which uses 256-bit AES keys.

Storage efficiency

Storage efficiency policies include deduplication, compression, and compaction, which work at the ONTAP hosted file-system level. Depending on the FTT/FTM settings, this could result in storage efficiencies that work across vSAN nodes. Storage efficiency features can work both inline and in the background.

Data management and protection

Because ONTAP Select is based on ONTAP 9, it supports the same data management and data protection tools used by engineered appliances. The list includes the NetApp OnCommand® management suite (OnCommand System Manager and Unified Manager, OnCommand Insight, OnCommand Workflow Automation, and SnapCenter®). From the data protection perspective, ONTAP Select supports SnapMirror, the SnapManager® suite, SnapRestore®, and FlexClone®. This allows ONTAP Select to benefit from a comprehensive ecosystem where data can be moved, protected, and managed with flexibility, efficiency, and security.

The ONTAP Select vNAS solution supports VMware HA, vMotion, and Distributed Resources Scheduler (DRS).
Use cases
The ONTAP Select vNAS solution is a cost-effective option to provide NAS file services, block protocol and data protection services on vSAN solutions. The vSAN infrastructure in return provides the ONTAP Select virtual machine with High Availability and hardware redundancy. As such, the ONTAP Select vNAS solution and the vSAN infrastructure are synergistic in nature, allowing companies to provide enterprise-level file and data replication services, while leveraging the full potential of their vSAN investment.
Solution Architecture

The ONTAP Select vNAS solution consists of two Virtual Machines:

  • ONTAP Select virtual machine, also called a Storage Virtual Appliance in VMware terminology. The SVA can be configured with 4 vCPUs / 16 GB of RAM or 8 CPUs / 64 GB of RAM.
  • ONTAP Deploy. This virtual machine is required for installing and configuring the ONTAP Select virtual machine - ONTAP Deploy does not serve data and does not need to reside in the vSAN datastore or even in the same datacenter.
  • One ONTAP Deploy installation virtual machine can create multiple SVAs on the same or different vSAN datastores. After ONTAP Select virtual machines are installed and licensed, the ONTAP Deploy virtual machine can be shut down without affecting normal data management operations.

The ONTAP operating system includes a management element called System Manager and the SnapMirror replication engine.

The following Figure shows an ONTAP Deploy virtual machine that instantiated a number of ONTAP Select SVAs, on multiple vSAN infrastructures. The ONTAP Select virtual machines can establish data protection relationships with other instances, with NetApp FAS arrays as well as other end points supported by the NetApp Data Fabric.

Solution Components

The NetApp Interoperability Matrix provides up to date information on ONTAP Select and vSAN versions compatibility and can be accessed here NetApp Interoperability.

The ONTAP Deploy virtual machine can be downloaded from the NetApp software download page and contains all the binaries required to create one or more ONTAP Select SVA instances. This single download can be accessed at NetApp Downloads.
Support Information

Customers contact NetApp support through chat, web ticket or phone for technical support issues using their ONTAP Select serial number. These calls are triaged at Level1 and 2 and escalated to Level 3 and engineering as needed.

The ONTAP Select Deploy utility provides customer facing event logs in its UI. The ONTAP Select virtual machine provides EMS event reporting that customers can setup to map to SNMP, SYSLOG or SMTP notifications.

NetApp technical support teams will request AutoSupport call home bundles from customers for either the ONTAP Select Deploy utility or ONTAP Select virtual machine itself. These provide an additional layer of troubleshooting and debugging for NetApp. Customers can configure ONTAP Select to automatically trigger and upload ASUP bundles back to NetApp for disruptive events, creating customer tickets in the process. Alternatively, customers can manually trigger these log bundles from ONTAP Select back to NetApp. NetApp support personnel can remotely trigger AutoSupport bundles on demand as well. For more information on AutoSupport setup, see Data ONTAP AutoSupport and On Demand Configuration.
For more information on:
The IMT tool will have footnotes (alerts or info) that reflect various support information for vMotion, HA and FT relative to the customer configuration.

Additional Information

More information about ONTAP Select use cases and deployment models can be found in TR-4517.


VMware Ready for vSAN, VMware Virtual SAN, File Services or Data Protection

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