Bypassing NetApp’s LUN Geometry Limit

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When you’re creating a LUN for the very first time, you may not consider the future, but there’s an aspect to LUN sizing that can be very important further down the road. Getting this detail wrong means sometime in the distant (or not) future copying all your data from this LUN onto a new one. Think this one through.

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Automating VMWare NFS Datastore Creation using the NetApp Powershell Toolkit

20151023 powershell datastores

Let’s say the Widgets team asks you, the storage administrator for a new datastore to be added in VMWare…

What information do you need to collect about the nature of the datastore?

  • Do you want that on SAS or SATA (maybe these VMs run everything they need in RAM, and rely little on disk, but need a lot of it)?
  • In which datacenter will this datastore reside?
  • What’s the purpose of this datastore, ie, how can it be differentiated from the others, and therefore named?
  • Which environment is it for? Production, Test, Dev, DR, a specific team?

Great, now that we have the facts, what are the steps for delivering the new datastore? Continue reading

NetApp & The Powershell Toolkit – Building More Intelligent Aggregate Selection

Give me all the disks of a certain flavor
I am new to Powershell, but realize its value and significance in the future — after all, Windows Server Core has arrived, environments are growing in breadth and number, and there will be a tipping point where some degree of automation is going to be the only way a sysadmin can keep up.

To that end, I’ve been working with the NetApp Powershell Toolkit for some time. I’ve been using modified sample scripts to do things like create scheduled Flexclones of volumes containing SQL databases (and other no-SQL DB volumes) for Disaster Recovery or testing purposes. Now, with the help of my DevOps teammate I am attempting to leverage some Powershell voodoo to create more exciting home-grown scripts. Continue reading

StoreVault to NetApp – Data Migration and Overcoming the Adversity of “Unsupported”

As I’d mentioned in my previous post about a failed attempt to get Snapdrive, Windows 2003, and a modern NetApp SAN all talking to each other, my company was attempting to decommission an old Storevault S550 SAN, which was serving corporate CIFS shares to the whole company, as well as some critical Exchange 2003 mailboxes.

Today I’d like to go deeper, and talk about how to actually make this migration possible. The team talked amongst themselves about how to move this data; there was concern — “we’ll spend a week just running xcopy to get the data onto a file server!” “How do we handle file changes during that time?” Continue reading

NetApp Snapdrive, Windows 2003, and Ontap 8.2 – Getting out of a Corner

I currently own a project to get us off our old Storevault S550 SAN and onto our new NetApp FAS2240 SAN. The old Storevault is having trouble authenticating with our new domain controllers as we simultaneously upgrade our AD stack from 2003 to 2008.

Our Exchange 2003 server, a physical cluster built up by an engineer who’s no longer with the company, is running on Windows 2003. All of its clustered storage is backed by the Storevault.

Things get really unpleasant when we start talking about NetApp Snapdrive — Continue reading