Tag Archives: management

Netapp OnCommand System Manager 2.1 available

A quick post to say that Netapp have released v2.1 of their Windows MMC management  tool, OnCommand System Manager (the download link is the bottom right, NOW account required). This new update brings the usual incremental fixes along with support for Flash Pools, Infinite Volumes (a feature of ONTAP 8.1.1 in cluster mode), and multidisk carrier shelves. It’s also moved to a 64 bit architecture – my ‘upgrade’ simply uninstalled the 32bit version and installed the 64 bit one.

For compatibility the release notes state;

  • Data ONTAP 7.3.x (starting from 7.3.7)
  • Data ONTAP 8.0 or later in the 8.0 release family operating in 7-Mode
  • Data ONTAP 8.1 or later in the 8.1 release family operating in 7-Mode
  • Data ONTAP 8.1 or later in the 8.1 release family operating in Cluster-Mode

However checking the Netapp compatibility matrix shows that this release is ‘officially’ supported on a smaller number of ONTAP releases, notably ONTAP 7.3.7 or newer (excluding 7.3.4 etc) and 8.03 or newer (excluding 8.01, 8.02 etc). I suspected this was simply timing and that once the new release has been around for longer it would be validated against more ONTAP releases. However I tried it against a few of my filers running a mixture of 8.01p2 and 8.02P6 and found one issue straightaway. The new network checker wouldn’t run against the 8.01p2 controllers as apparently they don’t support the necessary API calls.

If you’re running some of these older ONTAP releases proceed with caution!

I’ve also noticed that there is now a System Manager build which will run natively on Mac OSX although it’s not officially supported – how many people will use this at their own risk I wonder?

VCAP-DCA Study notes 5.1 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles

Host Profiles are a new feature to vSphere 4 but are only available to Enterprise+ licencees. As my company haven’t yet found a need for Enterprise+ features I’d not really worked with them before so this section was new to me. Interestingly the main reference given in the blueprint is the Datacenter Administration Guide which has very little about host profiles. The ESX/ESXi configuration guides have a small section on host profiles but not much, so the best reference is probably the VMware Host Profiles – Technical Overview whitepaper.

Skills and Abilities

  • Use Profile Editor to edit and/or disable policies
  • Create sub‐profiles
  • Use Host Profiles to deploy vDS

Tools & learning resources

Host Profiles (VCP revision)

Basically host profiles are the equivalent of Microsoft’s Group Policy, but for VMware hosts.

  • Two primary uses
    • Ease deployment challenges (faster, more consistent)
    • Ongoing configuration control and audit reporting
  • Policy options (determining how a configuration setting is applied)
    • Use a fixed configuration
    • Ask the user how to configure it
    • Use an intelligent policy (using one or multiple criterion)
    • Disregard a setting
  • Works in a similar fashion to Update Manager;
  1. Create a baseline from a reference host.
  2. Attach the host profile to the hosts or clusters you want to configure
  3. Remediate (configure) the hosts or clusters
  4. Review compliance status
  • Unlike VUM it can’t remediate all the hosts in a cluster automatically (it won’t put them into maintenance mode for you etc). You can attach a profile to the cluster but you have to apply to each host manually (this is largely because the host profile may require user input).
  • Can only be used on vSphere hosts (not VI 3.x)
  • Must be created using a reference host, or imported from a previously created host profile.
  • Can be exported (in VMware Profile Format, *.vcf, which is XML content).  Host Profiles are not shared using vCentre Linked Mode, you have to export/import to other vCentre instances.
    NOTE: Administrator passwords aren’t exported as a security measure.
  • An ESX reference host can be applied to either ESX or ESXi. An ESXi reference host can ONLY be applied to another ESXi host.
  • When updating a host using a host profile you have to manually put the host in maintenance mode first. This is a significant issue for some people (although if you’re licenced for host profiles you’ve also got licences for vMotion and DRS so moving VMs off the host is potentially easier). Note that you need to enter maintenance mode even for trivial settings such as setting the time, timezone etc. Any setting which normally requires a reboot (changing service console memory for example) will still need a reboot.
  • You must have both host profile privileges (create, delete, edit etc) AND privileges to configure the area in question (Networking, Storage etc) for the operation to be allowed.

REAL WORLD: When building a new ESX/ESXi host it will have a 60 day eval period with all features enabled so even if you don’t have Enterprise+ licencing you can use host profiles for initial configuration.

Continue reading VCAP-DCA Study notes 5.1 – Implement and Maintain Host Profiles