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Starting from scratch

Hi guys,

I'm a recent convert to the world of NetApp. I suspect, like most here, I'm very impressed by the product and the platform, and I'm interested on learning more about it, perhaps to add an extra quiver to my sysadmin bow, and ultimately to attain certification.

I don't have a vast sum of money to drop on getting a spare FAS to practice on, and my employer doesn't have any spare ones to play with either. So if I sign up for some of the online training courses, as a starting point, how would I get to practice playing with ONTAP ? I know that the simulator is there, however I can't get access to it - is access to the simulator included when training courses are purchased ?

Re: Starting from scratch

The simulator should be available from your now login at this link http://now.netapp.com/NOW/cgi-bin/simulator

Re: Starting from scratch

Scott, unfortunately not   I get a 401 unauthorized access.

Re: Starting from scratch

If you have a licensed system linked to your now account it should work.  If you can go to my licenses for my serial numbers and see at least one valid system, I would send an email to nowadmin@netapp.com  and give them your now login name and request credentials to the simulator link.

Re: Starting from scratch

Scott,

Thanks. I guess this is my real question - do you have to own an FAS in order to be able to do any sensible kind of training ?

I was hoping that access to the simulator might be provided if I sign up to the paid-for training courses.

Brendan

Re: Starting from scratch

You don't need a fas filer to do training.  The simulator is an amazing tool and is a fully function FAS controller.  The only thing missing is FCP but we can run iSCSI.  And of course it is a much smaller system, but with thin provisioning you can make it appear large if that is needed.  I do a lot of customer training with the simulator and we setup CIFS, NFS and iSCSI in the training.  You can even setup other VMs with SnapManager and SnapDrive and connect to the simulator to train on those products.  All commands and functionality (except for FCP) are available.  I keep a simulator VM suspended and ready to go so I can do tests or check something anywhere instead of having to log into a real fas system.

The simulator is an invaluable tool for us and our customers.  The 7.3.x simulators install in Linux and can be clustered and is the most common one we use.  There is also an 8.0 (both 7mode and clustermode) simulator which is a pre-built bsd image that has the simulator ready to run after disk assignment some other tasks in the 8.0 sim guide.  The 8.0 sim doesn't allow you to install additional nodes and is a fixed single node image, so to run 2 nodes you need 2 VMs.  The 7.3.x sims allow you to install multiple nodes inlcuding clusters in the linux image.

Re: Starting from scratch

Scott, I appreciate your patience but I'm probably miscommunicating what I mean.

My question is : can I get access to the simulator without having a serial number registered ?

I have no doubt that the simulator allows you to sharpen and hone your ONTAP knowledge, that is why I am keen to obtain it and use it alongside the web-based training courses I am planning to purchase. I figured it would make sense that someone prepared to shell out for the courses would be considered serious enough from an interest point of view to warrant access to the tools.

I might though, ask another question. Surely the simulator must be crippled in some way to discourage use of it as a real filer ? It occurred to me that if it was run under VMWare on a powerful host machine, and a nice big set of physical disks mapped in, you'd have something very close to a real filer for NFS/CIFS/etc purposes. I'm guessing there are probably restrictions on the max size of an aggregate etc. (as well as licensing restrictions)

Brendan

Re: Starting from scratch

Got it...without a licensed serial number you have guest access to now and you can't get access to the simulator..  I don't know of a way to get the download without a serial number unless someone shares the download with you...or maybe a call to a NetApp rep that you are in the market for a controller and want to start training now.  My advice is to reach out to your local netapp rep/se and see what they can do.

The sim has fixed disk sizes in the megabyte range (for example 535MB) with a max of 28...but many know how to get around that but never would use it in production.  It doesn't have support and won't get fast performance...and does not have legal licenses for production.  All licenses are fully functional though and nice that NetApp distributes like this for us to use.  The only restriction is the number of disks and size of the disks.  Also, there is no way to upgrade the sim without reinstalling it (single node does an upgrade externally but cluster is a new install so no way to preserve cluster data through an upgrade in a sim).