AFF

server direct attach AFF

imadam
4,084 Views

Hi,

is there a plan to allow direct attach of servers to AFF (or FAS) in future? We see other vendors are doing that and once we attach pair of FC switches, we always comes most expensive solution. 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

cedric_renauld
4,049 Views

Hello,

 

NO, Sorry FC directe attach isn't possible, isn't due to NetApp technologie, but to NPIV technologie, NetApp isn't alone in this case, you can find some explain in this VMware Docs :

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-474BE53E-065A-43C0-ADCA-3D676AD394AE.html

If your storage providor use NPIV to have multiple WWN, to manage like different SVM on the same FC connexion, NPIV is required, and direct attach is needed

If you have only one FC connexion, like Eseries, you can do direct attach

 

View solution in original post

12 REPLIES 12

cedric_renauld
4,050 Views

Hello,

 

NO, Sorry FC directe attach isn't possible, isn't due to NetApp technologie, but to NPIV technologie, NetApp isn't alone in this case, you can find some explain in this VMware Docs :

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-474BE53E-065A-43C0-ADCA-3D676AD394AE.html

If your storage providor use NPIV to have multiple WWN, to manage like different SVM on the same FC connexion, NPIV is required, and direct attach is needed

If you have only one FC connexion, like Eseries, you can do direct attach

 

imadam
4,042 Views

Hi, can you name other solution from other vendors with these limitations?

I read somewhere that PowerStore from DELL supports this direct attach, Nimble is able to do it. I guess others as well.  E series isn't something that is doable in today's scenarios even in SMB. Only for backup, video surveillance as advertised by Netapp 😊.

AlexDawson
3,958 Views

It's not a limitation, it's due to the power and flexibility of NetApp's storage multitenancy and storage virtualisation. 

 

E-Series is fine for VMWare in 3-4 host scenarios if direct attach is a key requirement.

imadam
3,729 Views

E series doesn't have certain features required. We have been using so far but looks like Netapp is limiting E-series in favor or FAS/A series. 

imadam
3,729 Views

"It's not a limitation, it's due to the power and flexibility of NetApp's storage multitenancy and storage virtualisation. " --> I have to admit I haven't dive too deep here but looks like DELL supports this all but also with direct attach. I remember 3par did this. So I am wondering why Netapp is doing this in terms of features and benefits for end-user since I it bit hard to understand. 
And yes, it is limitation 🤷‍♂️

AlexDawson
3,718 Views

N-Port ID Virtualisation (NPIV) is required to allow different SVMs to act as independent targets while using the same physical ports of the controller. We know from data returned to Autosupport telemetry that this is a requirement of our user base.

 

Unfortunately it also means that hard zoning is not an option, and in turn, neither is direct attachment of initiators. We take feedback from the market, and we have not found that lack of these features is a significant issue for the majority of potential customers.

 

E-Series is a value focused platform, and does not have the same feature set as ONTAP. There is no deliberate restriction of functionality in E-Series to steer people to ONTAP. 

 

Hope this helps.

imadam
3,651 Views

"We take feedback from the market, and we have not found that lack of these features is a significant issue for the majority of potential customers." you got one with issue 😊. However, if you are only looking at USA, EU, JPN markets, then ok. Rest of the world is not after FC switches if they can avoid them. 

"E-Series is a value focused platform and does not have the same feature set as ONTAP. There is no deliberate restriction of functionality in E-Series to steer people to ONTAP. " 
SMB customers don't need all the stuff from ONTAP but some features they need 🙂


AlexDawson
3,596 Views

I don't know if we make breakdowns of how many customers use FC - but when I was doing installs, it was under 10%. iSCSI direct attach is a good option to look at for customers who want it.

chamfer
3,672 Views

Hi @imadam ,

 

Can you consider direct connect with iSCSI?  This should be possible even though it may not be officially supported by NetApp.

AlexDawson
3,666 Views

imadam
3,654 Views

Thanks. We will ask for demo with 25G Eth to test it.

AlexDawson
3,651 Views

Sounds good! basically you setup one subnet per controller for the iSCSI LIFs, and then connect the LUN via both of them. Sorry, I hadn't suggested it earlier since I thought you were set on Fiber Channel!

Public