Developer Network Articles and Resources

Simulate a two node cDOT 8.2 cluster on ESXi 5.1 in 17 easy steps.

  1. Load the vmware multiextent module "/sbin/vmkload_mod multiextent" (Add this to /etc/rc.local.d/ so it gets loaded on boot going forward. This used to be loaded by default but that changed in VMWare 4.1, more here.)
  2. Create a new vSwitch to use for the Cluster Network.
  3. Download the 8.2 cDOT VMDK here.
  4. Untar and ungzip the vsim_esx-cm.tgz and copy it to your datastore.
  5. Using vCentre, browse the directory on your datastore that contains the unarchived files above.
  6. Locate DataONTAP.vmx, right-click and choose "Add to Inventory."
  7. Give it a name (cDOT 8.2 Cluster node 1), choose a host, click Finish. DO NOT POWER IT ON YET.
  8. Edit the properties of this newly created VM and make sure that the first two NICs (e0a and e0b) are on the cluster vSwitch.
  9. Power on the vm and open the console.
  10. Hit CTRL-C to enter the Boot Menu.
  11. Choose option 4, type "yes" to the two questions and wait for your disks to zero.
  12. Run through the cluster setup script, entering the licenses required (available here) when prompted. The only required one is the Cluster License itself, the rest can be added later.
  13. Repeat steps 4-8 from above, choosing a different name in step 7 (cDOT 8.2 Cluster node 2). You MUST repeat step 4, do NOT leverage cloning, it will NOT work.
  14. When you power up this VM, it is VERY important to not let it boot, so open up the console right away and hit any key other than Enter for the VLOADER prompt.
  15. Set and verify the SYS_SERIAL_NUM and bootarg.nvram.sysid as described on page 32, steps 10 and 11 in the Simulate ONTAP 8.2 Installation and Setup Guide.
  16. Type boot at the VLOADER prompt to boot the node.
  17. Repeat steps 10-13 from above, choosing to join an existing cluster and using the second set of licenses located in the text file linked to in step 12. ONTAP 8.2 introduced node-locked licensing so it is important to use the right keys.

You should now have a functioning, simulated two node cluster.

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After reading through the drawn out pdf version, (which is informative, but slightly overwhelming for a new guy like me), I found this and was so encouraged!  Thanks for the simple instructions above, exactly what I was needing today.


Thanks for the feedback, that's exactly what I was going for. The official PDF is definitely a bit drawn out.


Exactly.  I went through the entire pdf version yesterday and couldn't see the forest for the trees.  Wasted about 4 hrs with little to show for it, I had a single node halfway running with issues. Started from scratch once I found your instructions this morning, and built the two node cluster from start (download fresh vsim .tar) to finish (managing my cluster in OCSM) in an hour and a half. 

Keep up the good work, makes learning NetApp simple, the way it should be.



         I am setting up 2 cDOT single node clusters to do some Snapmirror and Snapvault testing.

I used the steps in the following the post above  and got both clusters up and running.

For the second cluster when I try to add the CIFS/NFS licenses I get the following error



The license key(s) entered for the package(s) are already installed


For the cluster base license I am using the same key in both clusters as listed here.


So how to I get the other cluster to run with license for CIFS,NFS, Snapmirror and SnapVault ?





I downloaded the lates cDOT 8.3 for ESXi and was let down by the whole process.  My host is ESXi 5.5 and the PDF instructions are useless as they mislead you.

If your going to release a VM, It should run on the current platform, or release it as an OVA.  After waisting my time trying to edit vmx and search for answers to get it running I am moving on to something else more productive with my time. 


Its not rocket science, its a VM.  Get it right guys.


hay guys look been trying to get this Sim up and going on a ESXI 5.1 nad keep getting the following error when booting up, 


Any Sugestions?


Error message from Netxcs-ESXI: Cannot open
the disk
-sim.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it
depends on.


I have double checked the files from the unzip and all there but still errors, network is there as required NFI.


any assitance would be appreciated.




Deleted due to fix already posted