Microsoft Virtualization Discussions

Self-management of storage


Back again....this time with a different question.


We are looking into ways to allow our user population manage their storage capacity (within reason) and enable them to grow their volumes (or qtrees) by set quotas in an automated fashion.  I am hoping that there is a capability with the PowerShell Toolkit or with WFA to enable users to manage storage automatically without the need for a NetApp Admin to make the changes.


Any suggestions or others who have accomplished this feat?


Re: Self-management of storage




quick set of questions. not sure i understand right the requirements.


who do you want to be able to change?

help desk?

other people in IT?

end users?

end users with approval?

end users with pre-defined limit/process?



A bit about the tech, do you have WFA and OCUM(Unified Manger) or other orchestration and monitoring tools in the company?

What ONTAP flavour you are using? (i wonder mainly because of permissions set for the user the operation will run under)

have you considered volume auto grow? or thin provision the volumes with large volume sizes?

why do you have the quota in place from the first place?



Gidi Marcus (Linkedin) - Storage and Microsoft technologies consultant - Hydro IT LTD - UK

Re: Self-management of storage




To answer your questions:


We are running clustered ONTAP 9.1P2.

I just recently installed WFA/OCUM in our environment but have not done any configuration or tuning of its use, only that I read that it may have some functionality to do what I am looking to do which is:



- to present an interface to our end-users to enable them to adjust the space they require for their projects.


As for that aspect giving the users a way to manage their space 'should' have some controls as we dont want storage creep to occur.  Instead, we would ideally want to try and implement a solution where certain users are pre-approved to increase space on their project containers and others who would require approval.


Storage increases would be allowed in pre-defined values.


Quotas have been setup only because of the way the filer was initially setup where there was a main project folder and many qtrees for different components of that main project rather than a defined volume for each component.


We could consider transitioning each qtree to its own volume and defined capacity if that would make the above easier to implement and automate.



Re: Self-management of storage




i don't think the current implementation over qtree is too bad. i'm also having shared volumes with dozens of qtrees in. as managing lots of volumes is overhead for you. and for the filer,

i was tryeng to think after seeing your response earlier this week what would be the right way. and i don't think there is a very good one.


OCUM  - can't help you much except of reporting, alerting and maybe automating Quota uplift by itself (will require some work. mostly as OCUM not passing good arguments to the scripts it run - but i do have something similar that can be used as a base if you like).


WFA - i think you shoulden't take this route for the following reasons:

1. it have ability to change quota. but there is no good ready wizard for it. you will need to customize it a lot.

2. i don't think you will be able to group the objects and associate them to owners who will be allowed to do the change. (you could maybe just limit it in the wizard by name but that's it).

3. WFA front end is based on flash now. proper browsers dropped support for flash. so i would avoid investing in this tool until NetApp re-write the front end in another tool. or maybe detaching the tool (who knows)


PowerShell.- you can maybe create a wizard pretty easily. and publish it via Citrix/remote desktop/icon whatever you guys using. handle the credentials with it is a bit problematic. as NetApp PS not doing pass trough and powerhsell don't have efficient secure way to store credentials. so you might need to give users the exact ONTAPI permissions to do so. and prompt them for their own credentials again.


.NET web and using the API - i think that maybe the right way to do it as you can securly store credentials and easy give useres access to it from any browsers . i'm just not sure how complex it will be as i didn't touched back-end web tech for years.



to summry. avoid investing in WFA for now. if you willing to only have monitoring or automated action - go with OCUM. if you need actual self service. go with the last two as they will be the quickest and flexible for your task.




Gidi Marcus (Linkedin) - Storage and Microsoft technologies consultant - Hydro IT LTD - UK

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