QUESTION - Running DFM on a VM on a NetApp NFS volume

Hello all

I have a customer that wants to install DFM on a Redhat VM that is living on a NetApp Aggregate through NFS.  I will be getting more details later but I have cautioned the customer that this may not be supported since we do not support the DFM database on a NAS share/export.

Since the enter VM is out on the NetApp volume they wanted to install the database "locally" which places it on a NAS environment.

I imagine this is unsupported but I need to check with the forum anyway.

beyond this ....

If they want to run the server on a NetApp VM but ... say ... map a iSCSI/FCP LUN to that VM and move the DFM database off the NFS VM to the iSCSI/FCP LUN ... is this still supported?

I am trying to convince them to move DFM to a baremetal box and consider using an iSCSI/FCP LUN for the database.


Re: QUESTION - Running DFM on a VM on a NetApp NFS volume

With Operations Manager 4.0, NetApp does supporting running it in a virtual machine in VMware ESX 3.5 and 4.0. We also support VMware HA and Vmotion. See the attached NetApp interoperability matrix showing RHEL 5 as the Guest OS.  Be sure to read the alerts and notes section.

Until I hear otherwise, by certifying Operations Manager within a Guest OS in VMware it certifies any storage compatible with VMware. This obviously includes NFS datastores. The nice thing is that the guest OS running Operations Manager has no idea its storage is NAS. The disk allocated to the VM appears as block-based DAS to the guest OS. The NFS datastore just has to be fast enough to avoid being a bottleneck to the Operations Manager database.  Specifying a generous amount of cache for the database (dfm options set dbCacheSize=n) will help to reduce disk I/Os and improve performance.

From personal experience, I can tell you that you must guarantee the RAM for the Guest OS running Operations Manager. I constantly run into customers who have allocated the appropriate amount of RAM to the VM, but are having performance issues. This is because the RAM is configured as dynamic and usually isn't there when its needed. Once they guarantee the RAM, performance is immediately improved. I'd recommend guaranteeing the CPU as well.

Finally, SnapDrive 4.1 for UNIX  is also supported in this configuration which would allow for LUNs to be mapped to the VM.  The Operations Manager database could be installed on the LUN for optimal performance and snapshot backups.  However it could make things like HA and Vmotion more complex.

The one DIS-advantage of running Operations Manager on a physical server is when you need HA functionality.  You have to use host-based clustering which is much more complex and expensive than VMware HA.

Re: QUESTION - Running DFM on a VM on a NetApp NFS volume

Hi Emaneul,

     I think you miss understood NFS not supported for DFM db to a NFS datastore of VMware.

NFS datastore is perfectly fine,it Vmware that take care of the VMDK that comes from the NFS datastore.

Its only not supported when its a NFS export outside the vmdk.



Re: QUESTION - Running DFM on a VM on a NetApp NFS volume

Thanks for the feed back ... I will review the docs but in short ...

If my VM is 100% on the filer, DFM installed on the that VM, and the database is kept local ( all with in the VM ), we are supported 100%

Re: QUESTION - Running DFM on a VM on a NetApp NFS volume

Yes. Based on the NetApp Interoperability Matrix, that would be a supported configuration for DFM. I would recommend you back-up the DFM database to a NAS share that is not on the same volume & aggregate as the one the VM is using.  See my earlier comments about what to look-out for when running DFM in a VM.

Re: QUESTION - Running DFM on a VM on a NetApp NFS volume

cool ... we will discuss this today with customer.

Thanks all!