Data ONTAP SMI-S Agent 5.1 - Use NetApp SMI-S Provider for SAN-Copy based VM Rapid provisioning using SCVMM 2012 R2

I hope you all enjoyed my blog on how to "Provision and configure a CIFS SMB 3.0 share using SMI-S - SCVMM 2012 R2 integration"


In this blog post , i would demonstrate  how can use NetApp SMI-S Provider for rapid Provisioning of Virtual Machines using SAN copy.


SCVMM 2012 administrators now have the ability to deploy VMs using rapid provisioning using the NetApp SMI-S based SAN transfers.


Rapid provisioning of VMs requires that you decide if you want to use the default Snapshot copy or clone method built into SCVMM, or if you want to issue commands through Windows PowerShell for more granular control. In both the methods, the SCVMM console can be used to expose those LUNs to the Hyper- V cluster or standalone Hyper-V server.


Two methods to quickly provision a LUN with a VM for SCVMM 2012 are the use of Snapshot copies and the use of clones. Traditionally, the terms Snapshot technology and clone are not similar to the Snapshot technology and FlexClone technology that NetApp uses. Snapshot copies can be created on most storage controllers almost instantaneously; Snapshot copies use virtually no additional hard drive space beyond the deltas.


SCVMM 2012 SP1 does not support ODX hence we need to leverage SAN copy based template for VM rapid provisioning, When we provision VM's using SAN copy based templates its limited to one VM per LUN, but now with ODX support which is integrated in SCVMM 2012 R2 we can provision multiple VM's per LUN.


For more details on how to leverage ODX in SCVMM 2012 R2 for VM provisioning refer to my blogpost "Leverage SCVMM 2012 R2 Offload Data Transfer (ODX) for VM Provisioning and Migration Using Data ONTAP SMI-S Agent 5.1".


Administrators have the option to create SAN copy-capable templates from new or existing VMs. The VM templates are stored in the SCVMM 2012 library and to simplify administration. For implementing SMI-S based rapid provisioning NetApp Snapshot copies are used rather than clones.


So lets with configuring our Storage Array for rapid provisioning.


In the SCVMM console, navigate to Fabric > Arrays, right-click the one of the Storage Arrays and select its Properties.



Click Settings, select the desired SAN transfer type as Use snapshots and click OK.


Once we are done with these steps, lets start with the creation of SAN copy capable templates for VM Rapid provisioning using SCVMM.


Create SAN Copy Capable Templates for VM Rapid Provisioning Using SCVMM


Create two logical units 50GB each using SCVMM console, before you attempt this step make sure that the iSCSI initiator is logged onto targets.


We would be considering two scenarios for this, highly available VMs and VMs placed on standalone host, for this we will create two LUNs.


Navigate to Fabric > Arrays > click Create Logical Unit. Enter the Name as HA-LUN.



Repeat the above step  for creating a 50GB LUN named NON-HA-LUN.



After the LUNs get created they would show up under Classifications and Pools.



Next we to allocate these LUNs to the All Hosts group, Navigate to Fabric > Servers > right-click All Hosts, select Properties and click Storage.



Click Allocate Logical Units and allocate the Available Logical Units to Allocated Logical Units, click OK.


Next select your Library host from Fabric > Servers. Right-click it, and select Properties, and then click Storage.


Click Add - Add Disk, select the new LUN (HA-LUN) from the drop-down list under Logical unit, select to format as NTFS, give it a volume label as HA-Template and choose to mount in the following empty ntfs folder.


Select the HA Template folder under your library share. (click the explore link if you need to create an empty directory) Click OK.



Next, head over to your library servers D:\ drive  and confirm that the mount point gets listed in the HATemplate directory of your library server.


Similarly perform these steps to create a NON-HA-Template and verify that the SA Template mount point also gets listed.



Next copy the VHD (In my case it is a Win2k12 VHDX file), which would be used for SAN provisioning to both the folders.


Next head over to your SCVMM console. Navigate to the Library > Library Servers and right-click the library share "VMM LibraryShare", select Refresh. After the library share refresh is completed, go back to the library share and navigate down to the folder that we created and mounted the LUN in, select the VHD you would be able to see that SAN Copy Capable is set to Yes.


Next create two VM templates based on both the VHDs one for High Availability and another for Standalone host and provision VMs.


Next create virtual machines from the template and during the select destination host screen you would be able to see the transfer type as SAN.



what happens underneath is a LUN clone, as you can see in the figure below I had my base LUN of 50GB HA-LUN into which I copied the WIN2K12 vhdx file, but when i provision a VM using SAN-COPY, it effectively created a LUN Clone of that VM which are writable, space-efficient clones of parent LUNs, We get immediate read-write access to both the parent and cloned LUN



I hope that you have enjoyed this blog entry and have found this information helpful.


In my next blog i would show you steps on how you can use SMI-S SAN-COPY technique for VM SAN Migration.


Good Luck!