VMware Solutions Discussions

WFA and VMware Orchastrator to create Flexclone Test labs?


Being fairly new to the world of Netapp and VMware, I've been looking for a managed solution that will utilize my existing infrastructure to produce a temporary "test lab" that we can use as a continuous integration process.

The following might be TMI, but I've learned to more forth-coming with information in the OP than not.

The Situation:

Using mounted NFS exports on a FAS2240, we have a few ESXi 5.5 hosts that are running linux-based webservers and jobservers guests that NFS mount folders from a linux fileserver vm. Prior to a software release, we need to run several scripted tests which *should* be done in an exact replica of our production environment. We have used dedicated servers in the past, but the production systems suffer changes all the time from the systems department (be it additional mounts, monitoring agents, etc). Frankly, we need a solution that's much more flexible anyway, and I have heard there are ways of producing such a test lab for upgrades or software testing. We have licenses for FlexClone which provide a temporary copy of the 2 production volumes, but without the experience, I can't tell if I'm heading down the right path here or will I find out after several days/weeks of research, installations, configuration and testing, that this was not what I needed.

The Questions:

Can I use workflow automation combined with vmware orchestrator to perform these steps:

  1. create a flexclone of a production volume containing 1 webserver and 1 job server
  2. create a flexclone of a production volume containing 1 fileserver
  3. register the new volumes with 1 or even 3 ESXi 5.5 hosts (or perhaps a vcenter server?)
  4. add each guest vm on the cloned volumes to the vcenter/esx inventory
  5. make necessary udev adjustments for the new MAC address each of these guests will have (or I can use a vlan?)
    (I believe this is only an issue with Linux-based guests; since the mac address changes when the vm is cloned)
  6. edit the IP addresses of each of the vm so they don't conflict with existing network (use some kind of script here?)
  7. send an email to our development team stating the webservers IP address for testing (i know this can happen; just added in the spirit of completion)

If so -- can anyone provide a high-level guideline on what I will need to focus on in terms of software packages, plugins, or whatever.

The Environment:

3x ESXi 5.5  - mounting nfs shares from netapp filers running about 20 guests

2x FAS2240 - hosting the primary production volumes

1x FAS2220 - secondary for a DR SnapMirror

1x FAS2200 - tertiary for SnapVault

Note - FAS22xx running OnTap 8.1.3P2 in 7-Mode

1x VMware Virtual Center 5.5 server standard (on separate stand-alone esxi 5.5)

- vSphere Virtual Storage Console 4.2 plugin

- vCenter Orchestrator 5.5.0

1x NetApp Server (a vm guest on same esx as vcenter)

- OnCommand Unified Manager Core 1.3

- Management Console 3.3

- System manager 3.0 RC1

- Workflow Automation 2.2.0

- FlexClone

If there is an entirely different solution for this, I'm all ears! Like I said, this is my first real deep-dive into Cloud-based administration.

It's been a long weekend, so I hope I didn't leave anything out. If so, feel free to critique in response.

Thanks for any information!

//Clint Alexander