Virtualization Articles and Resources

Rapid Cloning Utility v2.0 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:What is the Rapid Cloning Utility v2.0?

The Rapid Cloning Utility 2.0 is designed to save customers time, offload storage activity to the controller and reduce storage capacity requirements of VMware vCenter managed virtual infrastructures.  The Rapid Cloning Utility 2.0 is a VMware vCenter plug-in that enables customer to:

    * Create virtual machine clones in VMware vCenter from powered-down VMs or templates

    * Quickly and efficiently create clones in new or existing datastores using very little storage capacity

    * Apply guest customization specifications to the resulting virtual machines

    * Destroy VMs in selected datastores, detach datastores, and free space on the storage controller

    * Deploy virtual machines for both server and desktop use

Q:How do I get this software?


The Rapid Cloning Utility v2.0 is available from the ‘Download Software’ page on

Q:How much does this software cost?
A:There is no cost to NetApp customers.
Q:What licenses are required on the NetApp Controller?
A:FlexClone and NFS
Q:What model of controller is supported?
A:See the Release Notes for detailed system requirements.  The systems listed below are supported.
NetApp FAS2000 Series
NetApp FAS3000 Series
NetApp FAS3100 Series
NetApp FAS6000 Series
NetApp V3000 Series
NetApp V3100 Series
NetApp V6000 Series
Q:What version of Data ONTAP do I need?
A:Data ONTAP version 7.3.1P2 or higher is required.
Q:Where do I find 7.3.1P2?

Scroll to the bottom of the ‘Download Software’ page on  Select ‘Data ONTAP’ from the ‘To Access a specific version” and type 7.3.1P2 into the ‘enter it here:’ text box.  Then click the ‘Go!’ button.

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Q:Why doesn’t the Rapid Cloning Utility “see” some of my datastores?

The use of -actual is not supported by the Rapid Cloning Utility in exports. The following example will not be seen as a valid NetApp based datastore:

/vmware_infrastructure     -actual=/vol/sata_vmware_infrastructure,sec=sys,rw,root=

Q:Is there anyway to get a list of the VMs I just created?

A time stamped csv file starting with import_generic_ is created  in the exports directory after each run.

The following information is recorded for each VM:

    * VM Name

    * UUID, VMX Path

    * Number of CPUs

    * Memory in MB

    * Guest Full Name

    * Guest Alternate Name

    * Datacenter Name

As well as info for up to 10 NICs (although only 4 are supported in ESX 3.5):

    * NIC x

    * NIC x Network Label

    * NIC x Address Type

          o Manual - Statically assigned MAC address.

          o Generated - Automatically generated MAC address.

          o Assigned - MAC address assigned by VirtualCenter.

    * NIC x WOL Enabled

          o Indicates whether wake-on-LAN is enabled on this virtual network adapter.

    * NIC x MAC Address

Q:Can Data ONTAP Role Based Access be used with the Rapid Cloning Utility?
A:Yes, please see the Installation and Administration Guide for the exact details.
Q:Does the Rapid Cloning Utility automatically balance the attachment of datastores across IP addresses on the controller?
A:Yes.  For more information on this topic, please refer to TR3428 - NetApp and VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 Storage Best Practices
Q:Does the Rapid Cloning Utility work in VDI deployments as well?

Absolutely!  For more information on this topic, please refer to TR-3705 - NetApp and VMware VDI Best Practices

Q:When creating multiple VMs, can I specify where in the VM name the number is inserted?

Yes.  The number is appended to the VM name by default, however the %CLONE_NUM% token can be used to specify any location within the Clone name.  Below is an example.

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It would be great if instead of a number you could use a string.

My goal is to use file level flexclones to clone a template into all of our different servers for a testing environment.  Then once they are all purposed to create volume flexclones from that golden volume.  If RCU could add in a %clone_string% for each new volume it creates that would make this possible.  So say there were 5 vm's in my volume ws1,ws2,db1,db2.  Then we could do dev-ws1,dev-ws2,dev-db1,dev-db2 as names of VM's in a new flexclone environment.


    Thank you very much for your feedback.  I'll submit this as a request for enhancement.


Hello Eric,

My name is Deepak.

I am trying to use RCU 2.0 with NetApp FAS2050 and VSphere 4. Whenever I am trying to run the utility to make clones from one of the VM is exits the wizard saying "There is not attached disk to this VM"

I have checked the prerequisites and found that only ESX 3.5 is supported.

My query - Is there any solution / workaround for the RSU 2.0 to support VSphere as well ??

Thanks in advance.


Hi Deepak,

2.0 of RCU will not work with VSphere 4.  Unfortunately, there is no workaround.

The good news is that RCU 2.1 (about to enter beta) will work with VSphere 4.  When 2.1 is released however, VSphere 4 will not be officially supported. 

If you'd like to participate in the beta, please contact your NetApp Systems Engineer and request that they submit your information to the RCU Product Manager.

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