Netapp Storage Initial Setup

Before we start to setup the Netapp storage filers and appliance, one must create a Netapp NOW accountThis can be done via the web site.
The usual waiting period is about 24/48 hours until you receive the notification email. The Now account gives you access to the documentation and the community. Depending on your license you can get the complete 24/7 support. This is very good in situations where you get stuck and do not have enough time to solve the problems with your storage. I will not provide informations on how to setup and cable the equipment in the Rack, because I am using the virtualized appliance to simulate all the setups in this blog. The initial setup would be started using the console cable, but in this scenario we are using VMware to simulate the console. When starting up the filer and connecting to the management console (serial cable, COM1 etc, all default settings if using a Windows machine with Putty) you’ll see a configuration setup. Simply answer the questions, and don’t be shy if you’re not sure, everything can be changed afterwards.

We can take a look at the boot options that our virtualized Netapp Storage systems offers us.

I have choosen the Option 4 to have a clean install , as a fabric deployment of the Netapp filer. After zeroing the hard disks inside the filer , we get the first option to change and that is the 1. Hostname of the filer. I will use the testfiler hostname. Tip: When Netapp support refer to your controllers, they refer to them as top or bottom.

2. Do you want to configure interface groups ? (On the back of our FAS we have 4 gigethernet ports named e0a, e0b, e0c, e0d. You have the option of bundling 2 or more of these to create an etherchannel to your switch. This becomes beneficial if you are considering running iscsi, nfs or cifs as the traffic can be load balanced across the bundled ports. I will choose no because I do not need it for the test scenario.
Next what needs to be done is to define IP addresses of networks connected. We can type in the addresses of the bridged interfaces from the VMware Virtual Machine. We can decide to use only one NIC, but I will configure all four of them.

3. You now have the option to continue setting up via the web interface or through the cli. We will continue through the Command Line interface.

4. Please enter the name or ip address of the default gateway. This is useful for routing and updating the FAS software.

5. Please enter the name or ip address for aadministrative host. The administration host is given root access to the storage system’s /etc files for system administration. To allow /etc root access to all NFS clients enter RETURN below. I will choose the Enter solution, because I do not need this much security in this testing scenario.

6. Please enter timezone (GMT is the default, please refer to the setup.pdf documentation in the Resource area of this site).

7. Where is the filer located ? (This is SNMP location information). You can leave it blank for starting setup.

8. What language will be used for multiprotocol files ? (en for english otherwise refer to the setup.pdf documentation in the Resource area of this site). I chose English.

9. Enter the root directory for HTTP files (Files that are served through HTTP or HTTPS)

10. Do you want to run DNS resolver ? (Basically do you want to storage system to resolve DNS, select yes).

11. Do you want to run NIS client ? If you have a Network Information Server you can choose yes. Otherwise, like I did choose no.

12. Do you want to configure the Shelf Alternate Control Path Management interface for SAS shelves ? In this test scenario we will choose NO.

13. Setting the administrative (root) password for your filer ? (Enter the password and re-enter to confirm) and reboot. In the real world scenario always use the Strong password.

14. If you are configuring the controllers for an active/active pair, repeat the same steps for the other controller. This can be done if one wants to virtualize more Netapp storage device to create a cluster mode. This I will not do , because this is an initial setup of the storage system.

15. Once the filer has rebooted you can access the web admin page type at https://<ip address>/na_admin

And finally we get the WEB http admin page where we can go on to configure some advanced features that I will talk about later.

So more to come about Netapp , which is by the way now bought by IBM, so it is even getting better support.