It may not seem like a lot of work to configure a virtual machine and provision or data clone the storage. But what if you have 50 VMs? 100? When you’re working at scale, you need tools that help you speedily perform repetitive actions. You can also use those tools to create a self-service environment so that users can choose their own path forward. For VMware users, one way to automate the environment is by using vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). If you’re using NetApp® SolidFire® storage, you can now use vRO to automate your provisioning and management with the vRO Plug-in for SolidFire.


What do you get with the SolidFire Plug-in for vRealize Orchestrator? We’ve created vRO actions for each of the SolidFire API methods, meaning that you can completely automate every feature that you can access from the SolidFire API. That’s more than 200 actions that you can call to build workflows in vRO!


Okay, that sounds good, but what does it really mean? Think about what it takes to create a VM environment. Your tasks include creating the compute resources and allocating storage resources to each VM. Those steps can be put together in a vRO workflow with decisions and iterations based on the types of VMs you need. You can generate a set of workflows to create different types of compute VMs, with different settings for each operating system or for the set of applications that will run in them. For the SolidFire storage, you can create different storage profiles with different QoS settings that represent a variety of performance options. Then you can create a workflow that walks through the decision points and executes different routines based on what you select.


VMware vRealize Orchestrator

After you’ve created the workflow, you have a way to extend provisioning directly to end users.


Do you need a VM to support Microsoft SQL Server databases? Select from the internal self-service IT resource portal. Once you’ve chosen the type of VM to create, what kind of storage options do you need? One type for the OS disk, one for the application disk, and one for the log files? The creation and allocation of each type calls a different vRO workflow, and the entire provisioning process is automated. No calls to the IT staff are needed for the simple task of creating a new development environment.


That’s just one example of the power you unlocked when you install the SolidFire Plug-In for vRO and create custom workflows. Here are a few other ideas to get the juices flowing:

  • Automatically enable replication between volumes
  • Create SolidFire backed VVols and attach them to a VM
  • Configure backups to S3 on every SolidFire volume you create
  • Set and/or change QoS for all VVols with storage-based policy management
  • Migrate VMs to use VVols

vRealize Orchestrator is a fast and easy way for VMware users to automate all their SolidFire operations. If you’re ready to enable vRO for your SolidFire clusters, you can validate compatibility from VMware or download directly from BrickFTP and GitHub.

Doug Chamberlain

Doug Chamberlain is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at NetApp, joining the company through the acquisition of SolidFire. The last two decades of his career in technology have been in the storage industry, with product management and product marketing roles in tape, disk, flash, and storage software solutions. He holds a BS in Economics and a Masters of Business Administration. Prior to joining SolidFire, Doug was a Principal Product Manager at Oracle, responsible for the ZFS Storage Appliance.

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