NetApp® SolidFire® technology is known as the market-leading scale-out, shared-nothing, block storage all-flash array. Its innovative quality-of-service capabilities can guarantee volume and application performance on a granular level (see the previous blog about 3-Dimensional QoS). Most NetApp SolidFire Element® OS customers are taking advantage of the operating system to support their VMware environments, but how can they tie the SolidFire features to the VMware user? It’s simple: Use the NetApp plug-in for the vSphere Web Client.


SolidFire engineers have been hard at work, improving and enhancing the vCenter Plug-In so that it’s easier to connect SolidFire storage to VMware users. You can perform standard storage management tasks, such as provisioning volumes, and you get ease of use and expanded control thanks to the many significant enhancements that engineers have made.


The updated and simplified registration process is now easy to use for both unsecured and secured sites. If you have a secured data center, you can now register the plug-in without the complicated procedures that made registration a complex and painful task in the past.


For each cluster that you connect through vCenter and manage through the vSphere Web Client, additional node and drive controls are available for configuration management. Snapshot management includes both volume- and group-level settings, giving you more methods for scheduling backup and restore rules. You also have much better visibility into ongoing performance metrics, including enhanced event, alert, and running-task monitoring.


Figure 1) With the updated plug-in, you can easily manage vCenter datastores, volumes, accounts, access groups, and initiators.


If you run VMware Virtual Volumes, you will see a much deeper set of controls with the updated plug-in. In addition to creating and managing storage containers, you can now view each virtual volume that is associated with each virtual machine. This extra level of visibility shows you how Virtual Volumes is being used and allocated.


Figure 2) You now have a comprehensive view and extensive control of virtual volumes.


So, which versions of the plug-in are compatible with which versions of NetApp SolidFire Element OS and VMware vCenter?


You will find the answer in Table 1. And in true SolidFire character, we have incorporated as much backwards compatibility as possible.


Table 1) The vCenter Plug-In (VCP) includes extensive compatibility across Element and vCenter Server versions.


To learn more about the latest NetApp SolidFire vCenter Plug-In and how it makes the market’s leading block storage even easier to use, contact your local sales representative or check out

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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