One of the great strengths of ONTAP® has been its ability to scale out across multiple nodes, as well as scale up to higher performance storage controllers (such as the recent NVMe all-flash AFF A800 system). This scale-out capability is especially useful for VMware vSphere. Over half of all ONTAP systems run vSphere workloads, and thousands of those clusters have more than two node pairs (all the way up to the maximum of 24 nodes!).


But what good is vast capacity and performance if you spend more time managing your VMs across different datastores? Instead, let the power of ONTAP 9.4, working together with vSphere, manage your VMs without extra administrative effort:

  • No more managing LUNs and watching datastore space to make sure your VMs fit.
  • No need to assign service levels for each individual VM. Just define your capabilities once in a policy, then use that policy for multiple VMs so that ONTAP stores them with the appropriate service level. And if your performance needs change, just update the policy and ONTAP will change service levels for the VMs.

Here’s how to use ONTAP performance management directly within vSphere:

  • Traditional Datastores using Virtual Storage Console:
    • Datastores can be provisioned directly within vCenter using QoS.  Simply use the VASA Provider for ONTAP to create a storage capability profile, then use that profile when provisioning and the VSC will set QOS on the datastore.
  • Virtual Volume (VVol) VMs using VASA Provider for ONTAP:
    • Individual VMs can use Adaptive QoS service level or maximum IOPS with the new 7.2 release of VASA Provider for ONTAP. ONTAP 9.4 supports up to 40,000 individual QoS workloads in a single cluster, and Adaptive QoS now supports VVol files and LUNs. Adaptive QoS scales the service level (floor and/or ceiling) as the size of the storage object changes, keeping performance consistent.

ONTAP storage capabilities with VASA Provider 7.2

Using a policy-based management approach can speed provisioning and reduce mistakes.  VASA Provider 7.2 policies also support NetApp Volume Encryption, and the latest FabricPool capabilities to tier active file system as well as snapshot data to a less expensive capacity tier.  The VASA Provider comes as a unified virtual appliance with the NetApp Virtual Storage Console, which also adds support for VMFS 6 and NFSv4.1 for traditional datastores in the 7.2 release.

Deploying a VM by policy

To learn more, browse the other blog posts linked in this article. You can also find out more about ONTAP VVols in the recently updated technical report.

Karl Konnerth

Karl works for NetApp as a Product & Partner Engineer in the ONTAP Group. Prior to that, he spent 8 years supporting NetApp customers around the world. And before NetApp, Karl had a lengthy career in corporate IT groups such as applications, architecture and operations.

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