Jul 22

Version 2.2 of the OnCommand Workflow Automation package for VMware vCenter Orchestrator Released

NetApp has just released version 2.2 of the WFA package for VMware vCO.  The primary improvement of this package is that it now allows the use of WFA 2.2 natively. This was done by adding a job status of “PLANNING”, which is a new job status in WFA 2.2  The package also now supports VMware’s vCenter Orchestrator 5.5.1  In order to understand how to setup this package please refer to  TR-4306: Building Automation and Orchestration for Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware.  To download the package go to the NetApp Communities page or click the below link for a direct download.

 

NetApp OnCommand Workflow Automation Package for vCO v2.2.zip

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Jun 17

Two New Co-Branded Technical Reports

I’m pleased to announce two new jointly branded NetApp and VMware technical reports:  TR-4308: Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware and TR-4306: Building Automation and Orchestration for Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware.

TR-4308 describes the joint NetApp and VMware solution to implement a software-defined storage environment.  This environment is a critical component toward achieving an entire software-defined data center.  TR-4306 is a deployment guide that explains how to set up the joint NetApp and VMware solution to implement a Software-Defined Storage solution, which is a critical component in achieving an entire Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). The described setup can be used to create an orchestration and automation environment that uses NetApp clustered Data ONTAP® storage, NetApp OnCommand® Workflow Automation (WFA), VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 6.0, and VMware vCenter™ Orchestrator (vCO) 5.5.

Take some time to read through them and let me know what you think.

As always I appreciate the time you have taken to read this post and I’d love to get your feedback on these technical reports and hear what you’d like to see.  Feedback on these TR’s will definitely help me to produce guides that will be more beneficial to my audience.

Thanks for reading!

-McCloud

 

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May 15

Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware – Part 4: Advanced Workflow Design with Wrapper Workflows in vCO and WFA

Its taken me a while to get this post out. I have been swamped with multiple projects in the realm of automation and orchestration for Software-Defined Storage. With that said, lets get into how to create wrapped vCO workflows to call OnCommand Workflow Automation (WFA) workflows.

First, we should have a discussion on workflows by looking at the creation of a specific wrapped workflow.  We will use the creation of a VMware datastore as an example for taking using smaller, more specific workflows to create a larger, more complex workflow. In this example the end goal for the larger workflow would be to have a datastore with the following characteristics enabled: NFS, 10GB in size, deduplication enabled, QoS of 13MB/s enabled, a snapshot policy set, and added to each host in the cluster. We can accomplish this in two different ways.  First we can create all of the smaller workflows needed to create the overall larger workflows. To To accomplish this the following small storage workflows would need to be created:

  • Create a Clustered Data ONTAP NFS Volume
  • Add Deduplication to Volume
  • Add QoS Policy to a Volume
  • Create a Snapshot Policy for Volume
  • Create SnapMirror
  • Create SnapVault

The second method for creating a larger workflow would be to first create environment “packs” workflows.  An environment “pack” would add characteristics for specific environments like Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, or VMware to volumes as well as both backup and recovery and disaster recovery options.  With this method the workflows needed would be as follows:

  • Create a Clustered Data ONTAP NFS Volume
  • Add VMware Properties to Volume (would include deduplication, thin provisioning, and a predetermined QoS policy)
  • Add Backup and Recovery and Disaster Recovery Options to Volume (includes SnapShot policy, SnapMirror replication, and SnapVault Backup)

Obviously, this decreases the number of workflows needed to create specific volumes for specific workflows but slightly increases the complexity of the baseline workflows used. This method does still allow for a modular approach to creating larger workflows as well.

Pictured below is a series of workflows we have developed as part of a sample pack. Notice that the first four workflows above are workflows listed in the sample pack below.

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Now lets look at how we accomplish the creation of the larger workflows. This larger workflows in vCO is known as a wrapped workflow since you are wrapping multiple smaller workflows into a larger workflow.

Building the Wrapper Workflow

Note:  The below steps are merely and example of how to create a wrapper workflow from three other vCO workflows that call WFA.  Each workflow is a different entity unto itself. Please use the below steps as a guide for building your own but not as an exact “how to” for every workflow. 

Start by opening a baseline workflow and click on edit. In this case we will open Create a Clustered Data ONTAP NFS Volume. This specific workflow creates a new NFS volume and either uses a default QoS policy or creates a new QoS policy.

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As a recommendation it is suggested you make a copy of the baseline workflow to work with instead of using the actual workflow. Right click on the workflow you will be making a duplicate of, click “Duplicate workflow”. At the Duplicate workflow screen rename the workflow and place it in the correct folder.

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Once you have done this right click on the duplicated workflow and click Edit. Go into the Schema tab and then on the left side menu bar select “All Workflows”.

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Drag and drop Add Deduplication to Volume(s) and Add Thin Provisioning to Volume(s) workflows into the schema after the NetApp WFA Workflow Execution. Ignore the “Do you want to add the activity’s parameters as input/output to the current workflow” question at the top fo the screen when you do this.

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Next, click on the edit button on the Add Deduplication to Volume(s) workflow that was added to the overall workflow. This will bring up the edit screen.

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Click on “not set” next to clusterName. Then select ClusterName in the Chooser… screen. Then click Select. Perform the same step for vserverName, but select VserverName in the Chooser.. screen and then click Select.

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For volumeGroup, click on “not set”. At the Chooser.. screen select Create parameters/attibutte in workflow (highlighted in Red below)

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In the Parameter information screen, enure that the Name says volumeGroup and then click Ok.

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For volumeList click on “not set”. volumeList is found in both of the new workflows that are being wrapped as a part of the larger workflow. volumeList refers back to and is equal to VolumeName. Therefore, at the Chooser… screen select VolumeName and then click Select.

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When the final Local Parameter has been mapped, click on Close. You will be then be taken back to the Schema screen.

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You will now need to edit Bind Inputs. Click on the edit button for Bind Inputs.

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At the Edit screen, click on the IN tab at the top. Then click on Bind to workflow/parameter/attribute button.

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At the Chooser… screen, click on volumeGroup and then click Select. volumeGroup will now be displayed In tab as a parameter.

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Next, click on the General tab. You will see volumeGroup listed under Attibutes. This will need to be moved from Attributes to be an Input parameter. Right click on volumeGroup and select Move as INPUT parameter.

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Click on the Inputs tab and verify that volumeGroup has now been moved.

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The workflow should now be ready to test.

Pretty easy, eh?  By following the above procedures you too will be able to make your own wrapper workflows and extend the storage automation and orchestration into your SDDC.

Here are the links for the Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware series:

As always I appreciate the time you have taken to read this post and I’d love to get your feedback and hear what you’d like to see.  Workflow ideas, blog post ideas, and general comments are all welcome.

Thanks for reading!

-McCloud

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Mar 26

Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware – Part 3: Create Workflow Integration with vCO and WFA

Now we will look at how to create vCenter Orchestrator workflows that call WFA. This post will take you through initial workflow creation and assumes you have followed the previous posts and have the NetApp WFA Pakcage for VMware vCenter Orchestrator (you can download from here) already installed.  Be warned that this is a LONG blog post. However, to cover everything in detail takes a bit of effort.

To create a vCO workflow that will call a WFA workflow, complete the following steps:

1. Open the vCO client and then go to the Workflows tab at the top. Go to Administrator > Library > NetApp > Tasks. Right click on Get WFA Workflow Inputs and select Start Workflow.

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2. When the workflow starts, put the name of the WFA workflow exactly as it appears in WFA into the NetApp WFA workflow name box. In the below example we are using the WFA workflow “Create a Clustered Data ONTAP NFS Volume”.

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3. This workflow wil run and get the User Inputs that will need to be used for the vCO workflow to call the WFA workflow.

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4. Next we want to create a new vCO workflow. Right click on a folder that you will keep your workflows in and select “New Workflow”.

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5. Next give the workflow a name. For simplicity sake it is recommended that you name the workflow the same as the WFA workflow.

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6. Once the new workflow is created, you will be taken to an edit workflow screen. Go to Inputs and click on the Add Inputs button. Create as many inputs as shown after running the Get WFA Workflow Inputs workflow in vCO.

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7. Add the Inputs you will need. For the selected workflow we are creating there are seven inputs needed.

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8. You will then need to click on the inputs and rename them after the inputs given to you in the above step.

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9. Next click on the Schema tab at the top. Select Scriptable Task from the left and drag it into the right pane. Then click on edit (the “Pencil” icon above the scriptable task)

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10. You will then be at the below screen

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11. Click on the In tab at the top. Then click on the “Bind to workflow parameter/attribute” button.

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12. Select each entry on this screen by placing a check box next to it.

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13. Click on “Select”. You will be taken back to the In tab and will see that the Local Parameters have now been set.

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14. Next click on the Scripting tab and type the following:

System.log(“Starting the workflow”) (shown below)

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15. Click Close on the Scripting tab

16. At the Schema screen, go to the left hand menu items and select Action element and drag it to the right of Bind Inputs that you just completed. Once you do this you will taken to the Chose action screen (show at Figure xxxx)

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17. At the Chose action screen click on the Filter box and type in wfa. This will bring up a list of actions for you. Click on generateNetAppWFA_Inputs action and click select.

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18. You will then be taken back to the Schema screen.

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19. From the left hand menu on the Schema screen select Workflow elements and drag this to the right side of the newly created generateNetAppWFA_Inputs action.

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20. This immediately lauches the “Chose workflow” screen. Here, click on NetApp WFA Workflow execution and then click select at the bottom right of this screen.

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21. You will now be back at the Schema screen. Hover the mouse of the generateNetAppWFA_Inputs action. Click on the Edit button (Pencil Icon shown in the image below)

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22. Once in the Edit portion click on the Scripting tab. You will be at the below screen.

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23. Click on the OUT tab at the top of the screen. Then click on “not set” under Source Parameters next to actionResult.

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24. Once you click on “not set” you will be taken to the generateNetAppWFA_Inputs output parameters ‘actionResult” screen. Click on Create parameter/attribute in workflow.

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25. You will now be in Parameter information screen. Change the Name from actionResult to userInputs then click on OK.

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26. You should now be back at the OUT tab screen for generateNetAppWFA_Inputs. Click on Close.

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27. This will take you back to the Schema screen. Hover the mouse over NetApp WFA Workflow and click on the Edit button.

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28. You will be taken to the Info tab of the NetApp WFA Workflow element.

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29. Click on the IN tab at the top of this screen. Then click on “not set” under Source parameters next in the userInputs row.

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30. At this screen click on userInputs and click select

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31. Click on “not set” under Source parameters in the workflowName row.

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32. Click on Create parameter/attribute in workflow

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33. In the Parameter information screen in the Value input box at the bottom input the name of the workflow you are creating. In this example Create a Clustered Data ONTAP Volume is used.

34. Click OK

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35. You will now be back at the below screen. Click Select.

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36. Your screen should now be similar to the one below.

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37. Click on the OUT tab at the top. Click on “not set” in the errorCode row under the Source Parameter column

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38. Click on Create parameter/attribute in workflow.

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39. Ensure that errorCode is listed for the name then click OK.

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40. Click on “not set” in the wfaWorkflowJobID row under the Source parameter column.

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41. Click on Create parameter/attribute in workflow.

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42. Ensure that wfaWorkflowJobID is entered into the Name. Click OK.

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43. Click on “not set” in the returnWFAParameters row under the Source parameters column.

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44. Click on Create parameter/attribute in workflow.

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45. Ensure that returnWFAParameters is listed in the Name box. Click OK.

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46. When this step is complete your OUT screen should be similar to the one below. Then click on the Exception tab at the top

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47. Under the Exception tab click on “not set”.

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48. Chose “errorCode” and click on Select.

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49. Once that is completed, your screen should resemble the one below.

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50. Click on close to return to the main Schema screen. At this screen drag and drop Throw Exception under the NetApp WFA Workflow element.

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51. Hover over Throw Exception and click on the Edit button.

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52. Under the Exception tab in Throw Exception click on “Not set”.

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53. Click on errorCode and click Select at the bottom.

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54. Your screen should now look similar to the one below. Click on Close.

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55. Next, click on the Presentation tab at the top.

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56. Set your Presentation for the workflow up how you choose. In the below example we create a Set Volume Information display group and two steps called Volume Details and Export Details. We then move the input parameters under the respective steps.

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57. Once this is done we then set the properties of the inputs under the steps. Below we see that we are setting ClusterName as a Mandatory Input and setting a predefined list of answers for it. We then set a default value.

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58. Add the desired property for each input in the steps. Below we see examples of other properties that are added to the inputs.

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59. Once this is done, save the newly created workflow. You will then be returned to the Workflow screen. Right click on the newly created workflow and select Start Workflow.

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60. Select or input the desired entries for the new workflow, in this case entries for creating a new volume.

 

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61. If all the steps have been followed your workflow should run successfully.

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Rejoice for you have finally come to end of this very long post.  Hopefully it has helped with  your own setup.

Here are the links for the Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware series:

As always I appreciate the time you have taken to read this post and I’d love to get your feedback and hear what you’d like to see.  Workflow ideas, blog post ideas, and general comments are all welcome.

Thanks for reading!

-McCloud

 

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Mar 17

My NetApp Communities Podcast on Software-Defined Storage

I would like to send a “Thank You” to @DatacenterDude and @vPedroArrow for hosting me on their NetApp Communities Podcast Friday, March 14th, 2014. We had a great discussion on software-defined storage in the software-defined data center.  They have an excellent weekly podcast and if you aren’t listening to them I’d highly recommend you do.

The podcast with me is at #38 McCloudOnCloud & the SDDC.

As always, thanks for reading and please give me any feedback you might have.

-McCloud

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Mar 11

Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware – Part 2: Setup vCO to Call WFA Workflows

In this part of my series we’ll be discussing setting up vCO to call WFA workflows. I will not be discussing installing vCO, as I am using vCAC 6 and it has a built-in vCO 5.5 environment already. You’ll need to have WFA 2.1 setup as well as vCAC 6 setup and configured. Let’s dive into the process. In order to use the new OnCommand Workflow Automation package, the vCO server must be configured to support the WFA environment. Follow the steps to install the HTTP Rest Plug-in, configure the SSL connect to WFA and import the package. The first thing you’ll need to do is to start the vCO configuration service on the vCAC 6 appliance. Follow the below instructions to perform this step.

  1. SSH into your vCAC 6 appliance and enter the appropriate username and password for the appliance.
  2. Next, run the following command at the prompt: service vco-configurator start. (Note: This command turns on the vCO configuration service, which is not started by default on the vCAC 6 appliance) clip_image004.jpg clip_image002.jpg
  3. Once you’ve entered this command you will now be able to access the vCenter Orchestrator Configuration page.
  4. Next, go to the FQDN of your vCAC 6 appliance. Then click the vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Configurator at the bottom. clip_image006.jpg
  5. When in the vCO Configurator click Network and then go the SSL Trust Manager Tab.clip_image009.jpg
  6. Enter the FQDN or IP address of the WFA 2.1 server and click Import to import the WFA SSL Certificate.clip_image012.jpg
  7. While at this page, also import the vCenter server SSL using the step above.

Once this is done you will now need to download and install the NetApp WFA Package for vCO. Follow the steps below to complete this step.

  1. Download the NetApp WFA Pakcage for VMware vCenter Orchestrator from here.
  2. Open the vCO client. At the below screen click on Import package.clip_image015.jpg
  3. Select the package to import.
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  4. Click Import at the Package Import Information screen. clip_image019.jpg
  5. Click on Select/Deselect all at the bottom to be sure all elements are selected and then click Import selected elements.clip_image021.jpg

Lets take a quick look around the NetApp WFA Package for vCO.  The package imports several specific items that you will be using in the future to access and call WFA workflows.

  1. Under Design at the workflows screen a series of NetApp workflows will have been added under Library > NetApp > OnCommand WFA. Pay special attention to the workflow “Get WFA Workflow Inputs” as this will be used in the future for creating retrieving the WFA inputs needed to create vCO workflows to call WFA.clip_image023.jpg
  2. In the Design section under the Packages heading you will also see that com.netapp.oncommand.wfa has been added.
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  3. In the Design section under the Actions heading you will also see that com.netapp.oncommand.wfa has been added and has multiple actions added. These are used when creating workflows to access WFA (which will be discussed in another part in the future). clip_image027.jpg

Now its time to set the values in the NetApp WFA User Configuration entry. In the Design section under the Configuration heading you will see a NetApp folder.  This is where we begin that process.

  1. Go to NetApp > OnCommand WFA and select NetApp WFA User Configuration. Click on the Edit button.clip_image029.jpg
  2. Under the Attributes tab input the information for the WFA username, password, and IP address (or hostname). Then click Save and Close. clip_image031.jpg

Now we have everything setup and ready to go. However, if you are like me you will now want to test the connection. Start this process by going to WFA and selecting a workflow you would like to test against.  Then begin the test process below.

  1. Under Design at the Workflows tab go to Library > NetApp > OnCommand WFA. Right click on “Get WFA Workflow Inputs” and click Start workflow. clip_image033.jpg
  2. At the Start Workflow: Get WFA Workflow Inputs screen enter the WFA Workflow name you would like to test against. In this case, I chose “Add QoS Policy to NAS Datastore” workflow. clip_image035.jpg
  3. Let the workflow run. When it is finished a workflow completed message will be displayed. clip_image037.jpg
  4. To view the workflow Inputs needed for to create a vCO workflow to access this WFA workflow, look in the Logs section.
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  5. Here you will see a series of User Inputs that are numbered starting at #1. These are the inputs you will need for creating a vCO Workflow to match the WFA workflow.

I’ve mentioned creating vCO workflows several times. Don’t worry, I’ll be walking you through how to do this in my next blog entry. As always, thanks for reading and feedback is always welcomed.

Here are the links for the Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware series:

As always I’d love to get your feedback and hear what you’d like to see.  Workflow ideas, blog post ideas, and general comments are all welcome.

Thanks for reading!

-McCloud

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