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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Mar 10

Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware – Part 1: Setup WFA

Over the past months I’ve given multiple presentations on software-defined storage and how NetApp plays in this space.  I have also been part of a project to integrate NetApp storage into VMware’s Software-defined Data Center model.  NetApp, of course, would be the Software-defined Storage goodness of VMware’s SDDC.  NetApp WFA integrates with vCAC and vCO and automates the creation and management of storage objects for cloud environments (such as seen in my previous post here).  The one question that I always get is “But how do you get started?” Due to this repeated question I decided (finally) that there needs to be a “how to setup” blog from me on this.  In part one of this multi-part series I will cover setting up WFA 2.1. By the end of this blog series you will have an environment setup similar to the demo shown in Software-defined Storage with NetApp and VMware – vCAC 6, vCO, and NetApp WFA.

Let me first discuss what you will need setup to have WFA 2.1 setup and running successfully. First, you will need NetApp OnCommand Workflow Automation 2.1 setup and installed (this is probably stating the obvious).  I’m not going to go into details here.  However, for initial installation setup of NetApp OnCommand Workflow Automation 2.1 please refer to OnCommand® Workflow Automation 2.1 Installation and Setup Guide.

The next item you will need to setup in NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager 6.0 (OCUM 6.0). Installing allows for a central communication point for NetApp Clustered ONTAP storage and WFA 2.1.  This will need to be setup as a data source (more on data sources later) for WFA later.  Again, I’m not going into detail with this since someone else has already written the guide for this.  To install and configure OCUM 6.0 please refer to the OnCommand® Unified Manager 6.0 Installation and Setup Guide.  Also, be sure to follow the directions in the listed document in order to manage NetApp clustered ONTAP storage through OCUM 6.0.

Once everything is installed and setup we will now need to configure WFA to act as our Software-defined Storage automation engine.  To do this, follow the below instructions for the initial setup of WFA.

Import WFA Workflows

1.  Download the zip file containing the workflows and do the following
2.  Unzip the files locally
3.  Open the WFA Web portal
4.  Select Administration > Import

Import WFA Workflows

Import WFA Workflows

6.  Choose one of the DAR files and open.
7.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all files are imported.

Setup vSphere Data Source
1.    Access WFA using a web browser.
2.    Click Execution > Data Sources.

Setup Data Sources

Setup Data Sources for WFA

3.   Click New Data Source button.
4.   In the New Data Source dialog box, select the required data source type
5.   Enter the FQDN or the IP address in the host name field.
6.   Enter the vCenter credentials in the user name and password fields.

Setup vCenter Data Sources

Setup Data Sources for vCenter

7.    Setup the Interval for the desired time (in the above example it is 10 minutes).
8.    Click Save.
9.    In the Data Sources table, select the data source and click Actions > ‘Acquire Now.’
10.   Verify the data acquisition status in the History table.

Setup OCUM Database User
1.    Log in to OCUM (in this case OCUM 6)
2.    Click on Admiration at  the top right of the screen

NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager Dashboard

NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager 6.0 Dashboard

3.    Under Administration click on Manage Users

NetApp OCUM Manage User Selection

NetApp OCUM Manage User Selection

4.    You will now be on the NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager screen
5.    At the NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager screen click on +Add

NetApp OCUM Manage Users Screen

NetApp OCUM Manage Users Screen

6.    At the Add User screen select the Type as “Database User”
7.    Set a name for the user. In the example below “wfa” is set as the name
8.    Set a password for the username selected
9.    Click on “Add” at the bottom of the Add User screen to add this user to OCUM 6

NetApp OCUM Add User

10.    At the NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager screen the new user will now be visible

NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager 6.0 Manage Users with New WFA User

NetApp OnCommand Unified Manager 6.0 Manage Users with New WFA User

Setup OCUM Data Source
1.    Go to Execution > Data Source.
2.    Right-click in the top right pane and choose New.
3.    Select the Data Source type of OnCommand Unified Manager (DFM)-6.0.
4.    Enter the Hostname or IP of the OCUM appliance.
5.    Type the username and password.
6.    Set the port to 3306.
7.    Set up the Interval for the desired time (In the below example it is set to 30 minutes).

Setup OCUM Data Source

Setup OCUM 6.0 Data Source

8.     Click save.
9.     Right-click on the new Data Source and ‘Acquire Now.’

Setting Up Credentials for vCenter and OCUM
1.     Go to Execution > Credentials.

Setup Credentials for vCenter and OCUM

Setup Credentials for vCenter and OCUM

2.     Right-click in the right pane and choose New.
3.     Match – Exact.
4.     Type – VMware vCenter.
5.     Name/IP – vCenter Server FQDN or IP address.
6.     User name – User name for the vCenter.
7.     Password –Type the password for the vCenter server

Setup vCenter User Credentials

Setup vCenter User Credentials

8.     Click Save.
9.     Next, setup OCUM credentials
10.    Right-click in the right pane and choose New.
11.    Match – Exact.
12.    Type – OnCommand Unified Manager
13.    Name/IP – OCUM Server FQDN or IP address.
14.    User name – OCUM User Name.  This is the admin password that created during OCUM setup
15.    Password –Type the password for the OCUM

Setup OCUM 6.0 User Credentials

Setup OCUM 6.0 User Credentials

16.    Click Save

At this point you should have WFA setup and ready to run workflows that can create, read, update, and delete NetApp clustered Data ONTAP storage.  This is just the first step to the overall process.  Next, we’ll tackle setting up communication between VMware vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) 5.5 and NetApp WFA.

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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Feb 26

Software-Defined Storage with NetApp and VMware – Overview: vCAC 6, vCO, and NetApp WFA

Lately, I’ve been heads down designing a NetApp software-defined storage solution in conjunction with VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 6.0.  For the overall solution, we are using NetApp OnCommand Workflow Automation (WFA) to handle the storage automation.  vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) then makes calls through REST to WFA to activate storage creation for cloud environments.  In vCAC 6 we create a storage service catalog, advanced services blueprints that call the vCO workflows, and grant the appropriate permissions to the storage service catalog. In the end, a user clicks on “Request” for the blueprint they would like to run, input the parameters for the blueprint (i.e. vCenter IP address, storage type, storage size, etc.) and the NetApp storage is provisioned.

While describing the process is all well and good, I’m more of a visual person.  Take a look at the video below to gain a better understanding of the entire process.

 

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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Aug 25

Announcing Two New Technical Reports Just in Time for VMworld 2013

Are you thinking about deploying vCloud Director or vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) on NetApp’s software defined storage (SDS) in your environment?  Are you looking for a backup and recovery strategy for cloud?  Curious about how to implement an automation and orchestration strategy with VMware and NetApp’s Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC)?  If so, I’d like to announce two new technical reports published today:   TR-4203 – VMware vCloud Director on NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP and TR-4217 – Automating and Orchestrating the Software Defined Data Center with NetApp and VMware to Build Your Cloud.

TR-4203 is a step-by-step guide designed to assist those deploying vCloud Director with implementing their own environment.  Think of this TR as a “how to” guide.

TR-4217 discusses how to automate the SDDC with VMware and NetApp. In this TR we focus on the integration between vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) and vCAC from VMware and NetApp OnCommand Workflow Automation (WFA).  vCO and vCAC focus on orchestrating and automating the creation of cloud server objects while WFA focuses on automation NetApp’s software defined storage (SDS).

These two TRs along with NVA-0007 – VMware vCloud Director on NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP create a very solid, easy to follow solution, and covers the “how’s and why’s” for the the SDDC and SDS with NetApp and VMware.

I and the other authors put a lot of time into crafting these technical reports to make your job as implmenters and decision makers easier.  Download them today and provide me your feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

-McCloud

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