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Netapp SMI-S Provider Proxy - Offline Scenario

Posted on 2014-07-30
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Last Modified: 2015-01-05
Hi,

I was wondering if anybody has any experience with the Netapp SMI-S Agent.
I'm considering implementing a storage provider through SCVMM 2012 R2 for a production Hyper-V environment.
The hosts are running Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and are in a Failover Cluster.
The Cluster is currently providing CSV volumes to the hosts which is where the existing VMs live.
The Netapp SMI-S Agent is installed on it's own Windows server and acts as a proxy between SCVMM and the Netapp FAS2240 that is providing the storage.

What I want to understand is this:
If I add an iSCSI LUN to the Cluster directly from SCVMM, using the Netapp SMI-S agent,  what will happen if the Netapp SMI-S Agent goes offline for some reason?
Will the iSCSI LUN provided to the Cluster be dropped? If not then will Arrays still show up in the fabric pane of SCVMM and will the VMs behave any differently?

I'm hoping the Netapp SMI-S Agent acts as a broker during the set up of the storage, or when any commands are run against the storage, but otherwise it does not interact with the normal operation of the storage and the cluster.

Rory
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Question by:Red-King
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40229598
It's just used for the interfacing and creation and management of LUNs, Snapshots, re-size LUNs.

if the server is unavailable, it will not cause any NetApp issues, or LUNs to go offline.

It's just a layer of management. - "middleware"
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by:Red-King
ID: 40260162
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your answer on this.
I've only yesterday gotten the chance to implement the SMI-S agent and I want to run a few tests on how SCVMM deals with the Agent being offline before I mark this as answered.
I'm also going to try adding storage via an SMB 3.0 share from the Netapp and see how that deals with the SMI-S agent being offline.

Rory
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Author Closing Comment

by:Red-King
ID: 40531495
This question fell off the radar for me so my apologies that I'm only coming back to it now.

I did get to test adding a LUN from SCVMM via the SMI-S provider.  It's perfectly functional but doesn't provide access to some features that I'm a fan of such as using Qtrees and naming the volume it creates.

As expected, the provided LUN was not affected when the SMI-S provider was offline.

I did have an issue with provider (or maybe it was SCVMM) after a while in use. SCVMM reported that it could see the Storage Arrays but would not return any information below that level. I lost all visibility of the storage from SCVMM and couldn't get it back despite re-adding the provider and restarting the providers services on the host server.
I eventually gave up on it. I only came back to it today when looking up this question and I've found that I can again see the Storage Pools in SCVMM. They needed to be re-added and classified again but that was sufficient to allow me see the aggregates and their contents.

Needless to say I probably won't rely on the provider in future.
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