Upgrading the NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) to Version 2.1

I recently put aside time to upgrade the Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for my vSphere environment from version 2.01P1 to 2.1. The installation process is pretty smooth and can mostly be clicked through. Unfortunately, I did run into some issues towards the end in regards to VSC discovering the controllers which I’ve outlined to assist others in troubleshooting.

I’m currently running ONTAP 7.3.4P2 on a V series.

The Upgrade Process

Head on over to the NetApp NOW site, view software downloads, and choose the Virtual Storage Console for VMware vSphere. Make sure to select the appropriate version (2.1) and OS type (32bit vs 64bit). I also decided to kick everyone out of the vSphere Client to ensure no issues with plugins failing / appearing for user’s sessions.

Note: Backup your SMVI!

I strongly suggest that you backup your SMVI data, which contains all of the backup/restore data. This is a major pain to rebuild by hand if you don’t have it later.

The files are located at this path by default:

C:Program FilesNetAppVirtual Storage Consolesmviserver

With that said, on with the upgrade …

Once achieved, pop on over to your VSC host and run the installer.

A warning pops up letting you know that a previous version was found (in my case VSC 2.01P1). Click Yes and the wizard begins.

Once the VSC has fully extracted, the installation wizard presents a few upgrade options. I chose to upgrade all of the VSC components, but by default the boxes for Provisioning & Cloning and Backup & Recovery are not checked.

After clicking next, a progress bar will appear as the components are installed. Once completed, the wizard allows you to click finish.

In addition, a browser window should have opened up asking you to register the plugin with vCenter. Make sure to choose the plugin service information from the drop down (mine was already populated with the correct IP address), along with the vCenter server information that the service will use. Click the Register button, and if all was configured properly, a confirmation will appear stating as such.

At this point you can open up the vSphere Client (assuming you closed it). You should see a number of recent tasks for each host attached to vCenter stating “NetApp Host Discovery”. I found that these tasks completed so quickly that by the time I had connected to the vSphere Client they were already complete. It should depend on how complex / large your environment is, as the VSC scans a finite number of hosts at a time.

Head on over to your vSphere Client Plug-In Manager (Plug-Ins > Manage Plug-Ins…) and ensure that the Virtual Storage Console shows as version 2.1 and Enabled. If not, make sure to install or enable it and verify there are no issues or errors with that process.

If you are running Server 2008 (or R2), NetApp recommends running the NetApp vSphere Plugin Framework service as an Administrator of the host. To do this, go to the services console on the host and edit the NetApp vSphere Plugin Framework. Click on the Log On tab and enter local Administrator credentials (or an account that has this level of authority).

Installation Issues

I did encounter a few bumps along the road, mainly with getting the VSC to detect controllers. Here are some indications that you’re in for more troubleshooting.

When clicking on the Provisioning re-deploy link (there is no way to refresh):

When clicking on the Overview link (there is no way to refresh here, either):

And the fun “Discovering Network Components” for eternity issue, which occurred after clicking the Update link in the Overview (No actual discovery tasks fired off in the task list):

In most cases, I found a restart of the NetApp vSphere Plugin Framework service coupled with a rescan will clear up any errors presented. Additionally, check to make sure your ONTAP is at a supported level. VSC 2.1 does not seem to work on my ONTAP 7.3.4P2, even though it is technically supported. Take a look at this article for more details and some support information.

Update 9/27/2011: Java!

The issue with upgrading on my vCenter server was related to an old version of Java. Once my co-worker updated it to the latest version, the latest VSC (2.1.1) worked fine. So, update your Java!

Supported Configurations

VMware VI3 & vSphere 4

  • Independently and mixed clusters

NetApp FAS arrays, 3rd party arrays with vSeries, and OEM platforms IBM N-Series & Fujitsu Ontap-v VSA

  • Data Ontap 7.3.3 and later (7.3.5+ & 8.0.1+ recommended)
  • MetroCluster & vFiler storage options