Enabling VAAI for NFS on NetApp

A quick post about VAAI, NetApp and VMware.  I was messing around with VAAI and installing the NetApp plugin for NFS in my VCAP test environment.  This is a pretty simple process and can be automatically deployed via the NetApp VSC, if installed.  Since I’m working on making sure I can do this from the CLI, think VCAP-DCA5, I’m practicing doing it from there.  I’m using the NetApp Simulator, which is probably the best thing that NetApp could have done for its customers.  Simply amazing piece of software that offers nearly all the functionality of a NetApp filer.

vaai_nfs_plugin_step1I placed the NetApp_bootbank_NetAppNasPlugin_1.0-018.vib on a datastore so that I could access it from the CLI

vaai_nfs_plugin_step2Easy stuff, nothing new here.  Now let’s get this thing installed from the CLI

vaai_nfs_plugin_step3Looks like we got it.  Reboot the host and we’re golden.  Check vCenter to see if our Hardware Acceleration is working.

vaai_nfs_plugin_step4Hmmm, not working as it should.  Let’s check to make sure the vib is showing up in the vib list.

vaai_nfs_plugin_step5Yeah we got it there.  What could be the problem?  Well, let’s check the NetApp to see the NFS options.

vaai_nfs_plugin_step6Ah ha!  There’s our problem right there.  There’s a few options not enabled.  These have to be enabled to allow VAAI functions on the NetApp for NFS datastores.  So let’s enable them

vaai_nfs_plugin_step7Now that it’s enabled, let’s go check our vCenter and NFS datastores again.  A quick rescan of the datastores and we’re working as intended.

vaai_nfs_plugin_step8Or we can check it from the CLI, since we’re concerned about knowing how to check this from there anyway

vaai_nfs_plugin_step9EDIT – So I was building a new controller out in the lab and I confirmed Mike’s assumption.  The need for ‘options nfs.v4.enable on’ is only a requirement using the version of the NetApp simulator that I’m using.  This option is NOT required for a real set of controllers.

4 thoughts on “Enabling VAAI for NFS on NetApp

  1. Howdy. Found your blog on Eric Siebert’s site. Keep up the good work!

    One question, though. ESXi hosts don’t use NFSv4. Are you sure the v4 option needs to be set on the controllers?




    Please consider marking this answer “correct” or “helpful” if you found it useful.

    Mike Brown
    VMware, Cisco Data Center, and NetApp dude
    Consulting Engineer
    Twitter: @VirtuallyMikeB
    Blog: http://VirtuallyMikeBrown.com
    LinkedIn: http://LinkedIn.com/in/michaelbbrown

  2. Mike,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. I appreciate any feedback.

    I know it doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever but if you don’t turn on the NFS.v4 option you get this message from ONTAP when you attempt to enable nfs.vstorage.enable.

    options nfs.vstorage.enable on
    NFS: option nfs.vstorage.enable now set to on, but option nfs.tcp.enable is still off. NFS vstorage feature will not function without nfs.v4.enable set to on.

  3. Hi

    We utilise block level Fibre Channel LUNS rather than NFS to present datastores in VMware 5.0. Would we see value in installing the VAAI plugin for NFS?


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