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NetApp ONTAP Select vNAS solution for VMware vSAN

Last Updated:


Applies to

ONTAP Select


This article provides information about NetApp’s ONTAP Select support for VMware vSAN.

The partner solution referenced in this article is a solution that is developed and supported by a partner. Use of this product is also governed by the end-user license agreement of the partner. You must obtain from the partner the application, support, and licensing for using this product. For more information, see

The VMware Ready for vSAN File Services certification only verifies the partner solution’s ability to serve SMB and NFS shares using the vSAN datastore. To ensure optimal performance and functionality, VMware does not support hosting VMDK files via a vSAN file services solution. See the vSAN documentation for more details on how to use the vSAN datastore.

Deploying NetApp ONTAP Select on vSAN datastores creates a robust unified solution that allows clients to present and consume the vSAN datastore capacity via file (CIFS / NFS) and block (iSCSI) protocols. ONTAP Select protects the data under management using the ONTAP SnapMirror replication engine.

This architecture is called the ONTAP Select Virtual NAS, or vNAS solution.

vSAN datastores can be provisioned from both hybrid and all-flash vSAN configurations, effectively extending vSAN functionality with NetApp’s NAS and block solution. When consuming vSAN datastores, the local durability of the data managed by ONTAP Select is provided by the Failures To Tolerate (FTT) and Fault Tolerance Method (FTM) configurations. The data is protected using ONTAP native replication technology (SnapMirror).
The following benefits make the NetApp ONTAP Select vNAS solution a flexible and powerful offering.

ONTAP Select supports data-at-rest encryption through NetApp Volume Encryption, which uses 256-bit AES keys.

Storage efficiency:
Storage efficiency policies include deduplication, compression, and compaction, which work at the ONTAP hosted file-system level. This will result in storage efficiency policies that work across vSAN nodes. These policies can work both inline and in the background except when using vNAS with SIDL enabled, inline efficiencies cannot be used.

Data management and protection:
As ONTAP Select is based on ONTAP 9, it supports the same data management and data protection tools used by engineered appliances. The list includes the NetApp OnCommand® management suite (OnCommand System Manager and Unified Manager, OnCommand Insight, OnCommand Workflow Automation, and SnapCenter®). From the data protection perspective, ONTAP Select supports SnapMirror, the SnapManager® suite, SnapRestore®, and FlexClone®. This allows ONTAP Select to offer a comprehensive set of data management primitives where data can be moved and protected with flexibility, efficiency and security.

The ONTAP Select vNAS solution supports VMware HA, vMotion, and Distributed Resources Scheduler (DRS).

Use cases: 
The ONTAP Select vNAS solution is a cost-effective option that provides NAS file services, block protocol and data protection services on vSAN datastores. The vSAN infrastructure in return provides the ONTAP Select VM with High Availability and hardware redundancy. Therefore, the ONTAP Select vNAS solution and the vSAN infrastructure are synergistic in nature, allowing companies to provide enterprise-level file and data replication services, while leveraging the full potential of their vSAN investment.

Solution architecture:
The ONTAP Select vNAS solution consists of two Virtual Machines:

  • ONTAP Select VM, also called a Storage Virtual Appliance in VMware terminology. The SVA can be configured with 4 vCPUs / 16 GB of RAM or 8 CPUs / 64 GB of RAM.

  • ONTAP Deploy. This VM is required for installing and configuring the ONTAP Select VM. ONTAP Deploy does not serve data and does not need to reside in the vSAN datastore or even in the same datacenter.

  • One ONTAP Deploy installation VM can create multiple SVAs on the same or different vSAN datastores. After ONTAP Select VMs are installed and licensed, the ONTAP Deploy VM can be shut down without affecting normal data management operations.

The ONTAP operating system includes a management element called System Manager and the SnapMirror replication engine.

The following Figure shows an ONTAP Deploy VM that instantiated a number of ONTAP Select SVAs, on multiple vSAN infrastructures. The ONTAP Select VMs can establish data protection relationships with other instances, with NetApp FAS arrays as well as other end points supported by the NetApp Data Fabric.


Solution components:
The NetApp Interoperability Matrix provides up to date information on ONTAP Select and vSAN versions compatibility and can be accessed at NetApp Interoperability.

The ONTAP Deploy VM can be downloaded from the NetApp software download page and contains all the binaries required to create one or more ONTAP Select SVA instances. This single download can be accessed at Software Download.
Support information:

Customers contact NetApp support through chat, web ticket, or phone for technical support issues using their ONTAP Select serial number. NetApp and VMware are engaged in a TSANET relationship for third- party escalations.

The ONTAP Select Deploy utility provides customer-facing event logs in its UI. The ONTAP Select VM provides EMS event reporting that can also trigger SNMP, SYSLOG, or SMTP notifications.

NetApp technical support teams will request AutoSupport call home bundles from customers for either the ONTAP Select Deploy utility or ONTAP Select VM itself. These provide an additional layer of troubleshooting and debugging for NetApp personnel. Customers can configure ONTAP Select to automatically trigger and upload ASUP bundles back to NetApp for disruptive events, creating customer tickets in the process. Alternatively, customers can manually trigger these log bundles from ONTAP Select back to NetApp. For details on AutoSupport setup, see Technical Report Data ONTAP AutoSupport and On Demand Configuration.

Always consult the NetApp Interoperability Matrix (IMT) at NetApp Interoperability. The IMT tool will have footnotes (alerts or info) that reflect various support information for vMotion, HA and FT relative to the customer configuration.

Product Documentation can be accessed on NetApp ONTAP Select Resources.

The Product (including a free Evaluation license built in) can be downloaded from the Software Download.

You can also access the Support Portal for ONTAP Select.
For more information about ONTAP Select use cases and deployment models found in TR-4517, see Technical Report ONTAP Select Product Architecture and Best Practices.

Additional Information