Using VMware Cloud on AWS and AWS FSx for NetApp ONTAP single AZ

 Gilles Chekroun


Lead VMware Cloud on AWS Solutions Architect
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With the release of FSx for NetApp ONTAP, Customers are looking to attach cloud storage to their VMware VMs like NFS mount or iSCSI access.
The initial release of FSx for NetApp is a multi Availability Zones implementation and is presenting an external IP address that doesn't belong to the VPC CIDR it's deployed on.
This created a challenge for SDDC VMs to access that IP over the ENI to the connected VPC.

Recently, on April 13 - 2022, AWS and NetApp have released a single AZ version of FSx-N and that is becoming interesting since all FSx IP addresses are now within the VPC CIDR and then visible by the SDDC.

Note: This setup is for guest VMs mounts only.
It is not adding a VMware datastore 

Test setup

Create an Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP file system

Open the AWS FSx console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/fsx/ and create a File System
Select the File System Type
Create a small FSx for NetApp using Single AZ 
Under Networking and Security select the SDDC Attached VPC, Default SG and the SDDC attached Subnet
Select a password for "fsxadmin" user for ONTAP CLI
Use the default SVM (Storage Virtual Machine) Configuration
Create a Volume Name, Path, Size for the SVM
Verify the Summary and create
It takes around 30 mins to create
Check the Endpoints and specifically the NFS IP address

SDDC Connectivity

Verify that an SDDC VM can ping the SVM NFS Endpoint
Verify access to the management Endpoint

Mounting the NFS File System

Before mounting the file system to the SDDC VM, update the VM and install NFS
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install nfs-common
Create an fsx directory
  • sudo mkdir /fsx
Mount the AWS FSx for NetApp using
  • mount - t nfs 172.200.10.104:/vol1 /fsx
Check the result

Considerations

Since we are using the Cross Account ENI between the VMC environment and the Connected VPC with the FSx installed, there are NO DATA CHARGES at all in that setup between VMware and AWS



Thanks for reading.

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