Deploy VSAN Witness Appliance

The VSAN Witness Host is a virtual appliance that is deployed into an existing vCenter server. When deploying a 2 node or stretched cluster, the witness appliance acts as a tie breaker to determine which node(s) are still available in the event the nodes lose communication with each other. The witness The witness is deployed just like any other virtual appliance, but will require access to the management network and the network you’ve designated as your VSAN network. This appliance must be run OUTSIDE your VSAN cluster. This means that you cannot add this host as a member of the existing VSAN cluster and you also should not run it as a virtual appliance inside your existing VSAN cluster.

1. Choose the cluster that will host the appliance. Click on “File” then “Deploy OVF Template”
step01

2. Browse to select the .OVA file and click “Next”
step02

3. Review the details of the appliance and click “Next”
step03

4. Review the license agreement and click “Accept” followed by “Next”
step04

5. Enter the name of the Witness Appliance and its location then click “Next”
step05

6. Choose the appropriate size of the appliance and click “Next”
step06
a. As this is a test, I’m choose the “Tiny” size. You can ignore the disk component requires for any size. As this is a virtual appliance, it will deploy the appropriately sized drives that will designated as SSD and spinning disl

7. Choose the provisioning type and click “Next”
step07
a. This is appliance is being deployed to a separate VSAN cluster than the one it will be acting as the witness for. This appliance can be deployed on shared storage, local storage, or another VSAN datastore.

8. Choose the appropriate networks for management and witness (VSAN). In this deployment, management lives on the “VM Network” and witness (VSAN) traffic is on the “VM-VSANnetwork”. This network is shared with the vMotion network and just needed an additional VM Portgroup created on each of the hosts in the cluster where this appliance is being deployed. Click “Next”
step08

9. Enter a root password for this appliance. Remember, this is a host that you will need to login to in order to administer so if there is a standard root password that you use it would be a good idea to use that here. Click “Next”
step09

10. Review the deployment settings and then click “Finish”
step10

11. Once deployed, you will need to configure the appliance like any other host. Power on the appliance and open the console, press F2 and login as root with the password you assigned in step 9
step11

12. Scroll to “Configure Management Network” and press “Enter”
step12

13. Ensure the Network Adapter assigned to your management network is “vmnic0”
step13
a. Set a VLAN (if necessary) for the management network, then assign your IPv4 and/or IPv6 settings for the management network to make it accessible on your network. Assigned DNS as needed as well. Press “ESC” and then press “Y” to configure settings and restart the management network
step13a

14. Once the host can communicate on the network, add it as a new host in vCenter.
a. Remember that this host should not be part of your VSAN cluster or any other cluster. It should be a standalone host in your datacenter.

15. Select the host in the vCenter client and configure networking for it. Locate the “witnessSwitch” and click “Properties”
step15

16. Select the “witnessPg” and click “Edit”
step16

17. On the “IP Settings” tab, enter the IP and subnet mask for the VSAN traffic network. Click “OK” at the bottom”
step17

18. Once you have confirmed that network settings are successful, login to the vSphere web client and navigate to the VSAN cluster to be configured

19. Click the “Manage” tab, then choose “Fault Domains & Stretched Cluster” under “Virtual SAN”
step19

20. In the “Streteched Cluster” box click “Configure”
step20

21. Name the fault domains and place the hosts into the appropriate fault domain. This is a 2 node cluster with 1 host in each fault domain. Click “Next”
step21

22. Locate the VSAN witness appliance host that was added to this vcenter and click “Next”
step22

23. Choose the flash drive for and the HDD for cache and capacity and click “Next”
step23

24. Review the settings and click “Finish”
step24

25. Once completed, you will now see the status of the stretched cluster as “Enabled”, the preferred fault domain and the designated witness host.
step25

Deploy VSAN Witness Appliance

Deploy NetApp OnCommand Balance 4.2

OnCommand Balance is a virtual appliance deployed within vCenter that allows you to monitor the health of your VMware environment at the Virtual Machine, vCenter and Storage level. Having a single place that displays end-to-end performance allows you to spend less time troubleshooting performance issues and trying to correlate data and address potential issues in your environment.

I’ve been using OnCommand Balance (formerly OnCommand Insight Balance) for a few years now and it has saved countless hours finding issues in the environment. We’ve had historical data available to look at growth and performance trends, as well as increased demand on individual servers after code releases/updates. Having access to the information within the VMs (such as drive space filling up) also makes this an invaluable tool.

The following documentation will take you through the deployment process of the Virtual Appliance and initial setup. You will go through adding your vCenter hosts, storage controllers, creating saved credentials, connecting to Active Directory for authentication and provision a Windows proxy service for monitoring Windows Servers.

Prerequisites:
1. A user account with appropriate permissions to vCenter for OnCommand Balance to use
2. A domain account with permissions to access all monitored Windows machines (preferrably a Domain Admin account)
3. A separate Windows Server/VM that will be used as the Proxy service to monitor Windows machines
a. Must have latest version of Java 6 installed and User Account Control disabled
4. Username/password for the NetApps that will be monitored

Steps:
1. Download the latest version of OnCommand Balance (4.2) for this writing from the NetApp website
balance101414-step1
2. Connect to the vSphere web interface, click on “vCenter”, “Hosts and Clusters”, expand the Datacenter, and click on the Cluster/Host that will host OnCommand Balance. Right click and choose “Deploy OVF Template”
balance101414-step2
3. Click “Local file” and then “Browse”
balance101414-step3
4. Locate the OnCommand Balance OVA and click “Open” then click “Next”
balance101414-step4
5. Review the details of the OVF then click “Next”
balance101414-step5
6. Accept the EULA then click “Next”
balance101414-step6
7. Give the appliance a name and choose the folder location of the appliance (if any) and click “Next”
balance101414-step7
8. Set the virtual disk format (I prefer Thin since one of the drives is 220GB) and choose the datastore. Click “Next”
balance101414-step8
9. Choose the appropriate network and then click “Next”
balance101414-step9
10. Review the settings then click “Finish”
balance101414-step10
11. After deployment completes, locate the appliance, right click and choose “Power On”
balance101414-step11
12. Open the console of the VM (Right-click and choose “Open Console”) where you’ll see this countdown to install VMware tools prior to configuring the Balance virtual appliance (If you miss your chance to do this at this point, I was unable to install VMware tools at all on the appliance)
balance101414-step12
13. Right-click on the VM, go to “All vCenter Actions”, then “Guest OS” and then click “Install VMware Tools”
balance101414-step13
14. After the VMware tools dialog box is displayed, click “Mount”
balance101414-step14
15. The Balance virtual appliance should recognize VMware tools ISO has been mounted and proceed with the installation
balance101414-step15
16. After VMware tools install completes, press “y” then enter to configure static Network connection for the management interface
balance101414-step16
17. Enter the following information:

a. Host name
b. Host IP address
c. Netmask
d. Gateway
e. Primary DNS address
f. Secondary DNS address
g. Search domains
balance101414-step17g

18. Review the settings and then press “y” and enter if everything is correct
balance101414-step18
19. Default OnCommand Balance console login is netapp/netapp. Login to the console
balance101414-step19
20. After a few minutes (5-10) the web service will be up and running. Connect to the https://IPofAppliance/bp to begin configuration
21. Enter the name of your organization and click “Continue”
balance101414-step21
22. Choose if you want to participate in AutoSupport and click “Submit”
balance101414-step22
23. Enter the time zone, NTP Server address, the address of the primary Balance admin (preferably a distribution group), and the SMTP server address. Click “Continue” (You can choose to change the password at this time)
balance101414-step23
24. Sit around and wait a couple minutes…
balance101414-step24
25. A blank screen may appear during this time, but eventually should take you to the OnCommand Balance login page. Login with the default credentials of admin/password or whatever password was set in step 23.
balance101414-step25
26. Click the link for “Configure you storage arrays & appliances”
balance101414-step26
27. Choose the type of storage (NetApp FAS in this case), enter the management address for one of the nodes, Enter the name of the filer, enter the credentials (root in my case) and enter a nickname of these credentials as they can be modified later on during password changes. Click “Save”
balance101414-step27
28. Even though DNS is configured correctly, I usually receive this error about the other filer of this HA system not being resolvable. Click “Enter IP address instead” and then enter the IP of the other filer and click “Resolve”
balance101414-step28
29. Click the “Refresh” link on the right side of the page a few times until “Discovery Collection” status changes to “OK”
balance101414-step29
30. Click the “Add storage system” button to add additional storage arrays (Including the HA partners). Click on “Dashboard” then choose “Configure your vCenter Server”
balance101414-step30
31. Enter the FQDN/IP Address of the vCenter server. Click “Add new” next to Credentials to add the credentials for the vCenter server
balance101414-step31
32. Enter the username, password, and nickname for these credentials. Click “Next”
balance101414-step32
33. Choose what you want monitored (though I can’t imagine why you’d choose not to monitor everything) and click “Save”
balance101414-step33
34. Click the “refresh” link until “Discovery Collection” status changes to “OK”
balance101414-step34
35. Click “Add vCenter Server” button to add any additional vCenter servers. Otherwise, hover over “Discovery” and choose “Credentials”
balance101414-step35
36. To monitor the OS’s of your VMs and physical servers, you can add those credentials on this page. I’ll add domain admin credentials for monitoring my Windows domain VMs. Click “Add credentials” button
balance101414-step36
37. Choose the login method, login name (domain\username), password, nickname for the credentials, and a description. Click “Save”
balance101414-step37
38. Once added they will appear on this screen
balance101414-step38
39. Hover over “Discovery” and choose “Proxies”
balance101414-step39
40. A proxy is required to monitor the guest OS status of Windows VMs and Physical servers. This proxy runs on a windows server. Once you’ve determined (or built) the appropriate server for the proxy, enter it’s FQDN or IP address and click “Continue”. Much like the picture below says, UAC MUST be disabled. You’ll beat your head against the wall for hours trying to figure out why it fails without that.
balance101414-step40
41. Download and install the latest 32-bit Java 6 runtime on this proxy server. Then navigate to the link listed on that proxy VM to begin the installation
balance101414-step41
42. Once the Balance Proxy Installer screen appears, click “Next”
balance101414-step42
43. Locate the folder path for the 32-bit java install and click “Next”
balance101414-step43
44. Enter an admin account for the service to be run under. Check the box for “Start service immediately after install” and click “Next”
balance101414-step44
45. Select any additional components you might need for other vendors and click “Next”
balance101414-step45
46. Review the information and click “Install”
balance101414-step46
47. Click “Finish”
balance101414-step47
48. Back at the Balance web interface, click “Validate proxy setup” and if successful, click “Continue”
balance101414-step48a
balance101414-step48b
49. Hover over “Discovery” and click on “Servers”
balance101414-step49
50. Click the link on the right side for “Unmonitored Servers”
balance101414-step50
51. Click the link next the vCenter server for “# guests are not being monitored”
balance101414-step51
52. Check the box next to the VMs you wish to monitor, choose your Credentials from the dropdown box in the center and click “Monitor guest(s)”
balance101414-step52
53. Hover over “Admin” and choose “Configuration”
balance101414-step53
54. Click “Email”. In here you can set authentication for your SMTP server, choose the “From” address for Balance emails. Click “Enable alerts” and then check all the boxes for Critical, Warning, and all categories (I prefer as many alerts as I can get). Click “Update”
balance101414-step54
55. Click on “Active Directory” and click the check box for “Enable Active Directory”
balance101414-step55
56. Enter the IP/hostname of your AD server, enter the Distinguished name of the account used to search Active Directory, and enter the password for that account. Click “Test”
balance101414-step56
57. Once successful, enter the Distinguished Name of the of the OU for the user/group that will have access to login. Enter the Distinguished name of the Group that will be able to login. Enter “sAMAccount” for the search attribute. Click “Update”
balance101414-step57
58. Hover over “Admin” and click “Users”
balance101414-step58
59. Click “Add User”
balance101414-step59
60. Change “Authentication” to “Active Directory”. Enter the username and click “Lookup”. If successfully, configured, it should populate the e-mail address. Choose the appropriate user type (Admin or User) and click “Save”
balance101414-step60

You’re all setup and ready to let OnCommand Balance start collecting data in your environment. You start to receive some information within about 30 minutes, but after 3-5 days you start to get a better understanding of what is going on in your environment and have more useful metrics.

Deploy NetApp OnCommand Balance 4.2