Who wants to read 34 pages about getting VMware Private Cloud to run on NetApp HCI?

Deployment in 'less than 30 min' – but not including reading the manual

NetApp has produced a verified architecture for VMware on its Element hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), promising deployment in under 30 minutes if its rules are obeyed.

VMware Private Cloud (VPC) is basically VMware installed on-premises. NetApp's Element HCI is, as we understand it, a converged system, with separate compute and storage nodes which scale independently, and are claimed to function as a single effectively hyperconverged system.

Hyperconverged systems came about to simplify obtaining and deploying IT because the complexities of buying and installing separate compute and storage systems were becoming too much.

NetApp introduced its Element HCI in June last year, with vSphere support and a NetApp Deployment Engine (NDE) facility to set the nodes up.

And now it has published a 34-page NetApp Validated Architecture (NVA) document (PDF) for setting up a VMware Private Cloud on NetApp HCI; obviously IT life in hyperconverged land isn't that simple.

It describes how the Element HCI hardware starts from the minimum 2-chassis point, with two compute and four storage nodes, and expands out to 64 compute nodes and 40 storage ones. NDE manages the hardware configuration and deployment after you have racked and stacked the HCI chassis and external switches.


NetApp HCI network topology example

NDE brings the HCI system online by:

  • Installing the storage node (NetApp Element software) on the minimum of four storage nodes
  • Installing the VMware hypervisor on a minimum of two compute nodes
  • Installing VMware vCenter to manage the entire NetApp HCI stack
  • Installing and configuring the NetApp storage management node and NetApp Monitoring Agent

You then install and deploy the VMware Private Cloud. VMware management tools are used to add compute nodes to available data centres and compute clusters, and compute resources can be dynamically applied using VMware Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS).

NetApp said the HCI installation time ranges from approximately 35 minutes – although earlier in the doc it says it will be "functional" in under 30 – for the small configuration. You should expect approximately one hour install time for the largest configuration. Best RTFM check through the document to get a steer on what's involved. ®

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