Services Partners FAQ: NetApp ONTAP Select support for VMware vSAN
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Services Partners FAQ: NetApp ONTAP Select support for VMware vSAN


Article ID: 326469


Updated On:


VMware vSAN


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

Disclaimer: 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

Note: 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 block (iSCSI) and file (CIFS / NFS) protocols. ONTAP Select protects the data under management via a two-node HA configuration and also 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. Depending on the FTT/FTM settings, this could result in storage efficiencies that work across vSAN nodes. Storage efficiency features can work both inline and in the background.

Data management and protection:

Because 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 benefit from a comprehensive ecosystem where data can be moved, protected, and managed 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 to provide NAS file services, block protocol and data protection services on vSAN solutions. 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 can be configured as a single node vNAS solution or multi-node vNAS solution:
  • ONTAP Select VM, also called a Storage Virtual Appliance in VMware terminology. The SVA can be configured as 8 CPUs / 64 GB of RAM.
    • One ONTAP Select VM is required for single node solution and
    • Two ONTAP Select VM are required for Two-node HA configuration
  • 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.
  • For two-node HA configuration, ONTAP Deploy is also used as a mediator for the cluster. It is critical the mediator maintains continuous connectivity to the nodes to ensure proper functioning of storage failover capabilities.
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 here.
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 here.

Support Information:

Customers contact NetApp support through chat, web ticket or phone for technical support issues using their ONTAP Select serial number. These calls are triaged at Level1 and 2 and escalated to Level 3 and engineering as needed.
The ONTAP Select Deploy utility provides customer facing event logs in its UI. The ONTAP Select virtual machine provides EMS event reporting that customers can setup to map to 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 virtual machine itself. These provide an additional layer of troubleshooting and debugging for NetApp. 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. NetApp support personnel can remotely trigger AutoSupport bundles on demand as well. For more information on AutoSupport setup, see Data ONTAP AutoSupport and On Demand Configuration.

Related Links:
For more information on:
  • How to manually capture and upload AutoSupport bundles and Core files to NetApp, see NetApp Knowledge Base
  • Product Documentation, see NetApp ONTAP Select Resources
  • Contacting the NetApp Interoperability Matrix (IMT), see NetApp Interoperability
  • The Product (including a free Evaluation license built in), see NetApp Support
  • Support Portal for ONTAP Select, see ONTAP Select Support
  • ONTAP Select use cases and deployment models, see TR-4517
  • The IMT tool will have footnotes (alerts or info) that reflect various support information for vMotion, HA, and FT relative to the customer configuration.