NetApp achieves VMware vMSC certification!

NetApp MetroCluster VMware vMSC

NetApp MetroCluster VMware vMSC

It’s been a long time coming, but it is completely worth the wait.

Let’s set the stage a bit.  NetApp has received some hazing for the better part of the year for not having our MetroCluster solution on the VMware HCL, mostly revolving around not receiving the vMSC certification.   I’m here to open up some understanding as to why, especially for you customers out there that are entertaining a MetroCluster solution.

Originally, we pushed VMware to allow us to do an NFS-only certification, but since that wasn’t how “the other vendors” were being judged, we were not allowed to play in the sandbox due to the fact that we had not run through the test plans via FC/iSCSI.   OK, we thought, we’ll just go back and do both.

And we have done it.

What is vMSC?

vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) is a new certified configuration for Metro storage architectures. vMSC configuration is designed to maintain data availability beyond a single physical or logical site. A storage device configured in the vMSC configuration is supported after successful vMSC certification. All supported storage devices are listed on the VMware Storage Compatibility Guide.

What is NetApp MetroCluster?

MetroCluster is a unique solution that combines array-based clustering with synchronous mirroring to deliver continuous availability and zero data loss. As a self-contained solution, MetroCluster is able to transparently recover from failures so mission-critical applications continue uninterrupted. It also eliminates repetitive change management activities to reduce the risk of human error and administrative overhead.

You can now benefit from new MetroCluster enhancements:

  • Nondisruptive upgrades to minimize planned downtime
  • Automated site failover to reduced unplanned downtime
  • End-to-end continuous availability in a virtualized environment with VMware® HA and FT

Whether you have a single data center, a campus, or a metropolitan-wide environment, MetroCluster is a cost-effective solution that provides continuous data availability for your critical business environment.

Key Points:

  • Designed for zero unplanned downtime through transparent failover with protection from hardware plus network and environmental faults
  • Designed for zero planned downtime through nondisruptive upgrades for storage hardware and software
  • Designed for zero change management through automatic mirroring of changes to user, configuration, and application data
  • Set-it-once simplicity: easy to deploy, with no complex scripting or dependencies on the application or operating system
  • Improved read performance
  • Added efficiency through data deduplication and server virtualization



As of September 10, 2012, the VMware KB 2031038 has been updated to reflect VMware’s addition of NetApp MetroCluster to the vSphere 5.0 HCL, as well as our official certification under the vMSC.  What makes NetApp different than other storage vendors is that we are, as of this writing, the ONLY STORAGE VENDOR CERTIFIED FOR BOTH BLOCK (FC/iSCSI) AND NAS (NFS)!

A huge congratulations is in order to the multiple teams across NetApp in both the USA and India for seeing this through to completion, even amongst the hazing and immense internal pressure to get it done!  You guys (and gals) have all hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 9th!


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Michael Shea
09/14/2012 11:28

I am looking at your diagram, and comparing to VPLEX.  I notice that the entire storage infrastructure above consists of just one architecture.  No additional parts required to create abstractions. No other place to update code, take outages and no concerns about how to add in services like replication, mobility and DR.  

I guess the choice has redefined itself: You can either get it in one platform and turn on the services as you require them, or you can add in pieces and parts and hope the m:n complexity equation does not swamp you.

How many MetroCluster deployments are there?

Reply to  Michael Shea
11/16/2012 15:56

8000 Metrocluster deployments worldwide

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