NetApp HCI overview

NetApp HCI provides both storage and compute resources, combining them to build a VMware vSphere environment backed by the capabilities of NetApp Element software. You can integrate NetApp HCI seamlessly with other products in the NetApp Data Fabric, creating a complete solution for your datacenter.

After successful deployment of NetApp HCI, you manage the system from the VMware vSphere Web Client. The NetApp Element Plug-in for vCenter Server (also referred to as the vCenter Plug-in, or VCP) is used to manage storage resources, including datastores, volumes, Quality of Service, storage cluster components, and data protection. Compute nodes appear as ESXi hosts and you can manage them in vSphere.

NetApp HCI events and faults are reported in vSphere as system alarms. The management node monitors the compute nodes, and appears as a virtual machine in the cluster after deployment. All storage and compute monitoring data can be collected by NetApp SolidFire Active IQ, which performs real-time monitoring of NetApp HCI.

This guide introduces NetApp HCI and its architecture, and covers the information needed to prepare your environment for a deployment as well as the steps needed to complete deployment. It also gives best practices for network and switch configuration to enable you to get the most out of your system. Using this guide, you can quickly deploy and configure your fully racked and powered NetApp HCI installation using the NetApp Deployment Engine.

The following diagram outlines the basic steps you need to follow to deploy NetApp HCI.

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