Redeploying Witness Nodes for two and three-node storage clusters

After you physically replace the failed compute node, you must redeploy the NetApp HCI Witness Node VM if the failed compute node was hosting the Witness Node. These instructions apply only to compute nodes that are part of a NetApp HCI installation with two or three-node storage clusters.

Before you begin

  • Gather the following information:
    • Cluster name from the storage cluster
    • Subnet mask, gateway IP address, DNS server, and domain information for the management network
    • Subnet mask for the storage network
  • Ensure that you have access to the storage cluster to be able to add the Witness Nodes to the cluster.
  • Consider the following conditions to help you decide whether to remove the existing Witness Node from VMware vSphere Web Client or the storage cluster:
    • If you want to use the same VM name for the new Witness Node, you must delete all references to the old Witness Node from vSphere.
    • If you want to use the same host name on the new Witness Node, you must first remove the old Witness Node from the storage cluster.
      Note: You will not be able to remove the old Witness Node if your cluster is down to only two physical storage nodes (and no Witness Nodes). In this scenario, you must add the new Witness Node to the cluster first before removing the old one.
      Tip: You can remove the Witness Node from the cluster using the NetApp Element Management extension point.

About this task

You would perform the steps to redeploy Witness Nodes in the following scenarios:
The VM is configured using the template that is created as part of initial deployment using the NetApp Deployment Engine. Here is an example of what a Witness Node VM looks like:
Shows an example of the VM hardware information in vSphere.


  1. In the VMware vSphere Web Client, click Hosts and Clusters.
  2. Right-click the compute node that will host the Witness Node VM, and select New Virtual Machine.
  3. Select Deploy from template, and click Next.
  4. Follow the steps in the wizard:
    1. Click Data Center, locate the VM template, and click Next.
    2. Enter a name for the VM in the following format: NetApp-Witness-Node-##
      ## should be replaced with a number.
    3. Leave the default selection for VM location as is, and Next.
    4. Leave the default selection for the destination compute resource as is, and click Next.
    5. Select the local datastore, and click Next.
      Free space on the local datastore varies depending on the compute platform.
      Shows the local storage selection window of the deploy witness node wizard.
    6. Select Power on virtual machine after creation from the list of deploy options, and click Next.
    7. Review the selections, and click Finish.

After you finish

After you deploy the Witness Node VM, perform the steps to configure the management network, storage network, and cluster settings, and then add the Witness Node to the storage cluster.