Create a Connector in Azure from Cloud Manager

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An Account Admin needs to deploy a Connector before you can use most Cloud Manager features. The Connector enables Cloud Manager to manage resources and processes within your public cloud environment. Learn when a Connector is required.

This page describes how to create a Connector in Azure directly from Cloud Manager. Learn about other ways to deploy a Connector.

These steps must be completed by a user who has the Account Admin role. A Workspace Admin can’t create a Connector.

Tip When you create your first Cloud Volumes ONTAP working environment, Cloud Manager will prompt you to create a Connector if you don’t have one yet.

Overview

To deploy a Connector, you need to provide Cloud Manager with a login that has the required permissions to create the Connector VM in Azure.

You have two options:

  1. Sign in with your Microsoft account when prompted. This account must have specific Azure permissions. This is the default option.

  2. Provide details about an Azure AD service principal. This service principal also requires specific permissions.

Note about Azure regions

The Connector should be deployed in the same Azure region as the Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems that it manages, or in the Azure region pair for the Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems. This requirement ensures that an Azure Private Link connection is used between Cloud Volumes ONTAP and its associated storage accounts. Learn how Cloud Volumes ONTAP uses an Azure Private Link.

Create a Connector using your Azure account

The default way to create a Connector in Azure is by logging in with your Azure account when prompted. The login form is owned and hosted by Microsoft. Your credentials are not provided to NetApp.

Set up permissions for your Azure account

Before you can deploy a Connector from Cloud Manager, you need to ensure that your Azure account has the correct permissions.

Steps
  1. Download the Azure policy for the Connector.

    Tip Right-click the link and click Save link as…​ to download the file.
  2. Modify the JSON file by adding your Azure subscription ID to the assignable scope.

    Example

    "AssignableScopes": [
    "/subscriptions/d333af45-0d07-4154-943d-c25fbzzzzzzz"
    ],
  3. Use the JSON file to create a custom role in Azure.

    The following steps describe how to create the role by using Bash in Azure Cloud Shell.

    1. Start Azure Cloud Shell and choose the Bash environment.

    2. Upload the JSON file.

      A screenshot of the Azure Cloud Shell where you can choose the option to upload a file.

    3. Enter the following Azure CLI command:

      az role definition create --role-definition Policy_for_Setup_As_Service_Azure.json

    You should now have a custom role called Azure SetupAsService.

  4. Assign the role to the user who will deploy the Connector from Cloud Manager:

    1. Open the Subscriptions service and select the user’s subscription.

    2. Click Access control (IAM).

    3. Click Add > Add role assignment and then add the permissions:

      • Select the Azure SetupAsService role and click Next.

        Note Azure SetupAsService is the default name provided in the Connector deployment policy for Azure. If you chose a different name for the role, then select that name instead.
      • Keep User, group, or service principal selected.

      • Click Select members, choose your user account, and click Select.

      • Click Next.

      • Click Review + assign.

Result

The Azure user now has the permissions required to deploy the Connector from Cloud Manager.

Create the Connector by logging in with your Azure account

Cloud Manager enables you to create a Connector in Azure directly from its user interface.

What you’ll need
  • An Azure subscription.

  • A VNet and subnet in your Azure region of choice.

  • If you don’t want Cloud Manager to automatically create an Azure role for the Connector, then you’ll need to create your own using this policy.

    These permissions are for the Connector instance itself. It’s a different set of permissions than what you previously set up to simply deploy the Connector.

Steps
  1. If you’re creating your first Working Environment, click Add Working Environment and follow the prompts. Otherwise, click the Connector drop-down and select Add Connector.

    A screenshot that shows the Connector icon in the header and the Add Connector action.

  2. Choose Microsoft Azure as your cloud provider.

    Remember that the Connector must have a network connection to the type of working environment that you’re creating and the services that you’re planning to enable.

  3. Follow the steps in the wizard to create the Connector:

    • Get Ready: Review what you’ll need and click Next.

    • If you’re prompted, log in to your Microsoft account, which should have the required permissions to create the virtual machine.

      The form is owned and hosted by Microsoft. Your credentials are not provided to NetApp.

      Tip If you’re already logged in to an Azure account, then Cloud Manager will automatically use that account. If you have multiple accounts, then you might need to log out first to ensure that you’re using the right account.
    • VM Authentication: Choose an Azure subscription, a location, a new resource group or an existing resource group, and then choose an authentication method.

    • Details: Enter a name for the instance, specify tags, and choose whether you want Cloud Manager to create a new role that has the required permissions, or if you want to select an existing role that you set up with the required permissions.

      Note that you can choose the subscriptions associated with this role. Each subscription that you choose provides the Connector with permissions to deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP in those subscriptions.

    • Network: Choose a VNet and subnet, whether to enable a public IP address, and optionally specify a proxy configuration.

    • Security Group: Choose whether to create a new security group or whether to select an existing security group that allows inbound HTTP, HTTPS, and SSH access.

      Note There’s no incoming traffic to the Connector, unless you initiate it. HTTP and HTTPS provide access to the local UI, which you’ll use in rare circumstances. SSH is only needed if you need to connect to the host for troubleshooting.
    • Review: Review your selections to verify that your set up is correct.

  4. Click Add.

    The virtual machine should be ready in about 7 minutes. You should stay on the page until the process is complete.

After you finish

You need to associate a Connector with workspaces so Workspace Admins can use those Connectors to create Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems. If you only have Account Admins, then associating the Connector with workspaces isn’t required. Account Admins have the ability to access all workspaces in Cloud Manager by default. Learn more.

Create a Connector using a service principal

Rather than logging in with you Azure account, you also have the option to provide Cloud Manager with the credentials for an Azure service principal that has the required permissions.

Granting Azure permissions using a service principal

Grant the required permissions to deploy a Connector in Azure by creating and setting up a service principal in Azure Active Directory and by obtaining the Azure credentials that Cloud Manager needs.

Create an Azure Active Directory application

Create an Azure Active Directory (AD) application and service principal that Cloud Manager can use to deploy the Connector.

Before you begin

You must have the right permissions in Azure to create an Active Directory application and to assign the application to a role. For details, refer to Microsoft Azure Documentation: Required permissions.

Steps
  1. From the Azure portal, open the Azure Active Directory service.

    Shows the Active Directory service in Microsoft Azure.

  2. In the menu, click App registrations.

  3. Click New registration.

  4. Specify details about the application:

    • Name: Enter a name for the application.

    • Account type: Select an account type (any will work with Cloud Manager).

    • Redirect URI: You can leave this field blank.

  5. Click Register.

Result

You’ve created the AD application and service principal.

Assign the application to a role

You must bind the service principal to the Azure subscription in which you plan to deploy the Connector and assign it the custom "Azure SetupAsService" role.

Steps
  1. Download the Connector deployment policy for Azure.

    Tip Right-click the link and click Save link as…​ to download the file.
  2. Modify the JSON file by adding your Azure subscription ID to the assignable scope.

    Example

    "AssignableScopes": [
    "/subscriptions/398e471c-3b42-4ae7-9b59-ce5bbzzzzzzz"
  3. Use the JSON file to create a custom role in Azure.

    The following steps describe how to create the role by using Bash in Azure Cloud Shell.

    1. Start Azure Cloud Shell and choose the Bash environment.

    2. Upload the JSON file.

      A screenshot of the Azure Cloud Shell where you can choose the option to upload a file.

    3. Enter the following Azure CLI command:

      az role definition create --role-definition Policy_for_Setup_As_Service_Azure.json

    You should now have a custom role called Azure SetupAsService.

  4. Assign the application to the role:

    1. From the Azure portal, open the Subscriptions service.

    2. Select the subscription.

    3. Click Access control (IAM) > Add > Add role assignment.

    4. In the Role tab, select the Azure SetupAsService role and click Next.

    5. In the Members tab, complete the following steps:

      • Keep User, group, or service principal selected.

      • Click Select members.

        A screenshot of the Azure portal that shows the Members tab when adding a role to an application.

      • Search for the name of the application.

        Here’s an example:

        A screenshot of the Azure portal that shows the Add role assignment form in the Azure portal.

      • Select the application and click Select.

      • Click Next.

    6. Click Review + assign.

      The service principal now has the required Azure permissions to deploy the Connector.

Add Windows Azure Service Management API permissions

The service principal must have "Windows Azure Service Management API" permissions.

Steps
  1. In the Azure Active Directory service, click App registrations and select the application.

  2. Click API permissions > Add a permission.

  3. Under Microsoft APIs, select Azure Service Management.

    A screenshot of the Azure portal that shows the Azure Service Management API permissions.

  4. Click Access Azure Service Management as organization users and then click Add permissions.

    A screenshot of the Azure portal that shows adding the Azure Service Management APIs.

Get the application ID and directory ID

When you create the Connector from Cloud Manager, you need to provide the application (client) ID and the directory (tenant) ID for the application. Cloud Manager uses the IDs to programmatically sign in.

Steps
  1. In the Azure Active Directory service, click App registrations and select the application.

  2. Copy the Application (client) ID and the Directory (tenant) ID.

    A screenshot that shows the application (client) ID and directory (tenant) ID for an application in Azure Active Directory.

Create a client secret

You need to create a client secret and then provide Cloud Manager with the value of the secret so Cloud Manager can use it to authenticate with Azure AD.

Steps
  1. Open the Azure Active Directory service.

  2. Click App registrations and select your application.

  3. Click Certificates & secrets > New client secret.

  4. Provide a description of the secret and a duration.

  5. Click Add.

  6. Copy the value of the client secret.

    A screenshot of the Azure portal that shows a client secret for the Azure AD service principal.

Result

Your service principal is now setup and you should have copied the application (client) ID, the directory (tenant) ID, and the value of the client secret. You need to enter this information in Cloud Manager when you create the Connector.

Create the Connector by logging in with the service principal

Cloud Manager enables you to create a Connector in Azure directly from its user interface.

What you’ll need
  • An Azure subscription.

  • A VNet and subnet in your Azure region of choice.

  • If you don’t want Cloud Manager to automatically create an Azure role for the Connector, then you’ll need to create your own using this policy.

    These permissions are for the Connector instance itself. It’s a different set of permissions than what you previously set up to simply deploy the Connector.

Steps
  1. If you’re creating your first Working Environment, click Add Working Environment and follow the prompts. Otherwise, click the Connector drop-down and select Add Connector.

    A screenshot that shows the Connector icon in the header and the Add Connector action.

  2. Choose Microsoft Azure as your cloud provider.

    Remember that the Connector must have a network connection to the type of working environment that you’re creating and the services that you’re planning to enable.

  3. Follow the steps in the wizard to create the Connector:

    • Get Ready: Click Azure AD service principal and enter information about the Azure Active Directory service principal that grants the required permissions:

    • Application (client) ID: See Get the application ID and directory ID.

    • Directory (tenant) ID: See Get the application ID and directory ID.

    • Client Secret: See Create a client secret.

    • VM Authentication: Choose an Azure subscription, a location, a new resource group or an existing resource group, and then choose an authentication method.

    • Details: Enter a name for the instance, specify tags, and choose whether you want Cloud Manager to create a new role that has the required permissions, or if you want to select an existing role that you set up with the required permissions.

      Note that you can choose the subscriptions associated with this role. Each subscription that you choose provides the Connector with permissions to deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP in those subscriptions.

    • Network: Choose a VNet and subnet, whether to enable a public IP address, and optionally specify a proxy configuration.

    • Security Group: Choose whether to create a new security group or whether to select an existing security group that allows inbound HTTP, HTTPS, and SSH access.

      Note There’s no incoming traffic to the Connector, unless you initiate it. HTTP and HTTPS provide access to the local UI, which you’ll use in rare circumstances. SSH is only needed if you need to connect to the host for troubleshooting.
    • Review: Review your selections to verify that your set up is correct.

  4. Click Add.

    The virtual machine should be ready in about 7 minutes. You should stay on the page until the process is complete.

After you finish

You need to associate a Connector with workspaces so Workspace Admins can use those Connectors to create Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems. If you only have Account Admins, then associating the Connector with workspaces isn’t required. Account Admins have the ability to access all workspaces in Cloud Manager by default. Learn more.