Learn about Connectors

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In most cases, an Account Admin will need to deploy a Connector in your cloud or on-premises network. The Connector enables Cloud Manager to manage resources and processes within your public cloud environment.

When a Connector is required

A Connector is required to use any of the following features within Cloud Manager:

  • Cloud Volumes ONTAP

  • On-premises ONTAP clusters

  • Cloud Compliance

  • Kubernetes

  • Backup to Cloud

  • Monitoring

  • On-prem tiering

  • Global File Cache

  • Amazon S3 bucket discovery

A Connector is not required for Azure NetApp Files, Cloud Volumes Service, or Cloud Sync.

While a Connector isn’t required to set up and manage Azure NetApp Files, a Connector is required if you want to use Cloud Compliance to scan Azure NetApp Files data.

Supported locations

A Connector is supported in the following locations:

  • Amazon Web Services

  • Microsoft Azure

  • Google Cloud

  • On your premises

If you want to create a Cloud Volumes ONTAP system in Google Cloud, then you must have a Connector running in Google Cloud, as well. You can’t use a Connector that’s running in another location.

Connectors should remain running

A Connector should remain running at all times. It’s important for the continued health and operation of the services that you enable.

For example, a Connector is a key component in the health and operation of Cloud Volumes ONTAP PAYGO systems. If a Connector is powered down, Cloud Volumes ONTAP PAYGO systems will shut down after losing communication with a Connector for longer than 14 days.

How to create a Connector

An Account Admin needs to create a Connector before a Workspace Admin can create a Cloud Volumes ONTAP working environment and use any of the other features listed above.

An Account Admin can create a Connector in a number of ways:

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.

Permissions

Specific permissions are needed to create the Connector and another set of permissions are needed for the Connector instance itself.

Permissions to create a Connector

The user who creates a Connector from Cloud Manager needs specific permissions to deploy the instance in your cloud provider of choice. Cloud Manager will remind you of the permissions requirements when you create a Connector.

Permissions for the Connector instance

The Connector needs specific cloud provider permissions to perform operations on your behalf. For example, to deploy and manage Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

When you create a Connector directly from Cloud Manager, Cloud Manager creates the Connector with the permissions that it needs. There’s nothing that you need to do.

If you create the Connector yourself from the AWS Marketplace, the Azure Marketplace, or by manually installing the software, then you’ll need to make sure that the right permissions are in place.

When to use multiple Connectors

In some cases, you might only need one Connector, but you might find yourself needing two or more Connectors.

Here are a few examples:

  • You’re using a multi-cloud environment (AWS and Azure), so you have one Connector in AWS and another in Azure. Each manages the Cloud Volumes ONTAP systems running in those environments.

  • A service provider might use one Cloud Central account to provide services for their customers, while using another account to provide disaster recovery for one of their business units. Each account would have separate Connectors.

When to switch between Connectors

When you create your first Connector, Cloud Manager automatically uses that Connector for each additional working environment that you create. Once you create an additional Connector, you’ll need to switch between them to see the working environments that are specific to each Connector.

The local user interface

While you should perform almost all tasks from the SaaS user interface, a local user interface is still available on the Connector. This interface is needed for a few tasks that need to be performed from the Connector itself:

  • Setting a proxy server

  • Installing a patch (you’ll typically work with NetApp personnel to install a patch)

  • Downloading AutoSupport messages (usually directed by NetApp personnel when you have issues)

Connector upgrades

The Connector automatically updates its software to the latest version, as long as it has outbound internet access to obtain the software update.