General requirements and planning considerations

Contributors dmp-netapp

There are several general requirements you should consider as part of planning an ONTAP Select deployment.

There are several planning issues related to the cluster size that you should consider.

Number of nodes in the cluster

An ONTAP Select cluster is composed of one, two, four, six, or eight nodes. You should determine the size of the cluster based on the application requirements. For example, if HA capability is needed for an enterprise deployment, then a multi-node cluster should be used.

Dedicated versus collocated

Based on the application type, you should determine if the deployment follows the dedicated or collocated model. Note that the collocated model can be more complex due to the workload diversity and tighter integration.

Hypervisor hosts

There are several planning issues related to the hypervisor host that you should consider.

Caution You should not directly modify the configuration of an ONTAP Select virtual machine unless directed to do so by NetApp support. A virtual machine should only be configured and modified through the Deploy administration utility. Making changes to an ONTAP Select virtual machine outside of the Deploy utility without assistance from NetApp support can cause the virtual machine to fail and render it unusable.
Hypervisor independent

Both ONTAP Select and the ONTAP Select Deploy administration utility are hypervisor-independent. The following hypervisors are supported for both.

  • VMware ESXi

  • Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)

Note Beginning with ONTAP Select 9.10.1 the KVM hypervisor is no longer supported when deploying a new cluster. You can still use KVM with an earlier supported release.

Refer to the hypervisor-specific planning information and release notes for additional details regarding the supported platforms.

Hypervisor for ONTAP Select nodes and administration utility

Both the Deploy administration utility and ONTAP Select nodes run as virtual machines. The hypervisor you choose for the Deploy utility is independent of the hypervisor you choose for the ONTAP Select nodes. You have complete flexibility when pairing the two:

  • Deploy utility running on VMware ESXi can create and manage ONTAP Select clusters on either VMware ESXi or KVM

  • Deploy utility running on KVM can create and manage ONTAP Select clusters on either VMware ESXi or KVM

One or more instances of ONTAP Select node per host

Each ONTAP Select node runs as a dedicated virtual machine. You can create multiple nodes on the same hypervisor host, with the following restrictions:

  • Multiple nodes from a single ONTAP Select cluster cannot run on the same host. All the nodes on a specific host must be from different ONTAP Select clusters.

  • You must use external storage.

  • If you use software RAID, you can only deploy one ONTAP Select node on the host.

Hypervisor consistency for the nodes within a cluster

All of the hosts within an ONTAP Select cluster must run on the same version and release of the hypervisor software.

Number of physical ports on each host

You must configure each host to use one, two, or four physical ports. Although you have flexibility when configuring the network ports, you should follow these recommendations where possible:

  • A host in a single-node cluster should have two physical ports.

  • Each host in a multi-node cluster should have four physical ports

Integrating ONTAP Select with an ONTAP hardware-based cluster

You cannot add an ONTAP Select node directly to an ONTAP hardware-based cluster. However, you can optionally establish a cluster peering relationship between an ONTAP Select cluster and a hardware-based ONTAP cluster.


There are several planning issues related to host storage that you should consider.

RAID type

When using direct-attached storage (DAS) on ESXi, you should decide whether to use a local hardware RAID controller or the software RAID feature included with ONTAP Select. If you use software RAID, see Storage and RAID considerations for more information.

Local storage

When using local storage managed by a RAID controller, you must decide the following:

  • Whether to use one or more RAID groups

  • Whether to use one or more LUNs

External storage

When using the ONTAP Select vNAS solution, you must decide where the remote datastores are located and how they are accessed. ONTAP Select vNAS supports the following configurations:

  • VMware vSAN

  • Generic external storage array

Estimate for the storage needed

You should determine how much storage is required for the ONTAP Select nodes. This information is required as part of acquiring the purchased licenses with storage capacity. Refer to Storage capacity restrictions for more information.

Note The ONTAP Select storage capacity corresponds to the total allowable size of the data disks attached to the ONTAP Select virtual machine.
Licensing model for production deployment

You must select the capacity tiers or capacity pools licensing model for each ONTAP Select cluster deployed in a production environment. Review the section License for more information.

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