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Please click here to goto the main NS0-504 Study Notes blog post to see all sections and additional information

4.1 Be able to create an acceptance test plan.

4.2 Test host to storage connectivity

  • Possible failures in connectivity?
    • Improper zoning
    • NPIV not enabled on switches

4.3 Test LUN availability during failover scenarios (multipathing).

4.4 Test controller failover scenarios (multipath HA).





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Please click here to goto the main NS0-504 Study Notes blog post to see all sections and additional information


2.1 Verify and plan for dual power feeds for all components.

  • DUAL is the key word
    • Dual Feeds
    • Dual PDUs
    • Dual Power Supplies
  • Controllers and shelves all have dual power supplies. Power should be plugged into A and B circuits. Each leg of power should be able to handle the load of the entire environment (N+N)
  • Refer to Site Requirements Guide for more information, and power/temp specs.
  • Verify that Controllers/Shelves were ordered with the proper plug style for your nation/voltage/outlet.  (For example NEMA L5-20  vs IEC c13-c14. See common cable types here. )

2.2 Be able to create cabinet diagrams or be able to read and interpret a cabinet diagram. Diagrams should include the cabinet’s storage systems and switches with all connections shown.

  • Core info
    • Rack Location
    • Cabinet U positions of servers
    • Switch Placement
  • Utilize Visio or NetApp Synergy to mock of the layout and available space.
  • If they show exact ports to exact switches, keep an eye on what may be trunked, that FC isnt plugged into the wrong ports, etc.


2.3 Create a connectivity diagram. Be able to read and interpret a connectivity diagram.

  • Fibre Channel
    • Port names/Locations
      • Initiator vs Target port setting
      • FC vs UTA
    • FC Switch port connectivity
      • WWPN
      • Port Locations
      • Host name, Zone name, Aliases
  • IP
    • Switch name / port
    • VLANs
    • Trunks / LACP
    • VIF names
  • See section 3 for more detailed information


2.4 Plan storage controller configuration.

  •  Important details
    • Cluster naming, automatic node names vs manually “renamed”
    • SVMs youll need, protocols they will use
    • DNS Server, default domains

2.5 Plan host configuration.

  • Protocols needed?
  • Multipathing software installed?
  • Snapdrive and Host Utilities installed (FC or iSCSI)?
  • Verify paths
  • HBAnywhere (Emulex) or SANsurfer (Qlogic) for FC installed?

2.6 Create a Snapshot plan.

  • What’s the customers RPO (Recovery Point Objective)?
    • It is the maximum tolerable period in which data might be lost from an IT service due to a major incident. The RPO gives systems designers a limit to work to. (Wikipedia)
  • What’s the customers RTO (Recovery Time Objective)?
    • The targeted duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disaster (or disruption) in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity. (Wikipedia)
  • Expected Space Reservations needed?
    • What’s the expected rate of change?  Plan for the needed space withing the volumes for this X the number of snapshots


2.7 Plan Ethernet switch configuration.

  • Remember- at least 2 different types of switches
    • Management
      • Flat lights out management switch config. Single vlan. (See section 3 for example)
    • Cluster Interconnect
      • These have specific configurations based on the number of cluster nodes. (See section 3 for example)
    • Data (management may be on these normal switches)
      • VLANs needed?  Any routing?
        • iSCSI
        • NFS
        • Management / iLO?
        • User desktops
        • Servers (Web/App/DB tiers)
      • MTU?
        • Jumbo: 9000 MTU?  (needed for FCoE)
        • Normal: 1500 MTU?
      • QoS?


2.8 Plan zoning configuration.

2.9 Plan iSCSI configuration.

  •  Gather all IQNs, which iGroups will they belong to?
  • Add multiple IP addresses, one for each LIF to the discovery and static bindings
  • Enable MCS (Multiple Connections per Session)
  • iSCSI boot from SAN needed? (May influence dynamic vs static persistence in iSCSI discovery, and also host LUN IDs used)
  • Use VLANs to ISOLATE Traffic!
  • CHAP or IPSEC needed?


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Please click here to goto the main NS0-504 Study Notes blog post to see all sections and additional information


1.1 Ensure that all prerequisites for the installation of NetApp system and switches (if needed) are met and that the required information to configure NetApp systems is collected.

Site Information

List the networks used for Cluster Management IP, Node Management IP, and Service Processor IP.


1. Networks
Subnet Netmask Gateway Purpose


2. DNS
DNS Domain Names
Name Server IP Addresses


Cluster Information


1. Licenses
SO Number
Serial Number Cluster S/N Model Protocol Name License Key
2. Cluster
Cluster Administrator’s (username “admin”) Password
Cluster Name Cluster Mgmt Port Cluster Mgmt IP
3. Node(s)
Node Name Node Mgmt Port Node Mgmt IP


I. Post Cluster Setup Wizard
  • The Cluster Setup Wizard will name nodes CLUSTERNAME-XX, with XX being consecutive numbers from 01 to 24. To rename via the clustershell ::>

node rename -node OLDNAME -newname NEWNAME


II. Service Processor Configuration
  • Post Cluster Setup Wizard, as a minimum, before leaving site, the Service Processor must be configured and reachable. Configure via the clustershell ::>

system node service-processor network modify -address-type IPv4/IPv6 -node NODENAME -enable true/false -dhcp v4/none -ip-address X.X.X.X -netmask X.X.X.X -gateway X.X.X.X

Node Name Address Type (IPv4/IPv6) Enable (true/false) DHCP (v4/none) IP Address

1.1.1 Collect NetApp storage system configuration information.

Putting Various Netapp Information here:

  • Maximum number of nodes in a SAN cluster in CDOT 8.1 is 4, in CDOT 8.1.2 it went up to 6, and in CDOT 8.2 it went up to 8.


1.1.2 Collect Switch configuration information.

1.1.3 Gather power information such as circuit availability, wiring in place, etc…
1.1.4 Collect Host configuration information.
1.1.5 Collect Application configuration and requirements.

  • Application Names / Software  Version
  • OS / Version
  • IOPs needed heavy / avg.

1.1.6 Collect potential DEDUPE information.


1.1.7 Collect backup and retention information.

  • Hourly?
  • Daily?
  • Weekly?
  • Nightly?
  • Monthly?
  • Years kept?
  • Distance requirements?


1.2 List a detailed inventory of SAN components including:
1.2.1 NetApp storage system configuration details

1.2.2 Host details

  • FC Supported OSes: ( netapp.com )
    • Windows®, VMware, Solaris™, Oracle® Enterprise Linux®, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, AIX, HP/UX, NetWare, and OpenVMS
  • Verify Host Utility Kit installation
    • HUK sets Timeouts
    • HUK lets the SAN see basic OS side data (filesystem paths, etc)
  • Verify SnapDrive Installation
    • Allowed easy access to basic SAN functionality from the mounting OS.  (Create snaps, mount volumes, create volumes)

1.2.3 FC switch details



1.2.4 Ethernet switch details

  • sh run” on most switches
  • sh cdp neighbor” to see what other devices are connected


1.2.5 Current zoning configuration

  • On the NetApp:  fcp adapter show
  • On Netapp: system node run -node {nodename|local} fcp topology 
  • Brocade FOS common commands:
    • zoneshow

      • “Zone Info” in the WebTools GUI
    • cfgshow
      • Displays the ‘zoneset’
    • portCfgShow
      • Shows port configuration
    • portshow
      • Shows port status, including NPIV information
    • portloginshow
      • Displays port login status of devices attached to the specified port
    • cfgActvShow
      • Displays ACTIVE Zone configuration


  • Cisco MDS 9k command quick reference
    • show zoneset active
      • Displays the active zone set for each VSAN, including which devices have logged in and are communicating
    • show zone
      • Displays zone mappings
    • show zone vsan X
      • Displays zone mapping ONLY for vsan X
    • show fcalias
      • Displays alias mappings
    • show flogi database
      • Displays the devices that have logged into the fabric. Retrieve pWWNs for aliases and zoning from this database
    • show fcns database
      • Displays device name server registration information per VSAN


1.2.6 Current iSCSI implementation details
1.2.7 CHAP settings
1.2.8 IPSEC configuration details
1.2.9 Snapshot configuration details
1.2.10 Current data layout (aggregates, raid groups, volumes)
1.2.11 Consider listing out system names, IP addresses, current zoning configuration, OS
versions, OS patch levels, driver versions and firmware versions

1.3 Ensure that the solution design and the hardware provisioned do not fall short of the customer’s requirements and expectations.
1.3.1 Validate requirements with the customer. Consider the following: Sizing needs

  • Total Capacity, expected growth
  • Bandwidth throughput
    • Per end host and application
    • Per SAN for all hosts
    • Per SAN for backups
    • For replication
  • IOPs requirements
    • Perform simple IOPs calculations per existing application and per existing san
    • Look at daytime, backup time, and nightly processing IOPs differences
  • Future needs Connectivity needs Zoning types

  • single initiator zoning Expected level of functionality Performance requirements Solution requirements being provided by a thirdparty

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TIP #7: Using Netapp simulators to prepare for NCDA/NCIE exam

I am pretty active on LinkedIn with the NetApp groups there, and newbie NetApp admins are asking quite often lately about the NCDA exam.

Here are some helpful things to try out on the simulator. Every netapp admin should know them.

Click to continue reading “TIP #7: Using Netapp simulators to prepare for NCDA/NCIE exam”

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