The plug-in installs on the VMware ESXi v5x host. It takes advantage of vSphere’s enhanced storage features. On the NetApp controller, the nfs.vstorage.enable option has to be set to “on” so the ESXi host can take advantage of VMware VAAI.  This plug-in performs NFS-like RPCs to the server, using the same credentials as that of an ESXi NFS client. That means the plug-in needs no other permissions and has the same access rights as the ESXi NFS client. This is supported with DOT 8.1.1 and later.

The NFS plug-in includes these features:

Copy Offload – A process that used to take a few minutes now runs in seconds. This reduces traffic on the ESXi host and lowers CPU utilization for that task.

Space Reservation – This allows you to create thick virtual disks on NFS datastores. Through the VAAI Reserve Space primitive, you reserve space for the file when its created.

Download the plugin here: http://support.netapp.com/NOW/download/software/nfs_plugin_vaai/1.0.20/

1) Configure the NetApp Controller (this is for 7-Mode).
> options nfs.vstorage.enable on

2) In vCenter, select an ESXi host. Select the Configuration tab and then Storage under Hardware.
a) Under Datastores, right-click datastore1 (or whatever your local datastore is named) and select Browse datastore.
b) Click the Upload icon and select Upload a file. Browse to the NetAppNasPlugin.v20.zip file and click Open > Yes.

3) Enable SSH on the ESXi host or use the console CLI.
a) In vCenter, select the host > Configuration tab > Security Profile > across from Services, click Properties.
b) Scroll down to SSH and click Options. Click Start > OK > OK.

4) Verify that VAAI is enabled on the ESXi host. The output should be 1:
> esxcfg-advcfg -g /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedMove
Value of HardwareAcceleratedMove is 1

> esxcfg-advcfg -g /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedInit
Value of HardwareAcceleratedInit is 1

If VAAI is not enabled, enable it now:
> esxcfg-advcfg -s 1 /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedInit
> esxcfg-advcfg -s 1 /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedMove

5) Install the Plugin on the ESXi host.
> esxcli software vib install -d “/vmfs/volumes/<your path>/NetAppNasPlugin.v20.zip”
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: NetApp_bootbank_NetAppNasPlugin_1.0-020
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

6) Reboot the ESXi host. Either through vCenter or at the command line.
> reboot

7) Verify the plugin is installed on the ESXi host. You will have to re-enable SSH in vCenter.
> esxcli software vib get | grep -i NetApp
Name: NetAppNasPlugin
Vendor: NetApp
Summary: NAS VAAI NetApp Plugin
Description: NetApp NAS VAAI Module for ESX Server
Payloads: NetAppNasPlugin

8) Create an NFS export on the NetApp Controller and mount it as a new NFS datastore on the ESXi host. These steps below are specific to my configuration but you should be able to figure out your variables.
a) On the NetApp:
> exportfs -p rw=,root= /vol/vol1
(substitute your ESXi host IP range)

b) On the ESXi host:
> esxcli storage nfs add -H labnetapp01 -s /vol/vol1 -v DatastoreVAAI
(substitute your controller hostname, volume name and datatstore name)

9) Verify that the new datastore is VAAI supported with the following command. Look for NAS VAAI Supported: YES at the bottom of the output.
> vmkfstools -Ph /vmfs/volumes/<name-of-your-datastore>
NFS-1.00 file system spanning 1 partitions.
File system label (if any): DatastoreVAAI
Mode: public
Capacity 8 GB, 8 GB available, file block size 4 KB
UUID: 69e81cd6-90fa0446-0000-000000000000
Partitions spanned (on “notDCS”):
NAS VAAI Supported: YES
Is Native Snapshot Capable: YES

10) You can also verify VAAI support with the following commands.
> esxcli storage core plugin list
Plugin name       Plugin class
—————-  ————
VAAI_FILTER       Filter
NMP               MP

> esxcli storage core claimrule list –claimrule-class=VAAI | grep NETAPP
VAAI        65433  runtime  vendor  VMW_VAAIP_NETAPP  vendor=NETAPP model=*
VAAI        65433  file     vendor  VMW_VAAIP_NETAPP  vendor=NETAPP model=*

> esxcli storage core claimrule list –claimrule-class=Filter | grep NETAPP
Filter      65433  runtime  vendor  VAAI_FILTER  vendor=NETAPP model=*
Filter      65433  file     vendor  VAAI_FILTER  vendor=NETAPP model=*