Interacting with NetApp APIs, Part 3

In Part 2 of this series we made our first API call and received over 200 lines of XML as a result. The reason why we received so much output is because we didn’t remove any desired-attributes  and therefore the call retrieved about 90 pieces of information. When you multiply that by the number of queries we ran (2), you get 180 pieces of information being requested.

This post will discuss why you should limit your queries to only the pieces of information you’re interested in. It will also cover how you can use ZExplore to convert its XML configuration to languages such as Python, Perl and Ruby.

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Interacting with NetApp APIs, Part 2

Picking up where I left off in Part 1 of this series, let’s continue our exploration of ZExplore :)

Mandatory Parameters

In part 1 I touched on the fact that the API documentation can be a little confusing when it comes to mandatory fields. Unfortunately the same is true for ZExplore. However, NetApp’s documentation explains it well:

Red colored arrows indicate mandatory parameters whereas Blue colored arrows indicate optional parameters. 

Note: In some APIs when either one of the two input parameters is required, both these input parameters are marked by “Blue” color arrow and not “Red”.

As I mentioned in my previous post, by doing this NetApp avoids confusing users who might otherwise try to set both parameters if they were both marked as required.

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Interacting with NetApp APIs, Part 1

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll see that I’ve been posting about automation and Python quite a lot recently. The reason being that it’s not only fun, but I feel it’s the way of the future. But I digress…

The reason for this post is to discuss my recent experience with NetApp’s APIs. As I got off to a pretty slow start (which I feel was due to lack of documentation), I’ll also provide setup and usage guidance in the hopes that you can get up and running sooner than I did.

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Building a NetApp ONTAP 9 Lab for free!

What better way to start the Zero to Hero Guide than learning how to build your own ONTAP lab for free? Thanks to Neil Anderson over at FlackBox, we can do just that!

Neil has written a book which covers the entire end to end process. The book contains easy to follow step by step instructions, screenshots and diagrams to ensure that nothing gets missed. Heck, he even provides the IP addresses! The beauty of this is that even if you have zero NetApp experience, you’ll still be able to get a fully operational lab up and running in no time at all.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s where you can find Neil’s guide.

If you run into any issues with your build, be sure to reach out to Neil and he will be more than happy to help you out.

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Subnetting Made Easy, Part 6

Note: As you will soon see I use tables (some might say excessively :P) in this post. I did this is because it closely resembles what a lot of network engineers do when they’re performing subnet calculations with a pen and paper. This is a very important skill to learn as you won’t always have access to a subnet calculator when you need one.

I recently received an e-mail from a reader asking for subnetting assistance. An extract of the e-mail is below.

I looked at your subnetting archive but I am still confused on how to subnet! *sobs*

So could you help me subnet a IP address of with 2 and 27 hosts.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this and your blog is the closest guide that’s helped somewhat.

Could you explain to me step by step how to find the:
  1. Number of bits in the subnet
  2. The subnet mask in binary
  3. The subnet mask in decimal
  4. The maximum number of usable subnets including the 0 subnet
  5. The number of usable hosts per subnet
  6. The first and last host address  for each subnet

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The NetApp Zero to Hero Guide – Introduction

Just under a year ago I wrote a blog series called NetApp From The Ground Up – A Beginner’s Gude. Since the publication of the series I have been getting e-mails, Tweets and LinkedIn messages from people asking for more. So here it is – The NetApp Zero to Hero Guide.

This series of posts is aimed at people who have zero storage knowledge. Each post will build on from the last and together they will assist the reader in becoming a storage hero :)

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Finding a Host’s Switchport

In this post I will demonstrate how we can find out which of SW3’s switchports PC1 is connected to in the topology diagram below. To make things more fun though I’ll begin my search from R1.

Note that apart from R1 and PC1’s IP addresses, we do not have nor need any other information such as intermediate device IPs or port numbers in order to get started. Also note that the diagram is only used to show you, the reader what the topology looks like. As explained below, when doing this in a real topology you do not need a topology diagram to be able to successfully locate the host’s corresponding switchport.

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Mastering EIGRP Metric Calculations

To properly administer an EIGRP network an admin really should know how EIGRP calculates and chooses best paths. If you’ve read any CCNA or CCNP resource you’re probably thinking “that’s easy, EIGRP uses Bandwidth and Delay by default”. And you’re completely right. However, how do these two pieces of information actually influence the resulting metric?

Let’s take a look at what EIGRP devices (routers and switches) do with the bandwidth and delay values:


If you haven’t seen it before, it is the formula EIGRP devices use to calculate the metric of a route. If you’re not sure how to read this formula, don’t worry, I’ve got a shortcut :) But I’ll get to that in a moment.

Throughout this post I will be referring to the path which traffic takes when going from R2 to the network which resides on R3 and R4 as per this topology diagram:

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NetApp Insight is just around the corner!

I thought I’d write up a quick blog post to celebrate the fact that NetApp Insight is around the corner!

If you haven’t seen them already you can find my NetApp posts here. To jump directly to my “NetApp From the Ground Up – A Beginner’s Guide” series of posts click here.

Finally, keep an eye on my Twitter account (@OzNetNerd) and the #NetAppATeam hashtag to see what the other A Team members and I get up to while we’re over there. Oh and of course there’s always the #NetAppInsight hashtag too!

… as you can probably tell, I’m a little excited :)

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