NetApp stuff you should be using: NetAppDocs

netappdocs.png

Sometimes, there are NetApp tools out there that no one really knows about – including people who work at NetApp. And it’s unfortunate, as there are some pretty great tools out there.

One tool in particular – NetAppDocs.

What is it?

NetAppDocs is:

A PowerShell module and contains a set of functions that automate the creation of NetApp® site design documentation. NetAppDocs can generate Excel, Word and PDF document types. The data contained in the output documents can be sanitized for use in sites where the data may be sensitive.

The tool/guide was written by NetApp PSC Jason Cole and can be found here (requires a NetApp internal or partner login. No customers yet. Sorry. 😦 ):

http://mysupport.netapp.com/tools/download/ECMP12505953DT.html?productID=62107

What can I use it for?

The intent of the NetAppDocs tool is to automate documentation based on specific storage configurations. The idea is that, while documentation tries to fit all use cases, it’s not perfect and cannot adapt to varying configurations. By using this tool, we can generate a set of docs that cover specific configurations.

Another use case that came up recently on our DLs at NetApp was to document the default options for ONTAP in an easy to find, easy to read format. While the man pages keep most of this information, it can be time consuming to trawl through the pages and pages of docs out there. With this tool, once a cluster is installed, simply run it and get the default option settings right off the bat.

Additionally, the data collected can be useful for support cases where ASUP isn’t sending to NetApp for whatever reason.

This tool works with ONTAP running in 7-Mode or clustered Data ONTAP. You can even use it in secure sites easily and sanitize the data for external consumption!

How to use it

Because this is a PowerShell tool, you’d install it on a server running PowerShell. Refer to the tool’s documentation to find what the minimum PS version to use. In the case of NetAppDocs 3.1, the following is recommended:

  1. Microsoft Windows® 32-bit/64-bit computer
  2. Microsoft Windows PowerShell 3.0 or higher
  3. Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 or higher
  4. NetApp Data ONTAP PowerShell Toolkit (included in the zip file or install package)
  5. NetApp Data ONTAP 7.2.x, 7.3.x, 8.0.x (7-Mode), 8.1.x, 8.2.x and 8.3.x
  6. Internal NetApp connection and SSO login required for ASUP data collection

The installation is simple; just a simple .msi and some mouse clicks. This essentially installs the necessary PowerShell cmdlets and scripts.

Then, follow the instructions in the guide to allow PowerShell execution and import the module.

PS C:\> Import-Module NetAppDocs

To view the HTML documentation after the tools are installed:

PS C:\> Show-NtapDocsHelp

In those docs, there are usage examples, functions and other helpful information.

You can also get help via PowerShell:

PS C:\> Get-Command -Module NetAppDocs

If you have a NetApp login, go check it out today and let them know what you think of it at mailto: ng-NetAppDocs-support@netapp.com.

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