Ray Olander

My Excel Planner and Script Generator Workbooks for Nimble Storage Arrays

Discussion created by Ray Olander on Sep 15, 2014

A few weeks ago I posted a version of this tool for v1.4.x firmware in this forum. I have just finished a v2.1.x version.

 

Background:

 

The intent of this tool was to have one place to plan what was needed to be created for our arrays to be ready for production. Once the planning parameters are entered, it was a natural next step to generate the create code for what was planned because it is WAY faster to provision an entire array via CLI than via GUI. Since the array has no "reset", I also added delete code as well for everything item that had create code generated for it. This sheet has become kind of a personal project for me, going way beyond what I had expected in the beginning and it has turned into something I hope the community finds very helpful. Sort of my way of giving back...

 

Possible uses:

 

  • For anyone that has an array that wants to not only quickly build it via the CLI but also have a means of documenting the configuration
  • For consultants - the architect can define the configuration, the field tech can execute the commands to build the array, verify its operability, and then pass it to the customer as proof of work and documentation of configuration
  • To have multiple lab configurations available at any time, if you are lucky enough to have access to enough Nimblestorage devices to use multiple configs.
  • To impress your friends at parties

 

Operation:

 

The very first tab in the workbook is a README. Please be sure to take the time and look through it as it has a lot of helpful information about how to use the sheet. I have also included a CHANGE TRACKING sheet. I was going to keep it for just myself, but I figured if anyone wanted to modify the sheet to better suit their needs then they'd already have that available for them so I left it in.

 

Fill in the workbook tabs from left to right (everything is color coded, just fill in the "gold" boxes wherever you see them). There are many items that as you fill them in on one sheet, they will populate drop-down boxes on other sheets so you do not have to re-type the information. The tabs are ordered so that data required for later (right) tabs is defined in earlier (left) tabs. That way you never have to wonder what to fill in first. Each sheet will have CREATE code colored in green and DELETE code (if applicable) in burnt orange so if you are just looking for a single command you don't even have to go outside that specific tab.

 

When all your information is entered, go to the FINAL CREATE CODE tab and click GENERATE CODE...a CLI command will appear for every single item you defined throughout all the tabs and they will be in sequence. If you copy/paste from the output into the CLI in order, your array will be completely built as you designed it.


Other options I've added are a button to clear not only the FINAL CREATE CODE and FINAL DELETE CODE pages, but ALL USER-ENTERED DATA (the ranges are defined in the DATA-TO-CLEAR tab, they can be customized or commented out to prevent ranges from being deleted)


This is Excel, so all the benefits of concatenating and series filling apply. That means you can generate a significant number of data points to provision (such as 200 volumes with ascending numbers at the end) with the mere click and drag of a mouse

 

Feel free to give feedback (especially if you find a problem!) by posting a comment here in the Nimble community, on my blog http://virtuallyuseful.wordpress.com, emailing me at virtuallyuseful@gmail.com or sending me a tweet at @VirtuallyUseful



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