Install NetApp VAAI to VMware ESXi 5.5

This is actually quite easy to do.

Download the NetApp VAAI ZIP file from and then upload to a datastore accessible by your VMware ESXi system(s). In my example, I put my ZIP file in a folder called isos in the datastore named vmware_nas01.

I used a VMware management assistant (vMA) to do this work remotely to skip steps of enabling SSH.

Log into your NetApp controllers and issue the following to enable the vStorage APIs:

options nfs.vstorage.enable on

Then from the vMA, loop through and set the DataMover parameters on the VMware ESXi boxes:

for i in IP-ADDRESS1 IP-ADDRESS2 ; do \
esxcfg-advcfg --server ${i} --username root -s 1 /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedInit ; \
esxcfg-advcfg --server ${i} --username root -s 1 /DataMover/HardwareAcceleratedMove ; \

Now we can install the VAAI module into ESXi:

for i in IP-ADDRESS1 IP-ADDRESS2 ; do \
esxcli.rcli --server ${i} --username root software vib install \
-d "/vmfs/volumes/vmware_nas01/isos/" ; \

And, at your convenience, reboot each node. Once complete you’ll have enabled VAAI.