NetApp ONTAP 8 simulator and Parallels Desktop for Mac

As it turns out, Parallels will not work with the ONTAP 8 Simulator. The ONTAP 8 Simulator is built using a FreeBSD VM image. Parallels Transporter does not support the import of FreeBSD VM images. Parallels itself will allow you to create/install a FreeBSD image but not import one. There is no indication of when Parallels will support the importing of FreeBSD images, very frustrating. So those of us who own Parallels and use Macs will need to purchase VMWare Fusion to use the simulator.

I use Parallels Desktop for Mac as opposed to VMWare Fusion. So far I would say that I have run into a lot less problems than many of my peers that use VMWare Fusion. In many comparisons and reviews online Parallels was actually found to be faster. NetApp makes a simulator for its ONTAP 8. Previously this was something you installed inside of a Linux install, but now its a complete VMware Image created using a FreeBSD guest OS.

The image is distributed as a VMX file along with a 2GB segmented sparse VMDK broken into 24 segments, and another VMDK which is monolithic flat. When I try to import these using my Parallels Desktop for Mac 5.0.9370, I get the following error:

The PDF that is included with the ONTAP 8 Simulator makes it clear that the only supported modes of installation are VMWare Server, VMWare Player, VMWare Workstation and VMWare Fusion. I figured that even though its not supported it should still work with Parallels. But it didn’t. I installed a trial version of VMWare Fusion and the ONTAP 8 Simulator worked as expected. I then tried to use the vmware-vdiskmanager command and convert the VMDK’s to Monolithic Sparse as well as Monolithic Flat VMDK’s, and both of those gave the same problem. If anyone has any idea how to possibly fix this please let me know! I would love to use the NetApp ONTAP 8 simulator on my MacBook Pro using Parallels. In fact, if I could get it to work, I am likely to go out an buy an 8GB memory upgrade and solid state drive to run it from!

In the meantime, I have opened up a support case with Parallels and its escalated to their level 2 support. I will update this post with any information I get, as I don’t see why this should not be possible.

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