Managing a NetApp filer from Powershell

Have some NetApps? Want to manage them remotely with Powershell? Upset by the shocking level of documentation? Read on for some common uses:

If you have your devices domain joined and use a separate account to your desktop login to manage them you’ll need to supply a separate set of credentials:

Connect-NaController -name netapp1 -Credential (Get-Credential) -HTTPS

Create a new volume
Create a new thin provisioned (space reservation=none) volume in an aggregate:

New-NaVol -name testvol1 -Aggregate aggr1 -SpaceReserve none -size 1tb
Create a new QTree, lookup a QTree
Create, manage the option on and lookup a QTree:
New-NaQtree -Path /vol/vol1/homedirs10GBquota01
Set-NaQtree -Path /vol/vol1/homedirs10GBquota01 -OpLocks enabled -SecurityStyle mixed
Get-NAQtree -VolumeName vol1
Create a quota
Add a user quota and lookup quotas set on a QTree. Note the strange syntax for -Volume (it is the volume’s name not full path (/vol/vol1 etc). Also remember that NetApp’s idea of what constitutes a gigabyte is different to everyone else’s so you may want to specify in megabytes instead.
Add-NaQuota -Volume vol1 -Qtree homedirs10GBquota01 -Type user -Target * -DiskLimit 10g
Get-NaQuota -Volume vol1 -Qtree homedirs8GBquota01 -Type user -Target *

Add search paths for auto home shares
List the current paths and add a new one. Important! This command is not additive, you will need to specify any existing paths as well as your new one. This is the same as reading/updating cifs_homedir.cfg

set-nacifshomedirectory -Paths /vol/vol1/qtree1,/vol/vol1/qtree2

Add API access for a restricted subset of users to query a home directory location on the filer
If you want a small set of users to be able to view the location on the filer where it thinks a user’s home directory is, you’ll need to create a custom role with the following API access:



I’ll update with any other useful ones as I find them. I find the cmdlet namespace confusing for NetApp and a lot of commands have different switches for relatively similar things. The API access is also woefully documented.

Dear Simon Hughes

Dear Simon,

I’m writing to you to ask you to vote against the Health and Social Care Bill when it returns to the Commons after the Lords’ report stage.

Despite protestations otherwise an analysis that appeared in the BMJ this week vividly illustrates that this bill is designed to introduce charging for health care that is currently free. Local commissioning groups that replace existing PCTs have no requirement to take patients from a geographical area and can cherry-pick patients to exclude those who will cost too much to have on the books. For patients with a lifelong chronic illness such as myself this will result in the inability to obtain care, in a similar way as I would find it impossible to obtain private health cover now.

Those commissioning groups that do take on “expensive” patients are hence being set up to fail, opening the way to private healthcare providers and a creeping influx of for-profit private services that try to take an off-the-shelf model and apply it equally without regard to the needs of a varied local populace. Competition does not always provide for a better service and at a time when the NHS should be concentrating on making efficiency savings the last thing it needs is to face a massive change such as this.

Virtually no healthcare professionals, their standards bodies, unions or the electorate at large want to see the changes proposed by this bill. I’ve lived in SE16 as one of your constituents for several years and I’ve voted for the liberal democrats in every election (local council, European and National) since I was able to vote. I’m afraid that if you vote for this bill I will be unable to give the liberal democrats my support in the future.

Lactose free Walkers products

Walkers have changed some of their ingredients again (this time for the better) so a number of products that had lactose added to substitute for MSG have now had the lactose removed. This is the reply I got from Walkers:

No lactose or lactose derivatives have intentionally been used as ingredients in the
Walkers products listed below, however, these products have been made in a factory
which also handles lactose.

Last reviewed: October 2011

Walkers BBQ Rib Flavour Crisps
Walkers Pickled Onion Flavour Crisps
Walkers Prawn Cocktail Flavour Crisps
Walkers Ready Salted Crisps
Walkers Salt & Vinegar Flavour Crisps
Walkers Steak & Onion Flavour Crisps
Walkers Worcester Sauce Flavour Crisps
Walkers Salt & Shake Crisps
Walkers Lights Simply Salted Crisps
Walkers Extra Crunchy Flame Grilled Steak Crisps
Walkers Extra Crunchy Simply Salted Crisps
Walkers Crinkles Simply Sea Salted Flavour Crisps
Walkers Max Chargrilled Steak Flavour Crisps
Walkers Max Paprika Flavour Crisps
Sensations Balsamic Vinegar & Caramelised Onion Flavour Crisps
Sensations Roasted Tomato & Aromatic Spices Flavour Crisps
Sensations Vintage Cheddar & Onion Chutney Flavour Crisps

Baked Ready Salted
French Fries Ready Salted Flavour
French Fries Salt & Vinegar Flavour
Quavers Prawn Cocktail Flavour
Quavers Salt & Vinegar Flavour
Sensations Oriental Crackers Peking Spare Rib Flavour
Sensations Poppadom Bites Lime & Coriander Chutney Flavour
Squares Ready Salted Flavour
Squares Salt & Vinegar Flavour
Sunbites Lightly Sea Salted Flavour
SunBites Sun Ripened Sweet Chilli Flavour
Wotsits Flamin’ Hot Flavour
Doritos BBQ Rib Flavour
Doritos Chilli Heatwave Flavour
Doritos Lightly Salted Flavour
Doritos Zesty Salsa Flavour
Smiths Chipsticks Ready Salted
Smiths Chipsticks Salt & Vinegar Flavour

Our suppliers advise us that no lactose or lactose derivatives have intentionally been used as
ingredients in the snack dips below:

Doritos Hot Salsa Dip Doritos Nacho Dip
Doritos Mild Salsa Dip Doritos Fiery Red Pepper & Paprika Dip
Doritos Red Pepper & Pepperoni Dip Doritos Flamin BBQ Dip


Flying Solo

I’ve recently been learning to fly at a flying club in the Chilterns and had taken a couple of weeks off work at the end of September to build some hours and hopefully go solo. Sadly due to a combination of my ineptitude and weather it wasn’t to be, but I have been steadily using up my annual leave to go up there during the week to fly (for reasons various we can’t do circuits at the weekend).

So yesterday I headed out of the house at 5.30am to catch a train out of Marylebone ready to fly for 9.30. We spent a couple of hours doing circuits in the morning but with a moderately strongly crosswind my final approach and landings just weren’t good enough. After lunch a huge thunderstorm and downpour led me to think that flying was over for the day (we even put the aircraft away in the hanger) but we hung on and after the weather had passed flying conditions were perfect; not a drop of wind and excellent visibility. We did a couple of circuits and my instructor said they were the best landings I’ve ever done and told me to stop at the side of the runway. He got out and told me to take off, do a circuit and see me back at the hanger to refuel; I was a little nervous as I taxied back to the threshold but I knew I’d be able to fly a circuit and land safely even if it wasn’t going to be the prettiest. Everything went really well, although I forgot to make my radio call for finals until a little late and the approach was a little high but not too bad.

I got lots of congratulations from everyone at the club and couldn’t stop grinning. Here’s me shortly afterwards looking a little frazzled:

San Francisco

Spent a very pleasant couple of weeks out in the Bay Area, seeing friends, going to a Rope Dojo and then some trips out of the city. Some more pics up on flickr.

A few highlights:

The computer history museum in Mountain View is worth a half-a-day trip. Relatively accessible via CalTrain and then the Googler’s Shoreline Shuttle (just check the times the bus runs). It’s pretty huge and encompasses a wide range of stuff from punch cards, ancient storage, pong, Crays and the original rack Google ran from.


A trip up to the Marin Headlands is also worthwhile if you’re vaguely interested in military history, bunkers and the like. Especially great is the Nike Hercules missile site (check hours) complete with working missile lift, but sadly without the nuclear pits.

The California Academy of Sciences was ok – it certainly had very impressive biodomes and aquarium, but did feel a little short-changed given the cost of the ticket.

Amalanic alligator

For the more, ahem, alternative a trip around the SF Armory was fun and certainly impressive in places (pics slightly NSFW):

SF Armory (

Site updated

I’ve moved the site away from the ancient and wheezy Movable Type over to WordPress.

Most things have been preserved except the galleries which I’m going to leave up at Flickr from now on. Sorry if this breaks anything but URLs aren’t forever!

Beetroot gels

It has been a very long time since I posted here – sorry!

I thought I’d share some lessons learnt in the past few days having made what should have been very simple golden beetroot gel for Heston Blumenthal’s recipe of orange and beetroot jellies (the trick is that it’s blood orange and golden beetroot).


It transpires that the betalin compounds in beetroot (both red and golden) discolour easily under a variety of conditions including pH, oxidation, heat and light. The result is that the bright yellow colour of golden beetroot rapidly turns greeny-brown. Heston does not mention this fact in his recipe. Bad Heston.

To avoid this problem you need to do the following:

Keep the beets chilled prior to juicing.

Immediately mix in 2-5g ascorbic acid.

Pass the resultant juice through a chinois to remove any green particles.


Use about 8g leaf gelatine / 200g juice. Rehydrate the gelatine then heat with a small amount of water until thoroughly dissolved. Gelatine dissolves around 50C and solidifies around 25-40C. Betalins discolour above 30C. Do you see the trouble brewing? Allow the juice to warm up slightly to about 15C. Whisking all the time reduce the gelatine mixture to about 30C then add  the beetroot juice slowly.

Set in an airtight container in the fridge.

The Fat Duck

I was 30 last week. Great. The good thing was that we got a last minute cancellation The Fat Duck in Bray and were there like a shot for dinner service on my birthday itself.

Everything was just perfect – the food utterly out of this world (and I think would have been even more amazing if I didn’t know quite a lot of the courses already), service impeccable, decor was muted yet somehow suited the mentalness of everything else.

I didn’t take pictures of every single course (most people did take cameras though) but I snapped a few. You can see other peoples’ up on Flickr.