General Information

Visio by DPTPB Background

  • Originally made for documenting NetApp installations
    • Later on expanded with other shapes
      • Nutanix
    • Original documentation contains lots of references to NetApp specific tools and documents
    • But contains also generic shapes like switches and cables that can be used to document for example Nutanix installations
  • Based on original vendor Visio Stencils
    • NetApp, Nutanix
    • Available at
    • Brocade, Cisco
    • Available at their support sites
  • DPTPB stencil packages does not contain all NetApp shapes, so get the latest version of NetApp Visio Stencils for more NetApp shapes
    • For example adapter / io cards
  • Visio drawing is one of the output formats of NetApp Synergy
    • If you need just simple drawing and have no Visio skills, maybe it is easier to use Synergy
  • Capacity & Environmental calculations easier done with Synergy
  • However NetApp Synergy doesn’t produce very detailed drawings
    • Limited Networking Cabling
    • Cabling hard to read as only few types of cables are used and they overlap
    • SAS Stack port assignments do NOT follow Universal SAS Cabling guide best practices
    • Limited port assignment information
    • Few other issues
  • So we needed something better…

What is Microsoft Visio

  • Microsoft Visio  (formerly Microsoft Office Visio) is a diagramming and vector graphics application and is part of the Microsoft Office family
  • DPTPB Visio Essentials package was originally made with Visio 2010 version, My new Mac only has Visio 2016, so this is the version used for future development
  • No native MAC Visio version available, I am running Visio under Vmware Fusion and Windows 10 Pro combination
  • There is also Visio 2013 version, which includes new compressed file formats that are not supported with earlier versions without compatibility package

How are Visio shapes / drawings used?

  • Solution designs for customer proposals
  • Customer installation diagrams for assembly
  • Rack diagrams and Datacenter layout documentation
  • Connectivity and infrastructure diagrams
  • Illustrations in whitepapers, technical papers and product user manuals

Visio Terminology Review

  • Template, Stencil and Shape terms are often interchanged causing user confusion
  • Standard Microsoft Visio Terminology:
  • Template (.vst): Same function as Office Template, starts a new drawing based on template file settings
  • Stencil (.vss): The Visio file that contains a set of Visio shapes organized by type, function or product
  • Shape: The actual Visio graphic that represents a specific product, function, object or idea that is used in the Visio drawing (also called Masters)

Goals and Usage of Improved Visio Drawings

Help with system design and ordering

  • Check your configuration/quote against the drawing
  • Do you have all the required adapters, spf+, cables?
  • Estimate cable lengths, so you don’t order bunch of 5 meter cables for SAS stacks requiring 0,5 meter cables
  • SAS cables are not that expensive per unit, but when you order 1000 wrong cables / year, it will show on your bottom line
  • Wrong part ~ replacement part given for free

A tool when presenting your solution to customer

  • Go through your offer and show where all the parts are in the drawing
  • Less missing parts
  • Less customer saying “I thought that it was included”
  • Reduce number of parts given for free, drive up margin

Knowledge transferring tool between sales/pre-sales and implementation engineers

  • Sometime guys implementing stuff don’t know what was sold
  • Reduce friction between sales and post sales by documenting what was promised

Standardize NetApp installations

  • Improve quality of Netapp installations
  • Port/Slot assignments on the field are sometimes against NetApp best practices
  • NetApp tools like Config Advisor and MyAutosupport will complain and cause unnecessary fuss

Reduce delays in implementations

  • Can be costly if a project is postponed due to missing cables/sfp+/adapters/whatever
  • Even if there is no fine for late delivery, delay in implementation can postpone customer payment -> cash flow problems
  • Customer typically pays when the system is installed / ready for use

More info: