Archive for July, 2015

InsightIQ 3.2.1: Cool new stuff

Patrick Kreuch

Patrick Kreuch

Sr. Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Patrick Kreuch

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[Editor’s note: We updated the title from InsightIQ 3.2 to InsightIQ 3.2.1, changed mentions of 3.2 to 3.2.1, and removed the original photo on 8/5/2015. InsightIQ 3.2 is replaced by InsightIQ 3.2.1. All the cool new features mentioned in this blog are available in InsightIQ 3.2.1, including a fix for an upgrade issue. For more information, refer to InsightIQ 3.2.1 release notes. And while we originally featured the “Deal with It” meme photo because it showcased the ultimate symbol of cool (wearing sunglasses indoors), we no longer considered it a good fit for this blog post. Call it a case of revenge of the meme. For questions or concerns about this blog post, please send an email to isi.knowledge@emc.com.]

Being cool isn’t just about expensive clothes and wearing sunglasses indoors. Being cool is about attitude, speed, and efficiency. Slow is never cool. InsightIQ 3.2.1 is easily the coolest release of InsightIQ yet. If you want to know why, keep reading.

New, faster, lighter PostgreSQL database

InsightIQ 3.2.1 has a sweet new PostgreSQL database instead of the old SQLite database. PostgreSQL offers the monitoring experience you’ve been waiting for. With the new PostgreSQL datastore, InsightIQ runs faster and requires less space to store the same amount of information. It’s the best of both worlds, and nothing is better than the best of both worlds, except maybe the best of three or four worlds. But really, how many worlds do you need?

Configurable stat collection

While earlier versions of InsightIQ were obsessed with collecting every single cluster statistic, InsightIQ 3.2.1 is a little more laid back. InsightIQ 3.2.1 enables you to specify which statistics you want to collect, so you have more room on your hard drive for videogames. If you just don’t care about CPU usage, InsightIQ is right there with you.

Datastore export

In previous versions of InsightIQ, if you wanted to transfer cluster data from one InsightIQ instance to another, you had to connect the two instances and keep them connected while the data was migrated. Those were the rules; that’s just the way things were. But InsightIQ 3.2.1 doesn’t play by the rules. It’s a lone wolf that stays up past midnight and drinks milk from the carton. InsightIQ 3.2.1 lets you export your datastore to a .tar file that you can later import to any number of other InsightIQ instances, and it lets you do it on your own time.

SmartPools support

InsightIQ 3.2.1 also enables you to break out performance data by node pools and tiers, which is more useful than cool, but does everything have to be cool? The answer is yes… and no. Because there are no definitive answers in life, only questions. And thinking like that makes you really cool.

Learn more

At this point, you probably can’t wait to start working with InsightIQ’s new database, move some datastores around, and apply a few node-pool breakouts. And the great thing is: you don’t have to! Follow the link below to start right now. The 1,000,000th user to click wins a free skateboard!*

https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-42096

*I lied. There is no skateboard.

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Isilon Ask the Expert Forum happening now

Risa Galant

Risa Galant

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Risa Galant

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The Ask the Expert forum on the EMC Isilon Community featuring the Isilon Information Experience team is happening now until August 7.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions, exchange ideas, and share opinions about Isilon technical content with the people who create it, including  product documentation, release notes, videos, white papers, and more.  Check it out here. See you there!

New EMC Isilon support content for June 2015

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

Principal Content Strategist at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Kirsten Gantenbein
Kirsten Gantenbein

Check out new EMC Isilon customer support content published in the month of June. Each month I’ll post a summary of newly published content for Isilon customers, as well as the top 10 most viewed knowledgebase articles.

New Isilon support content

Here are links to new customer support content that was published in June 2015. For example, you’ll find new a new ClusterTalk podcast episode (covering the 10,000 genome project and Hadoop content), a video demo about creating tiers in SmartPools, and OneFS technical blog posts.

CONTENT TYPE

TITLE AND LINK

ClusterTalk Podcast Episode 4
Isilon Community (ECN) Quick Reference Guide for Isilon Customers
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Determining an Accurate File Count on OneFS Without InsightIQ
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Isilon OneFS, Cluster Quorum, and Data Availability
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog SmartPools and Dynamic File Placement
Guide (requires login to EMC Online Support) Business Data Lake Protection Cloudera Edition 1.0 Integration Guide
Guide (requires login to EMC Online Support) Business Data Lake Protection 1.0 Integration Guide
Guide (requires login to EMC Online Support) Business Data Lake Protection Hortonworks Edition 1.0 Integration Guide
KB Article Isilon Info Hubs – Your source for Isilon content (204046)
KB Article ESA 2015-114 (204455)
KB Article ESA 2015-112 (204545)
Video Technical Demo: Data Tiering with EMC Isilon SmartPools

Most viewed knowledgebase (KB) articles

  1. Product Impacts of Upcoming Leap Second UTC adjustment on June 30th 2015 (197322)
  2. ESA-2014-146 (193304)
  3. ESA-2015-093 (202878)
  4. OneFS 7.1.1.2 SMB and Authentication Rollup Patches (196928)
  5. ETA 199379: UPDATE: Isilon OneFS: Microsoft security update MS15-027 may cause data to be unavailable to SMB clients that are authenticated to Isilon clusters through an Active Directory server that relies on the NTLM authentication protocol (199379)
  6. ETA 202452: Isilon OneFS: Nodes that have run for 497 consecutive days may restart without warning (199379)
  7. UPDATE: ETA 193819: EMC Isilon nodes: Mars-K+ drives may stop responding and be automatically smartfailed from Isilon nodes (193819)
  8. OneFS: How to reset the CELOG database and clear all historical events (16586)
  9. OneFS: Best practices for NFS client settings (90041)
  10. OneFS: How to safely shut down an Isilon cluster prior to a scheduled power outage (16529)

 

Tell us what you want to know! Contact us with questions or feedback about this blog at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

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All about improving EMC Isilon OneFS release notes

Deb Kuykendall

Deb Kuykendall

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Deb Kuykendall

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Back in February, I wrote about EMC Isilon OneFS release notes and hinted that we’d be making changes to the format to improve their usability. I’m happy to announce that these changes are now in place and that you can see them in the OneFS 7.1.1 release notes.

What’s Changed

We’ve merged all of the release notes pertaining to a release branch (for example, 7.1.1) into a single document. This means that the 7.1.1 release notes contain all of the information about this OneFS branch from OneFS 7.1.1.0 (released in August 2014) through 7.1.1.5 (released in June 2015).

The new document includes:

  • All the new features that were introduced in OneFS 7.1.1.0 through OneFS 7.1.1.5
  • All the issues that have been addressed in in OneFS 7.1.1.0 through OneFS 7.1.1.5
  • All the functionality changes that were introduced in in OneFS 7.1.1.0 through OneFS 7.1.1.5

What’s New

To improve the document’s usability, we defined a list of functional areas. And, to help ensure that the functional areas are well understood, we included the full list of functional areas and their definitions at the end of the release notes. For example, the functional area of SMB encompasses new features, changes, and issues that affect SMB environments.

The content in the release notes is organized first by release number (for example, OneFS  7.1.1.2)  and then by functional area. This means that if you want to know if there are any new features, resolved issues, or changes in functionality that affect a particular area, such as SMB, in a specific OneFS release, such as 7.1.1.5, you can use the bookmarks pane or the table of contents to easily find that information.

Here’s an example of what you’ll find in the new table of contents (TOC):

OneFS 7.1.1-7.1.1.5 release notes

And here’s an example of what you’ll find in the Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader bookmarks pane:

OneFS 7.1.1-7.1.1.5 Bookmarks

We’ve also added an introductory section for each chapter, describing what you can expect to find there.

The new document also highlights the Target Code release. This change helps you understand how the Target Code release relates to other releases in the branch.

What did we gain?

Before making these changes, if you wanted the full picture of a OneFS release or maintenance release, you’d have to download two or three documents and piece them together. Each document contained some unique information, such as new features, and some overlapping information, such as known issues. The differences weren’t always obvious.

Now all of the information is in a single document that clearly identifies the release in which a fix, a change, or a feature was introduced.

In addition, the release notes previously contained multiple, lengthy tables that were sorted by a cryptic ID number. If you wanted to find issues related to a specific area of operation, you’d have to do a keyword search and collect bits and pieces of information scattered throughout the document.

Now the information is categorized first by the release in which the feature, fix, or change was introduced, and then categorized into tables according to the functional area that the feature, fix, or change affects. The new tables are small and easily scanned, and the information they contain is tightly focused.

How we did it

Developing the new release note format was a team effort involving writers, an information architect, and members of our user experience team.

We conducted user testing and issued a survey about the new format to confirm that the changes we planned to implement were in fact improvements that would benefit our readers. The feedback we received from user testing influenced the development of the document.

For example, one of our concerns early on was that the document was too long. However, user testing indicated that our users don’t read the document from beginning to end. Their chief concern is finding specific pieces of information easily, and they tend to jump from one place to another using keywords, the table of contents, or the bookmarks pane. So document length is not an issue.

Also, we had initially planned to separate new features from changes in functionality. User testing showed that our readers expected to find all of the new and changed features and functionality in the same chapter.

The most striking piece of feedback? Categorizing the information by functional area scored as a significant improvement for all of our testers.

Here are some of the usability testers’ comments:

  • “This is so great! Seriously. This is so much more legible and issues are so much easier to find.
  • “For me the redesign is a massive improvement over the current format. I hope this new format can be the new standard.”
  • “Known issues clearly separated by topic is a huge gain in usability. A consolidated listing of known and resolved issues for the major + each MR in one location is a time saver. If I have to attempt several keyword searches to find what I need, it takes me only 50 percent the time to do this in a combined doc.”

What’s next

As of today, the new release note format has been implemented in the OneFS 7.1.1.0 – OneFS 7.1.1.5 release notes. By the end of July, the new format will be implemented in release notes for the OneFS 7.2.0 branch as new versions of OneFS are released, the new release note format will be used to document those releases.

A new project to evaluate whether the new format can be applied to the release notes for other EMC products will be underway soon.

We’d like to hear from you about the changes and how they affect your ability to use the OneFS 7.1.1 release notes.  You can provide feedback by taking the short survey located here:

http://bit.ly/isi-docfeedback

Or send an email to docfeedback@isilon.com.

These links are also available in the OneFS Release Resources section of the OneFS 7.1.1 Release Notes.

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Ask the Expert forum about EMC Isilon technical content on July 27

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

Principal Content Strategist at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Kirsten Gantenbein
Kirsten Gantenbein

Do you have an opinion about the technical content that EMC Isilon publishes? The EMC Isilon Information Experience team—who generates documentation, release notes, videos, white papers, and more—wants to hear from you.

Let us know how we’re doing. RSVP for our Ask the Expert event on Isilon Product Community, starting July 27, 2015 and continuing through August 7. During this event, you can submit your questions, opinions, and ideas to a forum discussion thread. Answers will be submitted by the Isilon Information Experience team.

What is the “Ask the Expert” forum?

Ask the Expert (ATE) events are regularly scheduled forums that cover many topics and products. Previous ATE events include Scale-out Data Lakes and SMB Protocol Support.  In this special session, content professionals, including our Director of Information Experience, our blogger and social media lead, and several content developers will answer questions we receive from you.

You can ask us about anything related to our technical content, such as:

  • How can I be notified about the latest Isilon content?
  • How do you decide what content to publish?
  • How do I share my idea for a great paper/blog/article with you?
  • What is an Info Hub and why should I care?

What’s in it for you?

The EMC Isilon Information Experience team will post a summary of our ATE session findings. It will contain a roadmap for when you might expect to see the changes you request, if we can accommodate them, and an honest answer if we cannot.

For years, the global economy has been in transit from goods, to information, to knowledge. In particular, the need for trust grows as customers interact with content more often through more digital platforms and channels. Knowledge is now currency AND product. We recognize that our first contact with you may be through content, and we need to build trust through content.

The best way we can build trust with you is to exchange ideas, and the EMC Isilon Ask the Expert event on technical content is a great way to start the conversation. We hope to talk to you soon!

Visit the RSVP page for more details about this event. If you’re interested in more ATE forums, visit the Isilon Community or ECN event page for upcoming events.

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