Archive for September, 2015

The self-encrypted drives erasure puzzle

Risa Galant

Risa Galant

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Risa Galant

Latest posts by Risa Galant (see all)

Self-Encrypted Drives (SEDs) provide hardware-level security for sensitive on-disk data. Data on SEDs is encrypted using a combination of an internal key and a drive access password. Using SEDs is simple. After performing initial drive set-up, you don’t have to do anything: SEDs handle data encryption and decryption automatically. If you want to access the data, you have to know the password. And without that password, the protected on-disk data is inaccessible.

But what if something goes wrong? Can you recover the encrypted data if the password or internal keys are lost or deleted? What if someone removes a SED from a powered-on node, or a SED becomes corrupt or is otherwise defective? What if business reasons require that you completely erase the drive? How do you safely go about doing that, and how do you verify the erasure?

To find answers to these questions, check out the Uptime Information Hub article Data erasure and SED drives: An overview and FAQ, available on the EMC Community Network’s Isilon community space. You’ll learn:

  • How SEDs work
  • What happens if a password is lost, a drive becomes defective, or someone tries to make off with the drive
  • How to erase a defective drive and how to erase all SEDs in a node or cluster
  • How to confirm that a SED has been erased
  • How long typical erasure operations take

And more.

Let us know what you think of the Data erasure and SED drives: An overview and FAQ article. If you have feedback for us about this or any other Isilon technical content, email us at And thank you!

Troubleshooting, anyone?

Risa Galant

Risa Galant

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Risa Galant

Latest posts by Risa Galant (see all)

Looking for Isilon troubleshooting information? We’ve got some great resources for you! Read on.

EMC Isilon Customer Troubleshooting Guides

We’re very pleased to announce the availability of the first set of new EMC Isilon Customer Troubleshooting Guides! These guides provide step-by-step troubleshooting instructions to help you solve issues that may affect Isilon clusters, or to walk you through the steps needed to gather important data to help EMC Customer Support solve your problem quickly.

The initial set of guides covers a wide range of topics including Isilon hardware, networking, protocols, upgrades, authentication, cluster configuration and administration, capacity, quotas, and more!

Visit the Customer Troubleshooting Guides Info Hub for the latest list of published guides. More guides are coming soon!

As we go to press, the following guides are available:

Uptime Info Hub: Best Practice Troubleshooting Information

You can also find best practice troubleshooting information on the Uptime Info Hub. Topics include:

  • Advanced troubleshooting of an Isilon Cluster: a 7-part series covering everything from checking free disk space to managing protocol issues, permissions and access, and managing hardware events
  • OneFS L3 cache performance and best practices
  • Cluster relocation planning considerations
  • The benefits of upgrading to Target Code
  • Best practices for working with Snapshots

And much more.

Check out these troubleshooting resources and let us know what you think. Email us at with your feedback. And thank you!

New and popular EMC Isilon Support content for August 2015

Risa Galant

Risa Galant

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Risa Galant

Latest posts by Risa Galant (see all)

Check out the new and most popular EMC Isilon customer support content for August. Each month I’ll post a summary of newly published content for Isilon customers, as well as the Isilon Top 10’s:

  • Top 10 Knowledgebase articles
  • Top 10 Customer Support documents
  • Top 10 Isilon Info Hubs

New Isilon support content

Here are links to new customer support content that was published in August 2015. Enjoy!



Cluster Talk Podcast Episode 6: How video games drive innovation in cloud computing, data center consolidation in the banking industry, an interview with Isilon engineer Daniel Chee, a cool command that actually does something (hey, that’s what they said!), and host Chris Adiletta grants co-host Scott Pinzon his fondest wish. Bonus: listen closely for a rare cameo by recording engineer Silent Todd!
Cluster Talk Podcast Podcast: Cluster Talk Hub: Looking for all the Cluster Talk podcasts? You’ll find them here.
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Customize InsightIQ 3.2 Performance Data Gathering
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Multiprotocol Concept Series Part 1: Overview
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Isilon Support Goes Social
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Keeping Hot Data Hot – Read Cache Persistence
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Information Experience “Ask the Expert” follow-up
White paper (Requires login to EMC online support) Integrating EMC Isilon with Kerberised NFS and Windows Active Directory
Info Hub Superna Eyeglass with SyncIQ Info Hub”: Everything you need to know about using Superna Eyeglass with SyncIQ. Superna Eyeglass is a virtual appliance that simplifies disaster recovery with Isilon clusters.

Top 10 Knowledgebase Articles

Here are August’s top 10 most-viewed Knowledgebase articles, including ETAs and ESAs.

  1. ETA 199379: Isilon OneFS: 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)
  2. ETA 20096: EMC Isilon OneFS,,, and Isilon X410, S210, HD400, and A100 nodes that contain NetXtreme Ethernet
  3. ETA 204898: Isilon OneFS – Users who connect to the Isilon cluster through the NFSv3 or NFSv4 protocols may be unable to delete, change, or move files
  4. OneFS: How to reset the CELOG database and clear all historical events (16586)
  5. OneFS SMB and Authentication Rollup Patches (196928)
  6. OneFS: Best practices for NFS client settings
  7. ETA 205085: Isilon OneFS: Legacy NFSv3 clients that require 32-bit cookies may encounter data unavailability in OneFS 7.2.0
  8. OneFS: How to create SPN accounts to allow Kerberos authentication using SmartConnect DNS entries
  9. How to collect node information, including log files
  10. ESA-2015-114 (204455)

Top 10 Customer Support Documents

Here are August’s most popular Customer Support documents.

  1. Current Isilon Software Releases
  2. Insight IQ 3.2 Installation Guide
  3. Isilon Supportability and Compatibility Guide
  4. InsightIQ 3.2.1 Release Notes
  5. Current Isilon OneFS Patches
  6. OneFS 7.2.0 Web Administration Guide
  7. InsightIQ 3.2 User Guide
  8. OneFS 7.2.0 CLI Administration Guide
  9. Isilon OneFS 7.2.1 Release Notes
  10. Isilon OneFS – Release Notes

Top 10 Isilon Info Hubs

Hang on to your hats – here are your favorite Info Hubs for all of August.

  1. OneFS Upgrades
  2. OneFS 7.2 Documentation
  3. Isilon Uptime
  4. Hadoop
  5. OneFS 7.2.1 Documentation
  6. OneFS API
  7. SyncIQ
  8. InsightIQ
  9. Isilon Info Hubs
  10. Cloudera with Isilon

Tell us what you want to know! Contact us with questions or feedback about this blog at To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact

Check out the Isilon multiprotocol series

Risa Galant

Risa Galant

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Risa Galant

Latest posts by Risa Galant (see all)

There’s a new series in town: the Multiprotocol Concepts series on the EMC Community Network (ECN) Isilon community. If you’ve ever wondered how OneFS handles multiprotocol data access or even what it is, this series will be a great place to start learning all about it. The first blog post introduces basic multiprotocol concepts, setting the stage for subsequent posts that explore those concepts in more depth. We’ll post new series topics approximately every two weeks. Topics include:

  • Data access tokens, also known as unified access tokens
  • Directory services
  • User mapping
  • ID mapping
  • On-disk identity
  • OneFS storage of file and share permissions
  • POSIX permissions
  • Access control list (ACL) policies
  • Verifying your multiprotocol environment and some basic troubleshooting

I’ll list the series posts here as they become available. So take a look at the multiprotocol series. And please let us know what you think!