Author Archive

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

New EMC Isilon support content for June 2015

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.

[display_rating_result]

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

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.

[display_rating_result]

New EMC Isilon support content for May 2015

Check out new EMC Isilon customer support content published in the month of May. 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 new customer support content that was published in May 2015. For example, you’ll find new Isilon Community articles about OneFS target code, NFS improvements, and L3 cache best practices. We also have a new technical demo video about the Superna application for disaster recovery, and a new data science white paper.

CONTENT TYPE

TITLE AND LINK

ClusterTalk Podcast Episode 3
Isilon Community (ECN) Uptime Info Hub EMC Technical Advisories (ETAs) for Isilon OneFS
Isilon Community (ECN) Uptime Info Hub OneFS L3 Cache Performance and Best Practices
Isilon Community (ECN) Uptime Info Hub Upgrading to OneFS Target Code
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog OneFS Job Engine & Distributed Work Allocation
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog NFS Improvements in OneFS 7.2
White Paper Data Lakes for Data Science: Integrating Analytics Tools with Shared Infrastructure for Big Data
Video Technical Demo: Superna Eyeglass for Isilon Version 1.2

Most viewed knowledgebase (KB) articles

  1. Product Impacts of Upcoming Leap Second UTC adjustment on June 30th 2015 (197322)
  2. 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)
  3. ESA-2014-146 (193304)
  4. OneFS 7.1.1.2 SMB and Authentication Rollup Patches (196928)
  5. UPDATE: ETA 193819: EMC Isilon nodes: Mars-K+ drives may stop responding and be automatically smartfailed from Isilon nodes (193819)
  6. OneFS: Best practices for NFS client settings (90041)
  7. OneFS: How to reset the CELOG database and clear all historical events (16586)
  8. OneFS: How to safely shut down an Isilon cluster prior to a scheduled power outage (16529)
  9. ETA 200097: Isilon OneFS 7.1.1.0 – 7.1.1.3 and 7.2.0.0 – 7.2.0.1: Attempts to upgrade SSD drive firmware using an Isilon Drive Support Package may result in data loss on clusters that have the L3 cache feature enabled (200097)
  10. OneFS: How to reimage a node using a USB flash drive (16582)

 

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.

[display_rating_result]

Check out the new EMC Isilon podcast

If you enjoy listening to technology-related podcasts while commuting on the bus or working out at the gym, there’s a new technology podcast about EMC Isilon that you can add to your listening queue.

The EMC Isilon ClusterTalk podcast was created by Chris Adiletta and Scott Pinzon of EMC Isilon, who also serve as its charismatic hosts. Each monthly hour-long episode features regular segments and expert guests. “Podcast discussions can be more frank and free-wheeling than in a more formal setting, so they provide a great way to address tech issues realistically,” says Scott.

From left to right, ClusterTalk hosts Chris Adiletta and Scott Pinzon

From left to right, ClusterTalk hosts and creators Chris Adiletta and Scott Pinzon

You can download the latest episode now from iTunes or listen on Stitcher.

Why a podcast?

There are several channels you can follow to get the technical information about EMC Isilon products. For example, you can download documentation from the EMC Online Support site (login required), follow @EMCIsilon on Twitter for news and updates, and ask product-related questions on our Isilon Community forum. Now you can listen to the ClusterTalk podcast to learn about tips for getting the most performance, efficiency, and insight from your EMC Isilon OneFS clusters.

“We wanted a way to connect with a large audience of customers over our passion for Isilon, the big data industry, and all of the ways that technology is pushing the boundaries of human capability,” says Chris.

Each episode features a cool command, a popular topic on the Isilon Community, and data storage-related news. You can also hear me each month on the “Hidden Gems” segment, where I reveal a new and intriguing bit of customer support content.

Scott, who also serves as the audio engineer, explains what he loves about the podcast format. “Audio is a fantastic medium for the mind. With sounds, we can help listeners imagine worlds that would require a Hollywood movie budget to create visually, or let them feel like we’re all hanging out discussing big data over beer. Podcasts are terrific for anyone who wants to always be learning!”

For more information, visit the podcast hub on the Isilon Community or show notes for the following episodes:

Feedback

We value your feedback on this podcast. Listeners can also ask questions for Chris and Scott to address on the podcast. You can submit your questions by sending an email to clustertalk@emc.com or leaving a community comment. You can also leave your feedback on this podcast by rating it on iTunes.

[display_rating_result]

EMC Isilon OneFS upgrade content updates

When planning for an Isilon OneFS upgrade, there are many documents you can reference. We recently conducted research to learn how these documents help EMC Isilon customers and employees through the OneFS upgrade process. Based on our findings, we made some changes to Isilon OneFS upgrade content that we want to share with you.

OneFS Upgrade Info Hub

To help you find OneFS upgrade documents more quickly, please visit the new OneFS UpgradesInfo Hub. An info hub is a web page on the Isilon Community that serves as a nexus of useful content related to a specific topic. The OneFS Upgrades – Info Hub will be refreshed frequently with new and relevant information, so check this web page often.

OneFS upgrade readiness checklist archive

The content from OneFS Upgrade Readiness Checklists (from OneFS 6.5 through OneFS 7.2 versions) have been merged with the Upgrade Planning and Process Guide. If you bookmarked a link to a OneFS Upgrade Readiness Checklist in the past, you’ll now be redirected to this message.

OneFS Upgrade Readiness Checklist Archive

Our main goal is to reduce the number of documents you need to refer to when planning for a OneFS upgrade. By merging these checklists with the definitive Upgrade Planning and Process Guide, we’re creating a single reference to help you through the entire OneFS upgrade process.

The Upgrade Planning and Process Guide can be applied to any version of OneFS. Because this is a long document, we’ll be incorporating changes over time to help make it easier to navigate. For example, we’ll include a checklist at the beginning of the guide, which is linked to corresponding sections for more information.

If you have feedback about these content updates, please leave a comment or send an email to isicontent@emc.com.

[display_rating_result]

New EMC Isilon support content for March and April 2015

I took a short hiatus last month from posting about new content in March. I’m making up for it in this post, which includes new EMC Isilon customer support content for both March and April. 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 new customer support documents that were published in March and April 2015. For example, you’ll find new Info Hubs on the Isilon Community and new KB articles. Login to the EMC Online Support site is required for all content except Isilon Community content and videos.

CONTENT TYPE

TITLE AND LINK

ClusterTalk Podcast Episode 2
Isilon Community (ECN) Info Hub OneFS Upgrades
Isilon Community (ECN) Info Hub OneFS 6.5 Upgrade
Isilon Community (ECN) Info Hub SyncIQ
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog SmartPools Storage Pool Changes and New Files
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Routing and Isilon, how to get from A to B and back again
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Tiering Snapshots
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog SmartPools Tiering and Legacy File Pool Policies
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog SmartDedupe – Behind the Curtain
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog OneFS Hardware Fault Tolerance
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Hacker How-To Series: Cluster Capacity
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog OneFS SmartPools – Storage Pools Taxonomy
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog Exploring OneFS Storage Protection Overhead
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog OneFS Job Engine Job Progress Reporting
Isilon Community (ECN) Blog OneFS Node and SSD Compatibility
Flowchart Isilon OneFS Upgrade Process Flowchart
Guides Business Data Lake Protection 1.0 Integration Guide 
KB Article OneFS 7.1.1.2: SMB and Authentication Rollup Patches (196928)
KB Article Editing File Pool policies in 7.1.1.0 gives an error “Invalid storage pool” (191356)
KB Article Patches to provide pre-upgrade configuration checks for OneFS 6.5.4 and 6.5.5.0 – 6.5.5.9 upgrades to OneFS 7.0 or 7.1 (88716)
KB Article ETA 193819: EMC Isilon nodes: Mars-K+ drives may stop responding and be automatically smartfailed from Isilon nodes (193819)
KB Article OneFS 7.1.1.3: SNMP monitoring with Nagios fails when using an Isilon-specific Nagios configuration file (199833)
KB Article EMC Isilon InsightIQ Security Vulnerability for GNU C Library Buffer Overflow (GHOST) Vulnerability (197620)
White Paper Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide – Routing, Network Topologies, and Best Practices for SmartConnect 
Release Notes (Updated) OneFS 7.1.1 MR Release Notes 
Release Notes (Updated) OneFS 7.2.0 MR Release Notes 
Release Notes (Updated) OneFS 7.2.0 Release Notes 

Most viewed knowledgebase (KB) articles

Check out April’s top 10 most viewed KB articles.

  1. OneFS 7.1.1.2: SMB and Authentication Rollup Patch (196928)
  2. OneFS 7.1.0.6 SMB and Authentication Rollup Patch (174372)
  3. OneFS: How to safely shut down an Isilon cluster prior to a scheduled power outage (16529)
  4. Best practices for NFS client settings (90041)
  5. OneFS 7.0.2.12 SMB and Authentication Rollup Patch (172623)
  6. How to configure Windows DNS for SmartConnect zone (183530)
  7. How to reset the CELOG database and clear all historical events (16586)
  8. How to create SPN accounts to allow Kerberos authentication using SmartConnect DNS (16528)
  9. How to create a bootable image (16691)
  10. How to reimage a node using a USB flash drive (16582)

 

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.

[display_rating_result]

Top 3 operational differences in EMC Isilon OneFS 7.1.1

As EMC Isilon OneFS 6.5 and OneFS 7.0 reach their end-of-service life (EOSL) this year, many EMC Isilon customers will be upgrading to OneFS 7.1.1. If you plan to upgrade to OneFS 7.1.1, there are several new features, enhancements, and operational changes that may affect your day-to-day administration tasks. We want you to be aware of some the differences that impact upgrade planning, because they may require pre-upgrade tasks. You can find detailed information in the OneFS 7.1.1 Behavioral and Operational Differences and New Features document on the Isilon Community and OneFS 7.1.1 release notes on the EMC Online Support site.

Meanwhile, here are the top three changes for you to prepare for:

  • Access zones: directory configuration and NFS access
  • SmartPools®: node pool configuration
  • Role-based access controls

Access zones

In OneFS 6.5, access to cluster resources was controlled by authentication providers such as SMB, NFS, and SSH. Beginning in OneFS 7.0, user access to the cluster is controlled through access zones. With access zones, you can partition the cluster configuration into self-contained units, and configure a subset of parameters as a virtual cluster with its own set of authentication providers, user mapping rules, and SMB shares. The built-in access zone is the System zone, which, by default provides the same behavior as OneFS 6.5. You can connect to access zones using all available authentication providers, NFS exports, and SMB shares.

In OneFS 7.1.1, however, you cannot configure NFS exports in multiple access zones. NFS access is restricted to the System zone only. (In OneFS 7.2, NFS is zone-aware for access to multiple access zones.)

Also, access zones require a unique top-level root directory in OneFS 7.1.1. The root directories, or base paths, for multiple access zones in OneFS 7.1.1 cannot overlap with each other.

An important note!

If you currently use multiple access zones in your OneFS 7.0 or OneFS 7.1 cluster, you must check your access zone configuration for overlapping directories. If base paths overlap before you upgrade to OneFS 7.1.1, all previously created access zones will be assigned a base path of /ifs. Refer to OneFS 7.1.1 and Later: Best Practices for Upgrading Clusters Configured with Access Zones before upgrading to prevent a scenario where directories are assigned a new base path to accommodate access zones in OneFS 7.1.1.

SmartPools

In OneFS 6.5, a group of nodes is called a disk pool. Different types of drives could be assigned to a disk pool. There are several changes in SmartPools since 7.0. Beginning in OneFS 7.0, a group of nodes is called a node pool, and a group of disks in a node pool is called a disk pool. Also beginning in OneFS 7.0, nodes are automatically assigned to node pools in the cluster based on the node type. This is called autoprovisioning. Node pools can only include drives of the same equivalence class (review the equivalence class of nodes in the Isilon Supportability & Compatibility Guide). However, you can include multiple node pools into a higher level grouping called tiers. Finally, in the web administration interface of OneFS 7.1.1, SmartPools is located as a tab within Storage Pools.

Disk pools can no longer be viewed or targeted directly through the OneFS 7.1.1 web administration interface or the command-line interface. Instead, the smallest unit of storage that can be administered in OneFS 7.0 is a node pool. Disk pools are managed exclusively by the system through autoprovisioning.

An important note!

If you are running OneFS 6.5 or OneFS 6.5.5 and have node pools of mixed node types, you must configure disk pools into supported OneFS 7.0 and later node pool configurations well in advance of upgrading to OneFS 7.1.1. Supported node pool configurations must contain nodes of the same type, according to their node equivalence class.

Role-based access control (RBAC)

In OneFS 6.5, you can grant web and SSH login and configuration access to non-root users by adding them to the administrator group. In OneFS 7.0 and later, the admin group is replaced with the administrator role using role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC enables you to create and configure additional roles. A role is a collection of OneFS privileges that are granted to members of that role as they log in to the cluster. Only root and admin user accounts can perform administrative tasks and add members to roles. OneFS comes pre-loaded with built-in roles for security, auditing, and system administration, and you can create custom roles with their own sets of privileges.

For information about role-based access, including a description of roles and privileges, see Isilon OneFS 7.0: Role-Based Access Control.

An important note!

For OneFS 6.5 and OneFS 6.5.5 users upgrading to OneFS 7.1.1, make sure you add existing administrators to an administrator role.

For more information about OneFS 7.1.1

Visit these links for more information about:

Start a conversation about Isilon content

Have a question or feedback about Isilon content? Visit the online EMC Isilon Community to start a discussion. If you have questions or feedback about this blog, or comments about the video specifically, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

[display_rating_result]

EMC Isilon sessions and labs at EMC World 2015

EMC World 2015 is just two weeks away! If you plan on attending this event in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 4-7, you’ll have several opportunities for getting in-depth Isilon information through virtual labs and technology sessions.

Virtual labs

The virtual lab (vLab) experience at EMC World offers two types of labs: self-paced and instructor-led. Anyone can sign up for the self-paced labs, which are available Monday through Thursday, on a first-come, first-served basis. To attend an instructor-led lab, register onsite by visiting the EMC vLab registration desk in The Village at EMC World.

There will be three labs featuring Isilon products.

  • Deploying Hadoop on Isilon (instructor-led; register onsite)
    Deploying Hadoop on Isilon will provide you with hands-on experience with deploying and testing a Hadoop cluster using Isilon. This is a quick walkthrough of key parts of the Hadoop Starter Kit for Isilon.
  • Isilon Overview with InsightIQ (self-paced; first-come, first-served)
    Isilon Overview with InsightIQ will show you the simplicity of setup, scaleout storage, and the ease of management, availability, and even SmartLock mode (WORM) storage. Enhanced with an overview of InsightIQ, our powerful monitoring and reporting software that maximizes your time by minimizing storage management.
  • The Isilon Data Lake with Sparks and & HBase (self-paced; first-come, first-served)
    The Isilon Data Lake will demonstrate some of the key features of Isilon in a data lake environment, including multiprotocol access, access control lists, and access zones. You’ll see these features in action as you walk through a complete analytics use-case that integrates Apache Spark, Apache HBase, and simple Python scripts.

photo_vlabs_2

Technology Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions occur throughout the conference. There are six technology breakout sessions dedicated to Isilon products, and several more that show how Isilon can be an integral part of emerging technology solutions. These sessions range in technical level of information from introductory to advanced. Visit the session catalog for scheduling options.

Find our booth

If you missed the technology session you wanted to attend or couldn’t get on the schedule for a vLab, stop by booth 813. You’ll find Isilon representatives at product kiosks who can walk you through short, 10-minute presentations and product demonstrations. We look forward to seeing you there!

Start a conversation about Isilon content

Have a question or feedback about Isilon content? Visit the online EMC Isilon Community to start a discussion. If you have questions or feedback about this blog, or comments about the video specifically, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

[display_rating_result]

Quick Start Lab Guide for adding capacity or performance in the EMC Isilon OneFS Simulator

The EMC Isilon OneFS Simulator is a great resource for trying out OneFS on a virtual infrastructure. The OneFS Simulator is a free version of OneFS 7.2 that you can download for non-production purposes. In this simulated OneFS environment, you can get an idea of what it’s like to administer a full Isilon cluster installation.

After downloading and setting up the OneFS Simulator, take a look at our recently published Quick Start Lab Guide. This lab guide walks you through exercises for using the OneFS Simulator. The featured exercise in this guide helps you add capacity, CPU, and memory to your virtual EMC Isilon cluster by adding another node.

Leave feedback about this lab guide

This is the first lab guide for the OneFS Simulator that we’ve published. Please let us know what you think. If you like this guide, have feedback about the format, or suggestions for other quick start guides, please leave a comment or send an email to isicontent@emc.com.

Get help with OneFS Simulator set up

If you need help with the initial set up of OneFS Simulator on your virtual environment, watch this video:

Start a conversation about Isilon content

Have a question or feedback about Isilon content? Visit the online EMC Isilon Community to start a discussion. If you have questions or feedback about this blog, or comments about the video specifically, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

[display_rating_result]

Cluster capacity advice from an EMC Isilon expert

Avoiding scenarios where your cluster reaches maximum capacity is crucial for making sure it runs properly. Our Best Practices for Maintaining Enough Free Space on Isilon Clusters and Pools guide contains information to help Isilon customers keep their clusters running smoothly.

However, there are common misperceptions about cluster capacity, such as the notion that it’s easy to delete data from a cluster that is 100 percent full. Another misunderstanding: using Virtual Hot Spare (VHS) to reserve space for smartfailing a drive is not always necessary.

To clarify these issues and other concerns about cluster capacity, I interviewed one of Isilon’s top experts on this topic, Bernie Case. Bernie is a Technical Support Engineer V in Global Services at Isilon, with many years of experience working with customers who experience maximum cluster capacity scenarios. He is also a contributing author to the Best Practices for Maintaining Enough Free Space on Isilon Clusters and Pools guide. In this blog post, Bernie answers questions about cluster capacity and provides advice and solutions.

Q: What are common scenarios in the field that lead to a cluster reaching capacity?

A: The typical scenarios are when there’s an increased data ingest, which can come from either a normal or an unexpected workflow. If you’re adding a new node or replacing nodes to add capacity, and it takes longer than expected, a normal workflow will continue to write data into the cluster—possibly causing the cluster to reach capacity. Or there is a drive or node failure on an already fairly full cluster, which necessitates a FlexProtect (or FlexProtectLin) job from the Job Engine to run to re-protect data, therefore interrupting normal SnapshotDelete jobs. [See EMC Isilon Job Engine to learn more about these jobs.] Finally, I’ve seen snapshot policies that create a volume of snapshots that takes a long time to delete even after snapshot expiration. [See Best Practices for Working with Snapshots for snapshot schedule tips.]

Q: What are common misperceptions about cluster capacity?

A: Some common misconceptions include:

  • 95 percent of a 1 PiB cluster still leaves about 50TiB of space. That’s plenty for our workflow. We won’t fill that up.
  • Filling up one tier and relying on spillover to another tier won’t affect performance.
  • The SnapshotDelete job should be able to keep up with our snapshot creation rate.
  • Virtual Hot Spare (VHS) is not necessary in our workflow; we need that space for our workflow.
  • It’s still very easy to delete data when the cluster is 100 percent full.

Q: What are the ramifications of a full cluster?

A: When a cluster reaches full capacity, you’re dealing primarily with data unavailable situations—where data might be able to be read, but not written. For example, a customer can experience the inability to run SyncIQ policies, because those policies write data into the root file system (/ifs). There’s also the inability to make cluster configuration changes because those configurations are stored within /ifs.

Finally, a remove (rm) command for deleting files may not function when a cluster is completely full, requiring support intervention.

Q: What should a customer do immediately if their cluster is approaching 90-95 percent capacity?

A: Do whatever you can to slow down the ingesting or retention of data, including moving data to other storage tiers or other clusters, or adjusting snapshot policies. To gain a little bit of temporary space, make sure that VHS is not disabled.

Call your EMC account team to prepare for more storage capacity. You should do this at around 80-85 percent capacity.  It does take time to get those nodes on-site, and you don’t want any downtime.

VHS in SmartPools settings should always be enabled. The default drive to protect is 1 drive, and reserved space should be set to zero. For more information, see KB 88964.

VHS options should always be selected to set aside space for a drive failure. You should have at least 1 virtual drive (default value) set to 0% of total storage. For more information on these default values, see KB 88964 on the EMC Online Support site.

Q: What are the most effective short-term solutions for managing or monitoring cluster capacity?

A: Quotas are an effective way to see real-time storage usage within a directory, particularly if you put directories in specific storage tiers or node pools. Leverage quotas wherever you can.

The TreeDelete job [in the Job Engine] can quickly delete data, but make sure that the data you’re deleting isn’t just going into a snapshot!

Q: What are the most effective long-term solutions to implement from the best practices guide?

A: Make sure you have an event notifications properly configured, so that when jobs fail, or drives fail, you’ll know it and can take immediate action. In addition to notifications and alerts, you can use Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) to monitor cluster space, for an additional layer of protection.

InsightIQ and the FSAnalyze job [which the system runs to create data for InsightIQ’s file system analytics tools] can give great views into storage usage and change rate, over time, particularly in terms of daily, monthly, or weekly data ingest.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add?

A: Cluster-full situations where the rm command doesn’t work are sometimes alarming. In a file system such as OneFS, a file deletion often requires a read-modify-write cycle for metadata structures, in addition to the usual unlinking and garbage collection that occurs within the file system. Getting out of that situation can be challenging and sometimes time-consuming. Resolving it requires a support call—and a remote session, which can be a big problem for private clusters.

Sometimes accidents happen or a node can fail, which can push a cluster to the limit of capacity thresholds. Incidents such as these can occasionally lead to data unavailability situations that can halt a customer’s workflow. Being ready to add capacity at 80-85 percent can prevent just this sort of situation.

Start a conversation about Isilon content

Have a question or feedback about Isilon content? Visit the online EMC Isilon Community to start a discussion. If you have questions or feedback about this blog, or comments about the video specifically, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

[display_rating_result]