Posts Tagged ‘7.1.1’

Behind the scenes: Making the Access Zones technical demo video

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

Amol Choukekar

The Offer & Enablement (O&E) team within the EMC® Isilon® Professional Services department is a well-oiled machine when it comes to making videos. In the past year, they’ve played a key role in conceptualizing and collaborating to develop almost a third of the videos published to the Isilon Support YouTube playlist—from whiteboard videos to technical demos—that demonstrate how features of the OneFS® operating system work.

Principal Solutions Architect Amol Choukekar describes the story behind the origin and production of their latest video, Technical Demo: Access Zones in OneFS 7.1.1. In this interview, you’ll learn how frequently asked questions from customers about Access Zone configuration and directory layouts inspired the O&E team to create this video.

Q: Tell us about your team and why you produce these videos?

A: Our team is comprised of solutions architects and technical program managers who all contribute to making these videos. There is a lot of effort that goes into these projects. Specifically, creating and revising the script and setting up the demo environments that we use to create these videos.

Our main objective in producing these videos is to demonstrate OneFS features in a simple-to-follow format. The value for our customers and partners is to use the knowledge gained in the video and then apply that to their EMC Isilon solution.

Q: Why was Access Zones selected as a topic for a technical demo?

A: Access Zones was initially introduced in the OneFS 7.0 release. The OneFS 7.1.1 release includes interesting changes to the Access Zones feature, such as the concept of a zone-base directory. Other feature changes include zone-specific SMB shares, which eliminate the duplicate share name issue that existed in previous versions of OneFS (login is required to view Isilon OneFS 7.1.1 Release Notes). Also, our HDFS support is now zone-aware, which is becoming very popular. These changes represent another step in the evolution of our scale out multi-tenancy story in OneFS. The purpose of the video is to make our customers aware of these important changes.

Q: What were some frequently asked questions about Access Zones that helped you develop the script?

A: One of the criteria in configuring Access Zones is the zone-base directory, because a main criteria in configuring a OneFS cluster is to correctly lay out the directory structure. Our field teams were frequently asked questions about directory layout. For example, when we configure Access Zones or our cluster, where should we base our zone directory considering the various workflows and data segregation needs? This is an important design decision when deploying a scale-out network attached storage (NAS) solution such as EMC Isilon.

One of the objectives of the video was to demonstrate the proper use of the OneFS directory path convention. For example, with /ifs as the cluster root path, the best practices we’ve seen in the field for creating the directory layout is to use a /ifs/clustername/zonename/ structure. That can become your Access Zone rule, and then you can create SMB shares under that directory.

Zone-based directories in OneFS 7.1.1

Zone-base directories in OneFS 7.1.1

Q: What were some of the other goals when making this video?

A: The other goals for the video were to demonstrate the new Access Zone feature in a simplistic way without using any technical jargon. We really wanted the audience to easily grasp the concepts because these are the building blocks for the OneFS solution.And we wanted to demonstrate the feature in a workflow format to help the viewer understand the concepts related to Access Zones.

Q: What were some of the challenges when making this video?

A: While the content of the video is introductory, there was a lot of effort put in by our technical program managers to create the environment and make sure that the technical steps were complete and easily reproducible. Although it was a bit time consuming, it was not difficult at all because OneFS is one of the easiest NAS operating systems that I have ever worked with.

Q: What else would you like to add?

A: We hope all of our viewers find this useful. If you do find it useful, we highly encourage you to share it with your peers, customers, or anybody that uses OneFS and needs to configure Access Zones. And provide us with feedback on this video or existing videos, or suggestions for new topics.

[Editor’s note: please provide your feedback and suggestions by sending an email to]

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EMC Isilon OneFS 7.1.1 is now available!

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

The latest release of the EMC® Isilon® OneFS operating system is now available!

This blog post summarizes noteworthy new features of OneFS 7.1.1, highlights new OneFS 7.1.1 documentation, and provides steps for upgrading to OneFS 7.1.1.

New OneFS 7.1.1 features and enhancements

High-level technical overviews for several OneFS 7.1.1 new features and enhancements are provided below. They’re grouped together by the types of benefits they provide, such as performance improvement and security. Refer to OneFS 7.1.1 Release Notes and Technical Overview of New and Improved Features of EMC Isilon OneFS 7.1.1 for additional details.

Performance improvements

The following new features and enhancements help improve performance for most OneFS workflows:

  • SMB Multichannel support
    OneFS 7.1.1 supports the Multichannel feature of SMB 3.0, which establishes a single SMB session over multiple network connections. SMB Multichannel enables increased throughput, connection failure tolerance, and automatic discovery. To take advantage of this new feature, client computers must be configured with Microsoft Windows 8 or later, or Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or later with supported network interface cards (NICs). For more information, see the SMB Multichannel section of the OneFS 7.1.1 Web Administration Guide and OneFS 7.1.1 CLI Administration Guide.
  • SmartFlash caching
    In OneFS, level 1 (L1) cache uses random access memory (RAM) to store copies of system metadata and files requested from front-end networks. Level 2 (L2) cache uses RAM to store copies of file system metadata for files that are stored on the node that owns the data. SmartFlash, or level 3 (L3) cache, uses solid-state drives (SSDs) to hold file data and metadata released from L2 cache, increasing the total size of cache memory available in a cluster as well as the speed that you can retrieve data. In OneFS 7.1.1, SmartFlash is enabled by default for new node pools.
  • NDMP backup performance improvements
    OneFS 7.1.1 uses multiple threads to restore files, making data transfer occur as fast as the tape backup device can deliver it. Additional operational enhancements improve throughput when transferring small files.
  • SyncIQ® performance enhancements
    To allow multiple SyncIQ workers to replicate a single file simultaneously, SyncIQ now allows for file splitting, where a large file is split into segments, each of which is processed in parallel by a different thread.

Security and access zone enhancements

The following enhancements have been made to increase security and support Hadoop workflows:

  • Access zone enhancements
    Access zones have been restructured to enforce best practices and improve security. In OneFS 7.1.1, a root or a base directory must be designated for each access zone. SMB shares must subscribe to a single access zone, and access zones can no longer be used to share data. OneFS 7.1.1 also prevents access to non-system zones through NFS, SSH, and the OneFS web administration interface.To support security for Hadoop workflows and enable multiple unstructured datasets to be hosted on a single cluster, access zones now support an HDFS namespace per access zone. This means that you can now run multiple separate HDFS namespaces on the same cluster. Stay tuned for an upcoming ISI Knowledge blog post on this topic.
  • Self-encrypting drive enhancements
    This release of OneFS expands the availability of self-encrypting drives (SEDs) to provide data at-rest encryption capabilities across the entire node family. In addition to the 3TB and 4TB SEDs, OneFS 7.1.1 introduces a 900GB SAS SED HDD for S-Series nodes and an 800GB SED SSD for all supported nodes. For details, see the Isilon Product Availability Guide.
  • Auditing enhancements
    In OneFS 7.1.1, audit system configuration information can be forwarded to the audit log file for storage and analysis.
  • Role based access control enhancements
    New privileges have been added to the role based access control (RBAC) feature in OneFS 7.1.1, such as ISI_PRIV_IFS_BACKUP and ISI_PRIV_IFS_RESTORE. These privileges can be assigned to roles that enable users to back up and restore files that they don’t have explicit permissions to.

Manageability and drive firmware updates

The following OneFS 7.1.1 features make it easier to manage your Isilon cluster and obtain the latest drive firmware:

  • MMC integration
    Microsoft Windows administrators with the correct privileges can remotely administer a share through the MMC shared folders snap-in feature. This enables an administrator to connect to an access zone and directly manage all shares within that zone. To take advantage of this functionality, the Isilon cluster must be joined to an Active Directory domain from which the MMC console can be invoked.
  • Drive Support Package for non-disruptive drive firmware updates
    Drive support packages determine and apply updates for the drive’s firmware automatically, and eliminate the need to apply a patch and reboot the node when you replace or add drives. You can also configure alerts to indicate when you need to update your drive firmware. Review the Isilon Drive Support Package 1.0 release notes for information about system requirements and installation instructions.

For complete details about all of the OneFS 7.1.1 features and enhancements, including changes in functionality, fixed issues, and known issues in this release, refer to the OneFS 7.1.1 Release Notes.

OneFS 7.1.1 documentation and new guides available

A full list of OneFS 7.1.1 documents is available in the OneFS 7.1.1 Release Notes, on the Isilon online community and on the EMC Online Support site (login is required for the EMC Online Support site). This release also features two new guides:

  • OneFS Migration Tools Guide
    This guide describes how to migrate data from NetApp filers and EMC VNX storage systems to EMC Isilon clusters using the isi_vol_copy and isi_vol_copy_vnx tools.
  • OneFS API Reference 
    This guide—combining the former Platform and RAN API References—describes how the Isilon OneFS application programming interface (API) provides access to configure the cluster and access the data on the cluster. This guide also provides a list of all available API resource URLs, HTTP methods, and parameter and object descriptions.

How to upgrade to OneFS 7.1.1

If you want to upgrade to this new release, explore your upgrade options by reviewing the Isilon Supportability and Compatibility Guide and the OneFS Upgrade Planning and Process Guide.

Then, prepare for the upgrade process by reviewing the following documents:

After reviewing these documents, read the knowledge base article, “How to download OneFS 7.1.1 (172492)” (login to EMC Online Support is required).

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, send an email to To provide documentation feedback or request new content, send an email to