Posts Tagged ‘best practices’

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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Introducing the EMC Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide

Risa Galant

Risa Galant

Principal Technical Writer at EMC Isilon Storage Division
Risa Galant

Latest posts by Risa Galant (see all)

Ever wonder about the best way to set up communication between Isilon clusters and external client applications? Maybe you’d like to learn about Isilon network topology and how IP routing works in OneFS 7.1, or what the best practices are for using source-based routing in OneFS 7.2. Perhaps you’re curious about considerations around Isilon technology refreshes, or what to tell your client system administrators about DNS settings.

We’ve got just the content for you! Check out the EMC Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide: Routing, Network Topologies, and Best Practices for SmartConnect. (You’ll need to log in to the EMC Online Support site to view it.) Developed as a collaborative effort between Isilon Information Development and Isilon Professional Services, the Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide’s scenario-driven content covers your favorite Isilon external networking topics.  Be aware, though, that it isn’t a tutorial. The guide reviews Isilon networking basics, but assumes that as a network or storage architect or administrator, you’re already familiar with general networking concepts and terms.

Here are some highlights from the guide:

  • An easy-to-consume table to help you choose the best load balancing policy for your environment
  • Guidelines for keeping your Isilon cluster running efficiently
  • DNS setting recommendations to pass along to your client system administrators to help ensure that client connections stay fresh
  • Common questions and answers about Isilon in-band network management
  • Guidelines for calculating the number of IP addresses you’ll need for planning your network architecture
  • An illustrated, scenario-based walkthrough that introduces you to the wonders of dynamic SmartConnect zones and IP addresses
  • Recommended strategies for network design for specialized workloads from different industries, such as media and entertainment
  • Best practices for ensuring cluster stability, data integrity, and optimal network performance
  • Another easy-to-consume table describing common data unavailable causes and preventive actions you can take
  • Planning guidelines for technology refresh cycles
  • Recommended IP allocation strategies for SmartConnect Advanced listed by protocol
  • An illustrated discussion of network routing in OneFS 7.1
  • Another illustrated discussion of source-based routing (SBR) in OneFS 7.2, with a bonus discussion of destination-based routing just for comparison

SBR diagram by Andrew Chung

The guide also covers how best to use SyncIQ and SmartConnect Advanced for backup and disaster recovery planning. In fact, there’s a whole section covering SmartConnect best practices. Learn how SmartConnect works, what to check if you have firewalls, and what practices to avoid.  And if you’ve ever wondered how Isilon and SmartConnect handle DNS delegation, the Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide is the guide for you.

As if that weren’t enough information about SmartConnect, there are more scenario-based descriptions of hot networking topics such as where the SmartConnect service runs, what happens when you replace nodes while SmartConnect is active, and how to use SmartConnect in an isolated network environment.

Pretty comprehensive, huh? That’s the idea: to provide an all-inclusive guide to Isilon external network connectivity. We hope that this will be your go-to guide for getting answers to your Isilon external networking questions. It’s sort of a “how to hook up with an Isilon cluster” guide.

You’ll find the guide on EMC Online Support here: EMC Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide. Note that you’ll need to log in to the support site to access it. Let us know what you think!

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.

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Cluster capacity advice from an EMC Isilon expert

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

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.

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The EMC Isilon Uptime Bulletin, reinvented

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

When we launched the EMC® Isilon® Uptime Bulletin in 2013, each issue was published in a PDF format that could be downloaded from the EMC Online Support site. Because the Uptime Bulletin contains timely information, such as OneFS target code, tips, and the latest firmware releases, we wanted to deliver this information to our customers in a more direct way.

Beginning this year, new Uptime Bulletin content is published to the Uptime Information Hub on the Isilon online community. You can now locate useful information about best practices, OneFS patches, and the latest OneFS and firmware releases, at a glance. The Uptime Information Hub is continuously updated with new information. So be sure to bookmark this page and check it regularly.

New uptime OneFS topic articles

Every quarter, we develop Uptime Bulletin articles that offer tips and best practice information about using OneFS. Here is a summary of new articles that you can now read on the Uptime Information Hub.

  • OneFS MRs and How We Drive Continuous Improvements
    ToddDillon

    Todd Dillon

    Todd Dillon, Senior Director of Software Engineering, explains how Isilon Storage Division uses the EMC Total Customer Experience process to triage every customer-impacting event in OneFS that happens worldwide. Learn how this three-phase process helps to drive continuous improvements with quality assurance (QA) and how maintenance releases (MRs) are determined.

  • Planning OneFS Upgrades with Global Namespace Acceleration (GNA) Nodes
    GNA is a OneFS feature that helps you increase performance by using solid state drives (SSDs) to store metadata for read-only purposes. If you use the GNA feature and are planning to upgrade to OneFS 7.0 and later, there are important considerations you need to make. Learn how to verify that your cluster meets minimum requirements for GNA before you upgrade.
  • Performance Monitoring and Planning
    uptime performance article
    Basic performance measurement knowledge of your current Isilon cluster can help you in understanding how adding new volumes or workloads will impact performance. This article walks you through how to perform a workload analysis, and provides best practice information about when to perform this type of analysis.

If you have article feedback or comments, please leave a comment on the Isilon community.  You can also review the PDF versions of past issues of the Uptime Bulletin by visiting the EMC Online Support site.

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, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

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Multitenancy for Hadoop data on an EMC Isilon cluster

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

The process of analyzing big data within big organizations can be complicated. There can be many data sets to analyze, some which are stored in silos or contain secure information. And there can be many different Hadoop users accessing these data sets, each with different permissions and credentials. So how can organizations effectively manage multiple data sets and Hadoop users?

In EMC® Isilon® OneFS®, you can take advantage of multitenancy to tackle this issue. Multitenancy creates secure, separate namespaces on a shared infrastructure so that different Hadoop users (or tenants) can connect to an Isilon cluster, run Hadoop jobs concurrently, and consolidate their Hadoop workflows onto a single cluster. OneFS 7.2 supports several Hadoop distributions and HDFS 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4. The OneFS HDFS implementation also works with Ambari for management and monitoring, Kerberos authentication, and Kerberos impersonation.

The white paper, “EMC Isilon Multitenancy for Hadoop Big Data Analytics,” highlights how to set up access zones for multitenancy and manage Hadoop data in an Isilon cluster.

How Hadoop works in Isilon

The Apache Hadoop analytics platform comprises the Hadoop Distributed File System, or HDFS, a storage system for vast amount of data, and MapReduce, a processing paradigm for data-intensive computation analysis.

EMC Isilon serves as the file system for Hadoop clients. This enables Hadoop clients to directly access their datasets on the Isilon storage system and run data analysis jobs on their compute clients. OneFS implements server-side operations of the HDFS protocol on each node in the Isilon cluster to handle calls to the NameNode and to manage read/write requests to DataNodes.

EMC Isilon Hadoop Deployment

To configure an Isilon cluster for Hadoop, you first need to activate a HDFS license in OneFS. Contact your account team for more information. Then visit our EMC Hadoop Starter Kits to learn how to deploy multiple Hadoop distributions, such as Pivotal, Cloudera, or HortonWorks, on your Isilon cluster.

Access zones for multitenancy

Access zones lay the foundation for multitenancy in OneFS. Access zones provide a virtual security context that segregates tenants and creates a virtual region that isolates data sets. Each access zone encapsulates a namespace, HDFS directory, directory services, authentication, and auditing. An access zone also isolates system connections for further security.

The following procedures for managing and securing data sets are covered in “EMC Isilon Multitenancy for Hadoop Big Data Analytics.”

  • Provide multiprotocol support – Learn how you can store data by using existing workflows on your Isilon cluster and access it through SMB, NFS, OpenStack Swift, and HDFS protocols, instead of running HDFS copy operations to move data to Hadoop clients.
  • Manage different data sets – Learn how you can use SmartPools for managing different data sets based on customized policies.
  • Associate network resources with access zones – Understand how virtual racking works in Isilon and how you can configure SmartConnect in OneFS to manage connections to data on your Isilon cluster.
  • Secure access zones – Review how role-based access control and directory services with access zones in OneFS are used to authenticate users assigned to each zone.

Hadoop information hubs

You can find a rich array of information about Isilon and Hadoop. Visit our online Isilon Community on the EMC Community Network for InfoHubs, which serves as a single location for all of our Hadoop-related content. The Hadoop InfoHub contains links to general information about Isilon and Hadoop. The Cloudera with Isilon InfoHub contains links to information about deploying the Cloudera distribution for Isilon.

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, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

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The top 3 operational differences between EMC Isilon OneFS 6.5 and OneFS 7.0

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

isilon-onefs-7-0Attention all current EMC® Isilon® OneFS 6.5 users: OneFS 6.5 will reach its end of service life (EOSL) on June 30, 2015. OneFS 7.0 introduces several new features, enhancements, and operational changes. If you need to upgrade to OneFS 7.0, you might be wondering what’s different about this version and how these differences will affect your day-to-day administrative tasks. You can learn more by looking at the Administrative Differences in OneFS 7.0 white paper.

The top three changes that OneFS 6.5 users should prepare for are:

  • Administration using role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Authentication using access zones
  • Managing groups of nodes in SmartPools

Role-based access control

In OneFS 6.5, you can grant web and SSH login and configuration access to non-root users by adding them to the admin group. The admin group is replaced with the administrator role in OneFS 7.0 using RBAC. A role is a collection of OneFS privileges, usually associated with a configuration subsystem, that are granted to members of that role as they log in to the cluster.

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!

After you upgrade to OneFS 7.0, make sure you add existing administrators to an administrator role.

Access Zones

In OneFS 7.0, all 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, using all available authentication providers, NFS exports, and SMB shares.

For information about access zones, see the OneFS 7.0.2 Administration Guide.

SmartPools

In OneFS 6.5, a group of nodes is called a disk pool. 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, Isilon nodes are automatically assigned to node pools in the cluster based on the node type. This is called autoprovisioning. Disk pools can no longer be viewed or targeted directly through the OneFS 7.0 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!

Before you upgrade to OneFS 7.0, you must configure disk pools into a supported node pool configuration. Disk pools must contain nodes of the same type, according to their node equivalence class. Disk pools that contain a mixture of node types must be reconfigured.

For information about how to prepare your Isilon cluster for upgrade to OneFS 7.0, see the Isilon OneFS 7.0.1 – 7.0.2 Upgrade Readiness Checklist.

For more information about OneFS 7.0

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, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

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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 isicontent@emc.com]

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, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

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Racking EMC Isilon nodes

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

With EMC® Isilon® scale-out storage, it’s easy to add performance and capacity to your cluster simply by adding new nodes. For example, after you acquire a new node, a certified technician locates an open space in a rack (either 2U or 4U, depending on the node size), installs rails, installs the node into the rack, connects the network and InfiniBand cables, and then joins the node to the cluster. After joining the node, you’ll have more space and performance capacity right away.EMC Isilon 4U rail kit installation

The node installation process is simple and fast; but be sure to take the time to check that the nodes are safely secured to the rails and rack to minimize the risk of personal injury and damage to equipment.

Check out the following videos, which show the proper procedures for racking EMC Isilon 2U and 4U nodes, including both node installation and node removal from a rack.

Installing a node into a rack

Isilon nodes mount in a standard 19-inch wide rack and use a sliding rail system. Watch the following videos to learn how to install 2U and 4U nodes into a standard rack with 3/8-inch square holes.

For written descriptions of these procedures, see the EMC Isilon 2U rail kit installation guide and 4U rail kit installation guide, which are available on the EMC Online Support site (login is required).

Removing a node from a rack

If you need to remove nodes from the rack to service them or because you’re relocating your cluster, it’s important to be sure that you always shut down nodes as described in the knowledge base article, How to safely shut down an Isilon cluster prior to a schedule power outage (16529). If you don’t shut down a node properly, you increase the risk of data loss.

After the node is shut down, you can remove a 2U node and a 4U node from a rack. Watch the following videos to learn the safest way to remove these nodes from a rack.

For written descriptions of these procedures, see the node removal guides on the EMC Online Support site.

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, contact us at isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, contact isicontent@emc.com.

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Five preventative maintenance tasks for your EMC Isilon cluster

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

131704545The last thing you want is for your cluster to go down because of an issue that could have been avoided. Performing routine cluster maintenance is important for keeping your EMC® Isilon® cluster up-and-running.

Five simple cluster maintenance tasks are highlighted in the new video, “How to Keep Your EMC Isilon Cluster Running Smoothly.” You can also find these tasks and more in the Isilon Cluster Preventative Maintenance Checklist (login to the EMC Online Support site is required).

Here’s a summary of the five tasks covered in the video:

  1. Subscribe to Isilon product advisories and updates in the EMC Online Support site. After you subscribe, regular Isilon documentation updates, EMC Technical Advisories, and more will be delivered directly to your email inbox.
  2. Check your cluster’s physical environment. Check the temperature, humidity, and power distribution unit (PDU) of your data center on a regular basis. You can also consult the Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide for environmental thresholds and requirements to protect your hardware from physical damage.
  3. Review the status of data protection jobs each month. Whether you’re using Isilon SnapshotIQ™, SyncIQ™, or NDMP for data replication or backups, it’s important to check the reports in the OneFS web administration interface or the log files of these tools to make sure your data is constantly protected. By routinely checking for any failed jobs, you have time to address them before you find yourself in a scenario where you need to recover data.
  4. Monitor cluster capacity daily. One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your cluster runs smoothly is to prevent it from reaching capacity. There are several best practices you can follow to maintain enough free space, which are summarized in an ISI Knowledge blog post, and the file system section of the Isilon Cluster Preventative Maintenance Checklist. The video below demonstrates how to monitor cluster usage by either checking the dashboard in the OneFS web administration interface or running performance reports using Isilon InsightIQ™.
  5. Check for cluster software and firmware every six months. Specifically, look for and install maintenance releases (MRs) and firmware updates when they become available. You’ll be notified of new MRs and firmware updates through Isilon product updates that you subscribed to in step one. You can also check the Current Isilon Software Releases document for a list of latest and recommended updates.

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 isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, send an email to isicontent@emc.com.

 

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Is your site ready for an EMC Isilon cluster?

Kirsten Gantenbein

Kirsten Gantenbein

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

If you’re in the market for a new data storage solution, such as an EMC® Isilon® scale-out network attached storage (NAS) system, you’ve probably done a good amount of research to determine which solution will best meet your needs.

One important area of research is determining if your data center is ready for an EMC Isilon cluster. The Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide (login with an EMC Community Network account required) can help answer important questions about how to prepare a data center infrastructure for new Isilon equipment. Designed for system administrators or facility managers, this guide offers specific information about environmental and power requirements for data centers.

The information in this guide extends beyond providing site requirements. It’s also a useful reference for selecting equipment and preparing for the arrival and set up of your new cluster.

Selecting the right equipment

EMC Isilon NodesThe Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide is a singular resource for specifications and recommendations about all the equipment that makes up an Isilon cluster.

For example, this guide includes specifications for the following:

  • Nodes: Get specs on storage capacity, dimensions, and more for all supported nodes including S210, S200, X200, X410, X400, NL400, and A100 accelerator nodes.
  • Rack cabinets: Learn about standard storage racks requirements and delivery dimensions.
  • Cables: Get recommendations for managing InfiniBand and Cat 5 cables. For demonstrations of proper cable management, watch the EMC Isilon Site Preparation and Planning: Cabling video.

Installing your cluster

For an overview of cluster installation basics, such as topology, node positioning, and planning for expansion or service needs, watch the EMC Isilon Site Preparation and Planning: Cluster Installation video.

To help you with the installation process, Isilon Professional Services can assist you with setting up your new Isilon cluster to meet the needs of your specific workflows. The Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide provides a list of what to consider when first installing your cluster, which you can review with your Professional Services account representative:

  • Which version of the Isilon OneFS® operating system to install on the cluster
  • Network connectivity details, including IP ranges, for your cluster nodes, client, and InfiniBand networks
  • DNS configuration details, including name servers and search lists
  • Directory services such as Active Directory, LDAP, NIS, or local user groups
  • File sharing protocols such as SMB and NFS, and advanced file sharing options
  • Data protection levels, anti-virus solutions, NDMP backup, and auditing
  • Cluster alert solutions such as ESRS and SNMP monitoring

For more complete information on these topics, read the Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide.

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 isi.knowledge@emc.com. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, send an email to isicontent@emc.com.

 

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