Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!
December was a busy month. I recently shared a survey about which EMC® Isilon® OneFS® topics you would like to learn more about. I’ll announce the survey results and the new Hacker How-To series topic next week.
We also published two videos in December that you can view now.
Each quarter, the EMC Isilon Uptime Bulletin describes some of the best practices to help you achieve the highest level of operational reliability for your Isilon environment. The latest issue of the Uptime Bulletin covers the following topics:
Benefits of the Isilon OneFS Job Engine The Job Engine is the OneFS work distribution system. Learn how the Job Engine can make routine cluster maintenance easy and efficient.
Best practices for working with snapshots in OneFS Snapshots are used to protect data against accidental deletion. Learn best practices that can help improve snapshot management in OneFS.
Recommended releases of OneFS Get links to the release notes for the latest recommended release versions of OneFS 7.0, 6.5, and 6.0.
The latest firmware package releases Review the following firmware package release information:
Supported drives in drive firmware package 1.6
Supported storage platforms in node firmware package 9.0.1
The EMC Isilon Uptime Bulletin is published at the end of each quarter. If you have any suggestions or requests for the next issue, email email@example.com.
It’s important to maintain enough free space on your EMC® Isilon® cluster to ensure that data is protected and workflows are not disrupted. At a minimum, you should have at least one node’s worth of free space available in case you need to protect data on a failing drive.
When your Isilon cluster fills up to more than 90% capacity, cluster performance is affected. Several issues can occur when your cluster fills up to 98% capacity, such as substantially slower performance, failed file operations, the inability to write or delete data, and the potential for data loss. It might take several days to resolve these issues. If you have a full cluster, nearly full cluster, or need assistance with maintaining enough free space, contact EMC Isilon Technical Support.
To prevent your cluster from becoming too full, monitor your cluster capacity. There are several ways to do this. For example, you can configure email event notification rules in the EMC Isilon OneFS® operating system to notify you when your cluster is reaching capacity. Watch the video “How to Set Up Email Notifications in OneFS When a Cluster Reaches Capacity” for a demonstration of this procedure.
Another way to monitor cluster capacity is to use EMC Isilon InsightIQ™ software. If you have InsightIQ licensed on your cluster, you can run FSAnalyze jobs in OneFS to create data for InsightIQ’s file system analytics tools. You can then use InsightIQ’s Dashboard and Performance Reporting to monitor cluster capacity. For example, Performance Reports enable you to view information about the activity of the nodes, networks, clients, disks, and more. The Storage Capacity section of a performance report displays the used and total storage capacity for the monitored cluster over time (Figure 1).
Figure 1: The Storage Capacity section of a Performance Report in InsightIQ 3.0.
For more information about InsightIQ Performance Reports, see the InsightIQ User Guides, which can be found on the EMC Online Support site.
Make sure all nodes in a node pool or disk pool are compatible
If you have a node pool that contains a mix of different node capacities, you can receive “cluster full” errors even if only the smallest node in your node pool reaches capacity. To avoid this scenario, ensure that nodes in each node pool or disk pool are of compatible types. Read the best practices guide for information about node compatibility and for a procedure to verify that all nodes in each node pool are compatible.
Enable Virtual Hot Spare
Virtual Hot Spare (VHS) keeps space in reserve in case you need to move data off of a failing drive (smartfail). VHS is enabled by default. For more information about VHS, read the knowledgebase article, “OneFS: How to enable and configure Virtual Hot Spare (VHS) (88964)” (requires login to the EMC Online Support site).
Spillover allows data that is being sent to a full pool to be diverted to an alternate pool. If you have licensed EMC Isilon SmartPools™ software, you can designate a spillover location. For more information about SmartPools, read the OneFS Web Administration Guide.
If you want to scale-out your storage to add more free space, contact your sales representative.
If you have questions or feedback about this blog or video described in it, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To provide documentation feedback or request new content, send an email to email@example.com.
If you want to capture a moment in time with a camera, you snap a picture. When you want to capture the data on your cluster at a moment in time with the EMC® Isilon® OneFS® operating system, you take a snapshot.
EMC Isilon SnapshotIQ™ is a licensed software module that lets you create new snapshots and manage snapshot schedules. In this blog post, you’ll learn about SnapshotIQ basics and best practices.
A snapshot is taken at a directory-level. The snapshot maintains an image of data that existed in that directory at that moment when the snapshot was created, even if the data changes. Taking a snapshot is an instantaneous operation. Rather than create a redundant copy of the data blocks, snapshots use pointers to reference current blocks on the cluster. Because of this, snapshots do not consume additional disk space unless the data referenced by the snapshot is modified. If the files are modified, the snapshot stores read-only copies of the original blocks.
Image provided by Patrick Kreuch
Snapshots are the foundation for data protection strategies in OneFS. Snapshots are also used by the EMC Isilon SyncIQ™ software module to replicate a consistent point-in-time image of a directory from one cluster to another.
When do OneFS snapshots expire and how is the snapshot space reclaimed?
Can I modify data in a snapshot?
SnapshotIQ best practices
You may find that working with a large number of snapshots can become challenging to manage. Consider the following best practices to improve snapshot management and avoid cluster performance degradation.
Do not create more than 1,000 snapshots of a single directory.
Consider the depth of the directory path when creating snapshots. If the path is too high on the directory tree, it will cost more cluster resources to modify data referenced by the snapshot. If the path is too deep, you may need to create more snapshot schedules, which can be difficult to manage.
Create an alias name for your snapshot schedules in the OneFS web administration interface. Use the alias name to help you look up the most recent snapshot generated from a schedule.
Do not disable the snapshot delete job in the OneFS Job Engine.
For additional best practices and details about SnapshotIQ, see the “Snapshots” section in the OneFS Administration Guide.
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