Consolidating datacenters with Pure Storage FlashArray ActiveCluster

Purity ActiveClusterIn my previous post I briefly mentioned one of my cooler projects of 2020: closing down a datacenter and consolidated it to our other datacenters at Open Line. The complexity of this project was mostly on the network and “BU carve-out” side of IT, but also featured a very cool Pure Storage FlashArray ActiveCluster component. In fact, using ActiveCluster technology ensured that we kept it all very simple from a data migration and risk perspective. Let me explain why we did what we did, but also start with a disclaimer.

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I’m still alive!

While updating this site and its plugins, I’ve noticed that my previous post is from May 2020. I couldn’t let that ticker go the full 365 days between updates, so here’s a keepalive post to let y’all know I’m still alive and well. A lot has happened in the last 12 months which has kept me from posting as much as previous years. Fortunately, much of it is good news, so no worries!

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OneFS 8.2 firmware improvement: isi_upgrade_helper

I’ve previously wrote a howto to upgrade your Isilon cluster’s firmware. The process hasn’t changed much over time: you upload a node firmware package to the cluster, install it, and then apply it to the nodes themselves. Time wise though, it’s not a quick process. Each node will reboot during this process, and the process takes at least 10 minutes per cycle. Imagine a 100+ node cluster and running this process one node at a time…

Fortunately, OneFS 8.2 has recently introduced a nice new tool to make this node firmware upgrade a bit easier and much faster: isi_upgrade_helper. It figures out which nodes can upgrade simultaneously and spits out the relevant commands for you.

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Recipe: Limburgs zoervleisj (zuurvlees)

Limburgs zoervliesj mit fritteOne advantage of running your own blog is that you can add an additional post category with the click of a mouse. Welcome to the food category! In this first post, a recipe for ‘Limburgs zoervleisj’, or ‘zuurvlees’ in non-dialect Dutch. Its direct English translation is ‘sour meat’, which originates from the vinegar to marinate and break down the meat. Limburgs zoervleisj is a regional dish originating from my area of the Netherlands, with a sweet and sour taste. Traditionally, it was made from horse meat, which was cheaper than beef. Nowadays though, beef is used as horse meat is scarce and actually more expensive. We typically eat it with chips, but leftovers are often reheated the next day for lunch with some bread.

One of my pet peeves with blog-style recipes is that they typically have a 600 words prelude on how the author had a profound life experience related to the dish and how making it is going to make the world a better place. So without further ado, lets go to the recipe and NOT do that!

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Veeam Availability Suite: Scale-Out Backup Repository, Enhanced NAS backup and (soon) CDP!

Veeam logoVeeam presented a couple of new features for their Backup & Recovery suite at Tech Field Day 20. Three of them stand out for me: the Scale-out Backup Repository, Enhanced NAS backup, and Continuous Data Protection. The first one is a logical container to bundle other backup repositories in. The second because backing up large NAS filesystems is hard, especially if you want to maintain a low RPO. And talking about RPO’s, there’s Continuous Data Protection (CDP) which protects your volume or VM with an RPO of seconds. Let’s explore what’s changing and when we can expect to see these features in the field.

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