A few week ago we visited Dell EMC in Boston for Storage Field Day 16. Susan Sharpe presented CloudIQ to us. If you’re unfamiliar with CloudIQ: it keeps track of your storage system performance, health, capacity and notifies you in case of any anomalies. If you’ve got a Dell EMC Unity storage system, you can already use it for free. And it’s also being actively developed, so expect many new features to come into production over time!
Yes, I’m sorry about the title too. But also glad to announce I’m shipping up to Boston for Storage Field Day 16 this week! Just ignore the fact I’m not on a ship but on a train for now, and all should be well… Next stop is AMS, then a direct flight to BOS. It’s going to be a slightly shorter, two-day Storage Field Day this time around. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to receive a lot less content!
Last week I’ve attended Dell Technologies World 2018 in Las Vegas. I was invited by Dell Technologies via the influencer program, which basically means we get access to the same content as the press or analysts. I’ve spent the weeks alternating between general keynotes, briefings, interviews and catching up with friends and colleagues. In this post I’ll try and summarize some of the main topics of the Dell Technologies World 2018, focusing on what appealed most to me.
Moving to the cloud comes with many advantages. There’s the obvious advantages: if you put all your servers or services in the public cloud, you do not need your own datacenter. Provisioning rates are typically pretty fast, so this improves the time needed to spin up a new service. Plus pretty much every cloud is based on a “pay as you use/grow” billing model, giving you predictable costs.
Different public cloud providers charge different prices for services. So what if you could use the best value components from each cloud provider? Say hello to the multi cloud.
The Dell EMC High-End Systems Division talked about two systems. First about the VMAX All Flash, and later about the XtremIO X2. This post is about the latter one. The XtremIO X2 builds upon the foundation of the original “old” XtremIO, but also does a couple of things differently. This post will explore those difference a bit, and will also talk about asynchronous and synchronous replication.
Back in October we visited Dell EMC for a few Storage Field Day 14 presentations. Walking into the new EBC building we bumped into two racks. One with a VMAX all flash system and another with a XtremIO X2. Let’s kick off the Storage Field Day 14 report with VMAX All Flash. There’s still a lot of thought going into this enterprise class storage array…
Today I visited a customer to connect two RecoverPoint clusters. One RecoverPoint cluster is connected to a Unity array, the other to a VNX. After installing both clusters, we ran the RecoverPoint Connect Cluster wizard and were greeted with an “Internal Error. Contact support” error message. Awesome! Fortunately it turned out to be a pretty basic error which was easy to fix. A short story about RecoverPoint installation types in mixed-array configurations…
Last month I’ve performed a Isilon tech refresh of two clusters running NL400 nodes. In both clusters, the old NL400 36TB nodes were replaced with 72TB NL410 nodes with some SSD capacity. First step in the whole process was the replacement of the Infiniband switches. Since the clusters were fairly old, an OneFS upgrade was also on the list, before the cluster could recognize the NL410 nodes. Dell EMC has extensive documentation on the whole OneFS upgrade process: check the support website, because there’s a lot of version dependencies. Finally, everything was prepared and I could begin with the actual Isilon tech refresh: getting the new Isilon nodes up and running, moving the data and removing the old nodes.
While upgrading OneFS it’s important to keep the InsightIQ software version compatible with the Isilon systems. In this case, InsightIQ wasn’t updated for a while and I had to upgrade from 3.0 -> 3.1 -> 3.2 -> 4.x. The actual upgrade process isn’t too hard (it just takes a lot of time), but there’s one little prerequisite in the 3.1 -> 3.2 upgrade: a minimum free space in the root partition of 502MB. As you can see in the screenshot, I wasn’t even close to the minimum requirement. I got to 357 MB, and that’s after cleaning up redundant stuff. Time to add some more disk space and extend root partition!
Every once in a while you might need to replace an Isilon infiniband switch. Possibly because of a broken switch, the need for more ports, or because the old switch is.. too old. Good news: it’s a fairly straightforward job. And if your cluster has two switches, you can replace a switch at a time without outage.