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.
If you’re remotely managing a Linux machine, you’ll probably use an SSH connection to run commands on that machine. There’s one problem with this approach: if you close the SSH connection, any long-running jobs/commands will halt. If you know a job will take a long time and you won’t be able to babysit the SSH connection, you can plan accordingly. But what if you underestimated the time a job will take, and you need to disconnect anyway? Here’s how to keep the job running AND make it home in time for dinner!
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.
When deleting an Isilon folder, you might come across some peculiar behavior. When browsing with a file explorer to an SMB share and deleting a folder, the operation apparently succeeds and the folder disappears. When refreshing the share however, the folder is back. Resorting to an SSH session to delete the folder, you get an Operation not permitted error and the rm/rmdir command fails.
Did you ever install an Isilon cluster, connect all the cables and run through the configuration wizard, only to find out you still can’t connect to the cluster? Sure you did, happens to everyone. Maybe the cluster only has one 10GigE port online while the network team is still scrambling for 10GigE modules. Or maybe you have configured the invalid VLAN tag on the subnet. This post will group some of the more useful Isilon network commands, so you can enable VLAN tagging or add additional ports to the pool via the CLI.
Isilon scale-out NAS systems lean heavily on DNS. DNS plays a vital role in the way the clients access the files on the Isilon cluster: clients are distributed across nodes and network interfaces based on what your DNS reports back to the clients. This is all done by the SmartConnect component in the Isilon which is configurable up to a certain extent. In this post I’ll explain what SmartConnect does and will also share a tip to speed up your Isilon DR procedure.
Last year EMC installed two new three-node Isilon clusters for one of our customers. 13 months later the customer needs more capacity so the time for adding Isilon nodes to the existing clusters has finally come. Good news for me: since the initial install I got certified to install Isilon systems myself so these expansions are all mine! EMC marketing promises an Isilon cluster expansion in 60 seconds; let’s put it to the test!
“Check your email ;)”. That was the first Twitter DM I read one sleepy morning in June. It’ll suffice to say, a minute later I was wide awake: I was chosen to represent the EMC Elect at the EMC “Redefine Possible” MegaLaunch event in London (UK)! I knew about these launch events because my colleague Rob attended one last year in Milan. Excitement started building and a couple of hours later I figured out I wasn’t going alone…
July 8th 2014. EMC MegaLaunch 4. Theme: Redefine Possible (or #RedefinePossible on Twitter). What previously was impossible, now is possible! Catchy theme and something that we’ve seen in IT for a number of times now. For example: In the 1990’s, who would have thought it was possible to migrate a server from one datacenter to another, possibly a couple of miles away, without downtime, in a couple of seconds?! Doing things fundamentally different, better: that’s the goal we’re always trying to achieve. So how can we apply this to Isilon?