Welcome to the EMC Support Community Ask the Expert. We will be discussing planning for an Isilon Cluster Installation, the steps required for the installation, and the initial integration into the customers environment. Additional topics areas of discussion are facilities planning and site preparations, infrastructure preparation including management and production networks, basic configuration requirements, and initial steps to take to integrate your Isilon Cluster.
|Sam Randolph is a Sr. Technical Account Manager at EMC. He has been working with the Isilon product line since 2010. Prior to 2010, he worked for Silicon Graphics (SGI) with in-depth knowledge of all products built in 1997-2010. Sam has a background in Hardware Engineering and Software Programming.|
This discussion will be take place May 26 - June 6.
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This discussion is now open for questions. We look forward to a lively and informative event.
So I do have some basic questions:
- How many IP addresses will i have to configure at startup for the Management ext-1 interfaces? One per Node? Or reserve even more for future cluster expansions? Or is one enough? Or does it "depend"?
- Do you recommend any IP ranges for the int-a/int-b network? Here also for the range: stay with the Node count or "reserve" some more for future use?
- Where do you usually install the Infiniband Switches? Any recommendations like Same Rack? Below the first Node? Top of the first Rack?...
- Is there an installation checklist for customers to prepare?
1 IP per cluster is enough to start configuring on the cluster. However, I recommend at least 1 address per node. For management, that 1 IP can and maybe should be static. From then on, the rest of the interfaces can be dynamic for ease of failover. Also, having a contiguous IP range for management IPs is useful for keeping your cluster easier to manage in the future with more growth.
For the int-a and int-b network, we now use the standard EMC reserved internal IP addresses as used on the VNX and other product lines. This prevents any collision with a 192.168 or 10. IP range on the installed network.
When installing Infiniband switches, consideration of the switch size and location is important. On a large cluster (with a large Infiniband switch) the switch will generally be located in the middle rack. For a single or double rack install, the IB switches can be placed mid-rack or top of rack. Again, this all depends on the routing of your power and network cables. Are your cable entries located at the top of the rack or bottom of the rack? Just to note, I have never installed nor seen an install where the IB switches were in the bottom of the rack.
There is an excellent install document for planning your install here. When you are working with your Salesperson or SE, feel free to ask them for the install checklist. They can help you customize the questions to what is needed for your environment and workflow.
Does it make sense to create different Subnets or IP Pools for management and production LAN?
As far as I understood, access to SSH or the Webinterface is possible from any IP address.
Could you also give some basic setup examples for networking used out there at customers to get an idea for different use cases, like CIFS only, NFS only, both? I know that this can get very complex, depending on node count, network interfaces etc., but in the end there should always be a similar configuration base/idea to start from.
I found the Isilon Configuration Excel sheet on the partner area and also saw the IP ranges for the int networks.
If you use these as standard, is it or will it be stated in some guides/white papers?
If you use RBAC and different access zones, then a different subnet for management makes great sense. Having static IPs on nodes is a big benefit also since it allows you to know what node you are accessing at any time. Putting your production data on dynamic IPs allows for failover and is seamless on NFS v3 or lower and is almost seamless on CIFS.
As for NFS vs CIFS, do you want in depth file security or do you want faster access speed with lower security overhead? Is your current environment AD or LDAP authenticated? This is just a choice that has to be made to fit the existing environment or the environment growth plans. Also, different business use cases and business verticals can change this decision. Home directories usually prefer CIFS where a lot of HPC environments might be better on NFS... Its like you stated, it is very complex. Every customer should start with a base system and test in their own environment before rolling to production use.
There have been many versions of the installation spreadsheet and I am sure there are many more to come. I don't know if the internal addresses are in a whitepaper. However, many of the Implementation Specialists with EMC that I have talked to use those same IPs for all their installs.
Generally, the initial install wizard is pretty basic and quick. I don't expect a whitepaper will be created to cover those first steps as a trained EMC Isilon installer should be completing the steps whether they are a partner or employee of EMC. There are many different whitepapers that go deep into each subject of filesystem, InsightIQ, NDMP backup, and the list keeps growing.