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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MetroCluster Notes

 Why MetroCluster:


To run business critical applications which needs zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and minimal RECOVERY TIME OBJECTIVE (RTO) and also to withstand multiple components failure events ( Hardware failure, power outage and Natural disaster )

è Zero Data Loss

è Set it once simplicity

è Automatic Replication

è Seamless integration

è Supports both SAN & NAS

è Ability to perform Maintenance

è Ability to perform tech refresh

è Metro Cluster enables the maintenance beyond DC



Types of MetroCluster

Stretched MetroCluster: - Where the DR site can be of not more than 500meters (No switches or bridges are required by default as the connection will be direct using optical cable)


Two-node setup without ATTO bridges and only with optical cable

è Bridges or switches not required

è Supports optical connectivity

è Virtual interface over Fibre Channel (FC-VI) is cabled directly

è Connections are direct across sites using patch panels to disk shelves with optical SAS

Two-node setup with SAS bridges

è ATTO bridges are required  ( Refer ATTO Bridge to know more )

è FC-VI is cabled directly

è Maximum distance is 500m with 2Gbps or 150m with 8Gbps 






Fabric-attached MetroCluster: - Which can be extended up to 200Kms







Some Key Points to note:

The root aggregate requires two or three disks

Need to have minimum of two shelves per site

Disk assignment must be manual even in the event of disk failure as well

ISL and redundant fabrics connect the two clusters and their storage

All Storage is fabric attached and visible to all nodes



Now we need to understand how data is secured attaining zero downtime with MetroCluster

èMetro cluster uses Syncmirror technology to perform continuous data synchronisation across the DR site with aggregate mirroring

è Writes are mirrored synchronously to both plexes and by default Read operation happens
From local plex

è A special hidden volume that contains metadata is located in the data aggregate of each
Node or in a single aggregate in a cluster holds all the meta data.


Note:- All Aggregates are mirrored with the copies at DR site including root aggregate

To dig in more: How the whole site data replicated to DR

In aggregate mirroring, a mirrored aggregate is one WAFL ( Write Anywhere File Layout ) storage file system with two physically separated and synchronously updated copies on disks or array LUNs. The copies are called Plexes.

Data ontap always names the first plex as plex0 and second plex1. Each flex is a physical copy of the same WAFL file system and consists of one or more RAID groups.

As we know syncmirror can be used only at aggregate level ( Including all flexvol in the aggregate ) but not flexvol, each aggregate will have two synchronously mirrored plexes, the local plex, plex0 and the remote plex, plex1. Data is written to the local plex, plex0 and then synchronously replicated to remote plex, plex1 over the ISL. Reads are always from the plex0.

 As we see above Securing data is ok but how about configuration is secured

Here comes the NVRAM in to picture, NVRAM on each node is split in to four partitions to make the full use of NVRAM memory.

Note:- Each Node mirror its NVRAM to two other node: its HA partner and its DR partner

In normal operation, three of the four NVRAM partitions are used

Partition 1:  For the node self

Partition 2: For HA partner

Partition 3: For DR partner

And partition 4 would manage additional node in the event of takeover and switchover.

The overhead of the NVRAM split is managed by System Performance Modeler (SPM) tool,  which is not affected when compared to 7-Mode

Configuration replication service (CRS) replicates the configuration of each cluster to another.
By default a volume of 10GB size is created on each node to hold the replicated cluster data. Which acts as meta data volume.

Ex:- A change on Cluster A is logged in to the cluster A metadata volume and then CRS replicates the change to cluster B

MetroCluster Replication Mechanism

è NVRAM is mirrored to the HA partner and to the DR partner

è Disk traffic is mirrored at the aggregate level

è Cluster configuration is replicated over a peered network, Which means this doesn’t need a dedicated network

Reviewing the Failure Events:

Failure Events
7-Mode
2-Node DR group
4-Node DR group
One disk or two disk Failure
Data is still available
Data is still available
Data is still available
More than two disk failure
The serving plex serves data; the node is unaffected
The serving plex serves data; the node is unaffected
The serving plex serves data; the node is unaffected
Shelf failure
The surviving plex serves data
The surviving plex serves data
The surviving plex serves data
Switch failure
Data is served via the other path
Data is served via the other path
Data is served via the other path
Switch ISL failure
Data is available from the local node if the ISLs are down, DR protection is offline
Data is available from the local node if the ISLs are down, DR protection is offline
Data is available from the local node if the ISLs are down, DR protection is offline
Node Failure ( Panic, Power-off, and so on)
Automatic failover occurs to the remote node
Automatic failover occurs to the remote node
Automatic failover occurs to the remote node
Peered clusted link failure
n/a
Data remains available from the local cluster, cluster config changes are not replicated affecting DR
Data remains available from the local cluster, cluster config changes are not replicated affecting DR
Failure of both nodes in an HA group
All data offline
All data offline
Automatic switchover (SO) with tie-breaker occurs


How a failure is detected ? What would be the plan of action after a failure of site ?

When there is complete site failure the surviving storage controller cannot distinguish between site failure or just a network partition. Here come the tie breaker in to picture which needs to be deployed in a separate data center which helps the surviving controller to decide what to do next.

Note: If the third data center is not available and Tie-Breaker cannot be implemented the storage controller takes no action and the storage administrator needs to do manual forced takeover of the storage resources on the surviving controller. ( Imagine you have only a production and DR site and don't have a third site), scratching your head where to deploy TIE-BREAKER setup a server in your office and install REDHAT (Tie breaker runs on Redhat Linux ) which will monitor your both sites or data center and instruct your MetroCluster what to do in the event of a failure.


























Here are the mediums to monitor MetroCluster

Tie Breaker: After installing tie breaker on Redhat Linux, use the command

netapp-metrocluster-tiebreaker-software-cli  to use the metrocluster monitoring commands

Check the status of the MetroCluster

monitor show -status (Look for Intersite Connectivity, Reachable status)
























monitor show -stats ( Shows when was the last cluster unreachable time, last intersite connectivity down time )























Another way to monitor the MetroCluster is from OCUM (Oncommand Unified Manager)

MetroCluster connectivity showing all healthy




















MetroCluster Replication Status















In case of any failure, status changed as below


















Also we can check the status of MetroCluster from the Ontap console:

metrocluster show











Recommended or Supported FAS controllers, Disk shelves and FC switch:

Controllers( Including Flex Arrays)
Disk Shelves
Switches
FAS 3220, 3250

FAS 6210, 6240, 6280, 6220, 6250, 6290

FAS 8020, 8040, 8060, 8080 EX

DS 4243

DS 2246

DS 4246
Brocade 6505

Brocade 6510

Cisco 9148


 Although zero downtime is assured there are very few demerits in MetroCluster and the beauty of NetApp is they actually admit these

è Switchover is disruptive for SMB protocol, where continuous available shares will have less than 60Seconds outage 

  è Doesn’t support infinite volume 

è SSD partitioning in Flash Pool

è Advance Disk Partitioning (ADP)

è NetApp Storage Encryption (NSE) 





Thursday, November 10, 2016

NetApp Snapshot directories appears to have wrong date



There might be mismatch of time stamp for snapshot at the NetApp controller end versus the time displayed in the windows explorer date modified.

Example:- The snaplist of my filerserver volume snapshots showing different time stamps 

Controller 
















Windows Explorer
























As we see comparing the screenshots above that there is difference between the snapshot time and the time in the explorer i.e., date modified 

Actually we shouldn't compare the snapshot time stamp against the Data Modified but we should look for the option Date Accessed which is same as the snapshot time stamp

Right click on the any of the tab above ( Ex:- Name, Date Modified, Type, Size ) and select more 


Now look for the option Data Accessed and select and ok




Now compare the time stamp from snapshot and the date access, will exactly the same