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namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


optikalus posted:

Well, my "SAN" has just turned itself into a pile of crap.

I lost two drives and the thing is still running thanks to the hotspare and RAID5, but obviously if I lose one more drive, I'm totally F'd. I overnighted two new drives to the DC which are supposed to be identical to the ones in there, but it detects them as being just a few MB smaller so the controller won't use them.

I have two options: I can bring up a TB storage box and copy all the data to it, then steal my NAS's IP address and run it there for a little bit while I rebuild the array with the smaller drive size, or I can invest in some real hardware.

I've always wanted a NetApp, but they're not answering their phone and EMC is going to get back to me by Monday.

We've already discussed the MD3000i and the general consensus is that it is junk, but I don't recall seeing why it is junk. How does it compare against the HP MSA 2000i?

How does the EVA4100 compare to the EMC and NetApp boxes?

My upper limit is probably around 20k so recommendations around that range would be appreciated.
Hi,
I'm an employee of NetApp and I can try to put you in touch with someone more responsive if you're still interested.

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namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Maneki Neko posted:

I think you might needs the CIFS license if you plan to also use snapdrive on the windows hosts, but I could be wrong.
Q. Do I need a CIFS license on the storage system to run SnapDrive?
A. No. SnapDrive no longer requires a CIFS share for the host to access the storage system volumes.

And...

Minimum required version of Data ONTAP: 7.1

Table of licenses you need, depending on what you want to do.
code:
License  	Requirement if you want to...
iSCSI 	        Use iSCSI-accessed LUNs
FCP 	        Use FCP-accessed LUNs
SnapRestore 	Restore LUNs from Snapshot copies
SnapMirror 	Use the SnapMirror option
FlexClone 	Enable volume clone functionality on flexible volumes
SnapVault 	Use SnapVault for archiving LUN backup sets
MultiStore 	Create LUNs on vFiler units
Also, please note that a SnapDrive license is required for every SAN host/initiator.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Mierdaan posted:

Is there a good online resource for finding out what Netapp's different software licenses actually allow you to do? Their online doc on SnapDrive is horrible, horrible marketing garbage.

Unfortunately the only good source is the NOW support site. What would you like to know?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Wicaeed posted:

Can someone explain to me how Netapp does their licensing? I bought these F720 filers but I'm having some issues getting it to run properly (which isn't related to licensing), but I've read a blog where if you don't have the right license to run a specific software (NFS/CIFS) the thing is pretty drat useless anyways.

I've gone to the Netapp website and looked up my product serial # and don't see any recent licenses under that number, and it has me worried. I also noticed on Ebay auctions 99% of the time the seller never specifies if the filer comes with a license or not, which may be why things are so cheap.

I figure it probably wouldn't be worth my time/money to buy a license from Netapp, am I right?

Can you describe your problem in more detail? Also, please post the output to "license" on the CLI.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Unknown may be right.
code:
NetApp Release 5.3.6R1: Wed Jun 14 18:21:14 PDT 2000
Copyright (c) 1992-2000 Network Appliance, Inc.
Starting boot on Thu Dec 11 19:11:20 GMT 2008
Scanning for disk drives: Unsupported NVRAM size: 0MB
...is pretty funny. Can you open the filer up to check if the NVRAM card is in there?

I can send you the field service guide if you give me an email address. The NVRAM card is located in slot 9.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


NetApp has had something called System Manager out for a couple months now. It's meant as a Filerview replacement. It's also free and you can download it from NOW. For more info click here: http://blogs.netapp.com/storage_nuts_n_bolts/2009/03/sneak-preview-netapp-system-manager-nsm.html You'll need mmc 3.0 and all your snmp ports to your filers open. I can't comment on its reliability because I've never used it though.

The 2000 series filers are all clusterable btw. In fact, I've only ever come across one customer that bought a 2000 series with one node. With respect to expandability, the 2020 can be expanded with FC or SATA shelves. This is rather odd because the 2020 is populated with SAS drives.

Also, last week NetApp released Ontap 8, Ontap 7.2.3, the 2040 and the DS4243 SAS shelf. The big deal with Ontap 8 is that it supports aggregates bigger than 16 TB.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


lilbean posted:

Oh absolutely. My last big order was six Sun T5140 systems and a couple of J4200 disk arrays for them, and our CDW sales rep was falling over himself to get us to order it by the end of the month (in January). He called me twice a day to check on the status and what not, and then I finally e-mailed him to tell him to calm down.

So he calls me and he says "Look, if I make this sale I win a 42-inch plasma TV." As if I give a poo poo. So one of our other Sun sales guys get us the lowest price (Parameter Driven Solutions in Toronto) and we go with them.

Then the CDW sales guy leaves a threatening message on my voicemail! He's angry as gently caress and saying poo poo like "I worked for a month on your quote and I DON'T LOSE SALES" and so on. So I didn't reply, but CDWs website helpfully mentions the contact information of your rep's manager which let me forward the voicemail to him. So the salesman no longer works there :)

Fake edit: Also, I've seen Apple sales people and sales engineer give the same lines of bullshit about vibrational testing.

That's appalling. It's common for sales cycles to last 6 months in the storage industry. In fact, the cycle often stretches beyond 6 months and not just for high end arrays.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


1000101 posted:

I think NetApp GX may address this particular need.

Here's a whitepaper on using a CX4-960 for data warehousing:
http://www.emc.com/collateral/hardware/white-papers/h5548-deploying-clariion-dss-workloads-wp.pdf

Either way you go you're going to have to aggregate multiple devices into a single logical volume. If you stick with NetApp you'll just have to create several 16TB LUNs and stripe them together using LVM or veritas or something like that. On EMC (correct me if I'm wrong Vanilla) you'll end up with a bunch of 32TB metaLUNs to achieve the same goal.

Ontap 8 running in "classic" mode overcomes the 16 TB aggregate limit.

http://www.ntapgeek.com/2009/09/64-bit-aggregates-in-data-ontap-8.html

GX or cluster mode as it is known in ontap 8 has several limitations, including an inability to snapmirror.

namaste friends fucked around with this message at 19:57 on Sep 20, 2009

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


adorai posted:

On our NetApp 3140, when running the command: priv set diag; stats show lun; priv set admin

I am seeing a large percentage of partial writes. There does not seem to be a corresponding number of misaligned writes, as you can see in the below output:

lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.0:72%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.1:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.2:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.3:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.4:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.5:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.6:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_align_histo.7:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:read_partial_blocks:0%
lun:/vol/iscsivol0/lun0-W-OMCoT2A9Iw:write_partial_blocks:27%

Should I be worried about this? All of my vmdks are aligned (i went through every single one to double check), plus there are no writes to .1-.7 so the evidence also shows no alignment issue. I submitted a case to have an engineer verify there is no issue, but I was wondering if anyone else has seen partial writes like this on a VMware iSCSI lun. The partial writes typically hover around 30%, but can vary. They were at 75% at one point today.

Are you using Operations Manager? If so, can you create a graph for iSCSI latency? That should tell us how well your iSCSI SAN is performing. When you created your iSCSI LUNs, did you use snapdrive or did you create them manually? If you created them manually did you remember to align the VMFS formatting? Also, do you have the ESX host utilities kit installed?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Serfer posted:

This might not be the right crowd, but any idea how something like a Netapp box has a pool of drives which are connected to the two head units? They can assign which drives go to which in software as well. The only solutions I can come up with involve a single point of failure (eg, using a controller and serving up the drives each as their own LUN to the heads).

If you're asking what I think you're asking, it works like this; with ONTAP 7 and above, the disks contain metadata written at the RAID level which assigns the disks to their respective controllers. This is called software disk ownership.

Generally in NetApp clusters which are described as "active/active", each node owns some portion of the disks. During normal operation, i/o is written to the NVRAM and shared to each node through the cluster interconnect. Once the NVRAM is full for a node the data is then written to disks which it owns.

In the event of a failover, the node which has "taken over" its partner's disks can continue serving data and writing data to its partner's disks, all thanks to the magic of software disk ownership.

In the old days of hardware disk ownership, each node in the cluster owned disks plugged into a specific HBA port/loop on the filer. With software disk ownership, it doesn't matter what loop is plugged into where as ownership only depends on the RAID metadata written to the disk.

I've seen systems where disk ownership is scattered all over the stacks of disk trays.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


H110Hawk posted:

Via magic, faeries, pixie dust, and most importantly lots of money.

This blog has a really great picture to illustrate the setup:

http://netapp-blog.blogspot.com/2009/08/netapp-activeactive-vs-activepassive.html

The closest thing to a single point of failure is the cluster interconnect for NVRAM mirroring. However, if the interconnect fails your cluster continues to serve data from its non-fault tolerant state, but will not transition to a new state. This means if filer A is currently active for A and B, it will continue to do so upon cluster link failure. If filer A and filer B are both serving their own data, they will never fail over to the other automatically.

The filers maintain some state information on the disks themselves in a reserved few blocks for filer A and filer B respectively so they can make educated guesses about the other filer's state. There are VERY dire warnings and consequences to acting upon a filer when it cannot sense its neighbor.

Never disagree with what a RAID setup thinks about your array without very good reason. (This is just unsolicited advice. It's the most concise way I train people in using storage systems, as it is what every action boils down to on a fileserver.)

Just wanted to add that all of NetApp's current product line, except for the 6000 series have interconnects on a circuit board backplane.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Serfer posted:

Well, I was trying to figure out how they had drives connected to both systems really. I wanted to build something similar and use something like Nexenta, but it's looking more like these things are specialized and not available to people who want to roll their own.

Hmm sorry I can't help you there.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Serfer posted:

Yeah, that's pretty much where it's going. 100% overhead. But still cheaper that way than buying Netapp or EMC. Which reminds me, despite calling a half dozen times, and having a conference with Sun, they never sent me a quote despite promising that it would get there in x<7 days every time I called.

I would imagine Sun staff are busy trying to find new jobs right now.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Insane Clown Pussy posted:

What the hell is up with NetApp's pricing? Their "Windows bundle" that includes the VSS-aware snapshot tech is $3k per controller on the 2020 or $16k per controller on the 2040 for the exact same feature-set. I was leaning towards EMC until their AX4 pricing doubled when they added the VSS software. At this rate we're either going to go for Equallogic or bite the bullet and get some more HP/Lefthand boxes. Compellent are dropping by next week though, so we'll see what they say.

Do those prices include any disk?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Cyberdud, I think you may want to go through the following exercise:

1) figure out how much it will cost your company per hour of down time
2) figure out what your company's tolerance is for down time, given the cost

You need to have a conversation with management about the managey, business stuff like this because ultimately you need to be accountable for your design decisions. Finally, you need to document this stuff. It sounds like you work for a pretty small shop and you guys may be pretty informal about decisions like this, but I can definitely tell you that this exercise is worth performing. Not only that, future employers would consider this sort of exercise positively in your favour.

Also if the whole set up blows up in your face you can pull the report out and show it to management and tell them why you made the decisions you did.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


FISHMANPET posted:

Anyone know a good way to get a Mac to connect to an iSCSI network? There are software initiators, but our Xserve is a piece of poo poo, and I'd rather just get a dedicated card. Does anybody make a card with OSX drivers? I know QLogic doesn't (at least according to their site). Apple seems to be all on board the Fibre Channel bandwagon, and ignoring iSCSI.

Why not just use NFS?

edit:
Generally speaking, TCP offload engines don't give you that much advantage over using a dedicated NIC. If you've got a good amount of RAM in your Mac, it's more trouble than it's worth.

namaste friends fucked around with this message at 19:16 on Jul 15, 2010

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


FISHMANPET posted:

RAM, Hahahahahahaha. Like I said, our server is a POS. I think it only has 3 GB. The guy who was paying for it wanted to be a cheapass, and my boss didn't have the balls to tell him to gently caress off, so we turned everything down to -11. We've got like 10T that we can share out via NFS from our thumper, but it's being a bastard in OSX. We were trying to use NFS reshares and that just sucked. Our next step is to try and get each client to mount the NFS share directly from our thumper, instead of from the Xserve.

I hate Apple, but I also hate cheapasses.

What kind of data is stored on your thumper?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


GanjamonII posted:

Does anyone here run oracle on iscsi? we're having some performance issues.
I apologise in advance if I mess up the terminology or details as my experience is on the application side and some of this stuff is kinda new (as in.. since since we discovered the issue). There are real server/storage folks looking at this too but I think there is a lot of expertise on the forums also. Also I'm responsible for the application running on this DB.

We have NetApp 3070 supplying about 1.8Tb to our oracle box (server 2008 x64) which is running 4 databases. The server is a beefy 4 socket HP blade (bl something or other g6, can't remember the model) 32gb ram with 2 1gb nics teamed for the production lan. We're using microsofts iscsi initiator software.

Our DBA ran the AWR report for oracle which shows that its waiting on i/o something like 70+% of the time. It reported the throughput at something stupid like 478kb/s read and 68kb/s write which I can pull on my home DSL connection so either that is not accurate or something is really wrong cause these things are in a serious datacenter about 3 feet apart. The LUNs are in a volume/aggregate/whatever with 26 disks so there should be plenty of spindles, and the report from storage team is that the disks are basically idling along at under 10% average utilization.

Oracle is reporting average request latency of 35-50+ms for some of the database files, whereas our storage team reports average request latency on the filer is something like 4ms. So seems there is something going on between oracle and the filer. CPU usage on the servers is low, there isn't any network issues we're aware of, though we're checking into it.

This is supporting a business critical application and looks like our db is going to increase significantly in size over the next 6 months. Performance for the application overall now is borderline - it is very slow but still usable but its definitely not acceptable and users are not happy with it.

Anyone have any advice? It would be really appreciated.

Is this a new oracle install?
Are you using snapdrive?
What initiator version?
How have you configured your target NICs on the filer? Are they vif'd?
What ontap and snapdrive versions are you running?
What oracle version?
Are your servers clustered?
How complicated is your networking? ie multiple vlans?
Misogynist and Adorai asked very good questions about your network. I'd also take a look at basic stuff like duplex and autonegotiate on the switches.

Finally, have you opened a case? If not, I suggest you do so now. You're paying for support anyway. Might as well use it. This sort of problem is well within the responsibilities of the support centre.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Misogynist posted:

Anyone know the standard log write size for Exchange 2010, perchance? I know the DB page size was increased to 32k, which actually makes it possible to run on RAID-5 in our environment, but I can't find anything about the transaction logs.

From here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb331958.aspx

quote:

If a database suddenly stops, cached changes aren't lost just because the memory cache was destroyed. When the database restarts, Exchange scans the log files, and reconstructs and applies any changes not yet written to the database file. This process is called replaying log files. The database is structured so that Exchange can determine whether any operation in any log file has already been applied to the database, needs to be applied to the database, or doesn't belong to the database.

Rather than write all log information to a single large file, Exchange uses a series of log files, each exactly one megabyte, or 1,024 kilobytes (KB), in size. When a log file is full, Exchange closes it and renames it with a sequential number. The first log that's filled ends with the name Enn00000001.log. The nn refers to a two-digit number known as the base name or log prefix.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


ghostinmyshell posted:

Also don't be afraid to open a case with NetApp, they don't mind these kind of cases if you think something is weird as long as you act like a reasonable human being.

I'd like to emphasize this post. You are probably paying a lot of money to keep your equipment within support. Use it!

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


adorai posted:

i always see how many nics people use for iSCSI and wonder, are they going overkill or are we woefully underestimating our needs. We use 3 nics on each host for iscsi, 2 for the host iscsi connections and 1 for the guest connections to our iSCSI network. We have 6 total nics on each of filers, setup as 2 3 nic trunks in an active/passive config. We have roughtly 100-120 guests (depends if you include test or not) and don't come close to the max throughput of our nics on either side.

It's worth your while to install Cacti or Nagios somewhere to monitor the switches your filers are plugged into. Are we talking about NetApp filers here? If so you can also check autosupport for network throughput graphs.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


vty posted:

Alright, I'm completely stumped and need some assistance, this has been a major headache.

I've got the iscsi controllers on their own switch completely - with several of my server nics plugged in.

When I attempt to point my host initiator to the iscsi initator I'm getting access denied. The most generic access denied ever. Firewall disabled, can ping every single IP.


Click here for the full 1379x763 image.


Edit: Wow. I decided to run as admin the dell config utility.. and voila. No-way. I've even reinstalled once I made so many changes that I lost count.

Edit2: Nevermind. It now tells me the host name that in the picture above has "access denied" (left) but now I'm getting Root\ISCSIPRT\0000_0 Initiator Errors down the line on every connection. ugh.

Is your Dell storage device a member of the same Windows domain as your server?

As well, do you see anything in your event logs?

edit:

I'm reading through this manual: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&so...N4O4y6nS-mr7quA

Have you gone throught the host access configuration stuff on page 43?

namaste friends fucked around with this message at 14:29 on Aug 14, 2010

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Eyecannon posted:

Building a new fileserver, would like to use ZFS, but I would rather use linux than solaris... is this legit now?: http://github.com/behlendorf/zfs/wiki

And while we're at it, what's the difference between ZFS on linux and btrfs?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Intraveinous posted:

Any recommendations on RAID controllers for a small array of SSDs (4-6). Will be in either Raid 10 or RAID 5/6 if the controller is good enough at it. Read heavy database (95%+), so R5/6 write penalty shouldn't be too big an issue.

The HP Smart Array P400 results below:


That's impressive! What's your rationale for RAID10? What's the database?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Is anyone out there looking at 10GbE?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Reading all these posts about people aggregating 6+ ethernet ports together, I was curious if anyone had thought about using 10GbE instead.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


oblomov posted:

Our 2U VMware servers each used to have 8 cables (including Dell drac) and now we have 3.

Is that 3 10GbE interfaces? I'm curious about how people are using 10GbE with esx.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


conntrack posted:

It got unmounted ok, double checked in the logs. The restore deleted about 60% of the files before i called it quits for taking to long and remounted it.

A 1k test i ran before the larger test took about 5 minutes but completed ok.

What version of ontap and snapdrive are you using?

edit:

Try your test again but with the following snapdrive restore command:

snapdrive snap restore /mnt/goon -snapname goon_snapshot -vbsr preview

https://now.netapp.com/Knowledgebase/solutionarea.asp?id=kb47140
The default behaviour for snapdrive restores is single file snap restore. The -vbsr flag will tell snapdrive to do a volume based snap restore.

namaste friends fucked around with this message at 22:18 on Sep 24, 2010

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


three, this is an oracle db right? Has anyone run an oracle statspack to see that the Oracle db isn't doing anything funny?

edit:

Oracle Statspack: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B10500_01/server.920/a96533/statspac.htm
A quick and very very dirty analyser for a statspack: http://www.txmemsys.com/statspack-reg.htm
This analyser is tuned for performance on SSD but still provides useful information for Oracle tuning newbs.

namaste friends fucked around with this message at 03:59 on Oct 20, 2010

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


ferrit posted:

Is there any way to increase the write performance on a NetApp FAS3140 running OnTap 7.2.6.1? It appears that our options, according to NetApp support, are:

1) Increase the number of spindles (we've got 4 fully populated ds14mk4 disk shelves attached to this head with a mix of 150 and 450 GB 15K FCAL drives) so that the NVRAM is able to flush the writes to disk faster without hitting back-to-back consistency points. This may be difficult as we might run into power issues with adding another shelf.
2) Setup a proper reallocate schedule for all volumes to ensure that the volumes aren't "fragmented" and that we're not running into a hot disk scenario. We've tried this and although it appears to help somewhat, there are several times when we still see latency rise due to the back-to-back consistency points.
3) Stop pushing so much drat data to the filers so drat quickly - this might not be achievable, as it's an Oracle database that the DBA's insist must be able to handle this type of load.
4) Buy a bigger filer head that has a larger NVRAM size to help mitigate the instances when it is pushing alot of data to the filer.

Are there any other bits of performance tuning that can be done? Have there been any significant changes in OnTap 7.3 as far as performance tuning is concerned? We're looking specifically for write performance, so I'm not sure if a PAM module would help us out (I had believed that they were meant for reads more than writes). We had recommended they go for a FAS3170 when it was specced out a couple of years ago, but they saw the cost and backed off.

Thanks!

7.3.x has significant performance improvement over 7.2.x. Ontap 7.3.x was written to take advantage of multiple core filer heads by running more threads to take care of background processes. I'm surprised support didn't mention this to you. Is it possible for you to upgrade ontap?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


madsushi posted:

SMB2 is in 8.0.1, but not SMB2.1, which I guess Windows 7 is capable of.

For everyone that has access to NOW, here's the release notes: http://now.netapp.com/NOW/knowledge/docs/ontap/rel801rc2/html/ontap/rnote/frameset.html

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


idolmind86 posted:

Two questions...

I am a software developer and the increasing trend to go to storage over NFS is loving us big time. It seems that a lot of companies don't fully grasp the technology or how to correctly configure it. Our product contains a proprietary database and we run into many issues including, but not limited to, locking and caching issues, known locking and caching bugs with NFS, stale NFS mounts causing our product to hang until the mount becomes available again, etc. Anyone else out there seeing situations like this? Any advice. We are scrambling internally to figure out better ways to deal but there are frequent incidents that I'm not sure we could avoid if we want to.

Some examples are customers doing maintenance to the filer while our product is running and our processes hanging until a machine reboot. Kind of similar to if you just bring down an NFS mount host without unmounting it first. In this case the customer was blaming our software for the problem even though any attempt to do simple UNIX commands in the product install directory made the process hang (such as cd, ls, pwd, df, etc).

Another example was a customer with an NFS version with known caching issues where we wrote a test program that wrote to a file and another test program that read from the file and the reader would not immediately find the data.

Anyway, it has been a nightmare to support so I figured I'd throw the question out there.

Also, on SunOS and someone using a veritas cluster does a mount file system of "vfs" mean veritas file system or SunOS's virtual file system?

Sometimes I run into clients that use NFS without any consideration for the type of workload they require. That is you end up seeing them mount up their exports without putting in the right options. The problem is that databases treat the filesystem differently than conventional applications. Oracle is an example that has intimate knowledge of filesystems, particularly local filesystems. Sometimes this results in some pretty messed up performance over a NAS protocol like NFS. One way of overcoming this problem is to get rid of NFS and use FC or ISCSI. Another way is to simply tune your NFS options to suit your database workload. What follows below is a crib of a NetApp techinical report (TR3322, get it here: http://media.netapp.com/documents/tr-3322.pdf ) . I want to try and explain what NetApp considers to be problems with respect to configuring NFS to suit a database workload.

There are 4 considerations in using NFS instead of a local filesystem to store your database.

1) Data Caching Mechanisms
2) Data Integrity
3) Asynchronous I/O
4) I/O pattern

With respect to
1)
Conventional file I/O doesn't have a facility to deal with the caching of data. The file system will have a mechanism to cache data to reduce I/O. On the other hand, a database is likely smart enough to have its own caching mechanism. This presents a problem where it may be possible that a 'double' caching effect can occur which is undesirable.

2)
File systems will often defer the writing of data to disk until some point in time as determined by the operation system. Sometimes databases require that data is immediately written to disk to provide data integrity. The deferral of writes (known as write back) to the file system can cause unwanted latency to the db.

3)
Asynchronous I/O (AIO) is a feature of an OS that enables your application to continue processing while the file system I/O requests are being serviced. AIO is relevant to databases because they can control their read-ahead and write-back behaviour. Read-ahead and write-back behaviour are intimately intertwined with AIO.

4)
I/O patterns of databases, particularly online transactional processing, are generate a high amount of small, random, highly parallelized reads and writes. NFS performance improvements (as far as I'm told anyway) have neglected this sort of workload.

So what do you do about this? Without knowing what your proprietary database does and how it works, I would suggest generating some sort of workload and then benchmarking the I/O when it is run against local attached storage. Then I'd suggest running the same workload and benchmark against ISCSI and FC attached storage. Finally, run it against NFS mounted storage. If you think you're seeing problems with performance which may be related to any of the above problems, the next step is to start playing around with your mount options. The problem with this is that you could be playing around for a long time and the options you end up using depend on the OS and version. Maybe taking a look at NetApp's NFS options for Oracle might provide a starting a point: https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&id=3010189 .

On Solaris it's possible to mount an export with forced direct io - forcedirectio, no attribute caching - noac. As far as I've seen, lock problems generally arise when something is interrupting the network or communication with the storage device. There's no easy way to deal with this but take a look at the nointr option.

I believe Veritas is usually referred to as VxFS.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


what is this posted:

Just use iSCSI for your database, that's what it's meant for.


I don't want to reiterate the title of the thread, but explain your database requires direct attached storage or a SAN, and that NFS is not acceptable. This is the case with many databases. It's perfectly reasonable to require they use a system that grants you block level access to files. File level access over a network drive is often just not going to cut it - that's what you're experiencing. Require block level access and your problems go away.

While I think your approach has merit, I've done work with a significant number of clients (national utilities, oil & gas, investment banking) that use NFS with Oracle. I think there's a lot of problems with any particular protocol you use and it just depends on the amount of time and energy you're willing to dedicate to solving the problem that makes sense in your choice in the end.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


toplitzin posted:

Woohoo! I just made it through the third round of interviews for NetApp support. I asked them some areas of study to try and brush up on. The rep suggested looking into LUN's, mounting and configuring exchange, maybe a little mild SQL, but really stressed the LUN-NAS/SAN side. Any suggestions?

I've been reading wikipedia, read some of the IBM redbooks and some of NetApp's Technical resources( Thanks 1000101!!) but I'll be honest, some of them are a bit...chewy. I'm trying to step up into the world of enterprise level support, and want to at least have an idea since I sure as hell won't know everything. The client even stated that I won't know most of the answers for a good 4-6 months after starting. But any foundation I can build on is better than none.

Congratulations on making it this far. I'd suggest spending some time to review networking, particular anything that you think would aid in troubleshooting network problems. Any NAS implementation I've come across has always been delayed because of misconfigured networks. I always come across misconfigured VLANs, dns problems, firewalls tightened up like fort knox and routers sending traffic across ISLs. Have you ever used wireshark? It might be worth thinking over how you would use wireshark to solve any of these problems. Are you sure the third interview will be tehcnical?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


adorai posted:

Ultimately it is probably a matter of preference, unless the storage vendor provides tools for snapshot management like NetApp does. One thing to consider is that using the default block size of 1MB in a VMFS volume, the maximum VMDK is 256GB. This means if you will need more than that you will need to either use iSCSI luns directly attached to your guest, or you will need to use multiple VMDKs with windows combining the disks into a single volume. On our WSUS servers we use iSCSI luns connected to the guests.

How big do WSUS repositories get these days anyway?

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


If the size of a windows patch that you push out is smaller than the read cache on your NAS, it's probably not going to make much difference what block size you specify. The best thing to do, if you're really worried about performance is to try both block sizes and run some benchmarks on them.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


Misogynist posted:

We're talking about VMFS block sizes, which has implications far above and beyond (and irrelevant to) the NTFS cluster size.

Ah, gotcha.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


what is this posted:

You keep ignoring the posts telling you to use a SAN. Why is this?

Also, which proprietary database are you using? Or which one have you customized?



(to put things simply, NFS is a protocol for file-level access/locking/etc over a network, and VxFS is a file system. You can make VxFS available over NFS. You can't format a drive in NFS, but you can format a drive in VxFS)

Respectfully, I think you're oversimplifying the problem. As a vendor, idolmind's company is going to have a tough time trying to tell his clients to throw out their NFS infrastructure because they don't support it. If his company's competitors do support NFS, it might result in a lot of lost sales. As I've stated in a previous post, it might be worth looking at tuning NFS mount options based upon the performance profile of the application. At the moment I can think of at least 2 large corporations that would make it difficult for idolmind's company to make a sale if someone were to state that the application only supported block storage protocols.

namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


adorai posted:

If they will only provision storage as NFS from whatever device they have, the solution is simple: use an opensolaris/openindiana/openfiler/plain old linux VM stored on NFS that presents that storage as iSCSI. Problem solved, cost: $0 and the storage admin doesn't know any better.

I can appreciate that someone as astute as yourself can develop a multitude of workarounds to accomodate a requirement for block storage. However, from a manager's point of view, particularly one that is evaluating your solution as part of an RFP, would you consider this an acceptable solution in comparison with other application that may support NFS? As an account manager working for idolmind's company, would you even entertain it as a proposal?

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namaste friends
Sep 17, 2004

by Smythe


adorai posted:

I'm not sure how it is any more of a 'hack' than trying to run a database off of NFS.

I know of at least two large telecoms/outsourcers that standardize their oracle databases on NFS. One of these telecoms runs the billing system for a national utility company using 10 GbE with NFS.

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