Removing the last 3 nodes of a node type from an Isilon cluster

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In any Isilon cluster there is a requirement to have a minimum of 3 nodes for each type of node that is within the cluster. This rule begs the question of how to remove the last 3 nodes of a node type from a cluster.

What are my options for evacuating the data on the 3 nodes that will be removed from the cluster?

  1. SmartPools – A file pool policy can be created to move all data to the other nodes in the cluster. Simply create a new file pool policy that moves everything under /ifs to the tier/pool that will remain in the cluster.

Note: If all of your pools are in a single tier you will need to remove one of the pools from the tier before you can create the SmartPool file policy. Pools can safely be removed from a tier at any time.

  1. SmartFail – This method will not work. The first node you SmartFail will start to evacuate it’s data to the other 2 nodes remaining in the cluster that are the same type. Eventually those 2 nodes will fill up and the SmartFail job will hang.

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Add an Isilon Node to a Cluster

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Typically adding a node to an existing Isilon cluster is very simple. However, if you are impatient like I am then you might want to know exactly what’s going on at every step of the process. The process frequently takes 30+ minutes and therefore after about 20 minutes of waiting you may be wondering if the something is wrong.

Phase 1 – Tell the node to join the cluster

  • Turn on the new node and attached the Infinband cables to the existing Infiniband switch
    • The power button is in the rear of the NL nodes
  • After about 5 minutes the node will come up and the front panel will automatically ask you to join the existing cluster
  • Simply click the middle button on the display to begin the process

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Reformat an Isilon Node

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Info

In some situations it may be necessary to reformat an Isilon node. One common example is if the Isilon node will be moved to a different Isilon cluster. The steps below document the proper process to reformat an Isilon node.

Steps

  • Physically disconnect all Infiniband cables from the node that will be reformatted
  • Open a serial connection to the node that will be reformatted
    • Baud Rate: 115200
    • Data Bits: 8
    • Stop Bits: 1
    • Parity: None
    • Flow control: Xon/Xoff

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