A Closer Look at the All-Flash Isilon, aka Nitro

isilon-all-flashOn 19 October, Dell EMC made an announcement about the All-Flash Isilon nodes. This product line has been code-named “Project Nitro”. The announcement was timed to occur during the first-ever Dell EMC World event.

I’ll walk through what was announced, and then provide additional details.

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What’s New in Isilon OneFS 8.0

Isilon OneFSYou may remember that back in November EMC announced new features coming to Isilon. Most of the message focused on the IsilonSD Edge virtual appliance, but a lot of the rest had to do with “OneFS.NEXT” (which we all expected to be numbered 8.0).

About 3 weeks ago, OneFS 8.0 became GA. The availability of the new software happened with very little announcement and absolutely no fanfare. I found this somewhat surprising given how much EMC had hyped up the pre-announcement so far in advance.

With the availability of 8.0, two other new things become available: the new CloudPools software and IsilonSD Edge. This post covers everything that’s new. Continue reading

EMC Announces Plans to Make Isilon Announcements in 2016

[NOTE: This post has been updated with answers to some of the questions I had at the time of the announcement. The updates are inline, below.]

Today, EMC made some announcements about some new Isilon products that they hope to make Generally Available (GA) in “early 2016”. If you’ve been following Isilon closely like I do, nothing in the announcements will be a big surprise as everything talked about is something the Isilon folks have been talking about in roadmap presentations for a while now.

After presenting more marketing about the Data Lake message (I’ll summarize: Put all your data in one big place. That place is Isilon. That Isilon Data Lake can now (OK, in “early 2016”) be expanded from the Core to the Edge and even to the Cloud”), the announcement covers plans to announce:

  • A software-only version of Isilon called “IsilonSD Edge”
  • An extension to SmartPools allowing tiering to public or private cloud called “CloudPools”
  • An upcoming new version of OneFS

I’ll go through each of these, plus more, in some detail below. Continue reading

EMC Announces New High-Density Isilon Node – the HD400

EMC Isilon HD400 NodeYesterday, EMC announced the addition of a new node type to their Isilon scale-out storage line. This new node offers higher-density storage than any other Isilon nodes, specifically 354TB raw capacity in 4U of rack space.

The new node, known internally at EMC as “Colossus”, has been launched as the HD400. I’ll walk through the details below. Continue reading

Update OpenSSL on Isilon InsightIQ – Avoid the Heartbleed Vulnerability

[Instructions found herein are based upon the work of multiple other folks in this thread in the Isilon Support Forum.]

By now, you’re likely aware of the “Heartbleed” security vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptography library. If you have an Isilon cluster, you might be wondering if it’s affected. The good news is that all versions of OneFS are Heartbleed-free.

However, if you’re also running the InsightIQ monitoring software, it might be vulnerable, depending on the version. Here’s what you need to know to find out if your cluster is affected — and what to do about it if it is. Continue reading

Use Your Windows Laptop as an Isilon Console Terminal

[NOTE: I did not develop this process. I’ve simply expanded on instructions I originally received in email from my colleague, Andrew Boggs. Thanks to Andrew for the tip.]

If you’re like me, you have a company-issued Windows laptop. If you, further like me, sometimes need to connect to the console of Isilon nodes, this “How To” is for you. Continue reading

Isilon and Data Centers and Forklifts, Oh My!

Most of my blog posts are long and text-heavy. This one is short on text and mostly photos…

Over the course of my career, I’ve been in a lot of different data centers. Some have been in interesting places, strange places, and some under frighteningly high levels of security. I’ve installed, fixed, and administered compute, network, and storage gear in a lot of places.

ClusterHowever, this week, I got to experience something new. I went to a new customer site to help get a new EMC Isilon cluster (that’s it, in its original packaging, on a pallet in the picture on the right) up and running on a 10GbE network. The customer (who gave permission for me to use the pictures, but prefers to remain anonymous) wanted the cluster installed in their new manufacturing facility.

Most of the building is a giant open floor, complete with an overhead crane rated for 25 tons. There’s only a tiny portion of the building that has a second floor, so there’s no elevator. Oh, and the data center is upstairs… Continue reading

EMC Announces Upcoming Updates to Isilon OneFS

Today EMC announced upcoming updates to OneFS, the operating system for the Isilon scale-out storage platform.  The new version of the software will offer new capabilities including:

  • Support for Hadoop’s HDFS 2.0
  • Object Storage
  • Extended RESTful APIs with support for EMC Atmos, Amazon S3, and OpenStack’s Swift
  • Support for EMC’s newly-announced software-defined storage platform, ViPR
  • Online Block-Level Data Deduplication
  • New Audit Security features

I’ll break down each of the new features below. Continue reading

EMC Isilon Support for 20PB Filesystems

Yesterday, EMC announced that Isilon clustered storage can now support a single filesystem up to 20PB in size.

When I read the announcement, my first reaction was “That’s a big deal.”  Then, as I read more and thought about it, my reaction changed to one of “No, actually, not such a big deal, really.”  An hour later, out of the blue it hit me, “Oh, wait — this is a HUGE deal after all.”

I’ll walk you through my thinking in each of the stages and let you decide for yourself.

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