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7 minute read15 Dell EMC Isilon Storage Terms You Need to Know

Dell EMC Isilon Storage Systems Knowledge Center

Every storage server has terms that are unique to that system. The features of Isilon, and terms you need to know, are shared here including OneFS, Cloud Pool, SmartLock, SyncIQ, and SmartConnect.

An Essential Dell EMC Isilon Glossary

When you need to purchase or upgrade IT storage systems, the more information you can gather, the better chance you have of finding the best product or service for your requirements and budgets. Information to be collected includes each piece of technology that is needed, its current and future uses, its expected performance and lifespan, and EOL/EOSL dates if available.

The Dell EMC Isilon is a system used for storing, archiving, and backing up large amounts of unstructured data


What is Dell EMC Isilon?

The Dell EMC Isilon is a system used for storing, archiving, and backing up large amounts of unstructured data. This system is known for its performance and storage capability, using clusters, consisting of nodes, to achieve the process. These nodes serve as access points, allowing access to data independently, from whichever node they decide to use. These nodes are configured in a ratio of performance to storage to suit the client’s requirements.

The Isilon storage system is a powerful tool yet easy to manage. It can be easily scaled, without downtime. This scaling feature allows room for greater performance efficiency, as more nodes result in greater performance and greater storage space, therefore higher efficiency. The scale-out features and benefits offered by Isilon are unparalleled.


Features of the Dell EMC Isilon

Features of the Dell EMC Isilon

Unbounded Scaling – This feature plays a major role in the use of Isilon storage systems. As the nodes in these systems perform their routine operation, more nodes can be added, which gives rise to an increase in performance and storage abilities. This system can be scaled up to 50PB. The scaling of these systems easily takes place at high speeds and does not affect the current network of nodes. As more nodes are added, the files stored are redistributed across the previous nodes as well as the newly installed ones (Automatic Rebalancing), due to the One File System operating system installed on them.

One File System – The Dell Isilon storage system uses the OneFS operating system. This operating system gives clients the ability to read or write data into any of the nodes and to create multiple access points. The OneFS operating system works in tandem with the large clusters of nodes as they help in redistributing stored data across the current set of, and newly installed, nodes. This operating system helps maximize the capabilities of these node clusters.

Always On – With Dell EMC Isilon, there is no downtime when nodes are operating. Once a node is lost, the other nodes compensate for the loss by serving as access points to the data stored on that node until it is replaced. On replacing the old node, the new node is booted, and the data from the old node is reconstructed at high speeds, while preserving the integrity of the data.

Flexible Architecture – The Isilon storage system supports a wide range of protocols and data access platforms including NFS, HTTP, SMB/CIFS, and FTP. Other features of this system: It requires a single point of management, automatic workload re-balancing, and customers can connect to any node.


15 Dell EMC Isilon Storage Keywords

  1. One File System: OneFS is the operating system used in Dell Isilon storage systems. This system distributes stored data across nodes, creating several access points for customers. Generally, OneFS controls three major aspects of Isilon storage: File System, Storage Management, and Data Protection.
  2. Smart Cloudpool: Smart Cloudpool maximizes efficiency of the nodes by extending the file storage to the cloud. The cloud then acts as additional tiers of the OneFS storage system. You maintain granular control of storage on each cluster.
  3. Unstructured Data: Unstructured Data does not conform to a predefined model. Examples include texts, social media activity, and data collected from sensors. The EMC Dell Isilon storage system is perfect for storing this type of data.
  4. Structured Data: Structured data conforms to a predefined model. Any alteration to the structure of this type of data causes the data to lose its integrity. Examples include date, names, and address fields within a typical database.
  5. Forward Error Control (FEC): This error correction algorithm is used in Isilon storage systems, as opposed to RAID in other storage systems. FEC involves detecting and correcting errors in data transmitted, without having to resend the data. The FEC used here is based on the Reed Solomon Algorithm.
  6. Nodes: Nodes are the basic building blocks of the Isilon storage network. The job of each node is to work on performance or storage operations.
  7. Cluster: A collection of nodes is called a cluster. In a system, clusters are configured in a ratio of performance to storage. A cluster consists of a minimum number of 3 nodes and can be scaled out by adding up to 252 nodes to suit the required specifications.
  8. Smartlock: Smartlock helps in preserving the data integrity of files in the Isilon storage system. Users are unable to modify files under this software.
  9. Server Message Block (SMB/CIFS): SMB acts as a communication protocol for shared access across nodes on an Isilon network.
  10. Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP): This transfer protocol is used to send data between the Isilon cluster and backup devices, eliminating the need for transmitting it across the backup server. NDMP increases efficiency while decreasing risk.
  11. SyncIQ: SyncIQ helps in data recovery, in the event of a disaster, by unique replication of data across each node in the cluster. The real benefit of SyncIQ is cluster to cluster replication, not node to node within a cluster.
  12. Recovery Time Objective (RTO): RTO is the maximum time required to restore backed-up data, in the event of a system failure. In an Isilon system, the time required is negligible.
  13. SnapshotIQ: SnapshotIQ is all about data protection! It protects against accidental modification of data, increases data availability, ensures rapid restoration of data, and reduces storage costs, while management simplicity remains intact.
  14. Recovery Point Objective (RPO): RPO refers to the level of data that can be lost in the event of a system failure, before it will surpass acceptable limits of the organization. RPO is used to determine how often backup needs to take place in case there is a system failure.
  15. SmartConnect: This software is responsible for the balancing of data across the available nodes while considering optimal efficiency across them.

Prepare Your Next Steps

Reliant Technology is here when you are searching for help maintaining and servicing your Dell EMC Isilon system. As your system reaches End-of-Service Life (EOSL), the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will stop offering maintenance contracts. You can easily get more years out of your system by turning to a Third Party Maintenance Provider, like Reliant Technology, when that happens.

You can continue to find

  •         Replacement parts
  •         Remote monitoring
  •         Phone and on-site tech support
  •         On-site spare parts kits and training

Reliant Technology engineers are highly experienced with Dell EMC Isilon and other systems, such as those offered by NetApp, HPE, and IBM. Reliant Technology will work with you Dell EMC Isilon or whatever system you are using, or are considering. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

You can turn to Reliant Technology for help with all your data center questions.

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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Reliant Technology Cares

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.

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