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5 minute readMaking NetApp More Reliable: An Interview with an Engineer

Making NetApp More Robust

We have amazing employees! Our employees’ knowledge allows us to help you troubleshoot and configure a wide array of IT assets efficiently and effectively.  Frank is just one of our highly experienced engineers.  In this article, he shares some of his expertise with us on NetApp.

Increase NetApp’s Uptime

An Interview with Frank, a Reliant Technology Engineer

Frank, a Reliant Technology Engineer

Okay, Frank, let’s start this discussion at the very beginning . . .


What’s a Highly Available Configuration?

“An HA configuration consists of two storage systems, or nodes, whose controllers are directly connected to one another. A two-node configuration, also called a cluster, is recommended. In a cluster configuration, one node can take over in order to provide continued data service if the partner node has a hardware failure.”

He further explained that, “an HA configuration allows one node to serve data that resides on the disks of its failed partner node. Each node continually monitors its partner, mirroring the data for each other.”


What Are the Benefits of a Highly Available Configuration for NetApp?

Frank shared that, “The main benefit of having an HA configuration is to protect your data in case of a hardware failure. This is why the two-node clusters are configured using direct-cable connections between the nodes, for the purpose of hardware duplication. In the case of a full node failure, the duplicate node will takeover and, once the issue is resolved, it will proceed with a giveback process. Throughout the entire process, access to the data is always available.”

Frank then added some necessary terms to better understand his statements above:

  • Takeover is the process in which a node takes over the storage of its partner.
  • Giveback is the process in which that storage is returned to the partner. Both processes can be initiated manually or configured for automatic initiation.


What Should Be Considered?

“When upgrading your single Netapp node to a High Availability Netapp storage system,” Frank said, “you need to consider the following:

  • Rack space: You will need at least 4U, depending on your current NetApp node model.
  • Cost: An additional license will need to be purchased for the second node.
  • Power: Some of the NetApp nodes have up to four power supplies
  • Switch port space: The same number of switch Ethernet ports or fiber ports, used by the single node will need to be allocated for the secondary node.”


How to Set It Up

Frank mentions that, sometimes, the OEM just says it best, so this is borrowed directly from the Netapp Support page:

“…Use the Cluster Setup wizard to create the cluster on the first node. The wizard helps you to configure the cluster network that connects the nodes (if the cluster consists of two or more nodes), create the cluster admin Vserver, add feature license keys, and create the node management interface for the first node.


Before you begin . . .

“The cluster setup worksheet should be completed, the storage system hardware should be installed and cabled, and the console should be connected to the node on which you intend to create the cluster.



    1. Power on the first node. The node boots and the Cluster Setup Wizard starts on the console.
Welcome to the cluster setup wizard.
You can enter the following commands at any time:
  help or ? - if you want to have a question answered,
  back - if you want to change previously answered questions, and
  exit or quit - if you want to quit the cluster setup wizard.
 	Any changes you made before quitting will be saved.
You can return to cluster setup at any time by typing cluster setup.
To accept a default or omit a question, do not enter a value.
Do you want to create a new cluster or join an existing cluster? {create, join}:

Note: If a login prompt appears instead of the Cluster Setup Wizard, you must start the wizard by logging in using the factory default settings and then entering the cluster setup command.

  • Create a new cluster: create
  • Follow the prompts to complete the Cluster Setup Wizard:
    • To accept the default value for a prompt, press ENTER
    • The default values are determined automatically based on your platform and network configuration.
    • To enter your own value for the prompt, enter the value and then press ENTER
  • After the Cluster Setup wizard is completed and exits verify that the cluster is active and the first node is healthy: cluster show



The following example shows a cluster in which the first node (cluster1-01) is healthy and eligible to participate:

cluster1::> cluster show
Node                  Health  Eligibility
--------------------- ------- ------------
cluster1-01           true	true

You can access the Cluster Setup Wizard to change any of the values you entered for the admin Vserver or node Vserver by using the cluster setup command.”

This should set you up with a great starting point to build out the rest of your High Availability Netapp storage system.

Reliant Technology Hires Service-Minded Talent

All of our employees have your best interest in mind.  Frank has worked in the IT industry for over 40 years, from the IBM XT 88 and everything since. He is experienced with Mainframes from HP and IBM. Frank is an IT infrastructure Disaster and Recovery analyst. He has worked with Netapp since 2009, working for Cloudshare pioneers of cloud computing, managing their data center with over 120 servers and over 900TB of  Netapp Storage

Reliant Technology Hires Experts

We do our best to hire only the best people in each field. That means we have great engineers, techs, and IT experts. Our knowledge serves our customers well, which is why so many companies come to us for Third Party Support and Maintenance. We accurately diagnose a problem, then fix it correctly and quickly, to limit downtime.

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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.

Reliant Technology Cares

Reliant Technology Cares

When you have Reliant Technology support your data center, you help us support SERV International and provide thousands of meals for starving children.

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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