SMB Change Notification is a concept that allows clients to keep up with file and directory changes.  The idea is to prevent clients from seeing stale content or having to constantly refresh their view. The server looks for changes to files/directories and, when detected, it sends a notification to the client to inform them of the change. Isilon supports three settings related to change notification.  The first of which, and also the default, is “All”.  With this settings Isilon will send unnecessary change notifications to far to many clients. Why?  If we take a look at a scenario where we have 300 users connecting to an Isilon share called “Applications”.  This share has a folder structure with a depth of 6 folders.  Lets say a user goes into the deepest folder, “Folder 6”, and changes a file on the share.  The server will notice the change and attempt to notify the clients.  When “All” is set allRead More →

Once of my favorite features on Cisco MDS switches is Device Aliasing.  It is, simply put, aliases for World Wide Names which can be referenced in your config rather than a cryptic WWN.  For a good overview on Device Aliasing head over to Scott Lowe’s blog post on the subject.  Recently I had an environment which wasn’t using device aliasing at all – something I wanted to rectify. Mapping over 300 World Wide Names to host names was a daunting task, so I decided to automate it! Big surprise, right? I create a Perl script which takes a WWN as input and gives output, based on zone names, which can be ran on an MDS switch to create an alias. The trick is figuring out the name of the server, so I turned to my zones.  My host names are included in my zoning naming standard, like this: [box]z_vmax2384_testserver01_5f1[/box] As you can see my zones follow a standardRead More →

I’ve always been an EMC Celerra guy since I cut my teeth on it so many years ago,  and it’s support of de-duplication (single instancing) left a lot to be desired by me – mainly that it could not work across filesystems.  When I first started investigating Isilon I had high hopes for de-dupe across the entire array because it din’t have separate file systems.. New announcements today bring that idea to light finally. It is certainly not a surprise that OneFS will support de-dupe,  but the fact that it allows it across the entire IFS is a huge benefit.   Data written to the cluster will be written full size,  but in post processing objects and files will be de-duped using an 8k block size. EMC is suggesting you’ll see a 30% reduction in storage consumption, but your mileage will vary.  This is great news for the Isilon TCO – it’s already low overhead in rawRead More →