Continuing with the 'Introduction to Nimble OS 2.0 series', today I will be covering the topic of “Adding a New Array to an Existing Group”. This follows on from Rich Fenton’s blog of “Merging Two Arrays into a Single Group”.
The release of our 2.0 software has transformed the Nimble Storage platform with Scale-Out capability. Now we can scale independently on all 3 axis, further solidifying our home in the Enterprise Data Centre.
It's worth mentioning that the requirement to Scale-Out is not always driven by a need to have more performance or capacity – it can also be to simplify management. Up to 4x arrays can now be managed and maintained under 1x Group, while their respective resources are utilised independently.
In this blog we are going to look at the steps required to add a new, uninitialised array into an existing group. I am going to assume that your uninitialised array is racked, cabled correctly and powered on. If you need further details here, be sure to read the 2.0 Install Guide on Infosight.
So now that we know why we would Scale-Out, lets look at how to do it. Time to roll up the sleeves!
Logging into your existing 2.0 array, you will be greeted with a Home Screen similar to mine below.
For the purpose of this blog, I created 2x Volumes in the existing array to show how they can span a second array for double the performance.
To begin the process, go to the Manage tab and select Arrays. Here you will see your existing group (Group01) and array (Array01). Click “Add Array to Group” to proceed.
The Group will look to the immediate physically connected network for an uninitialized array.
Found it! Tick the box to select the array and click “Add”.
The process of adding the new array into the existing group begins.
Now the important part! Although the new array will inherit the Group’s IP settings, it will still need some of its own details. First provide it with an Array Name, and then Mgmt and Data IPs. Remember the Ethernet ports can be either/both Mgmt and/or Data. This will probably mirror a similar setup to the existing array setup. Additionally, a Diagnostic IP is separately required for each Controller (on the management network).
NOTE: The 2.0 software has a far more networking capability than previous versions and you will need to take 2 items into account:
- Firstly, if you have recently upgraded to 2.0 you will need to change from Manual to Automatic networking.
- Check out Nick Dyer's excellent blog on Manual vs Automatic Networking for more detail.
- Secondly, to Scale-Out with Windows or VMware hosts, you will need to use the Nimble Connection Manager, or NCM.
Finally you are presented with an option to assign the array to an existing storage pool, or create a new one. Rich Fenton touched on Storage pools in the previous blog, and a deeper dive of the concept will be covered in detail in the next blog by Ezat Dayeh. In my case I simply added the array to the existing default pool.
Again, we can see our two existing arrays but this time the Free space is much larger thanks to the introduction of the second array to the group.
On a final point, looking at the Active Configuration of Networking, you will see an extra tab to detail the IP information of the newly added second array.
I do hope this blog proves useful if you are considering Scale-Out. Of course always reach out to your local Sales Engineer or Nimble Support if you have any queries or concerns around adding/removing arrays from Groups.
As mentioned earlier, tune in the same time next week for Ezat Dayeh’s blog on the “Concept of Storage Pools”.