OneFS and Self-encrypting Drives

Self-encrypting drives (SEDs), are secure storage devices which transparently encrypt all on-disk data using an internal key and a drive access password. OneFS uses nodes populated with SED drives in to provide data-at-rest encryption (DARE), thereby preventing unauthorized access data access. Encrypting data at rest with cryptography ensures that the data is protected from theft, or other malicious activity, in the event drives or nodes are removed from a PowerScale cluster. Ensuring that data is encrypted when stored is mandated for federal and many industry regulations, and OneFS DARE satisfies a number of compliance requirements, including U.S. Federal FIPS 104-2 Level 2 and PCI-DSS v2.0 section 3.4.

All data that is written to a DARE cluster is automatically encrypted the moment it is written and decrypted when it is read. The stored data is encrypted with a 256-bit data AES data encryption key (DEK), and OneFS controls data access by combining the drive authentication key (AK) with data-encryption keys.

OneFS supports data-at-rest encryption using SEDs across all-flash SSD nodes, as well as HDD-based hybrid and archive platforms. However, all nodes in a DARE cluster must be of the self-encrypting drive type, and mixed SED and non-SED node clusters are not supported.

SEDs have the ability to be ‘locked’ or ‘unlocked’, over configurable ranges of logical block addresses (LBAs) known as ‘bands’. The bands on OneFS storage drives cover the /ifs and reserved partition, but leave a small amount at the beginning and end of the drive unlocked for the partition table. When OneFS formats a drive, isi_sed ‘takes ownership’ of it, which refers to us setting a password on the drive and storing it in the keystore. Similarly, ‘releasing ownership’ refers to resetting the drive back to a known password – the MSID, which is a password provided by the manufacturer, which can be read from the drive itself. Releasing ownership means that isi_sed will be able to use the MSID to authenticate to the drive and take ownership of it again if need be. It’s worth noting that changing these passwords changes the drive’s internal encryption key, and will scramble all data on the drives.

New PowerScale encryption nodes, and the SED drives they contain, initially arrive in an ‘unowned’, factory-fresh state, with encryption is disabled and no encryption keys present on the drives or node. On initialization, first a randomized internal drive encryption key is generated via the drive’s embedded encryption hardware. This key is used by the drive hardware to encrypt all incoming data before writing it to disk, and to decrypt any disk data being read by the node.

Next, a drive control key or drive access password is generated via the OneFS key manager process. This password is used each time the drive is accessed by the node. Without the password, the drive is completely inaccessible. With encryption now configured, the drive is in a secure, owned state and is ready to be formatted.

The data on self-encrypting drives is rendered inaccessible in the following conditions:

Event Description
Smartfail When a self-encrypting drive is smartfailed, drive authentication keys are deleted, making the drive unreadable. When you smartfail and then remove a drive, it is cryptographically erased. NOTE: Smartfailing a drive is the preferred method for removing a self-encrypting drive.
Power loss When a self-encrypting drive loses power, the drive locks to prevent unauthorized access. When power is restored, data is again accessible when the appropriate drive authentication key is provided.
Network loss When a cluster using external key management loses network connection to the external key management server, the drives are locked until the network connection is restored.
Password Loss If a SED drive’s internal key or drive access password is lost, the drive data is rendered permanently inaccessible, and the drive must be reset and reformatted in order to be repurposed.

If a SED drive is tampered with, say by interrupting the formatting process or removing the drive from a powered-on node for example, the node will automatically delete its drive access password from the keystore database where the drive access passwords are stored. If the internal drive key, drive access password, or both are lost or deleted, all of the data on the drive becomes permanently inaccessible and unreadable. This process is referred to as cryptographic erasure, as the data still exists, but can’t be decrypted. The drive is subsequently unusable, and it must be manually reverted to the unowned state by using its Physical Security ID (PSID). The PSID is a unique, static, 32-character key that is embedded in each drive at the factory. PSIDs are printed on the drive’s label, and can be retrieved only by physically removing the drive from the node and reading its label. After the PSID is entered in the OneFS command-line interface at the manual reversion prompt, all of the drive data is deleted and the SED drive is returned to an unowned state.

SEDs include a few additional isi_drive_d user states, as compared to regular drives.

SED State Description
SED_ERROR OneFS could not unlock or use the drive, typically because of a bad password or drive communication error.
ERASE The drive finished a smartfail, but OneFS was unable to release the drive, so just deleted its password.
INSECURE The drive isn’t owned by the node, but was unlocked and would have otherwise gone to ACTIVE.

Generally, these will only be reported in error cases. SEDs that are working properly and unlocked should behave like any other drives, and when running and in-use will show up as HEALTHY. That said, the most common error state is drives that show up as SED_ERROR. However, this just indicates that drive_d encountered anything other than SUCCESS or DRIVE_UNOWNED when attempting to unlock the drive.

To help debug a SED issue, determine if the drive currently owned (non-MSID password), or unowned (default, MSID password) and test with the ‘isi_sed drivedisplay’ CLI command. If the drive is unowned, or the password does not work, you’ll likely need to PSID revert the drive.

Syntax Description
isi_sed drivedisplay <drive> Displays the drive’s current state of ownership. This is often the most directly helpful, since it should be obvious based on this whether error states are legitimate or not. If the command succeeds, you should be told either: drive is unowned, drive owned by this node, drive owned by another node.

·         ‘Drive owned by another node’ is the error case you can expect to see if we had a key and lost it, or you moved drives from node to node. This means the drive is locked and we don’t have a password – you’ll have to revert it or restore your lost passwords.

·         ‘Drive owned by this node’ is expected in most situations. – we have a

·         ‘Drive unowned’ can be either an error or unexpected case. Drives that are released or reverted should be in this state. Drives that have been formatted and are in-use should not. This means the drive is using the MSID (factory default) password.

isi_sed release <drive> Releases ownership of this drive. This will set the drive’s password back to the default, the drive’s MSID. This can be helpful for cases such as moving drives around – this will release a drive so that any other node/isi_sed can take ownership of the drive.
isi_sed revert <drive> This command is useful for lost passwords, etc. The revert operation will allow you to enter the PSID found on the drive, and with that reset the drive to a factory-fresh MSID-unlocked state. Another way to do this is to attempt an “isi dev -a format -d :[baynum of drive to revert]” – you will be prompted for the PSID, and drive_d will attempt to do the revert for you.

A healthy SED drive can easily be securely erased by simply Smartfailing the drive. Once the Smartfail process has completed, the node deletes the drive access password from the keystore and the drive deletes its internal encryption key. At this point, the data is inaccessible and is considered cryptographically erased, and the drive is reset back to its original ‘unowned’ state. The drive can then be reused once a new encryption key has been generated, or safely returned to Dell, without any risk of the vendor or a third party accessing the data.

In order to ensure that data on a SED is unreadable, during a successful Smartfail OneFS cryptographically erases data by changing the DEK and blocks read and write access to existing data by removing the access key. However, if the drive fails to respond during Smartfail and OneFS cannot perform cryptographic erasure, access to the drive’s data is still blocked by deleting the access key.

Smartfail State DEK erased and reset AK erased and reset Cryptographic erasure Data inaccessible
Replace Yes Yes Yes Yes
Erase   Yes   Yes

For a defective SED drive, the completion of the Smartfail process prompts the node to delete the drive access password from the keystore.

To erase all SED drives in a single node that is being removed from a cluster, smartfail the node from the cluster. All drives will be automatically released and cryptographically erased by the node when the smartfail process completes.

On completion of the Smartfail process, a node automatically reboots to the configuration wizard. The /var/log/isi_sed log log will contains a ‘release_ownership’ message for each drive as it goes through the Smartfail process, confirming it is in a ‘replace’ state. For example:

2022-05-25T22:45:56Z <1.6>H400-SED-4 isi_sed[46365]: Command: release_ownership, drive bays: 1

2022-06-25T22:46:39Z <1.6>H400-SED-4 isi_sed[46365]: Bay 1: Dev da1, HITACHI H5SMM328 CLAR800, SN 71V0G6SX, WWN 5000cca09c00d57f: release_ownership: Success

The following CLI command can be used cryptographically erase a SED by smartfailing the drive, in this case drive 10 on node 1:

# isi devices -a smartfail -d 1:10

The status of an ‘owned’ drive, in this case /dev/da10, is reported as such:

# isi_sed drive da10 -vDrive Status: Bay 10: WWN 5000c50056252af4Drive Model SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04Key      Key      MSID     Drive            DriveExists   Works    Works    State            Status=======  =======  =======  ===============  ===============Yes      Yes      No       OWNED            OWNEDDrive owned by nodeBay 10: Dev da10, SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04, WWN 5000c50056252af4: drive_display: Success

This drive can easily be ‘released’ as follows:

# isi_sed release da10 -vDrive Status: Before release_ownership (Restore drive to factory default state):Drive Status: Bay 10: WWN 5000c50056252af4Drive Model SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04Key      Key      MSID     Drive            DriveExists   Works    Works    State            Status=======  =======  =======  ===============  ===============Yes      Yes      No       OWNED            OWNEDDrive owned by nodeBay 10: Dev da10, SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04, WWN 5000c50056252af4: release_ownership: Success 

isi_sed drive da10 -v

Drive Status: Bay 10: WWN 5000c50056252af4

Drive Model SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04

Key      Key      MSID     Drive            Drive

Exists   Works    Works    State            Status

=======  =======  =======  ===============  ===============

No       No       Yes      UNOWNED          UNOWNED

Fresh unowned drive

Firmware Port Lock: Enabled, AutoLock: On Power Loss




              Auth Keys:               ReadLock   WriteLock  Auto   LBA       LBA

              MSID Curr Futr Chng Unkn Enb  Set   Enb  Set   Lock   Start     Size

============  ======================== ========== ========== =====  ========= =========

SID           Y    --   --   --

EraseMaster   Y    --   --   --

BandMaster0   Y    --   --   --        N    N     N    N     N      0         0

BandMaster1   Y    --   --   --        N    N     N    N     N      0         0

BandMaster2   Y    --   --   --        N    N     N    N     N      0         0

BandMaster3   Band Disabled

BandMaster4   Band Disabled

BandMaster5   Band Disabled

BandMaster6   Band Disabled

BandMaster7   Band Disabled

BandMaster8   Band Disabled

BandMaster9   Band Disabled

BandMaster10  Band Disabled

BandMaster11  Band Disabled

BandMaster12  Band Disabled

BandMaster13  Band Disabled

BandMaster14  Band Disabled

Bay 10: Dev da10, SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04, WWN 5000c50056252af4: drive_display: Success

Similarly, all of the SEDs in a node can be erased by Smartfailing the entire node, in this case node 2:

# isi devices -a smartfail -d <node>

The ‘isi_reformat_node’ CLI tool can be used to either reimage or reformat a single node or entire cluster, thereby erase all its SED drives. Either a reformat or reimage will first ‘release’ the drives and then delete the node keystore. Plus, even if a drive fails to properly release, it will still be cryptographically erased since its drive access passwords is deleted along with the rest of the keystore during the process. However, note that any SED drives in nodes destined for redeployment elsewhere and which are currently in an unreleased state must be manually reverted by using their PSID before they can be used again.

# isi_reformat_node

The node will be automatically formatted. To erase all of the SEDs in an entire cluster, log in to each individual node as root and issue the above ‘isi_reformat_node’ command.

A drive that has been cryptographically erased can be verified as follow. First, use the ‘isi_drivenum’ CLI command to display the device names of the cluster’s drives. For example:
# isi_drivenum

Bay  1   Unit 0      Lnum 30    Active      SN:9VNX0JA02433     /dev/da1

Bay  2   Unit N/A    Lnum N/A   N/A         SN:N/A              N/A

Bay  A0   Unit 13     Lnum 17    Active      SN:0BHHH2TF         /dev/da14

Bay  A1   Unit 29     Lnum 1     Active      SN:0BHHHJRF         /dev/da30

Bay  A2   Unit 1      Lnum 29    Active      SN:0BHHH73F         /dev/da2

Bay  A3   Unit 16     Lnum 14    Active      SN:0BHHDL6F         /dev/da17

Bay  A4   Unit 2      Lnum 28    Active      SN:0BHHH7VF         /dev/da3

Bay  A5   Unit 17     Lnum 13    Active      SN:0BHHDYNF         /dev/da18

Bay  B0   Unit 30     Lnum 0     Active      SN:0BHKUBNH         /dev/da31

Bay  B1   Unit 14     Lnum 16    Active      SN:0BHHEBVF         /dev/da15

Bay  B2   Unit 18     Lnum 12    Active      SN:0BHDH7JF         /dev/da19

Bay  B3   Unit 3      Lnum 27    Active      SN:0BHHE6VF         /dev/da4

Bay  B4   Unit 19     Lnum 11    Active      SN:0BHDH9VF         /dev/da20

Bay  B5   Unit 4      Lnum 26    Active      SN:0BHHEEEF         /dev/da5

Bay  C0   Unit 15     Lnum 15    Active      SN:0BHHDLMF         /dev/da16

Bay  C1   Unit 26     Lnum 4     Active      SN:0BHHDNUF         /dev/da27

Bay  C2   Unit 5      Lnum 25    Active      SN:0BHHDL2F         /dev/da6

Bay  C3   Unit 20     Lnum 10    Active      SN:0BHHDKTF         /dev/da21

Bay  C4   Unit 6      Lnum 24    Active      SN:0BHHHGVF         /dev/da7

Bay  C5   Unit 21     Lnum 9     Active      SN:0BHHH4XF         /dev/da22

Bay  D0   Unit 27     Lnum 3     Active      SN:0BHHDKYF         /dev/da28

Bay  D1   Unit 11     Lnum 19    Active      SN:0BHHH9EF         /dev/da12

Bay  D2   Unit 22     Lnum 8     Active      SN:0BHHDL4F         /dev/da23

Bay  D3   Unit 7      Lnum 23    Active      SN:0BHHDWEF         /dev/da8

Bay  D4   Unit 23     Lnum 7     Active      SN:0BHHDSXF         /dev/da24

Bay  D5   Unit 8      Lnum 22    Active      SN:0BHHDKVF         /dev/da9

Bay  E0   Unit 12     Lnum 18    Active      SN:0BHHH9PF         /dev/da13

Bay  E1   Unit 28     Lnum 2     Active      SN:0BHHHGEF         /dev/da29

Bay  E2   Unit 9      Lnum 21    Active      SN:0BHHHAAF         /dev/da10

Bay  E3   Unit 24     Lnum 6     Active      SN:0BHHE06F         /dev/da25

Bay  E4   Unit 10     Lnum 20    Active      SN:0BHHDZTF         /dev/da11

Bay  E5   Unit 25     Lnum 5     Active      SN:0BHHDRBF         /dev/da26

Note that the drive device names are displayed in the format ‘/dev/da#’, where ‘#’ is a number. Only the ‘da#’ portion is needed for the isi_sed CLI syntax.

For example, to query the state of SED drive ‘da10’:

# isi_sed drive da10

Note that this command may take 30 seconds or longer to complete.

Finally, the data on the drive has been cryptographically erased if the ‘Drive State’ and ‘Drive Status’ columns display a status of UNOWNED, and ‘Fresh unowned drive’ appears in the line below the table. The drive has been reset and its internal encryption key has been destroyed, cryptographically erasing the drive. For example:

# isi_sed drive da10

Drive Status: Bay 10: WWN 5000c50056252af4

Drive Model SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04

Key      Key      MSID     Drive            Drive

Exists   Works    Works    State            Status

=======  =======  =======  ===============  ===============

No       No       Yes      UNOWNED          UNOWNED

Fresh unowned drive

Bay 10: Dev da10, SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04, WWN 5000c50056252af4: drive_display: Success

If the Drive State and Drive Status columns display a status of AUTH FAILED, this indicates that the drive password (AK) is no longer present in the node keystore. For example:

# isi_sed drive da10

Drive Status: Bay 10: WWN 5000c50056252af4

Drive Model SEAGATE ST330006CLAR3000, SN 71V0G6SX 00009330KYE04

Key      Key      MSID     Drive            Drive

Exists   Works    Works    State            Status

=======  =======  =======  ===============  ===============

No       No       Yes      AUTH FAILED      AUTH FAILED

Since the password is not stored anywhere else, the drive is now inaccessible until it is manually reverted.

If a drive is removed from a running node, OneFS automatically assumes that the drive has failed, and initiates the Smartfail process. If the drive is reinserted before the smartfail process completes, the ‘add’ and ‘stopfail’ commands can be run manually in order to bring the drive back online and return it to a healthy state. However, if the smartfail process has completed before reinserting the drive, running the stopfail command will be ineffective since the drive access password for the removed drive is deleted from the node’s keystore and is considered cryptographically erased.

However, if the drive is reinserted and added back to the cluster after it has been smartfailed, OneFS will report it as being in the SED_ERROR state because the drive still contains encrypted data but the drive access password no longer exists in the node’s keystore. Although the data on the drive is inaccessible, the drive can be reverted to an unowned state by using its PSID. At this point, the drive can then be reused.

When necessary, a SED drive can be cryptographically erased and reset to a factory-fresh state, either by issuing it the ‘release_ownership’ command, or by sending the ‘revert_factory_default’ command. For example, using drive /dev/da10:

# isi_sed release_ownership da10

Or:

# isi_sed revert_factory_default da10

The release command requires the drive password in order to run, whereas the revert command requires the drive physical PSID. If the drive password is still known and functional, the node can release the drive after the smartfail process completes, or during a node reimage, without requiring manual intervention. If the drive password is lost or no longer functional, the revert command must be used instead, and the PSID must be entered manually.

If a SED drive becomes inaccessible for any reason, such as mishandling, malfunction, intentional or accidental release/revert, or loss of the data access password, the drive data cannot be retrieved. Traditional data recovery techniques, such as direct media access and platter extraction, are ineffective on a SED drive since the data is encrypted, and the encryption key cannot be extracted from the drive hardware.

Performance-wise, there is no significant difference in read or write performance between SED and non-SED drives. All data encryption and decryption is done at line speed by dedicated AES encryption hardware that is embedded in the drive.

Format times for SED nodes may vary, but 90 minutes or more is the average for most 4TB SED nodes. The larger the drives, the longer the format process will take to complete. SED nodes take much longer to format than nodes with regular drives, because each drive must be fully overwritten with random data as part of the encryption initialization process. This is an industry-standard step in all full-disk encryption processes that is necessary to help secure the encrypted data against brute-force attacks on the encryption key, and this step cannot be skipped.

OneFS provides drive formatting progress information, which is displayed as a completion percentage for each drive.

It is important to avoid interrupting a formatting process on a SED node. Inadvertently doing so will immediately make all the drives in the node unusable, necessitating a manual revert for each individual drive using its PSID, before the format process can be restarted.

# isi_sed revert /dev/da1

Bear in mind that this can be a somewhat cumbersome process, which can take several hours.

OneFS Cbind and DNS Caching

OneFS cbind is the distributed DNS cache daemon for a PowerScale cluster. As such, its primary role is to accelerate domain name lookups on the cluster, particularly for NFS workloads, which can frequently involve a large number of lookups requests, especially when using netgroups. Cbind itself is logically separated into two halves:

Component Description
Gateway cache The entries a node refreshes from the DNS server.
Local cache The entries a node refreshes from the Gateway node.

Cbind’s architecture helps to distribute the cache and associated DNS workload across all nodes in the cluster, and the daemon runs as a OneFS service under the purview of MCP and the /etc/mcp/sys/services/isi_cbind_d control script:

# isi services -a | grep i bind

   isi_cbind_d          Bind Cache Daemon                        Enabled

On startup the cbind daemon, isi_cbind_d, reads its configuration from the cbind_config.gc gconfig file. If needed, configuration changes can be made using the ‘isi network dnscache’ or ‘isi_cbind’ CLI tools.

The cbind daemon also supports multi-tenancy across the cluster, with each tenant’s groupnet being allocated its own completely independent DNS cache, with multiple client interfaces to separate DNS requests from different groupnets. Cbind uses the 127.42.x.x address range and can be accessed by client applications across the entire range. The lower 16 bytes of the address are set by the client to the groupnet ID for the query. For example, if the client is trying to query the DNS servers on groupnet with ID 5 it will send the DNS query to 127.42.0.5.

Under the hood, the cbind daemon comprises two DNS query/response containers, or ‘stallsets’:

Component Description
DNS stallset The DNS stallset is a collection of DNS stalls which encapsulate a single DNS server and a list of DNS queries which have been sent to the DNS servers and are waiting for a response.
Cluster stallset The cluster stallset is similar to the DNS stallset, except the cluster stalls encapsulate the connection to another node in the cluster, known as the gateway node. It also holds a list of DNS queries which have been forwarded to the gateway node and are waiting for a response.

Contained within a stallset are the stalls themselves, which store the actual DNS requests and responses. The DNS stallset provides a separate stall for each DNS server that cbind has been configured to use, and requests are handled via a round-robin algorithm. Similarly, for the cluster stallset, there is a stall for each node within the cluster. The index of the cluster stallset is the gateway node’s (devid – 1).

The cluster stallset entry for the node that is running the daemon is treated as a special case, known as ‘L1 mode’, because the gateway for these DNS requests is the node executing the code. Requests on the gateway stall also have an entry on the DNS stallset representing the request to the external DNS server. All other actively participating cluster stallset entries are referred to as ‘L2+L1’ mode. However, if a node cannot reach DNS, it is moved to L2 mode to prevent it from being used by the other nodes. An associated log entry is written to /var/log/isi_cbind_d.log, of the form:

isi_cbind_d[6204]: [0x800703800]bind: Error

sending query to dns:10.21.25.11: Host is down

In order to support large clusters, cbind uses a consistent hash to determine the gateway node to cache a request and the appropriate cluster stallset to use. This consistent hashing algorithm, which decides on which node to cache an entry, is designed to minimize the number of entry transfers as nodes are added/removed, while also reducing the number of threads and UDP ports used. To illustrate cbind’s consistent hashing, consider the following three node cluster:

In this scenario, when the cbind service on Node 3 becomes active, one third each of the gateway cache from node 1 and 2 respectively gets transferred to node 3. Similarly, if node 3’s cbind service goes down, its gateway cache is divided equally between nodes 1 and 2. For a DNS request on node 3, the node first checks its local cache. If the entry is not found, it will automatically query the gateway (for example, node 2). This means that even if node 3 cannot talk to the DNS server directly, it can still cache the entries from a different node.

So, upon startup, a node’s cbind process attempts to contact, or ‘ping’, the DNS servers. Once a reply is received, the cbind moves into an up state and notifies GMP that the isi_cbind_d service is running on this node. GMP, in turn, then informs the cbind processes across the rest of the cluster that the node is up and available.

Conversely, after several DNS requests to an external server fail for a given node or the isi_cbind_d process is terminated, then the GMP code is notified that the isi_cbind_d service is down for this node. GMP then notifies the cluster that the node is down. When a cbind process (on node Y) receives this notification, the consistent hash algorithm is updated to report that node X is down. The cluster stallset is not informed of this change. Instead the DNS requests that have changed gateways will eventually timeout and be deleted.

As such, the cbind request and response processes can be summarized as follows:

  1. A client on the node sends a DNS query on the additional loopback address 127.42.x.x which is received by cbind.
  2. The cbind daemon uses the consistent hash algorithm to calculate the gateway value of the DNS query and uses the gateway to index the cluster stallset.
  3. If there is a cache hit, a response is sent to the client and the transaction is complete.
  4. Otherwise, the DNS query is placed in the cluster stallset using the gateway as the index. If this is the gateway node then the request is sent to the external DNS server, otherwise the DNS request is forwarded to the gateway node.
  5. When the DNS server or gateway replies, another thread receives the DNS response and matches it to the query on the list. The response is forwarded to the client and the cluster stallset is updated.

Similarly, when a request is forwarded to the gateway node:

  1. The cbind daemon receives the request, calculates the gateway value of the DNS query using the consistent hash algorithm, and uses the gateway to index the cluster stallset.
  2. If there is a cache hit, a response is returned to the remote cbind process and the transaction is complete.
  3. Otherwise, the DNS query is placed in the cluster stallset using the gateway as the index and the request is sent to the external DNS server.
  4. When the DNS server or gateway returns, another thread receives the DNS response and matches it to the query on the list. The response is forwarded to the calling node and the cluster stallset is updated.

If necessary, cbind DNS caching can be enabled or disabled via the ‘isi network groupnets’ command set, allowing the cache to be managed per groupnet:

# isi network groupnets modify --id=<groupnet-name> --dns-cache-enabled=<true/false>

The global ‘isi network dnscache’ command set can be useful for inspecting the cache configuration and limits:

# isi network dnscache view

Cache Entry Limit: 65536

  Cluster Timeout: 5

      DNS Timeout: 5

    Eager Refresh: 0

   Testping Delta: 30

  TTL Max Noerror: 3600

  TTL Min Noerror: 30

 TTL Max Nxdomain: 3600

 TTL Min Nxdomain: 15

    TTL Max Other: 60

    TTL Min Other: 0

 TTL Max Servfail: 3600

 TTL Min Servfail: 300

 The following table describes these DNS cache parameters, which can be manually configured if desired.

Setting Description
TTL No Error Minimum Specifies the lower boundary on time-to-live for cache hits (default value=30s).
TTL No Error Maximum Specifies the upper boundary on time-to-live for cache hits (default value=3600s).
TTL Non-existent Domain Minimum Specifies the lower boundary on time-to-live for nxdomain (default value=15s).
TTL Non-existent Domain Maximum Specifies the upper boundary on time-to-live for nxdomain (default value=3600s).
TTL Other Failures Minimum Specifies the lower boundary on time-to-live for non-nxdomain failures (default value=0s).
TTL Other Failures Maximum Specifies the upper boundary on time-to-live for non-nxdomain failures (default value=60s).
TTL Lower Limit For Server Failures Specifies the lower boundary on time-to-live for DNS server failures(default value=300s).
TTL Upper Limit For Server Failures Specifies the upper boundary on time-to-live for DNS server failures (default value=3600s).
Eager Refresh Specifies the lead time to refresh cache entries that are nearing expiration (default value=0s).
Cache Entry Limit Specifies the maximum number of entries that the DNS cache can contain (default value=35536 entries).
Test Ping Delta Specifies the delta for checking the cbind cluster health (default value=30s).

 Also, if necessary, the cache can be globally flushed via the following CLI syntax:

# isi network dnscache flush -v

Flush complete.

OneFS also provides the ‘isi_cbind’ CLI utility, which can be used to communicate with the cbind daemon. This utility supports both regular CLI syntax, plus an interactive mode where commands are   prompted for. Interactive mode can be entered by invoking the utility without an argument, for example:

# isi_cbind

cbind:

cbind: quit

#

The following command options are available:

# isi_cbind help

        clear           - clear server statistics

        dump            - dump internal server state

        exit            - exit interactive mode

        flush           - flush cache

        quit            - exit interactive mode

        set             - change volatile settings

        show            - show server settings or statistics

        shutdown        - orderly server shutdown

An individual groupnet’s cache can be flushed as follows, in this case targeting the ‘client1’ groupnet:

# isi_cbind flush groupnet client1

Flush complete.

Note that all the cache settings are global and, as such, will affect all groupnet DNS caches.

The cache statistics are available via the following CLI syntax, for example:

# isi_cbind show cache

  Cache:

    entries:                 10         - entries installed in the cache

    max_entries:            338         - entries allocated, including for I/O and free list

    expired:                  0         - entries that reached TTL and were removed from the cache

    probes:                 508         - count of attempts to match an entry in the cache

    hits:                   498 (98%)   - count of times that a match was found

    updates:                  0         - entries in the cache replaced with a new reply

    response_time:     0.000005         - average turnaround time for cache hits

These cache stats can be cleared as follows:

# isi_cbind clear cache

Similarly, the DNS statistics can be viewed with the ‘show dns’ argument:

# isi_cbind show dns

  DNS server 1: (dns:10.21.25.10)

    queries:                862         - queries sent to this DNS server

    responses:              862 (100%)  - responses that matched a pending query

    spurious:             17315 (2008%) - responses that did not match a pending query

    dropped:              17315 (2008%) - responses not installed into the cache (error)

    timeouts:                 0 (  0%)  - times no response was received in time

    response_time:     0.001917         - average turnaround time from request to reply

  DNS server 2: (dns:10.21.25.11)

    queries:                861         - queries sent to this DNS server

    responses:              860 ( 99%)  - responses that matched a pending query

    spurious:             17314 (2010%) - responses that did not match a pending query

    dropped:              17314 (2010%) - responses not installed into the cache (error)

    timeouts:                 1 (  0%)  - times no response was received in time

    response_time:     0.001603         - average turnaround time from request to reply


When running isi_cbind_d, the following additional options are available, and can be invoked with the following CLI flags and syntax:

Option Flag Description
Debug -d Set debug flag(s) to log specific components.  The flags are comma separated list from the following components:

all     Log all components.

cache   Log information relating to cache data.

cluster  Log information relating to cluster data.

flow    Log information relating to flow data.

lock    Log information relating to lock data.

link    Log information relating to link data.

memory  Log information relating to memory data.

network  Log information relating to network data.

refcount  Log information relating to cache object refcount data.

timing  Log information relating to cache timing data.

external   Special debug option to provide off-node DNS service.

Output -f Isi_cbind will not detach from the controlling terminal and will print debugging messages to stderr.
Dump to -D Target file for isi_cbind dump output.
Port -p Uses specified port instead of default NS port of 53.

The isi_cbind_d process logs messages to syslog or to stderr, depending on the daemon’s mode. The log level can be changed by sending it a SIGUSR2 signal, which will toggle the debug flag to maximum or back to the original setting. For example:

# kill -USR2 `cat /var/run/isi_cbind_d.pid`

Also, when troubleshooting cbind, the following files can provide useful information:

File Description
/var/run/isi_cbind_d.pid the pid of the currently running process
/var/crash/isi_cbind_d.dump output file for internal state and statistics
/var/log/isi_cbind_d.log syslog output file
/etc/gconfig/cbind_config.gc configuration file
/etc/resolv.conf bind resolver configuration file

Additionally, the internal state data of isi_cbind_d can be dumped to a file specified with the -D option, described in the table above.

OneFS NANON

Another functionality enhancement that debuts in the OneFS 9.4 release is increased support for clusters with partial front-end connectivity. In OneFS parlance, these are known as NANON clusters, the acronym abbreviating ‘Not All Nodes On Network’. Today, every PowerScale node in the portfolio includes both front-end and back-end network interfaces. Both of a node’s redundant backend network ports, either Ethernet or Infiniband, must be active and connected to the supplied cluster switches at all times, since these form a distributed systems bus and handle all the intra-cluster communication. However, while the typical cluster topology has all nodes connected to all the frontend client network(s), this is not always possible or even desirable. In certain scenarios, there are distinct benefits to not connecting all the nodes to the front-end network.

But first, some background. Imagine an active archive workload, for example. The I/O and capacity requirements of the workload’s active component can be satisfied by an all-flash F600 pool. In contrast, the inactive archive data is housed on a pool of capacity-optimized A3000 nodes for archiving inactive data. In this case, not connecting the A3000 nodes to the front-end network saves on switch ports, isolates the archive data pool from client I/O, and simplifies the overall configuration, while also potentially increasing security.

Such NANON cluster configurations are increasing in popularity, as customers elect not to connect the archive nodes in larger clusters to save cost and complexity, reduce load on capacity optimized platforms, as well as creating physically secure and air-gapped solutions. The recent introduction of the PowerScale P100 and B100 accelerator nodes also increase a cluster’s front end connectivity flexibility.

The above NANON configuration is among the simplest of the partially connected cluster architectures. In this example, the deployment consists of five PowerScale nodes with only three of them connected to the network. The network is assumed to have full access to all necessary infrastructure services and client access.

More complex topologies can often include separating client and management networks, dedicated replication networks, multi-tenant and other separated front-end solutions, and often fall into the NANOAN, or Not All Nodes On All Networks, category. For example:

The management network can be assigned to Subnet0 on the cluster nodes, with a gateway priority of 10 (ie. default gateway), and the client network using Subnet1 with a gateway priority of 20. This would route all outbound traffic through the management network. Static Routes, or Source-Based Routing (SBR) can be configured to direct traffic to the appropriate gateway if issues arise with client traffic routing through the management network.

In this replication topology, nodes 1 through 3 on the source cluster are used for client connectivity, while nodes 4 and 5 on both the source and target clusters are dedicated for SyncIQ replication traffic.

Other more complex examples, such multi-tenant cluster topologies, can be deployed to support workloads requiring connectivity to multiple physical networks.

The above topology can be configured with a management Groupnet containing Subnet0, and additional Groupnets, each with a subnet, for the client networks. For example:

# isi network groupnets list

ID         DNS Cache Enabled  DNS Search      DNS Servers   Subnets

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Client1    1                  c1.isilon.com   10.231.253.14 subnet1

Client2    1                  c2.isilon.com   10.231.254.14 subnet2

Client3    1                  c3.isilon.com   10.231.255.14 subnet3

Management 1                  mgt.isilon.com  10.231.252.14 subnet0

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Total: 4

Or from the WebUI via Cluster management > Network configuration > External network

The connectivity details of a particular subnet and pool and be queried with the ‘isi network pools status <groupnet.subnet.pool>’ CLI command, and will provide details of node connectivity, as well as protocol health and general node state. For example, querying the management groupnet  (Management.Subnet0.Pool0) for the six node cluster above, we see that nodes 1-4 are externally connected, whereas nodes 5 and 6 are not:

# isi network pools status Management.subnet0.pool0

Pool ID: Management.subnet0.subnet0

SmartConnect DNS Overview:

       Resolvable: 4/6 nodes resolvable

Needing Attention: 2/6 nodes need attention

        SC Subnet: Management.subnet0


Nodes Needing Attention:

              LNN: 5

SC DNS Resolvable: False

       Node State: Up

        IP Status: Doesn't have any usable IPs

 Interface Status: 0/1 interfaces usable

Protocols Running: True

        Suspended: False

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              LNN: 6

SC DNS Resolvable: False

       Node State: Up

        IP Status: Doesn't have any usable IPs

 Interface Status: 0/1 interfaces usable

Protocols Running: True

        Suspended: False

There are two core OneFS components that have been enhanced in 9.4 in order to better support NANON configurations on a cluster. These are:

Name Component Description
Group Management GMP_SERCVICE_

EXT_CONNECTIVE

Allows GMP (Group Management Protocol) to report the cluster nodes’ external connectivity status.
MCP process isi_mcp Monitors for any GMP changes and, when detected, will try to start or stop the affected service(s) under its control.
SmartConnect isi_smartconnect_d Cluster’s network configuration and connection management service. If the SmartConnect daemon decides a node is NANON, OneFS will log the cluster’s status with GMP.

Here’s the basic architecture and inter-relation of the services.

The GMP external connectivity status is available via the ‘sysctl efs.gmp.group’ CLI command output.

For example, take a three node cluster with all nodes’ front-end interfaces connected:

GMP confirms that all three nodes are available, as indicated by the new ‘external_connectivity’ field:

# sysctl efs.gmp.group

efs.gmp.group: <79c9d1> (3) :{ 1-3:0-5, all_enabled_protocols: 1-3, isi_cbind_d: 1-3, lsass: 1-3, external_connectivity: 1-3 }

This new external connectivity status is also incorporated into a new ‘Ext’ column in the ‘isi status’ CLI command output, as indicated by a ‘C’ for connected or an ‘N’ for not connected. For example:

# isi status -q

                   Health Ext  Throughput (bps)  HDD Storage      SSD Storage

ID |IP Address     |DASR |C/N|  In   Out  Total| Used / Size     |Used / Size

---+---------------+-----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----------------+-----------

  1|10.219.64.11   | OK  | C |25.9M| 2.1M|28.0M|(10.2T/23.2T(44%)|

  2|10.219.64.12   | OK  | C | 840K| 123M| 124M|(10.2T/23.2T(44%)|

  3|10.219.64.13   | OK  | C |    225M| 466M| 691M|(10.2T/23.2T(44%)|

---+---------------+-----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----------------+-----------

Cluster Totals:              |  n/a|  n/a|  n/a|30.6T/69.6T( 37%)|

     Health Fields: D = Down, A = Attention, S = Smartfailed, R = Read-Only

           External Network Fields: C = Connected, N = Not Connected

Take the following three node NANON cluster:

GMP confirms that only nodes 1 and 3 are connected to the front-end network. Similarly, the absence of node 2 from the command output infers that this node has no external connectivity:

# sysctl efs.gmp.group

efs.gmp.group: <79c9d1> (3) :{ 1-3:0-5, all_enabled_protocols: 1,3, isi_cbind_d: 1,3, lsass: 1,3, external_connectivity: 1,3 }

Similarly, the ‘isi status’ CLI output reports that node 2 is not connected, denoted by an ‘N’, in the ‘Ext’ column:

# isi status -q

                   Health Ext  Throughput (bps)  HDD Storage      SSD Storage

ID |IP Address     |DASR |C/N|  In   Out  Total| Used / Size     |Used / Size

---+---------------+-----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----------------+-----------

  1|10.219.64.11   | OK  | C | 9.9M| 12.1M|22.0M|(10.2T/23.2T(44%)|

  2|10.219.64.12   | OK  | N |    0|    0|    0|(10.2T/23.2T(44%)|

  3|10.219.64.13   | OK  | C | 440M| 221M| 661M|(10.2T/23.2T(44%)|

---+---------------+-----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----------------+-----------

Cluster Totals:              |  n/a|  n/a|  n/a|30.6T/69.6T( 37%)|

     Health Fields: D = Down, A = Attention, S = Smartfailed, R = Read-Only

           External Network Fields: C = Connected, N = Not Connected

Under the hood, OneFS 9.4 sees the addition of a new SmartConnect network module to evaluate and determine if the node has front-end network connectivity. This module leverages the GMP_SERVICE_EXT_CONNECTIVITY service and polls the nodes network settings every five minutes by default. SmartConnect’s evaluation and assessment criteria for network connectivity is as follows:

VLAN VLAN IP Interface Interface IP NIC Network
(any) (any) Up No Up No
(any) (any) Up Yes Up Yes
Enabled Yes (any) (any) Up Yes
(any) (any) (any) (any) Down No

OneFS 9.4 also adds an option to MCP, the master control process, which allows it to prevent certain services from being started if there is no external network. As such, the two services in 9.4 that now fall under MCP’s new NANON purview are:

Service Daemon Description
Audit isi_audit_cee Auditing of system configuration and protocol access events on the cluster.
SRS isi_esrs_d Allows remote cluster monitoring and support through Secure Remote Services (SRS).

There are two new MCP configuration tags, introduced to control services execution depending on external network connectivity:

Tag Description
require-ext-network Delay start of service if no external network connectivity.
stop-on-ext-network-loss Halt service if external network connectivity is lost.

These tags are used in the MCP service control scripts, located under /etc/mcp/sys/services. For example, in the SRS script:

# cat /etc/mcp/sys/services/isi_esrs_d

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<service name="isi_esrs_d" enable="0" display="1" ignore="0" options="require-quorum,stop-on-ext-network-loss">

      <isi-meta-tag id="isi_esrs_d">

            <mod-attribs>enable ignore display</mod-attribs>

      </isi-meta-tag>

      <description>ESRS Service Daemon</description>

      <process name="isi_esrs_d" pidfile="/var/run/isi_esrs_d.pid"

               startaction="start" stopaction="stop"

               depends="isi_tardis_d/isi_tardis_d"/>

      <actionlist name="start">

            <action>/usr/bin/isi_run -z 1 /usr/bin/isi_esrs_d</action>

      </actionlist>

      <actionlist name="stop">

            <action>/bin/pkill -F /var/run/isi_esrs_d.pid</action>

      </actionlist>

</service>

This MCP NANON control will be expanded to additional OneFS services over the course of subsequent releases.

When it comes to troubleshooting NANON configurations, the MCP, SmartConnect and general syslog log files can provide valuable connectivity troubleshooting messages and timestamps,. The pertinent logfiles are:

  • /var/log/messages
  • /var/log/isi_mcp
  • /var/log/isi_smartconnect

OneFS SmartConnect Diagnostics

SmartConnect, OneFS’ front-end load balancer and connection broker, is a bastion of the cluster that is intrinsically linked into many different areas of the product. Prior to OneFS 9.4, investigating the underlying cause of SmartConnect node resolution and/or connectivity issues typically required a variety of CLI tools and varied output, often making troubleshooting an unnecessarily cumbersome process.

With the addition of SmartConnect diagnostics, the initial troubleshooting process in OneFS 9.4 is now distilled down into a single ‘isi network pool status’ CLI command.

Issue OneFS 9.3 and Earlier Commands OneFS 9.4 Command
Node down isi stat  or  sysctl efs.gmp.group isi network pool status
Node smart-failing isi stat  or  sysctl efs.gmp.group isi network pool status
Node shutdown read-only isi stat  or  sysctl efs.gmp.group isi network pool status
Node rebooting sysctl efs.gmp.group isi network pool status
Node draining sysctl efs.gmp.group isi network pool status
Required protocols not running sysctl efs.gmp.group isi network pool status
Node suspended in network pool isi network pool view isi network pool status
Node interfaces down isi network interfaces list isi network pool status
Node missing IPs isi network interfaces list isi network pool status
Node IPs about to move No easy way to check isi network pool status

As the table above shows, this new diagnostic information source provides a single interface to view the primary causes affecting a node’s connectivity. For any given network pool, a summary of nodes and how many of them are resolvable is returned. Additionally, for each non-resolvable node, the detailed status is reported so the root cause can be pinpointed, providing enough context to narrow the scope of investigation to the correct component(s).

Specifically, the ‘isi network pool status’ CLI command in 9.4 now reports on the following attributes, making SmartConnect considerably easier to troubleshoot:

Attribute Possible Values
SC DNS Resolvable ·         True

·         False

Node State ·         Up

·         Draining

·         Smartfailing

·         Shutting Down

·         Down

IP Status ·         Has usable IPs

·         Does not have usable IPs

·         Does not have any configured IPs

Interface Status ·         x/y interfaces usable
Protocols Running ·         True

·         False

Suspended ·         True

·         False

Note that, while no additional configuration is needed, the ISI_PRIV_NETWORK privileges are required on a cluster account in order to run this CLI command.

In the following example, the CLI output clearly indicates that node 3 is down and requires attention. As such, it has no usable interfaces or IPs, no protocols running, and is not resolvable via SmartConnect DNS:

# isi network pool status subnet0.pool0 --show-all

Pool ID: groupnet0.subnet0.pool0


SmartConnect DNS Overview:

       Resolvable: 2/3 nodes resolvable

Needing Attention: 1/3 nodes need attention

        SC Subnet: groupnet0.subnet0


Nodes:

              LNN: 1

SC DNS Resolvable: True

       Node State: Up

        IP Status: Has usable IPs

 Interface Status: 1/1 interfaces usable

Protocols Running: True

        Suspended: False

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

              LNN: 2

SC DNS Resolvable: True

       Node State: Up

        IP Status: Has usable IPs

 Interface Status: 1/1 interfaces usable

Protocols Running: True

        Suspended: False

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

              LNN: 3

SC DNS Resolvable: False

       Node State: Down

        IP Status: Doesn't have any usable IPs

 Interface Status: 0/1 interfaces usable

Protocols Running: False

        Suspended: False

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

While currently, this new diagnostic information in OneFS 9.4 is only available via the CLI, it will be added to the WebUI in a future release..

OneFS Healthcheck Auto-updates

Prior to OneFS 9.4, Healthchecks were frequently regarded by storage administrators as yet another patch that need to be installed on a PowerScale cluster. As a result, their adoption was routinely postponed or ignored, potentially jeopardizing a cluster’s wellbeing. To address this, OneFS 9.4 introduces Healthcheck auto-updates, enabling new Healthchecks to be automatically downloaded and non-disruptively installed on a PowerScale cluster without any user intervention.

This new automated Healthcheck update framework helps accelerate the adoption of OneFS Healthchecks, by removing the need for manual checks, downloads and installation. In addition to reducing management overhead, the automated Healthchecks integrate with CloudIQ to update the cluster health score – further improving operational efficiency, while avoiding known issues affecting cluster availability.

Formerly known as Healthcheck patches, with OneFS 9.4 these are now renamed as Healthcheck definitions. The Healthcheck framework checks for updates to these definitions via Dell Secure Remote Services (SRS).

An auto-update configuration setting in the OneFS SRS framework controls whether the Healthcheck definitions are automatically downloaded and installed on a cluster. A OneFS platform API endpoint has been added to verify the Healthcheck version, and Healthchecks also optionally support OneFS compliance mode.

Healthcheck auto-update is enabled by default in OneFS 9.4, and is available for both existing and new clusters running 9.4, but can also be easily disabled from the CLI. If the auto-update is on and SRS is enabled, the healthcheck definition is downloaded to the desired staging location and then automatically and non-impactfully installed on the cluster. Any Healthcheck definitions that are automatically downloaded are obviously signed and verified before being applied, to ensure their security and integrity.

So the Healthcheck auto-update execution process itself is as follows:

1. Auto-update queries current Healthcheck version

2. Checks Healthcheck definition availability via SRS.

3. Version comparison.

4. Downloads new Healthcheck definition package to the cluster.

5. Package is unpacked and installed.

6. Telemetry data is sent, and Healthcheck framework updated with new version.

On the cluster, the Healthcheck auto-update utility, ‘isi_healthcheck_update’, monitors for new package once a night, by default. This python script checks the cluster’s current Healthcheck definition version and new updates availability via SRS. Next it performs version comparison of the install package, after which, the new definition is downloaded and installed. Telemetry data is sent and the /var/db/healthcheck_version.json file is created if it’s not already present. This json file is then updated with the new healthcheck version info.

In order to configure and use the Healthcheck auto-update functionality, the following prerequisite steps are required::

  1. Upgrade cluster to OneFS 9.4 and commit the upgrade.
  2. In order to use the isi_healthcheck script, OneFS needs to be licensed and connected to the ESRS gateway. OneFS 9.4 also introduces a new option for ESRS, ‘SRS Download Enabled’, which must be set to ‘Yes’ (the default value) to allow the ‘isi_healthcheck_update’ utility to run. This can be done with the following syntax, in this example using ‘lab-sea-esrs.onefs.com’ as the primary ESRS gateway:
# isi esrs modify --enabled=yes --primary-esrs-gateway=10.12.15.50 --srs-download-enabled=true

The ESRS configuration can be confirmed as follows:

# isi esrs view

                                    Enabled: Yes

                       Primary ESRS Gateway: 10.12.15.50

                     Secondary ESRS Gateway:

                        Alert on Disconnect: Yes

                       Gateway Access Pools: -

          Gateway Connectivity Check Period: 60

License Usage Intelligence Reporting Period: 86400

                           Download Enabled: No

                       SRS Download Enabled: Yes

          ESRS File Download Timeout Period: 50

           ESRS File Download Error Retries: 3

              ESRS File Download Chunk Size: 1000000

             ESRS Download Filesystem Limit: 80

        Offline Telemetry Collection Period: 7200

                Gateway Connectivity Status: Connected
  1. Next, the cluster is onboarded into CloudIQ via its web interface, which requires creating a site, and then from the ‘Add Product’ page configuring the serial number of each node in the cluster, along with the product type “ISILON_NODE”, site ID, and then selecting ‘Submit’.:

CloudIQ cluster onboarding typically takes a couple of hours and, when complete, the ‘Product Details’ page will show the ‘CloudIQ Status’, ‘ESRS Data’, and ‘CloudIQ Data’ fields as ‘Enabled’.

  1. Verify via cluster status that cluster is available and connected in CloudIQ

Once these pre-requisite steps are complete, auto-update can be enabled via the new ‘isi_healthcheck_update’ CLI command. For example, to enable:

# isi_healthcheck_update --enable

2022-05-02 22:21:27,310 - isi_healthcheck.auto_update - INFO - isi_healthcheck_update started

2022-05-02 22:21:27,513 - isi_healthcheck.auto_update - INFO - Enable autoupdate

Similarly, auto-update can also be easily disabled, either by:

# isi_healthcheck_update -s --enable

Or:

# isi esrs modify --srs-download-enabled=false

Auto-update also has the following gconfig global config options and default values:

# isi_gconfig -t healthcheck

Default values: healthcheck_autoupdate.enabled (bool) = true healthcheck_autoupdate.compliance_update (bool) = false healthcheck_autoupdate.alerts (bool) = false healthcheck_autoupdate.max_download_package_time (int) = 600 healthcheck_autoupdate.max_install_package_time (int) = 3600 healthcheck_autoupdate.number_of_failed_upgrades (int) = 0 healthcheck_autoupdate.last_failed_upgrade_package (char*) = healthcheck_autoupdate.download_directory (char*) = /ifs/data/auto_upgrade_healthcheck/downloads

The isi_healthcheck_update  utility is scheduled by cron and executed across all the nodes in the cluster, as follows:

# grep -i healthcheck /etc/crontab

# Nightly Healthcheck update

0       1       *       *       *       root    /usr/bin/isi_healthcheck_update -s

This default /etc/crontab entry executes auto-update once daily at 1am. However, this schedule can be adjusted to meet the needs of the local environment.

Auto-update checks for new package availability and downloads and performs a version comparison of the installed and the new package. The package is then installed, telemetry data sent, and the healthcheck_version.json file updated with new version.

After the Healthcheck update process has completed, the following CLI command can be used to view any automatically downloaded Healthcheck packages. For example:

# isi upgrade patches list

Patch Name               Description                                Status

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

HealthCheck_9.4.0_32.0.3 [9.4.0 UHC 32.0.3] HealthCheck definition  Installed

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total: 1

Additionally, viewing the json version file will also confirm this:

# cat /var/db/healthcheck_version.json

{“version”: “32.0.3”}

In the unlikely event that auto-updates runs into issues, the following troubleshoot steps can be of benefit:

  1. Confirm that Healthcheck auto-update is actually enabled:

Check the ESRS global config settings and verify they are set to ‘True’.

# isi_gconfig -t esrs esrs.enabled

esrs.enabled (bool) = true

# isi_gconfig -t esrs esrs.srs_download_enabled

esrs.srs_download_enabled (bool) = true

If not, run:

# isi_gconfig -t esrs esrs.enabled=true

# isi_gconfig -t esrs esrs.srs_download_enabled=true
  1. If an auto-update patch installation is not completed within 60 minutes, OneFS increments the unsuccessful installations counter for the current patch, and re-attempts installation the following day.
  2. If the unsuccessful installations counter exceeds 5 attempts, installation will be aborted. However, the following auto-update gconfig values can be reset as follows to re-enable installation:
# isi_gconfig -t healthcheck healthcheck_autoupdate.last_failed_upgrade_package = 0

# isi_gconfig -t healthcheck healthcheck_autoupdate.number_of_failed_upgrades = ""
  1. In the event that a patch installation status is reported as ‘failed’, as below, the recommendation is to contact Dell Support to diagnose and resolve the issue:
# isi upgrade patches list

Patch Name               Description                                Status

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

HealthCheck_9.4.0_32.0.3 [9.4.0 UHC 32.0.3] HealthCheck definition  Failed

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total: 1

However, the following CLI command can be carefully used to repair the patch system by attempting to abort the most recent failed action:

# isi upgrade patches abort

The ‘isi upgrade archive –clear’ command stops the current upgrade and prevents it from being resumed:

# isi upgrade archive --clear

Once the upgrade status is reported as ‘unknown’ run:

# isi upgrade patch uninstall
  1. The ‘/var/log/isi_healthcheck.log’ is also a great source for detailed auto-upgrade information.