Introducing the EMC Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide

Ever wonder about the best way to set up communication between Isilon clusters and external client applications? Maybe you’d like to learn about Isilon network topology and how IP routing works in OneFS 7.1, or what the best practices are for using source-based routing in OneFS 7.2. Perhaps you’re curious about considerations around Isilon technology refreshes, or what to tell your client system administrators about DNS settings.

We’ve got just the content for you! Check out the EMC Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide: Routing, Network Topologies, and Best Practices for SmartConnect. (You’ll need to log in to the EMC Online Support site to view it.) Developed as a collaborative effort between Isilon Information Development and Isilon Professional Services, the Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide’s scenario-driven content covers your favorite Isilon external networking topics.  Be aware, though, that it isn’t a tutorial. The guide reviews Isilon networking basics, but assumes that as a network or storage architect or administrator, you’re already familiar with general networking concepts and terms.

Here are some highlights from the guide:

  • An easy-to-consume table to help you choose the best load balancing policy for your environment
  • Guidelines for keeping your Isilon cluster running efficiently
  • DNS setting recommendations to pass along to your client system administrators to help ensure that client connections stay fresh
  • Common questions and answers about Isilon in-band network management
  • Guidelines for calculating the number of IP addresses you’ll need for planning your network architecture
  • An illustrated, scenario-based walkthrough that introduces you to the wonders of dynamic SmartConnect zones and IP addresses
  • Recommended strategies for network design for specialized workloads from different industries, such as media and entertainment
  • Best practices for ensuring cluster stability, data integrity, and optimal network performance
  • Another easy-to-consume table describing common data unavailable causes and preventive actions you can take
  • Planning guidelines for technology refresh cycles
  • Recommended IP allocation strategies for SmartConnect Advanced listed by protocol
  • An illustrated discussion of network routing in OneFS 7.1
  • Another illustrated discussion of source-based routing (SBR) in OneFS 7.2, with a bonus discussion of destination-based routing just for comparison
SBR diagram by Andrew Chung

The guide also covers how best to use SyncIQ and SmartConnect Advanced for backup and disaster recovery planning. In fact, there’s a whole section covering SmartConnect best practices. Learn how SmartConnect works, what to check if you have firewalls, and what practices to avoid.  And if you’ve ever wondered how Isilon and SmartConnect handle DNS delegation, the Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide is the guide for you.

As if that weren’t enough information about SmartConnect, there are more scenario-based descriptions of hot networking topics such as where the SmartConnect service runs, what happens when you replace nodes while SmartConnect is active, and how to use SmartConnect in an isolated network environment.

Pretty comprehensive, huh? That’s the idea: to provide an all-inclusive guide to Isilon external network connectivity. We hope that this will be your go-to guide for getting answers to your Isilon external networking questions. It’s sort of a “how to hook up with an Isilon cluster” guide.

You’ll find the guide on EMC Online Support here: EMC Isilon External Network Connectivity Guide. Note that you’ll need to log in to the support site to access it. Let us know what you think!

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About the Author: Risa Galant