Is your site ready for an EMC Isilon cluster?

If you’re in the market for a new data storage solution, such as an EMC® Isilon® scale-out network attached storage (NAS) system, you’ve probably done a good amount of research to determine which solution will best meet your needs.

One important area of research is determining if your data center is ready for an EMC Isilon cluster. The Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide (login with an EMC Community Network account required) can help answer important questions about how to prepare a data center infrastructure for new Isilon equipment. Designed for system administrators or facility managers, this guide offers specific information about environmental and power requirements for data centers.

The information in this guide extends beyond providing site requirements. It’s also a useful reference for selecting equipment and preparing for the arrival and set up of your new cluster.

Selecting the right equipment

EMC Isilon NodesThe Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide is a singular resource for specifications and recommendations about all the equipment that makes up an Isilon cluster.

For example, this guide includes specifications for the following:

  • Nodes: Get specs on storage capacity, dimensions, and more for all supported nodes including S210, S200, X200, X410, X400, NL400, and A100 accelerator nodes.
  • Rack cabinets: Learn about standard storage racks requirements and delivery dimensions.
  • Cables: Get recommendations for managing InfiniBand and Cat 5 cables. For demonstrations of proper cable management, watch the EMC Isilon Site Preparation and Planning: Cabling video.
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Installing your cluster

For an overview of cluster installation basics, such as topology, node positioning, and planning for expansion or service needs, watch the EMC Isilon Site Preparation and Planning: Cluster Installation video.

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To help you with the installation process, Isilon Professional Services can assist you with setting up your new Isilon cluster to meet the needs of your specific workflows. The Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide provides a list of what to consider when first installing your cluster, which you can review with your Professional Services account representative:

  • Which version of the Isilon OneFS® operating system to install on the cluster
  • Network connectivity details, including IP ranges, for your cluster nodes, client, and InfiniBand networks
  • DNS configuration details, including name servers and search lists
  • Directory services such as Active Directory, LDAP, NIS, or local user groups
  • File sharing protocols such as SMB and NFS, and advanced file sharing options
  • Data protection levels, anti-virus solutions, NDMP backup, and auditing
  • Cluster alert solutions such as ESRS and SNMP monitoring

For more complete information on these topics, read the Isilon Site Preparation and Planning Guide.

Start a conversation about Isilon content

Have a question or feedback about Isilon content? Visit the online EMC Isilon Community to start a discussion. If you have questions or feedback about this blog, send an email to To provide documentation feedback or request new content, send an email to


About the Author: Kirsten Gantenbein

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