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Active Active Best

Active Active Best

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Published by Raghunath Naidu
NetApp
NetApp

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Published by: Raghunath Naidu on Mar 07, 2013
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02/09/2014

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Active/Active Controller Configuration Overviewand Best Practice Guidelines
FAS Systems with Data ONTAP
 ® 
7G
Steve Lawler, Network Appliance, Inc.January 2007 | TR 3450-0107
 
 
2
Table of Contents
1. Introduction............................................................................................................................................................3
 
1.1 Terminology Used in this Document..................................................................................................................3
 
1.2 How Do I Learn More?.......................................................................................................................................3
 
2. Active/Active Controller Overview.......................................................................................................................3
 
2.1 How the Interconnect Works..............................................................................................................................4
 
2.2 How Active/Active Controllers Handle NVRAM.................................................................................................4
 
2.3 Mailbox Disks Store Active/Active Controller Synchronization Information.......................................................4
 
2.4 What Causes Failover to Occur?.......................................................................................................................6
 
2.5 Does the Active/Active Controller Configuration Address My Business Needs?..............................................8
 
2.6 Different Types of Active/Active Controllers......................................................................................................8
 
2.7 Best Practices for Selecting Active/Active Controller Configuration Solution that Fulfills Business Needs....13
 
3. Minimizing Client Disruption..............................................................................................................................14
 
3.1 Best Practices to Minimize Client Disruption during Takeover and Giveback.................................................14
 
4. Nondisruptive System Upgrade (NDU) Solution in Conjunction with Active/Active Controllers...............18
 
4.1 Nondisruptive Upgrade (NDU).........................................................................................................................18
 
4.2 Requirements for Major Release NDU............................................................................................................19
 
4.3 Support Matrix of Data ONTAP and NDU........................................................................................................19
 
4.4 Steps for Major Release NDU.........................................................................................................................19
 
4.5 Best Practices for Major Release NDU............................................................................................................20
 
4.6 Caveats of NDU...............................................................................................................................................21
 
5. Conclusion...........................................................................................................................................................21
 
6. Revision History..................................................................................................................................................21
 
 
 
3
1. Introduction
The NetApp active/active storage controller configuration delivers a robust and high-availability data servicefor business-critical environments. Each of the two identical storage controllers within the active/activeconfiguration serves data independently during normal operation, but in the event of individual storagecontroller failure, the data service process transfers from the failed storage controller to the survivingpartner. The active/active controller configuration can also protect against other hardware failures, includingnetwork interface cards, FC-AL loops, and LRC, ESH, ESH2, or AT-FCX modules.This document covers:
!
Hardware and software requirements for the Data ONTAP active/active controller configuration.
!
Effect on client connections during failover and giveback operations.
!
Best practices to fulfill business needs by evaluating your environment and mission-critical applications.
!
Nondisruptive upgrade.
!
Best practices to minimize client disruption.
1.1 Terminology Used in This Document
The terms FAS system and storage controller are used interchangeably throughout the document. Thewords failover and takeover, failback and giveback are also used interchangeably. The words node andpartner refer to individual storage controllers within an active/active configuration. The active/activecontroller configuration was known previously as CFO (Clustered Failover).
1.2 How Do I Learn More?
Please refer to the following sources on the NetApp Web site (www.netapp.com) for additional information:Storage Best Practice and Resiliency Guide: TR 3437  A Storage Networking Appliance: TR 3001For comprehensive coverage of the technologies involved, visit theNetwork Appliance™ Technical Library.Existing customers may also find additional product documentation on NOW
(NetApp on the Web).
2. Active/Active Controller Overview
The active/active controller configuration consists of a pair of matching FAS storage controllers (local nodeand partner node); each of these nodes must be connected to the other’s disk shelves. The Data ONTAPand firmware versions must be identical on both nodes. Similarly, the interconnect adapters on each nodemust be identical and configured with the same firmware version, and the interconnect adapters must beconnected properly by appropriate interconnect cables. For cabling details please refer to the Active/ActiveConfiguration Guide.In the active/active controller environment, Data ONTAP on each node monitors the availability status of itspartner by means of a heartbeat signal transmitted between the storage controllers through the interconnectcards and cables, and then stores this information on specialized mailbox disks. FAS storage controllers usebattery-backed nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) to prevent the loss of any data input/output requests that mayhave occurred after creation of the most recent consistency point.
 
The NVRAM data of each active/activecontroller node is always mirrored on the partner node. In the event of failover, the surviving node assumescontrol of the failed node’s disks and maintains data consistency with the mirrored NVRAM. For additionaldetails on NVRAM, please seeTR 3001
.
 Note: The FAS270c series controller does not use interconnect cards. The heartbeat signal and NVRAMdata are transmitted between the nodes via integrated Ethernet ports.

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