Unable to Demote or Make Metadata Controllers

Andrew Allen's picture

I have recently taken over managing a Xsan system. The system is composed of 2 (soon to be 3) SANs, 3 metadata controllers and 11 client machines. MDC1 (MetaData Controller 1) hosts SAN1, and MDC2 hosts SAN2. They fail over to each other. The third controller is also the Final Cut Server. It is the last failover. The SANs, clients and MDCs a're all connected via a Qlogic fibre switch. The switch is zoned such that each client is in it's own zone with Aliases for the 2 (soon to be 3) SANs.

This Xsan system was incredibly messy. It was running 4 different versions of Xsan (2.1, 2.2, and 2.2.2 and 3.0 on one client) on the clients. Two of the 3 controllers were running Mountain Lion to match the one edit system running Mountain lion. However the third controller was never updated from Snow Leopard 10.6.4. The rest of the clients were running various flavors of Snow Leopard.

We've needed to upgrade to Mavericks to use the newest Adobe Creative Cloud. There are two workstations we want to be Mavericks workstations to use this newest CC. We want to keep the rest of the work stations using Snow Leopard and Final Cut 7. We have updated all of the client systems to Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and Xsan 2.2.2. One of these clients will be moved to Mavericks eventually. There is also a 10.8.5 Mountain Lion machine that will also be moved to Mavericks.

In order to move to Mavericks we, of course, need to upgrade our MDCs to Mavericks and Xsan 3.1. We have done this as instructed. While I'm sure such a ragtag mixture of OS and Xsan versions is not ideal, the system has functioned this way for years.

The problem we have is that we need a new MDC to host SAN3. We have upgraded one of the clients to Mavericks in hopes of making it an MDC and demoting the old Final Cut Server (which we do NOT want to upgrade to Mavericks).

However, the action options to Remove a Computer from the San, Promote to Metadata Controller, Make Client and . . . something else, are all grayed out.

I am well aware that in order to do this actions, all of the clients and metadata controllers must be turned on and connected to the SAN. They are! The existing SANs are visible and functional on each and every client. Xsan seems to think however that some machine isn't on the network. I assume that's problem because it's acting like one of the machines it's not connected to the SAN and not allowing us to preform the actions that require all the MDCs/clients to be online.


My hunch is that problem is the Final Cut server. It is a 10.6.8 MDC while the MDC1 and MDC2 are Mavericks controllers. Surely this is causing a problem, but we don't want to upgrade the Final Cut Server to Mavericks b/c it's the Final Cut Server and we use Final Cut 7. (Can anyone confirm that Final Cut Server 7 works properly on Mavericks?)

So we're in a pickle. We can't demote the Final Cut server or make a new MDC. We can't remove it from the SAN either because of the option to do so is greyed out.

We have not actually added the third SAN yet in Xsan but the Volumes are visible in Xsan and the Disk Utility and properly configured for our set up. I just haven't actually made a third SAN in Xsan yet because we wanted to have the new Mavericks MDC in place to host it.

What can be done to get us out of this position? I've been trying to integrate this new SAN all week and we've been hung up on this for a long time.

Any thoughts and help is much appreciated.

undercover's picture

When I did my upgrade to Mavericks, I decided to remove all clients from the SAN to avoid complications. For me that option was not grayed out (although I force removed them because I had already shut them down).

You might try stopping or restarting the Volumes to see if that allows you to remove computers from the SAN. Or try forcing a failover and see if you can do it from another one.

I'd say definitely remove the FCServer from the SAN and then re-add it as a client later.

By removing all the clients you should be able to add the MDC pretty easily.

Andrew Allen's picture

Thanks for your advice.

Just as a follow up for anyone who runs into the same problem, the issue was indeed that the Snow Leopard controller was mixed in with the Mavericks controllers. There was also an issue where one of the client workstations had it's computer name changed and it's IP address set to DHCP instead of the static IP address it was supposed to have. We plugged in an external drive to the FCserver (snow Leopard controller) and made a Super Duper backup of the system. We booted from the external drive and upgraded to Mavericks.

Once everytihng was visible on the SAN, we demoted FCserver (on the external drive we were booted from), promoted the new controller and then removed FCserver from the SAN. We rebooted from the original Snow Leopard FCserver drive, which still thought it was a controller. We uninstalled Xsan, then reinstalled it via the 2.2 disk, used software update to download 2.2.2. and then readded it to the SAN simply as a client instead of a controller.

All is working properly now and we're up to date.