Xsan

undercover's picture

Achievement Unlocked: Upgrade!

I finally did it.

After looking forward / fearing the upgrade for years, I finally migrated off my old XServes to Mac Minis, and moved from Mac OS 10.5 to 10.9.

The move had been long delayed for lack of scheduled down time, lack of funding for new servers, and a little bit of fear of things going wrong.

The background story.

My clients (6 of them) were all running 10.6, even though the servers were 10.5. I almost never had trouble with XSAN itself, except the occasional ACL issue or snfsdefrag necessary when disks got near full. We had been planning to upgrade for a long time, but for one reason or another it just never happened. Even lately, I had planned to upgrade to new Mac Pros for clients when they were released, but I think we will change our short term plans to work with four new iMacs and four of our old Mac Pros.

Of course adding new clients required an XSAN upgrade, which also required new servers since I was on first-gen XServes. So Mac Mini + xMac chassis + old fiber cards were the plan, whenever we were able to get the funds set aside.

Things get scary.

My util server failed about a year back. It really wasn't doing much at the time so it wasn't a great loss. But then my mdc2 failed. It was always the more stable mdc. Sometimes XSAN admin would not work well on mdc1. Also mdc2 was my OD master. So I had to promote mdc1 which was the replica.

Fortunately, mdc1 continued to work fine.

Time to prepare.

So we purchased the Mac Mini Servers back in October, but we were in the middle of our busy projects, so I could not upgrade until January at the earliest. I got the team to stay on top of backups in case things went sour and to prepare for the migration. I also made a time machine backup of my mdc, exported lunlabels, and copied xsan config folder.

Should be good to go? Am I forgetting anything?

It's time.

Shut it all down. Disconnect clients, shut down volumes, etc. Connect mini, plug in mdc1 time machine backup, import data. Go through setup.

Got hung up on network config. Apparently it locks if you have two network ports connected. Unplug one, reboot, do it again, replug network. No big deal. Oh wait, fiber zoning. Was using an old card, had to re-alias and re-zone it.

After all that, one of my XSAN volumes decided to mount! Even before I launched XSAN admin. Launch XSAN admin, start second volume, things look good!

Do it again.

First problem - these minis shipped with 10.8. Shut down volumes, download Mavericks, do another time machine backup, install. Good to go.

And again.

Turn on new mdc2, upgrade to Mavericks, change fiber zoning, add second mdc in XSAN admin. No problems.

Oh wait, where's Open Directory? 

For some reason my OD did not make it through the upgrade to 10.8. No big deal, as my OD pretty much consists of one group. Recreated it on mdc1, setup replica on mdc2. [note I plan to move primary to util server].

Re-add the clients!

Booted up clients. Some of them somehow popped up one of the volumes before I re-added them in XSAN admin. Weird. Added them in XSAN admin, and despite complaining that their XSAN versions were older, everything worked fine.  Turned spotlight on for both volumes. Everything is good! Woohoo!

This was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be!

Still to do:

  • Setup util server for SMB shares.
  • Upgrade clients to 10.9 (some will stay at 10.6 because they are old)
  • Add new iMacs when they arrive
  • Change IP to new subnet
  • Change to new Active Directory domain
  • Figure out if I can now remove lunzero from my NexSAN satabeast. I think Abs told me something about ALUA in 10.7+, will have to go look at old notes.
Apple Knowledge Base's picture

Xsan: Compatibility of SAN clients with Xsan and StorNext controllers (Apple KB)

Learn which versions of StorNext can be used in the same SAN with Xsan controllers, and which versions of Xsan can be used in the same SAN with StorNext controllers.

Read more: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1517

abstractrude's picture

ProRes White Paper Updated

Apple has updated their ProRes white paper with information on bandwidth for 4K and 5K video streams. You find the whitepaper here.

aaron's picture

Migrate Metadata From Xsan to StorNext

Charles Edge writes about the snmetadump command on his blog Krypted:

http://krypted.com/mac-security/migrate-metadata-from-xsan-to-stornext/

metadreamer's picture

Xsan vs GigE NAS?

Forums: 

We're looking at upgrading our Xsan (and all of its clients to new Mac Pros) as it's a 5 year old install and locked to 10.6.8.

I know that some places are marketing "video workflow" optimized NAS solutions over 10 gig E as an alternative. I assume these boxes just use standard AFP and file level storage.

Does anyone have a comparison of using one of those vs. Xsan? Seems like a higher theoretical bandwidth vs 4 Gb fibre (at least that's what our current switch and cards can handle)... But how does Final Cut Pro X and/or Premiere work with a file level storage system vs. Xsan? I assumed that Xsan would offer maximum compatibility for collaborating on files but I'm not sure if any changes to Final Cut X or these newer NAS boxes mitigated any issues.

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