NetApp cDOT – SVM root volume protection

In this entry I would like briefly  describe how to protect the SVM (vserver) root volume by creating load-sharing mirrors on every node of a cluster. If you are unfamiliar with SVMs, check out my article NetApp cDOT – what is SVM or vserver ?. Every vserver has it’s root volume, which is an entry point fo a namespace provided by that SVM (You can read more about namespaces in NetApp cDOT – Namespace, junction path entry). Continue reading

NetApp cDOT – Volume Move

In next few entries I would like to describe some non-disruptive operations that are possible within Clustered Data ONTAP. In this article I will focus on a DataMotion for Volumes functionality. It is a build-in functionality that you get with your clustered ONTAP system. As I mentioned in my previous post about SVMs (What is SVM?) and in describing benefits of a cluster , data SVM is acting as a dedicated virtual storage controller, which is not “linked” to any single node, not even to single HA pair within the cluster. Volume move is an excellent example of this advantage. You can easily, non-disruptively (continue reading to understand it fully) move a volume between two different nodes, operation will be executed in the background and it will be practically invisible for Your users! There are some things you have to consider, of course. Especially if Your volumes contains LUNs, I will describe that a bit later.

Why do we need volume move anyways?

Volume move (DataMotion for Volumes) is a very useful tool used often in capacity and performance planning. It might happen (and almost always does) that your data aggregates utilization differs inside Your cluster. Having the possibility to non-disruptively move volumes across aggregates is great benefit in such cases. Also, often particular node in the cluster might have higher utilization (for example in terms of IOs) than others. You can choose the destination aggregate that belongs to different node (even in another HA pair within the same cluster!) to level-down the performance impact on each node.  Continue reading

NetApp cDOT – NFS access and export policies

Today I would like to brefily explain terms: export policy and export rule. In Netapp 7-mode if you wanted to create an NFS export you could add an entry to /etc/exports file and export it with exportfs command. In NetApp cDOT it is a different proceedure. To export an share via NFS you have to create an export-policy and assign it to either a Volume or a Qtree that you wish to export.

Another difference is the structure of NFS permissions. in 7-mode if you would like to access via NFS /vol/my_volume/my_qtree, you could just created an exportfs entry for that particular location. In Clustered Data ONTAP NFS clients that have access to the qtree also require at least read-only access at the parent volume and at root level.

You can easily verify that with “export-policy check-access” CLI command, example:

Example 1)

cdot-cluster::> export-policy check-access -vserver svm1 -volume my_volume -qtree my_qtree -access-type read-write -protocol nfs3 -authentication-method sys -client-ip
                                         Policy    Policy       Rule
Path                          Policy     Owner     Owner Type  Index Access
----------------------------- ---------- --------- ---------- ------ ----------
/                             root_policy    svm1_root volume 1 read
/vol                          root_policy    svm1_root volume 1 read
/vol/my_volume                     my_volume_policy my_volume volume    2 read
/vol/my_volume/my_qtree              my_qtree_policy my_qtree qtree           1 read-write
4 entries were displayed.

In above example, host has an read-access defined in root_policy and my_volume_policy exports policies. This host has also read-write access defined in rules of my_qtree_policy export policy.

Example 2)

cdot-cluster::> export-policy check-access -vserver svm1 -volume my_volume -qtree my_qtree -access-type read-write -protocol nfs3 -authentication-method sys -client-ip
                                         Policy    Policy       Rule
Path                          Policy     Owner     Owner Type  Index Access
----------------------------- ---------- --------- ---------- ------ ----------
/                             root_policy    svm1_root volume 1 read
/vol                          root_policy    svm1_root volume 1 read
/vol/my_volume                       my_volume_policy my_volume volume    0 denied
3 entries were displayed.

In second example host has an read-access defined in root_policy, however it does not have an read-access defined in volume’s policy my_volume_policy. Because of that this host cannot access /vol/my_volume/my_qtree  even if it has read-write access in my_qtree_policy export policy.

Export policy

Export policy contain one or more export rule that process each client access request. Each Volume and qtree can have only one export policy assigned, however one export policy might be assigned to many volumes and qtrees. What is important – you cannot assign an export policy to a directory, only to objects like volumes and qtrees. As a consequence you cannot export via NFS a directory  – in opposite to NetApp 7-mode, where it was possible (this article is written when the newest ONTAP version is 9.1).

Export rule

Each rule has an position, and that is the order in which client access is checked.  It means that if you have an export rule (1) saying that (all clients) have read-only access, and the rule (2) saying that LinuxRW host has an RW access, LinuxRW in fact will not get  a RW permission, because during client access check, this host was already cought by rule 1, which only gave a RO access. Of course order of rules can be easily modified, it is important to pay attention to it.