New to Nexenta, training resources?

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New to Nexenta, training resources?

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:59 pm

Hi All,

I recently started a new job. Horay for me! It's been a lot of work to get to a position where I am the head admin (read: only) of a small-ish company. I am diving in in the documenting and discovery phase of how this network is setup. I have gotten the basics of what systems are where, what servers do what, and how their previous admin integrated everything. I am now diving in to their "SANs" trying to get the data replicating between our home office and co-location going. And that brings me to my question

Does anyone here have any experience with Nexenta? From what I have been able to find it's basically an integrated solution designed to turn commodity hardware into networked storage. Their documentation seems...lacking. Most of it is of the "click these buttons to do this thing" variety. Very little of it is a high level overview of what the language means, or how various configurations function. My Google-fu is failing me, as most of the training resources I've been able to find are either very low quality or ridiculously expensive. The company is a not-for-profit, and is going into a cash strapped year, but they provide an excellent service that does help a lot of less fortunate people out. I am open to paid for classes or materials but would greatly prefer any kind of free documentation (no matter how dull). Also, if it is relevant, they do have the paid version with moderate support. They have been less than stellar responding to my requests but if their is something available that route that is an option too.


Thanks!
LaChupacabra
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Re: New to Nexenta, training resources?

Postposted on Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:20 am

I haven't looked at any illumos/OpenSolaris based distribution in a while, but I'll tell you what I know.

NexentaStor is based on illumos which is derived from the OpenSolaris code base, and it uses the GNU userland with deb packages. Yes, it's a turnkey storage device. It's a pretty front end to the ZFS and cli backend, and you might be able to get to the command line if you want to.

You could probably post some stuff you're having trouble understanding, and people could chime in.
Flatland_Spider
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Re: New to Nexenta, training resources?

Postposted on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:09 am

Yea, let me put some info up here that I've found so far.

There are 2 ways of accessing the management of the devices. The first (NMS - Nexenta Management Server) is hosted on a webserver on the Nexenta device. It allows for the majority of management tasks to be done without jumping into the CLI

The second is the NMC (Nexenta Management Console). It is available via ssh and allows for full administration of the storage device. I was able to find some decent documentation of which commands are available here (direct link to .pdf hosted on Nexenta's site). It seems to be mostly Unix compatible, although there are some weird issues (for example, throwing a -h at the end of a command will bring up the man pages, which was confusing when doing a df -h...I may have freaked out a little).

Most of that I can stumble through. The issues that I am running into are getting the data to sync between appliances (our main office and the colo). I am not sure where to begin with this and will likely have to engage Nexenta on it. My primary concern is why the system seems so slow. Running tests on virtual servers that are hosted on this shows disk latency and I/O that you would expect to see from a single commodity disk. The array hosting the data is what Nexenta calls a Raidz1. It basically looks like a JBOD consisting of 7 1 gig drives with a formatted space of 6.31TB. The server has 48 gigs of ram with ~40 of that dedicated to caching data. All 40 gigs of that are being used, but benchmarks run on the VM's show at most 90Mb/s of read performance (slow even for a single 1 TB disk) with very little I/O happening on the hypervisor. It's LVM over iSCSI, and I doubt it's a bandwith issue. The metrics available through either the NMC or the NMS have been pretty opaque. I would like to know what data is sitting where (what's eating that 40 gigs of RAM that doesn't seem to be speeding anything up) and why this RAID volume is so slow. My first thought was, looking like a jbod, there wasn't any striping going on. I haven't been able to confirm that one way or the other. Anyone have any thoughts?


Thanks again!
LaChupacabra
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