Tuesday, 24 April 2012


As we know that virtualization is catching the market very fast and because of that hardware is getting virtualized and so the different vendor’s products are also making their technology to adopt the virtual environment to survive in the market. As we know the server market is very much affected by this virtualization technology and somewhat of storage market is getting affected by virtualization technology,
In almost every vendor or partner event I have seen that there is lot of discussion about the virtualization and they will show that how their new product or existing product is capable of adopting the virtual environment, as we all know the EMC, NetApp product are already adopted the virtual environment and saved their market value. And now the 3PAR is also working hard to adopt the virtual environment.
So today I will be discussing about the 3PAR storage and their solution to this virtual environment. We will see that what 3PAR is having in their pocket for customer so that they can sell their storage in virtual environment.
3PAR storage has two major products line the InServ T-Class and F-Class storage array. As we all know that the 3PAR is acquired by HP Company.
Based on the InSpire architecture, 3PAR storage array are widely installed in medium to large enterprise customers. InSpire provides a highly scalable, yet tremendously flexible, storage architecture that fits quite well into virtual server environments. Fine-grained virtualization divides physical disks into granular “chunklets”, which can be dynamically assigned (and later re-assigned) to virtual volumes of different quality of service (QoS) levels. This enables 3PAR to efficiently satisfy varying user-defined performance, availability and cost levels, and to adapt quickly and non –disruptively to evolving application workloads.
One of the 3PAR good storage intelligence technologies which are keeping the 3PAR separate from other storage vendors is their “THIN PERSISTENCE”.
This thin persistence helps users to reclaim the unused space resulting from deleted data within the volume. This is really a good and intelligence work of 3PAR storage as I have seen in NetApp and other storage vendors that once the some data is added in the thin volumes that much space is taken from the aggr or from storage pool but when we delete some data from the thin volumes that particular amount of space does not get added back to the aggr or storage pool, and that what the thin persistence do. So it helps user to reclaim back their unused space from the deleted data within the thin volumes.
Another good technology of the 3PAR storage is thin copy reclamation. When a copy of a volume needs to be made, using either 3PAR virtual copy (non-duplicative copy –on-write snapshots) or 3PAR Remote copy (thin provisioning- aware, data replication for DR purpose), 3PAR thin copy reclamation recovers any unused space, such as that associated with deleted data, during the copy operation. This has an especially big impact in streamlining copies of fat volumes, which tend to have a lot of wasted space that would otherwise be replicated in each successive copy.
The other interesting technology of 3PAR is the thin conversion, which applies a fat –to –thin conversion capability during the migration process. All  of 3PAR thin technologies take advantage of hardware –based functionality built in to the 3PAR Gen3 ASIC to ensure that the “capacity thinning” operations take place without impacting application performance of user response times.
3PAR recovery Manager for VMware vSphere comes in. Packaged in InForm software along with the 3PAR Management Plug-In for VMware vCentre , 3PAR recovery Manager enables users to create hundreds of space-efficient , point- in-time snapshots online in an InServ array, without disrupting the performance of other running VMs. The product allows users to snap and recover everything from VM images snap and recover everything from VMImages to specific virtual server files and directories.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fpolicy in NetApp


Fpolicy: FPolicy is an infrastructure component of Data ONTAP that enables partner applications connected to your storage systems to monitor and set file access permissions.
FPolicy determines how the storage system handles requests from individual client systems for operations such as create, open, rename, and delete. The storage system maintains a set of properties for FPolicy, including the policy name and whether that policy is active. You can set these properties for FPolicy using the storage system console commands.
File Screening on NAS

Run the following commands to enable the file screening on NAS box to prevent the copying of EXE, JPG, MP3, MP4, PST, AVI, and DAT.
1. Create the file screening policy
fpolicy create <Policy Name> <Policy Type>
E.g. fpolicy create techm screen
2. Add the extensions for scan
fpolicy ext[ension] {exc[lude]|inc[lude]} [add|remove|set|reset|show] <PolicyName> [<ext>[,<ext>]]
E.g. Fpolicy ext inc add techm jpg,exe,dat
3. fpolicy options <PolicyName> required [on|off]
                E.g. fpolicy options techm required on
4. Enable the policy
                fpolicy enable <PolicyName> [-f]
                E.g. fpolicy enable techm –f
5. Enable the File screening Monitor  when users try to write files to the NAS.
fpolicy mon[itor]  [add|remove|set] <PolicyName> [-p {nfs|cifs}] -f op_spec[,op_spec,...,op_spec]
                E.g. fpolicy mon add techm –p cifs –f write
After applying all the above commands you can see the below results using the below command.
:Fpolicy show techm
What is Serverless FPolicy, why would I want it and how does it work?
·         Normally a file policy has an external server to administer the policy
A typical sequence would be to create a policy, configure it, then set up an fpolicy server to administer the policy. As user requests come to the filer, those that fit the criteria of the policy cause the filer to notify the FPolicy server. For example, a quotas policy would cause the filer to notify the FPolicy server when a user did something that reserved or freed disk space.
But, as its name suggests, Serverless FPolicy involves creating a policy with the expectation of not connecting a server to administer the policy.
·         When would someone use Serverless FPolicy?
Serverless FPolicy is used as a "poor man's" file blocking policy. It may not have features or flexibility but it costs nothing and has excellent performance. If you simply want to prevent users from soaking up disk space with their MP3 music files for example, Serverless FPolicy may be perfect for you.
·         How does it work?
Conceptually, the policy is created and configured. Then the policy's option required is turned on. Because user access requires an FPolicy server to validate their request, and because there is no server, 100% of the user requests which fall under this policy will be rejected.
·         Can you give me an example showing how to set it up?
Let's say you want to prevent users from putting MP3 files onto the filer. Note that this example only works for CIFS users because NFS does not do a formal "file create" operation. First, create the policy.
  filer>  fpolicy create MP3Blocker screen
Now configure the policy. Set the extension list to "MP3". Set the operations monitored to "create" and "rename". This will block both creation of MP3 files and the more sneaky method of copying the MP3 under a different name and then renaming it once it is in place. Set the "required" option and enable the policy. Optionally, you can restrict the policy to certain volumes.
  filer> fpolicy ext inc set mp3blocker mp3
  filer> fpolicy monitor set mp3blocker -p cifs create,rename
  filer> fpolicy options mp3blocker required on
  filer> fpolicy volume include set mp3blocker vol0,vol1
  filer> fpolicy enable mp3blocker -f
·         Any further useful pointers you can give?
o    Note that the fpolicy monitor command was provided initially in Ontap 7.1
o    In older releases it is not so simple to set the list of operations controlled by a policy. Basically, you'll need to go into "advanced" mode on the filer console and directly insert values into the filer's registry. (http://now.netapp.com/Knowledgebase/solutionarea.asp?id=kb10098)]. But note that "registry set" is not supported for vfilers so you are just plain out of luck using the registry-hack procedure to set up a Serverless FPolicy for a vfiler.

Fpolicy flow chart: