Open-E DSS V7
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    Active-Active Automatic Failover for iSCSI and Open-E DSS V7

    July is a pretty big month for Open-E. Massive actually. The most wanted and highly anticipated functionality became available in the new Data Storage Software Version 7. After many months of testing, tuning and improving the Active-Active Automatic Failover for iSCSI, our company was ready with a product that not only meets industry standards but exceeds them.

    So, what is Active-Active anyway?

    Active-Active Automatic Failover for iSCSI is a crucial Data Storage functionality used for Cloud Storage, High Availability, Business Continuity, Storage for Virtualization, and many more. This feature enables you to simultaneously run volumes in the active mode on two nodes, thus providing high availability of data. If one node fails, the other one takes over automatically and all application services continue to run without interruption. Once the failed node is available again in the resource pool, the storage administrator can move the activity of selected volumes back to the node of choice. Thanks to this option, overall cluster performance is improved since the read, write and replication traffic can be balanced on both nodes.

    Below you will see a video of how to quickly set up the Active-Active iSCSI Failover in Open-E DSS V7.

    Open-E DSS V7 Active/Active iSCSI Failover Setup from Open-E on Vimeo.


    Open-E DSS V7 Active-Active Cluster Advantages:

    • Configuring Active-Active clusters can be done without shared (common) discs
    • Validation on each node and I/O error triggers, so clusters can’t be started with the wrong configuration (e.g. one LUN is not in a cluster)
    • Speeds up networking connectivity, since I/O traffic is equally balanced on two nodes
    • Ping Nodes can be configured
    • Fully utilizes all processing power on both cluster nodes
    • You can configure as many Auxiliary paths as many network connections you have
    • Almost doubles your overall performance

    In addition, by radically simplifying the iSCSI failover configuration and adding helpful status icons in Open-E’s DSS V7, administrators can now easily navigate the software and use Active-Active Automatic Failover for iSCSI. Within a few minutes, you can have up to several hundred gigabytes available on your network – without much effort and no downtime.

    Furthermore, when looking at our competitors Active-Active software, we noticed many missing functionalities if compared to the Open-E DSS V7 Active-Active Automatic Failover for iSCSI. These disadvantages included: DNS required for auxiliary communication, no option to configure ping nodes, only 2 Auxiliary connections can be configured or only one big single point of failure (shared storage array) can be used. Keep these flaws in mind when choosing your storage software.

    It turns out that other offerings can give you Active-Active solutions OR offer a reasonable price and configuration, but very few can deliver BOTH at the same time. And that’s precisely what our Open-E DSS V7 does. It provides superior performance, security, and scalability at a fraction of the cost of alternative storage solutions. The flexible design of Open-E DSS V7 enables organizations of all sizes to create effective NAS and/or IP-SAN/iSCSI solutions that can adapt to and meet the simplest or the most complex storage needs.

    The Automatic Active-Active Failover functionality for iSCSI Volumes can only be purchased with Open-E DSS V7. To read more about Open-E DSS V7, click here.

    Questions? Comments? As always, your feedback is more than welcome!

    Download DSS V7

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    • Stefan

      August 01, 08 2012 07:52:45

      The active-active failover setup is a great piece of software. I was able to put up an active-active cluster within 10 minutes. Well, I might add I have loads of DSS v6 experience. But still: setting up the same cluster in v6 would have taken me at least thrice the time!

      And it is so self explanatory, the only moment I had to think about what I have to do next was when I realized I have to give the “secondary active path” a secondary virtual IP.

      Really a good job, I hope our customers will appreciate this work 🙂

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      • Kasia Kolodziej

        August 01, 08 2012 02:44:41

        Thanks for your positive feedback!
        Our staff has worked very hard to implement this solution and we are pleased that you are enjoying the simplicity of the Active-Active Failover setup and functionality.

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    • Darko

      September 20, 09 2012 03:36:03

      I am trying to determine whether to upgrade a client to V7 and purchase additional Active-Active failover add-on. I do have something I am unclear about here and would love if you can confirm/clarify it for me.
      It looks like the Active-Active here refers to the fact SANs can mirror in both directions at the same time, but, correct me if im wrong, storage needs to be cut up into more than one LUN.
      However, each LUN (or portion of the storage) is only active/accessible on one SAN at a time and mirroring to a passive copy on other san. Thus I cannot have the same LUN being read and written to on both SANs at the same time. I can only distribute the I/O between sans if I cut up the storage into more LUNs. Am I correct?
      If so, this would make it an active-active failover only in the above-the-lun sense, but each lun is in active/passive failover in reality. So if one isn’t willing to divide storage into more luns, this add-on really isn’t worth spending a thousand bucks on, is it?
      Thank you kindly for your answer.

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      • Kasia Kolodziej

        September 21, 09 2012 08:26:45

        Yes, you are correct in what you have described that you need at least two volume pairs in order to configure the Active-Active Cluster.
        But there is nothing wrong with it and is correct in its design. Let me explain. If the traffic in your city grows to a certain point, you have to build 2 lanes for the roads instead of only one lane to speed up the flow. In essence, if you have very low load there is no reason to build an Active-Active cluster, just Active-Passive is sufficient. If there is no traffic, there is no reason to build 2 lanes for the roads.
        In order to prove this advantage and test the maximum possible speed of our Active-Active solution, we have created 2 RAID arrays on every node. When running heavy duty benchmark patterns and comparing Active-Active to Active-Passive, we have noticed there is double overall performance in most of the test patterns. This is why Active-Active is demanded for storage solutions.
        You are also correct about Active-Active solution as Active-Active volume pair on both nodes. We do not recommend or support this type of solution. This type of solution is NOT for general purposes, but for clustered file systems only. From a technical point of view, it is more complex and potentially less reliable.
        Our solution can work with any type of clients and if you have enough load this will provide you the power of both servers.

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    • Darko

      September 21, 09 2012 09:05:31

      Hi Kasia,
      Thank you for your answer.

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    • Peter S

      November 29, 11 2012 04:29:31

      I like this functionality, but I have one question.
      If I have DSS V7 with active/passive failover installed in the moment, and I want to modify the setup so that it runs as active/active, can I just do that? Or do I need to create all new storage volumes and LUNs etc?
      Could not find any reference or mention of this.

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      • Kasia Kolodziej

        December 03, 12 2012 12:21:56

        If you have Open-E DSS V7 in an Active-passive setup and you want the software to run in Active-active, you can just add the A/A product key and

        a) if you have the latest version of Open-E DSS V7, just add a new replication task and then add the task to the remote resource pool (you can do this while Auto Failover is running).
        b) if you have an older version of Open-E DSS V7, then you will need to stop the Auto Failover service, add the replication task and VIP, and start the service again.

        In addition, you can find more information on configuring Active-active in our How-to Resources.
        Read the document here: Open-E DSS V7 Active-Active iSCSI Failover

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    • Wharia Jaw

      November 29, 11 2012 09:34:19

      Active-active looks like a good solution.

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