Update Packages on Synology

Services that run on a Synology are constantly being updated. Software updates for the binaries and other artifacts can quickly and easily be updated. To do so, open the Synology web interface and then open Package Center. From Package Center, click Update for each or Update All to upgrade all services at once, as seen below.

You will then be prompted to verify that you want to run the update.

Any services that are being updated will restart and so end users might find those services unresponsive or have to log back in after the service comes back online.

Data Domain

Data Domain appears to be the next casualty of the swift consolidation of IT vendors. NetApp and EMC continue in what has become a bidding war in the acquisition of Data Domain. NetApp began the bidding at $1.5 Billion and it has slowly eked its way up to $1.9 Billion. What are they buying? Something they both already claim to have a really good solution for, data de-duplication. While this acquisition is not as big of a deal as other recent buyouts it is worth noting. NetApp and EMC are becoming bitter rivals and the technology and research and development that each is looking to acquire via Data Domain would further strengthen either organization in the core offering of each: storage.

Finding Disk Speeds on a NetApp

On a NetApp you can determine the disk speeds for drives in your Filer using the following command:
storage show disk –a
This will show all of the disks.  Each disk has a unique identifier within the NetApp, indicated by a numeric sequence typically starting with a 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, etc.  You can obtain detailed information about each disk by showing disk with the unique identifier in the command.  You can also see a listing of disks by volume using the following command (they will appear in the RPM column):
vol status -r
This will show a variety of statistics, including the disk type, speed, etc.  The vol command can also be used to add spare disks, setup mirroring and a few other nifty features!

NetApp Failovers

Each controller of a NetApp FAS will typically have two network interfaces. Provided I have two storage controllers (and I usually do) I typically prefer to setup a NetApp in an automated failover scenario. A NetApp active/active configuration consists of two storage nodes) whose controllers are connected to each other either directly or through switches. The nodes are connected through a cluster adapter or an NVRAM adapter, which allows one node to serve data to the disks of its failed partner node. Each node continually monitors its partner, mirroring the data for each other’s nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM). Before configuring the filers for an active/active clustered failover, first verify that the dates are in sync between the nodes (if you’re using multiple nodes) using the date command. If they are not, then configure NTP using the options command. For example to following uses as an NTP host and time.apple.com as another, setting the time.servers option:
options timed.servers time.nist.gov,
Other timed options include timed.sched, which sets the schedule for when times are updated in the case of time skews. There is also timed.proto, which allows you to use ntp or rtc. Once verified then you will move on to setting up the cf engine. When configuring clustering on the filers, you will use the cf command. The following command will give you a status as to the configuration as well as the status of the cf engine:
cf status
Provided that cf is currently disabled, the following command will go ahead and enable it:
cf enable
In order to initiate a failover event you can use the following command (or start unplugging some cables;):
cf takeover
If you are testing by unplugging cables then it is worth mentioning that the takeover and giveback processes are initiated after 30 seconds of not hearing from the partner interface. Older releases of the firmware can require an additional 45 seconds to complete the takeover/giveback. If you see an error that an interface “cannot be configured: address does not match any partner interface” then you might have a problem with the IP configuration of one of the controllers, for example a missing partner IP address. The easiest way to remedy that is to simply rerun the setup command and zip through the wizard, defining the partner IP in the process. Once a failover event occurs you can fail the controllers back to the original configuration using the cf command with the giveback option, as follows:
cf giveback
At some point you may choose to turn off clustering, to do so use the following command:
cf disable

The NetApp Halt Command

When shutting down a NetApp Filer, you should use the halt command. The halt command flushes file system updates (eg – flushing memory to disk) out to disks and clears NVRAM, which helps to make sure the system comes back online properly and no data is lost during the process (’cause you know, data loss is kinda’ bad on your storage devices, right). Flags that can be used with the halt command include -d, -t and -f, which sets a dump string (dirty shut down, only use this if a standard shutdown doesn’t work), an interval for the shutdown to occur (in minutes) and prevents other node from taking over as an active. After you run the halt command, when the NetApp shows a boot prompt, you can turn the power off.