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Dell EMC Isilon OneFS Node setup to a Cluster

Here we are with the Dell EMC Isilon OneFS node setup. This article might look rather long just because of the number of screenshots. In reality the process is very quick. The actual setup is not taking more then 5 mins on the clock! I’m just making sure to capture all the different screenshots for a real step-by-step tutorial on how to setup the very first node. In particular the Dell EMC Isilon OneFS node setup is comprising of the following:

  • Format Drives
  • Create a Cluster wizard
  • Accept The EULA
  • Set the passwords
  • Choose a Cluster Name
  • Set Encoding
  • Configure Internal and External Networks
  • Set default Gateway
  • Set SmartConnect
  • Setup Default DNS
  • Configure Network Time protocol
  • Configure Join settings
  • Confirm Cluster settings
  • First login to Isilon OneFS cluster

Dell EMC Isilon OneFS node Setup

After the first deployment and clone to a template as per previous article we are now ready to power the first VM. It will be acting as the first node of the Dell EMC Isilon OneFS Cluster. In this article for our home lab we are going to create a 2 nodes cluster. Just as a reminder the current simulator gives the option to configure up to 6 nodes per single cluster. All basic features included at no charge. It really depends on the available resources in our home lab. Also once again this simulator is not suitable for production environments. For production environments it is always possible to convert this deployment into a licensed one based on the requested advanced features and contacting DellEMC directly. In the meantime for our home lab the steps are outlined below.

Format Drives

As soon as we boot the first VM the installer is requesting to format the all drives in order to create the IFS partition (Isilon File System) and of course let’s click yes. Should we have added extra virtual disks to this VM let’s make sure no important data is actually stored in there. As per previous article it shouldn’t be the case

Isilon OneFS Format partition

As we can see from the screenshot the installer is proceeding with the formatting

Isilon OneFS Format drive

Create a Cluster wizard

From this screen we get the information about the build and the node serial number. So let’s proceed with the wizard and select option “1” to create the first Cluster

Isilon OneFS Create cluster


Accept the EULA

As soon as we start creating the Cluster we can read (or press space bar to scroll quickly) the EULA

Isilon OneFS EULA

Let’s click Yes and press enter

Isilon OneFS EULA Accept


Set the Passwords

From this screen now we need to create two passwords. the first one is for “root” user. As in perfect Unix style the actual tyoing of the password is hidden.. so type it slowly and especially when using a Remote Connection client

Isilon OneFS Root password

Now we can specify the password for the “admin” user with full rights on the GUI. The password can be the same although not a best practice

Isilon OneFS admin UI password

Choose a Cluster Name

Let’s select a cluster name. Tend not use special characters. I believe the only one supported is “-” dash and cannot be longer than 15 characters. Probably because of NetBIOS maximum number of supported characters. More importantly I would recommend to decide in prior the Cluster name and create the necessary entries in the DNS for proper name resolution. For the purpose of this article We’ll be creating a 2 nodes cluster. So let’s make sure to create two “A” records with the chosen cluster name and assign two IP addresses. For this home lab the configuration will be something like:

  •     OneFS81
  •     OneFS81

More info on this later in the article

Isilon OneFS cluster name

Set Encoding

With regards to the encoding let’s leave the default one “utf-8”

Isilon OneFS cluster encoding

Configure Internal and External Networks

In the previous article we mentioned OneFS clusters have two networks: Internal and External. Since this is a test deployment and all the network cards are exactly the same (no 40 Gb Ethernet at the moment!) we can use one network for both purposes: intra-communication between nodes and clients connectivity with pertinent applications

Isilon OneFS network mask

So let’s go for option “1”

Isilon OneFS network mask setup

Let’s define the default network mask

Isilon OneFS network mask

Unless there are specific reason (like for example using Jumbo frames) let’s use the default MTU. Next we can start configuring the “Internal” network with option “3”

Isilon OneFS configure Internal network

At this point we define the IP range for the cluster with option “1”

Isilon OneFS Network ip range

As per previous comment I will be using the following IP addressing for the internal network:

  •     OneFS81
  •     OneFS81

The first one is the Low IP address

Note: Since this is the first node it will automatically assign the “lowest” IP address to itself

Isilon OneFS network address

and define the High IP address

Isilon OneFS network address

Enter to confirm the IP range

Isilon OneFS accept network

Main Network settings as shown in the screenshot and enter to accept

Enter to exit the “Interfaces” configurations

Isilon OneFS confirm network

Since we want to use one network only for now let’s select option “2” in order to use the same subnet for all communications

Isilon OneFS use internal network

Set Default Gateway

We are now ready to configure the Default Gateway

Isilon OneFS configure gateway

Set SmartConnect

For now we can simply skip the SmartConnect configuration by accepting default values and pressing enter

Isilon OneFS smart connect

Set Default DNS

In this menu we can configure the DNS as shown in the screenshots below

Isilon OneFS DNS server

Let’s provide an internal DNS first

Isilon OneFS DNS IP address

Let’s press on enter to save and exit the DNS configuration

Isilon OneFS DNS confirm

And enter again to complete this part of the network configuration

Isilon OneFS confirm external subnet

Configure Network Time protocol

Last two steps of the network configuration regard NTP protocol. We can simply accept the default configuration by pressing enter or point to a Domain controller you might have in your home lab environment  running as a VM on the same Hypervisor Host

Isilon OneFS config network time

Configure Join Mode

Last is the join mode when adding future nodes to the cluster. We can choose between Manual and Secure. Let’s leave the manual for now

Isilon OneFS cluster join mode

Confirm Cluster settings

Finally we can confirm the Cluster settings before committing as per screenshot below

Isilon OneFS confirm cluster configuration

First login to Isilon OneFS cluster

The installer will commit the changes as per our instructions and will offer login shell. We can simply login with “root” user and the chosen password

Isilon OneFS shell login

As an alternative it might be more handy to access the Cluster from the Web GUI. Before doing so let’s test the connectivity with the first node of the Isilon OneFS cluster. As per our example let’s try a ping resolving the IP address as well with something like:

ping -a OneFS-Cluster-IPAddress

and should return the “low IP address” along with the FQDN name as per screenshot below

Isilon OneFS ping cluster address

Success! So it is time to try access from the Web GUI with something like:


as per screenshot below. It will bring the unknown certificate message. Good news and proceed to the address!

Isilon OneFS node Cluster access

We can either use the “root” or “admin” users with pertinent passwords

Isilon OneFS node cluster credential

And here we are with the very first Dell EMC Isilon ONeFS node installed and part of the Cluster

Isilon OneFS node Web Dashboard

The setup is very straight forward as this article provides the steps for installing the first Isilon node and how to create the first cluster. In the next article we’ll visit the option to install a secondary node to the Isilon OneFS Cluster.


About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.


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