Data deduplication appliances are often used as a backup target to reduce the space required to store long term backups like the ones used for GrandFather-Father-Son (GFS) scenarios. Good news is the built-in data dedupe capabilities are now available also for Shares hosted on the same appliance. And Quantum from this perspective makes no exceptions. This article covers the steps on how to create Quantum DXi NFS shares that can be used for multiple purposes, in addition to a backup target.
The Quantum DXi appliance can create both NFS and CIFS shares. This allows great flexibility for both Windows and Unix client to connect to these shares. In the case of the Quantum DXi virtual appliance it is possible to create up to 128 shares in total. For each one of them also the ability to choose settings like:
- data deduplication
- read-only access
- Windows membership (applies to CIFS)
- replication setting
- Hosts allowed to connect to the Share (applies to NFS)
Essentially there are two methods to create the shares. Using a wizard or the configuration section. This article will cover the former method using the wizard to create a Quantum DXi NFS share. In addition, also the steps to connect a Linux Ubuntu client to the NFS Share hosted on the Quantum DXi. Once the NFS Share is created it is possible to configure the type of access and who can access along with other settings.
This is a flexible approach which provides the ability to create separate shares fit for the purpose. Ideally the ones with data deduplication enabled can be used for data reduction of long term and “non-active” data. Ideally this share could also be read-only so that no changes occur. A different set of Shares could also be created with specific access only from defined Hosts. There are multiple combinations where the Quantum DXi NFS shares can be used.
How to setup a Quantum DXi NFS share
From the Home page in the Quantum DXi console let’s go to the Wizard section. In this case we’ll start with the NAS option to start the NAS services for the Quantum DXi NFS and CIFS shares creation.
Let’s hit on the NAS section and continue.
In the wizard it is possible to specify the type of share. In case both are selected an extra option will appear in the wizard to specify how to “export” actually present these shares. Since this article is focusing on one type, will choose the pertinent option to create a Quantum DXi NFS share.
In this step the wizard provides a quick form to enter the name of the desired NFS shares and their description. Last field id optional. At this stage also the option to enable the deduplication option. By clicking on “Add” it is possible to use the same wizard to add more shares.
If multiple shares or none have been configured they will appear in the confirmation page of the wizard. In this case the option to go back and change settings.
The last page of the wizard confirms the successful configuration of the NAS settings. No extra steps required on DXi appliance. Additional Quantum DXi NFS shares can be added either using this wizard or the main Configuration page as covered in the next article with regard to CIFS shares.
At this point the next step would be to verify the creation of the NFS share and connect or mount this on to Unix or Linux client. For this example a very easy and quick one to use is Linux Ubuntu.
First of all let’s make sure the NFS client is installed by issuing this command from a Terminal. Right click on the Desktop to start one in Gnome:
“sudo apt-get install nfs-common”
After providing the password for an admin account the APT package tool will check the dependencies and suggest the required items to download. Let’s click on “Y” to confirm and proceed.
In a few seconds the NFS client is installed on the Linux Ubuntu machine.
Next step is to verify the list of available NFS shares on the Quantum DXi appliance. Let’s make sure to point at the IP address of the appliance enabled for managing Data traffic. Quantum DXi appliances can configure different types of traffics on separate networks.
So a simple command like:
“sudo showmount -e QuantumIPAddress”
will display the current NFS shares.
Excellent the client can see the Quantum DXi NFS share. At this point it is possible to mount the NFS share on the Ubuntu machine. First step is to create a “mount point”. In this case a directory called “nfs_Sales” directly on the root “/”.
To mount the Quantum DXi NFS share on the Ubuntu client machine we can issue the command:
“sudo mount -o soft,intr-rsize=8192,wsize=8192 QuantumDXiIPAddress:/Q/shares/mount point”
So something similar to the screenshot below.
Now to check the amount of available space on the file system the “df” command comes quite handy:
simply show 1 TB of space is available for this NFS share.
Moving inside the NFS share or directory it is possible to create, manage, list files and a lot more.
Using the file browser probably it makes easier to visualize the files and folders to manage.
From the Ubuntu client there is full read and write access to the NFS share.
The Configuration tab in the Home page shows more options to manage multiple shares.
For example for the NFS share just created it is possible to enforce read-only access, specify which hosts (clients) are allows to connect to the Quantum DXi NFS share and also to replicate to another Quantum DXi appliance for example in a remote location. This is useful as it leverages storage replication for content in the shares and also backups for an improved data protection strategy.
One last thing to remember is this: the mount operation is not persistent. At the next reboot of the client the command to mount the NFS share need to be issued again. To make this persistent we can simply add the mapping into the “fstab” file with something like this:
“sudo gedit /etc/fstab”
and then add a line similar to this:
“QuantumDXiIPAddress:/Q/shares/ShareName /Mount_Point_Name nfs soft,intr,rsize=8192,wsize=8192”
Next article will cover the CIFS shares.