702, 2016

Dell FluidFS v5 2016 New Features

By |February 7th, 2016|FluidFS, Storage|0 Comments

Recently FluidFS v5 for the FS8600 was released by Dell engineering to coincide with SCOS 6.7 for Dell Storage SC series. FluidFS has come along in leaps and bounds in the last few years, VAAI support, SMB3, advanced quota management and scale out to support 4PB in a single share.

FluidFS runs across the SC family, from the smaller SCv2000 up to the massive SC9000, same code, same kit, just different disk configs depending on the requirements.FluidFS Features

Improved scalability with a single Global Namespace

Global Namespace uses folder redirections. You saw before that a single FS8600 cluster can support up to 4PB. With the GN functionality, you can have multiple FS8600 systems look like one massive system, multi 10s of PB. Very attractive especially when you consider that FluidFS isn’t an all-inclusive license, there is no capacity license so it can grow as much as you want. GN works with SMB2, SMB3, & NFS4.x.


  • System 1 \\cluster1\mainshare
  • System 2 \\cluster1\mainshare\archive
  • System 3 \\cluster1\mainshare\cctv
  • System 4 \\cluster1\mainshare\remotesite1 (witht SMB branchcache)

The systems above don’t all have to have the same backends. One system could be all flash, one could be optimised for CCTV streaming. Like I mentioned, it’s configurable based on your workload.

Data governance and security improvements

FluidFS v5 bring support for advanced auditing, access violations, ownership changes etc. Great for extra security and compliance. At the moment (Feb 2016) only Quest Change Auditor is supported but there are more coming in next few months.

Powershell and REST API support

Very useful, especially once you start getting into large deployments. You can script day to day activities like provisioning shares, snapshots, and also monitoring features for reporting.

Additional enhancements are FTP support, replication throttling, SMB branchcache and 2-way NDMP over FC.


307, 2013

EqualLogic Software Versions July 2013

By |July 3rd, 2013|EqualLogic, FluidFS, Storage|2 Comments

Alvin Kho is one of the Dell Enterprise Technologists based in Asia. He maintains a fantastic internal document on all things EqualLogic and  has graciously let me use some of his content on my blog – so many  thanks to Alvin.

There are two sections, all the latest software releases and then a plethora of technical documents and whitepapers to warm you up during the cool winter nights. I’ll try and post new content whenever he does an update .. try.

EQL Software Family and Versioning

This is the main reason I wanted to put this up on the web. A single place to see all the latest recommended versions for EqualLogic software. One of the cool things about EQL is that once you buy it, everything is licensed so you get access to all the software and new features as they are released.

This is a wide table and it breaks the formatting of my site but it’s worth it.

EQL Software Category Latest Version Release Date Comment
Firmware 4.3.x Generation 4.3.8 17-Jan-11  
5.0.x Generation 5.0.8 14-Sep-11 New GUI starting from 5.x. Support VMware VAAI
5.1.x Generation 5.1.2 21-Oct-11 New 3TB drive, Auto-tiering, DCB, FS7500, AD integration features started in this version
5.2.x Generation 5.2.8 17-Jun-13 new 10GbE controller (PS6110 & PS4110 series) support with bug fixes
6.x Generation 6.0.5 17-Jun-13 Added sync replication support plus other features (e.g. UNMAP, snapshot borrowing, etc.)
Language Pack for Group Manager 6.x Generation 6.0 or above 17-Oct-12 EQL Group Manager GUI multiple languages support – including French, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Spanish
HIT For Microsoft 2.x 2.2.1 Jun-07 Still can support Windows 2000 server
3.x 3.5.1 Jan-11 This is the version added PowerShell support (not for support W2K server)
– if support SQL Server 2000 edition is necessary, using HIT/ME version 3.1.2
4.x 4.5.0 18-Dec-12 Support Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, SharePoint and new features in EQL fw 6
– if support for Exchange 2003, SQL 2005 is necessary, using HIT/ME version 4.0

– not support for Windows Server 2003
HIT For VMware 2.x (ASM/VE) 2.0.5 May-10 Support EQL firmware v3.2 or higher
(Both VMware ESX 3.5 and 4.x are supported by this release)
3.x 3.1.2 28-Jun-12 Support vSphere 4.1 and 5.0 – provide vCenter plug-in appliance support
(not backward compatible to ESX 3.5 and 4.0)
– support EQL firmware 6.0
Virtual Storage Manager for VMware 3.x v3.5.2 2-Apr-13 Support EQL firmware v5.0.2 or higher
VMware vCenter Server™ 5.0, 5.1
VMware ESX™ Server 4.1, 5.0, 5.1
VMware View™ 4.5, 4.6, 5.0
MEM for VMware 1.1.x 1.1.2 3-Dec-12 Design to work with vSphere 4.1, 5.0 and 5.1. Request EQL firmware 5.2 or higher.
SRM for VMware
1.x 1.0.6 16-Jun-12 Support EQL firmware v5.0.2 or higher
Support VMware SRM V4.1.1 and higher (V4.x only)
2.x 2.2.0 11-Sep-12 Support EQL firmware v5.0.2 or higher
Support VMware SRM v5.0 & 5.1
(not backward compatible with previous version of SRM)
HIT for Linux 1.x 1.2.0 1-Nov-12 Support EQL firmware v5.0 or higher (support EQL firmware v6 new features)
(32/64-bit versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)/CentOS: 5.7, 5.8, 6.2, 6.3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP1 and SP2)
Note: when running with RedHat 5.5, there is no "Least Queue Depth" Algorithm
SAN HeadQuarters (SAN-HQ) 2.x 2.6 14-May-13 Support EQL firmware v5.0 or higher (support Win8/2012 with RAID reliability score)
NOTE: The SupportAssist feature is compatible with firmware v5.0.8 or later.
Manual Transfer Utility (MTU) 1.x 1.2.3 2-Aug-12 Support EQL firmware v5.1.x to v6.0.x
SCOM MP For EqualLogic 5.x 5.0 (A00) 20-May-13 Support up to EQL firmware 6.x and new EQL hardware
Support for Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 Operations Manager and System Center 2012 Operations Manager
Node Side v2.0.7170
(FluidFS v2)
7-Jul-13 Supported Platform – FS7500, FS7600, FS7610
– Before upgrade to new FS Series Firmware version, must first upgrade EQL array(s) to Firmware version 6.0.x or above
EQL Side 6.0.5 10-Apr-13 EQL firmware minimal support level is 5.1.x for FS7500
For FS76x0, minimal support version is 6.0.1 or above


HIT/Microsoft v4.5 does include an SMP Provider for Microsoft Window Server 2012.  However, usage/integration with SCVMM2012 requires two things:

  1. SCVMM2012 SP1 / UR1
  2. HIT/Microsoft v4.6 (which is not GA released yet but soooooon)

Out of everything there, I can’t emphasise enough to upgrade to the latest SAN HQ software. New functionality allows SAN HQ to upload logs directly to support on your behalf. It’s a very welcome feature for sure, actually It’s all very fabulous.

Useful EqualLogic Technical Materials and Whitepapers

Another great list thanks to Alvin, I am merely the cut and paste maestro presenting and prostrating before you. Actually, I thought about formatting and making it more web friendly but I am getting told off because I don’t have the sausages on the BBQ yet so this will have to do.

Document Name URL
Dell EqualLogic Configuration Guide http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/2639.equallogic-configuration-guide.aspx
Dell EqualLogic Compatibility Matrix http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/2661.equallogic-compatibility-matrix.aspx
EQL RAID Best Practices http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861480/download.aspx
EQL Best Practice Networking Guidelines http://www.equallogic.com/resourcecenter/assetview.aspx?id=5229 
Rapid EqualLogic Configuration Portal http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/3615.rapid-equallogic-configuration-portal-by-sis.aspx
Switch Configuration Guides http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/4250.switch-configuration-guides-by-sis.aspx
Master pointer to all SiS whitepapers http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/2632.storage-infrastructure-and-solutions-team-publications.aspx
EqualLogic Technical Contents http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/2660.equallogic-technical-content.aspx
Optimizing your EQL SAN for High Availability http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20371245/download.aspx
EqualLogic PS Series Architecture: Load Balancers http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19949521/download.aspx
DC Power Supply Module Installation and Maintenance Supplement https://eqlsupport.dell.com/support/download_file.aspx?id=2026&langtype=1033
EqualLogic Hybrid Array Load Balancer http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20349614/download.aspx
EqualLogic & M1000e Best Practices (1GbE) http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20156422/download.aspx
EqualLogic & M1000e Best Practices (10GbE) http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20198539/download.aspx
EqualLogic & M1000e Best Practices (Force10 switch) http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/4451.poweredge-m1000e-blade-and-equallogic-ps-series-san-design-best-practices-using-force10-switches-by-sis.aspx
EqualLogic PS-M4110 Blade array http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20196885/download.aspx
EqualLogic Auto-Replication http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/2641.aspx
EqualLogic Snapshots and Clones Best Practices http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/3619.equallogic-snapshots-and-clones-best-practices-and-sizing-guidelines-by-sis.aspx
EqualLogic Template Volumes and Thin Clones http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861241/download.aspx
EqualLogic iSCSI Connection Characterization http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/3481.equallogic-iscsi-volume-connection-count-maximum-characterization-by-sis.aspx
Self Encrypted Drive Management http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20382259/download.aspx
Mixed Speed with EQL (PowerConnect 6248/8024F) http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/2640.aspx
Mixed Speed with EQL (PowerConnect 8100 Series) http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/4419.mixed-speed-devices-within-a-10-gb-equallogic-san-using-pc-8100-series-switches-by-sis.aspx
Mixed Speed with EQL (Force10 S4820T) http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/m/white_papers/20384458/download.aspx
FS Series Appliances FluidFS NAS Support Matrix https://eqlsupport.dell.com/support/download_file.aspx?id=2080&langtype=1033
FS76x0 Best Practices with EQL http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/4452.integrating-the-dell-equallogic-fs7600-and-fs7610-into-an-existing-san-by-sis.aspx
NDMP Backup on FluidFS using CommVault Simpana  http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/4392.ndmp-backup-on-dell-equallogic-fs-series-nas-using-commvault-simpana-by-sis.aspx
Applications Topics and URL
SQL Server 2012 Best Practices and Sizing Guidelines for Transaction Processing Applications with Microsoft SQL 2012 using EqualLogic PS Series Storage
SQL Server 2012 OLTP I/O Profile Study with Microsoft SQL 2012 using EqualLogic PS Series Storage
SQL Server 2008 Protecting Microsoft SQL Server databases with EqualLogic Synchronous Replication
SQL Server 2008 Enhancing SQL Server Protection using EqualLogic Smart Copy Snapshots
SQL Server 2008 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Backup and Restore using Dell EqualLogoic
SQL Server 2008 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Backup and Restore using Dell EqualLogoic and PowerVault DL2200 with CommVault Simpana
SQL Server 2008 Automatic data tiering benefits for OLTP databases with EqualLogic hybrid arrays
SQL Server 2008 SQL Server Database Protection Using Auto-Snapshot Manager / Microsoft Edition: Advanced Operations
SQL Server 2008 DSS (OLAP) Deploying MS SQL Server 2008 DSS on 10GbE EqualLogic Storage
Exchange Server 2010 Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 with Dell EqualLogic PS Series Arrays
Exchange Server 2010 Microsoft Exchange 2010 on a Hyper-V Virtual Infrastructure Supported by Dell EqualLogic SANs
Exchange Server 2010 Exchange 2010 Data Protection with EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager / Microsoft Edition v4.5
Exchange Server 2010 Sizing MS Exchange 2010 on EqualLogic PS4100-6100 Arrays with VMware vSphere 5
Exchange Server 2010 Supplemental Implementation Guide (MS Exchange 2010 on VMware vSphere)
Exchange Server 2010 Enhancing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Data Protection and Availability using EqualLogic Snapshots
SharePoint 2007/2010 SharePoint Data Protection with Auto-Snapshot Manager / Microsoft Edition v4.5
SharePoint 2010 Reference Architecture for a Virtualized SharePoint 2010 Document Management Solution
Oracle 11g R2 Performance Baseline for Deploying Oracle 11g Release 2 Based Decision Support Systems using Dell EqualLogic PS6110XV Arrays
Oracle 11g R2 Sizing and Best Practices for Deploying Oracle 11g Release 2 Based Decision Support Systems with Dell EqualLogic 10GbE iSCSI SAN
Oracle 11g Best Practices for Oracle 11g Backup and Recovery using Oracle RMAN and EqualLogic Snapshots
Oracle DSS (OLAP) Deploying Oracle Decision Support Systems with EqualLogic 10GbE iSCSI SAN
Operating Systems URL
Deploying Windows 2008 with EQL http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861462/download.aspx
Windows 2012 & Hyper-V  http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20255176/download.aspx
Deploying Hyper-V with EQL http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861461/download.aspx
Hyper-V Protection using Auto-Snapshot Manager/ME http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861460/download.aspx
Boot from SAN for Windows Server 2008 R2 http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20310666/download.aspx
MPIO with Windows Server 2008 http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861471/download.aspx
ESXi 4.1  http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20094618/download.aspx
ESXi 5.1  http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/20094619/download.aspx
Boot from SAN for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/storage/w/wiki/4279.dell-equallogic-red-hat-enterprise-linux-6-2-boot-from-san-by-sis.aspx
Linux (using HIT for Linux) http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861419/download.aspx
SuSE Linux http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19949527.aspx
Linux (Red Hat, CentOS, SuSE Linux) http://en.community.dell.com/dell-groups/dtcmedia/m/mediagallery/19861422/download.aspx

There you go. Not a bad list. Just as a reminder, this list is accurate as of July 2013 – if you are reading this in the future there is probably a more recent doc, and I’m probably older. As always, make sure you check out the sites below as they are the best places to go for Dell Storage.

If you think this is valuable leave a small note in the comments and  we’ll try and do a Compellent version as well.

Cheers Daniel

706, 2013

FluidFS has a crack at SPECFS and goes off like a frog in a sock

By |June 7th, 2013|Compellent, FluidFS, Storage|0 Comments

Sooooo, after ages of asking and asking, we now have some official performance stats from the FS8600 running FluidFS and it looks impressive, especially from a bang for buck approach. The results are great timing with Dell Enterprise Forum happing in the US at the moment and the release of the new FluidFS V3 .

All the results are here http://www.spec.org/sfs2008/results/res2013q2/

The FS8600 is the FluidFS NAS frontend for Compellent. It’s a scale our NAS so it can use multiple heads and multiple arrays but still present as a single namespace which is awesome if you need massive file systems, high performance or not. For example, at the moment the largest file system can be 1PB but with the upcoming release that will double to 2PB.

All the drives used were SSD, well, actually a mix of SLC and higher capacity eMLC and with the 4 appliance config they hit 494,224 IOPS – a bloody lot. What it showed is what FluidFS is capable of if you can give it enough backend horsepower but to be honest I don’t really see any customers that need that kind of speed, but it’s always good to know it can do it.

Obviously everyone is rather chuffed about the results, you can find the official Dell response here http://www.dellstorage.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=3505  and a bit more info here.

Some more info about FluidFS V3 below. I’m pre-writing a post for the first time ever and I’ll get in strife and bother if I release these links early. Fingers crossed.

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