Preparing To Create an Avere Cluster

Before starting the cluster creation, make sure you have followed instructions in the FXT 5000 Series Installation Guide to correctly rack and cable the FXT nodes in your datacenter. Make sure that at least one node is powered on.

Required Information

The Avere cluster requires the following information for its initial configuration.

  • Name that you want to assign to the cluster

  • Administrative password that you want to set for the cluster

  • IP addresses:

    • A single IP address for cluster management, and the netmask and router to use for the management network
    • The first and last IP addresses in a contiguous range of IP addresses for cluster (internode) communication (see IP Address Distribution, below, for details)

    (Client-facing IP addresses are set after cluster creation.)

  • Optional but strongly recommended network infrastructure:

    • The IP address of a DNS server for the cluster
    • The name of the DNS domain for the cluster
    • The name or IP address for either one, or for three or more, NTP servers
  • Whether you want to enable IEEE 802.1AX-2008 link aggregation on the cluster’s interfaces

  • If you are enabling link aggregation, whether to use IEEE 802.3ad (LACP) dynamic aggregation

IP Address Distribution

An Avere cluster uses IP addresses in three categories:

  • Management IP: A single IP address for cluster management

    This address serves as the entry point to access the cluster configuration utilities (Avere Control Panel or the XML-RPC API). This address is automatically assigned to the primary node in the cluster, and it moves automatically if the primary node changes.

    Other IP addresses can be used to access the control panel, but the management IP address is designed to provide access even if individual nodes fail over.

  • Cluster Network: A range of IP addresses for cluster communication

    The cluster network is used for communication among cluster nodes and to retrieve files from the backend storage (core filers).

    Best practice: Allocate one IP address per physical port used for cluster communication on each FXT Series node. The cluster automatically assigns the addresses in the specified range to individual nodes.

  • Client-facing network: The range of IP addresses that clients use to request and write files

    The client network addresses are used by clients to access the core filer data through the Avere cluster. For example, an NFS client might mount one of these addresses.

    Best practice: Allocate one IP address per physical port used for client communication on each FXT Series node.

    The cluster distributes client-facing IP addresses across its constituent nodes as evenly as possible.

    For simplicity, many administrators configure a single DNS name with round-robin DNS (RRDNS) configuration to make it easier to distribute client requests across the address range. This setup also enables all clients to use the same mount command to access the Avere cluster. See Configuring DNS for the Avere Cluster for more information.

The management IP address and a range of cluster network addresses must be specified to create a new cluster; client-facing addresses are specified after cluster creation.