Retaining Your Apps and Knowledge Accessible With HyperFlex

The Cisco HyperFlex Knowledge Platform (HXDP) is a distributed hyperconverged infrastructure system that has been constructed from inception to deal with particular person element failures throughout the spectrum of {hardware} parts with out interruption in companies.  In consequence, the system is extremely obtainable and able to in depth failure dealing with.  On this brief dialogue, we’ll outline the forms of failures, briefly clarify why distributed techniques are the popular system mannequin to deal with these, how knowledge redundancy impacts availability, and what’s concerned in a web-based knowledge rebuild within the occasion of the lack of knowledge parts.

It is very important be aware that HX is available in 4 distinct varieties.  They’re Normal Knowledge Middle, Knowledge Middle@ No-Cloth Interconnect (DC No-FI), Stretched Cluster, and Edge clusters.  Listed below are the important thing variations:

Normal DC

  • Has Cloth Interconnects (FI)
  • Might be scaled to very giant techniques
  • Designed for infrastructure and VDI in enterprise environments and knowledge facilities


  • Just like customary DC HX however with out FIs
  • Has scale limits
  • Lowered configuration calls for
  • Designed for infrastructure and VDI in enterprise environments and knowledge facilities

Edge Cluster

  • Utilized in ROBO deployments
  • Is available in varied node counts from 2 nodes to eight nodes
  • Designed for smaller environments the place preserving the functions or infrastructure near the customers is required
  • No Cloth Interconnects – redundant switches as a substitute

Stretched Cluster

  • Has 2 units of FIs
  • Used for extremely obtainable DR/BC deployments with geographically synchronous redundancy
  • Deployed for each infrastructure and utility VMs with extraordinarily low outage tolerance

The HX node itself consists of the software program parts required to create the storage infrastructure for the system’s hypervisor.  That is finished by way of the HX Knowledge Platform (HXDP) that’s deployed at set up on the node.  The HX Knowledge Platform makes use of PCI pass-through which removes storage ({hardware}) operations from the hypervisor making the system extremely performant.  The HX nodes use particular plug-ins for VMware referred to as VIBs which might be used for redirection of NFS datastore site visitors to the right distributed useful resource, and for {hardware} offload of advanced operations like snapshots and cloning.

A typical HX node architecture
A typical HX node structure.

These nodes are included right into a distributed Zookeeper primarily based cluster as proven beneath. ZooKeeper is basically a centralized service for distributed techniques to a hierarchical key-value retailer. It’s used to supply a distributed configuration service, synchronization service, and naming registry for big distributed techniques.

A distributed Zookeeper primarily based cluster

To being, let’s take a look at all of the attainable the forms of failures that may occur and what they imply to availability.  Then we will focus on how HX handles these failures.

  • Node loss. There are numerous explanation why a node might go down. Motherboard, rack energy failure,
  • Disk loss. Knowledge drives and cache drives.
  • Lack of community interface (NIC) playing cards or ports. Multi-port VIC and help for add on NICs.
  • Cloth Interconnect (FI) No all HX techniques have FIs.
  • Energy provide
  • Upstream connectivity interruption

Node Community Connectivity (NIC) Failure

Every node is redundantly related to both the FI pair or the swap, relying on which deployment structure you’ve gotten chosen.  The digital NICs (vNICs) on the VIC in every node are in an lively standby mode and cut up between the 2 FIs or upstream switches.  The bodily ports on the VIC are unfold between every upstream gadget as properly and you’ll have further VICs for additional redundancy if wanted.

Cloth Interconnect (FI), Energy Provide, and Upstream Connectivity

Let’s observe up with a easy resiliency answer earlier than analyzing want and disk failures.  A conventional Cisco HyperFlex single-cluster deployment consists of HX-Sequence nodes in Cisco UCS related to one another and the upstream swap by way of a pair of material interconnects. A cloth interconnect pair might embrace a number of clusters.

On this state of affairs, the material interconnects are in a redundant active-passive major pair.  Within the occasion of an FI failure, the accomplice will take over.  This is identical for upstream swap pairs whether or not they’re straight related to the VICs or by way of the FIs as proven above.  Energy provides, in fact, are in redundant pairs within the system chassis.

Cluster State with Variety of Failed Nodes and Disks

How the variety of node failures impacts the storage cluster relies upon:

  • Variety of nodes within the cluster—Because of the nature of Zookeeper, the response by the storage cluster is totally different for clusters with 3 to 4 nodes and 5 or better nodes.
  • Knowledge Replication Issue—Set throughout HX Knowledge Platform set up and can’t be modified. The choices are 2 or 3 redundant replicas of your knowledge throughout the storage cluster.
  • Entry Coverage—Might be modified from the default setting after the storage cluster is created. The choices are strict for safeguarding towards knowledge loss, or lenient, to help longer storage cluster availability.
  • The sort

The desk beneath exhibits how the storage cluster performance adjustments with the listed variety of simultaneous node failures in a cluster with 5 or extra nodes operating HX 4.5(x) or better.  The case with 3 or 4 nodes has particular issues and you may test the admin information for this data or discuss to your Cisco consultant.

The identical desk can be utilized with the variety of nodes which have a number of failed disks.  Utilizing the desk for disks, be aware that the node itself has not failed however disk(s) throughout the node have failed. For instance: 2 signifies that there are 2 nodes that every have no less than one failed disk.

There are two attainable forms of disks on the servers: SSDs and HDDs. After we discuss a number of disk failures within the desk beneath, it’s referring to the disks used for storage capability. For instance: If a cache SSD fails on one node and a capability SSD or HDD fails on one other node the storage cluster stays extremely obtainable, even with an Entry Coverage strict setting.

The desk beneath lists the worst-case state of affairs with the listed variety of failed disks. This is applicable to any storage cluster 3 or extra nodes. For instance: A 3 node cluster with Replication Issue 3, whereas self-healing is in progress, solely shuts down if there’s a complete of three simultaneous disk failures on 3 separate nodes.

3+ Node Cluster with Variety of Nodes with Failed Disks

A storage cluster therapeutic timeout is the size of time the cluster waits earlier than robotically therapeutic. If a disk fails, the therapeutic timeout is 1 minute. If a node fails, the therapeutic timeout is 2 hours. A node failure timeout takes precedence if a disk and a node fail at similar time or if a disk fails after node failure, however earlier than the therapeutic is completed.

In case you have deployed an HX Stretched Cluster, the efficient replication issue is 4 since every geographically separated location has an area RF 2 for website resilience.  The tolerated failure eventualities for a Stretched Cluster are out of scope for this weblog, however all the main points are coated in my white paper here.

In Conclusion

Cisco HyperFlex techniques include all of the redundant options one would possibly anticipate, like failover parts.  Nevertheless, in addition they include replication components for the info as defined above that supply redundancy and resilience for a number of node and disk failure.   These are necessities for correctly designed enterprise deployments, and all components are addressed by HX.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *