Yesterday I had the chance to get hands on with the Isilon NAS storage array and OneFS. Including running through the installation and configuration process and adding a node to the cluster. Initial setup of the first node using a serial cable to configure these options. Installation is incredibly simple with a text based wizard for configuring basic settings such as IP addresses, default gateway, subnet mask, and user name and password. Afterwards you can manage the array through the web browser interface. The GUI was very clean and easy to use.
When configuring the array you will be asked to provide a range of IP addresses for installation. This allows the cluster to easily add new nodes using IP addresses as needed from the range provided. You can specify multiple discontinuous ranges of IP addresses if need be. Each inifiniband backend switch will need its own range of IP addresses as part of the configuration.
When adding a new node to the cluster the node is automatically reimaged and either upgraded or downgraded to match the version of software running on the cluster.
After establishing the cluster a default file share called isi-status is provided for testing purposes. It's worth noting that you can point to any node in the cluster to access a particular share and the cluster will retrieve it from the appropriate node for you. This process is completely transparent to the end user.
Overall the installation process as well as the management GIU is very user friendly and incredibly easy to manage.
One errata worth noting is that there is an interruption of service when you add the second node to the cluster. The reason this is not widely published or advertised is because all Isilon clusters are sold with a minimum of 3 nodes. The interruption of service only happens when you are adding nodes and you have less than 3 in your cluster. This is due to an election process that must take place between the nodes as they establish quorum. Since this would only happen when you are initially setting up your cluster and you would not yet have any hosts attached it is a Non-issue. Also at the moment there is no De-duplication support.