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Storage Platform Best Practices

Article ID: 318
Last updated: 14 Mar, 2016

Attix5 recommends certain best practices for optimimum functioning of servers in a Storage Platform. These are explained below.

  1. For all servers
  2. For AccountServers only
  3. For StorageServers only
  4. For Reporting
  5. General maintenance

1. For AccountServers, Slave AccountServers, StorageServers and MirrorServers

  1. Use a complex Master password.
    • See "Changing the Master password" in Chapter 7, "Storage Platform Configuration", of the Storage Platform Console user manual.
  2. Add exceptions to firewall rules for AccountServer and StorageServers: Example: Download example .bat files of AS and SS service commands and firewall configuration here.
  3. Configure the "AS_Service", "SS_Service" and SQL Server services to restart automatically after 60 seconds when an error occurs:
    • This can be set from the command line with:
      sc failure SS_Service reset= 0 actions= restart/60000/restart/60000/restart/60000
      (replacing service names as appropriate)
    • To query the status from the command line (replacing service names as appropriate):
      sc qfailure AS_Service
  4. Restrict Windows Update from automatically installing updates and thereby restarting the machine unexpectedly:
    • Choose the setting "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them".
    • We also suggest disabling these services until update Tuesday, enable them, run updates, and then disable again:
      • Background Intelligent Transfer Service
      • Windows Update
  5. Ensure the "Windows Time" service is running and the clock synchronised to UTC. This ensures time syncing for SSL/TLS and assists with log traceability.
  6. Follow hardware monitoring recommendations provided by the manufacturers e.g. RAID & CPU temperature with SNMP traps or email alerts.
  7. Address security vulnerabilities:
    • For installations of Attix5 Pro V8 (R3) and earlier, see FAQ article 279.
    • For installations of Attix5 Pro from V8 (R4), see FAQ article 324.
  8. Apply anti-virus exclusions as described in FAQ article 252.

2. For AccountServers

  1. Use the DNS name for the master AccountServer. It's also advisable to use DNS names for other AccountServers.
  2. Set the "AS_service" startup as delayed.
  3. Make the "AS_Service" dependent on the SQL service for startup.
    • See how here: FAQ article 46.
  4. Monitor the AccountServer:
    • With the Attix5 SP Service Monitor application - it notifies you via email should the server be unresponsive and can also be used to verify database connectivity.
      • See how here: FAQ article 319.
    • With a third-party monitoring solution to check the status of the "AS_Service".
  5. Ensure that the master and slave AccountServers use the same operating system version and SQL Server version.

3. For StorageServers

  1. Differentiate storage volume usage with a StorageServer:
    1. Use only one StorageServer instance per volume.
    2. Ensure that no additional applications use the same storage volumes as the StorageServer's main Data folder or destinations of HSM archiving.
  2. Monitor HSM disk space to ensure that this does not fill up and prevent roll-ups, and ultimately lead to the Storage Server running out of disk space.
    Note: Ideally, HSM destination folders and StorageServer Data folders should not be located on the same volume. If on the same volume, although you gain the benefit of HSM data being deduplicated according to the StorageServer's data, the StorageServer's actual disk utilisation will be inaccurately reflected because of this. See article 347 to address this.

4. Reporting

Configure and enable the following Standard Reports:

  1. StorageServer Disk Space Report:
    • Enable Daily when disk space used is greater than and set at 80% threshold.
    • Using Storage Pools will help manage disk usage of StorageServers automatically.
  2. Storage Server Down Report
  3. Overview Report
  4. Group Expiry Report
  5. Storage Platform Expiry Report

Run Enterprise Reports regularly. Configure them as specified in technical training. These are:

  • Backups In 24 SE Detailed
  • Backups Not In 24
  • Backup Variance
  • Success in 7 Days
  • Mirrors Due

5. Maintenance

  • Regularly inspect the Storage Platform logs.
    • In addition to the SP Console, the Attix5 Log Analyzer can also be used for this. See how here: FAQ article 321.

Article ID: 318
Last updated: 14 Mar, 2016
Revision: 25
Views: 1144
Comments: 0
Posted: 09 Jul, 2015 by Du Plessis S.
Updated: 14 Mar, 2016 by Du Plessis S.
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