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ARX Config - Week 2

The ARX is up and running beautifully

Virtualization Magazine on Ulitzer

I wanted to do at least two updates a week on this series, but circumstances conspired to keep me from an update earlier this week. In case you missed it, we’ve had a release or two going on (that link also has the “F5 joins NetApp Alliance Partner Program” Press Release on it if you missed that one), and I’ve got my bit to play in that. I also inherited a rather large project that I need to drive home, and it took a chunk of time just figuring out where it was and what the next steps were. There all the excuses but the one you came for are done.

Now the one you came for… My network, my devices.

The ARX is up and running beautifully, it behaves as expected except for one niggling bit that I suspect is due to the fact that I’m using SMB class NAS devices, so I’m not going to bring up. If you’ve got a NetApp or EMC NAS, you’re probably not going to see it, so I’ll leave it at that.

My devices on the other hand… Arggghh. NoKerberos

I’ll skip the hoops I jumped through and the number of times I attempted to add shares trying to get my NAS devices to play well with others. One was requiring a login to access a drive marked public, the other was giving me access denied errors. Both of these problems were evident from both servers and the ARX. I’ve changed quite a few settings over the last week, so I went back and started again. It turns out that one NAS device requires the volume in the nfs path, the other does not. Problem one solved. Access wasn’t denied (as the device told me), but the share I was trying to mount didn’t exist. I got the name straight. The other was a setting in the global config that I tracked down – it defaulted to no access for all new nfs shares, and I had created new ones for testing, so I wasn’t messing with production data. A few mouse clicks later, and theoretically both are ready to go. As a bonus, after nearly two weeks of changing things on these boxes to get one of them fully functional – the NetGear was partially functional last week – All of the clients on the network could still get to their shares.

So I go back to the ARX management screen, and attempt to mount a share on my Seagate BlackArmor NAS. This is where owning an SMB NAS really started to hurt. With a fully qualified path, it tried, and it failed because root_squash was turned on. This is a cool protection mechanism of nfs that changes the uid of root to be “nobody” so root has no special privileges and cannot break anything. Fine, I turned it off on the NetGear/Infrant, so I would just turn it off on the Seagate. Remember that the ARX is a file virtualization tool with a lot going on inside. It needs root rights to move things about (particularly files in a tiered environment), manage file access privileges, and to manage the metadata share.

Guess what? After lots of research, I discover that the BlackArmor NAS doesn’t let you turn off root_squash. So I have a solution for this, I have another Namespace (think virtual tree container) on the ARX that I can use that has CIFS enabled. I’ve SMBmounted this box a zillion times, and our XP clients access it fine with CIFS also. So I pop back into the ARX manager, change to that Namespace, and try to add it as CIFS.

“NAS Device does not support Kerberos Authentication” The ARX tells me.

Sigh. So I can’t do NFS because root_squash can’t be disabled, I can’t do SMB without an ADS machine.

The BlackArmor is our primary NAS, so I don’t want to move forward without it, but Lori took down our ADS machine a while back, and it’s physically gone from the building.

That leaves me trying to use SMB PDC functionality (vaguely recall doing that once), or setting up a new ADS server and hoping that the BlackArmor knows how to use that.

So a chunk of the reason I skipped blogging earlier in the week was simple… I had nothing much to report other than the obvious – Seagate BlackArmor isn’t enterprise class NAS. Duh.280977628_f214125b3c_m

And now I have a project for this weekend. Setting up ADS to move this project along, I’m tired of blogging about my network/storage issues and want to move on to actually using the ARX.

I tried to turn this into an excuse to snag a NetApp – something like a FAS2020 would do, but that fell through when a fellow F5er brought reason into the discussion… So that idea is out. For now.

Until next time,


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More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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