So we've just purchased a FAS 2040 (Dual Controller) and a disk shelf for our new virtual infrastructure and to move shares to CIFS on this box. We started setting everything up yesterday and were following as the setup representative instructed us for network configuration, but it really didn't sound like what we wanted it to do.
He had us setup 2 LACP vif's with 2 NIC's in each, then a single VIF with those 2 LACP vif's being a part of it, on each controller. So theoretically this gives us a 2 Gb/s throughput and redudnandcy. However we were under the impression that if we setup a LACP vif with all 4 nic's in it on each controller that this would provide a 4 Gb/s throughput and then if something were to happen to one of the links it would just drop to 3 Gb/s and so on if more NIC's were to lose link. So would this achieve what I think it would achieve or is the current setup the correct way to go about it?
Also we were under the impression that a good practice as well would be to use the dual controller's as active passive failovers. Right now we have cluster enabled and the time synced with our NTP server on each controller and they see each other as their partner. Besides having the same network configuration is there anything else we'd need to do for takeover to happen correctly if something went wrong with one of the controllers? Would active active achieve the same redundancy and improve throughput? If so, then what configuration changes would need to be made to make this happen?
Thanks in advance for anyone's help and let me know if I need to clarify anything as I'm not always the best at explaining my thoughts.
If your networking equipment configuration allows single 4 port aggregate, yes, it probably makes more sense this way. May be it does not (e.g. you have two independent LAN switches; in this case you cannot create single LACP vif that spans two switches).
To enable takeover both controllers must be up and running. From NetApp side clustering works fully automatically; there is little to do besides enabling license. You have to pay attention to networking configuration (i.e. - both controllers must have access to the same VLANs so interface takeover works); if you are using FCP, you usually need to setup multipath software on host side and/or tune it so takeover is really transparent.
My network administrator has told me our switches should do a 4 port aggregate with no issues. I do actually have 2 ethernet switches, however I figure if I create a 4 port lacp port channel for each controller on each switch that will still give redundancy as the second controller will take over if the first one drops its network connection. They are not stacked and we would have had to purchase the next step up in switches to allow for the spanning lacp port channel.
I still do have a question about active active with failover. So if I have clustering setup on both my controller's does it default to load balance requests between controller's, and then will initiate a takeover if one goes down? Or is the standard practice an active passive failover with one on standby until one fails?
the second controller will take over if the first one drops its network connection
It can be configured on NetApp but it is not default.
does it default to load balance requests between controller's
There is no load balancing between controllers. Each controller is completely separate, it has own set of disks and exports own resources (shares, LUNs, etc). Client always connects to specific controller. This does not change during takeover - in this case surviving partner starts virtual instance of second controller, so for clients personality does not change.
Any load balancing has to be done manually by administrator - i.e. distributing resources and clients between controllers.