10 Isilon SMB Best Practices

If you're using Isilon for your SMB file storage, there are a few best practices you should be aware of. Here are 10 of them.

Isilon SMB is a powerful storage solution that can help organizations manage their data more efficiently. It provides a secure, reliable, and scalable platform for storing and managing data. However, to get the most out of Isilon SMB, it is important to follow best practices.

In this article, we will discuss 10 Isilon SMB best practices that can help organizations maximize the performance and security of their Isilon SMB storage solution. We will also discuss how to ensure that the data stored on Isilon SMB is secure and compliant with industry standards.

1. Use SMB 3.0

SMB 3.0 is the latest version of the Server Message Block protocol, and it offers a number of advantages over earlier versions.

For one, SMB 3.0 provides improved performance for file transfers, allowing users to access files faster than ever before. It also supports larger file sizes, making it easier to store large amounts of data on Isilon. Finally, SMB 3.0 includes features such as transparent failover and multi-channel support, which can help ensure that your data remains available even in the event of an outage or other issue.

2. Enable opportunistic locking (oplocks)

Oplocks are a feature of the SMB protocol that allow clients to lock files and prevent other users from accessing them. This is especially important for applications like Microsoft Office, which rely on oplocks to ensure data integrity when multiple users are editing the same file.

Enabling oplocks can also improve performance by allowing clients to cache frequently accessed files locally. This reduces the amount of network traffic between the client and Isilon cluster, resulting in faster response times.

To enable oplocks, you’ll need to modify the registry settings on each client machine. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this in the Isilon Knowledge Base.

3. Disable continuous availability (CA)

CA is a feature that allows clients to access data even when the Isilon cluster is unavailable. While this can be useful in certain scenarios, it also increases the complexity of your environment and can lead to performance issues.

Therefore, if you don’t need CA for your particular use case, it’s best to disable it. This will help ensure that your Isilon cluster runs as efficiently as possible and that any potential performance issues are minimized.

4. Set the maximum number of open files to a large value

When a user accesses an Isilon SMB share, the server needs to keep track of all the files that are open. If the maximum number of open files is set too low, then users may experience errors when trying to access certain files or folders. Setting the maximum number of open files to a large value ensures that users can access as many files and folders as they need without running into any issues. Additionally, setting this value high will also help ensure that your system performance remains optimal.

5. Disable POSIX locks

POSIX locks are used to prevent multiple users from accessing the same file at the same time. This is a great feature for preventing data corruption, but it can also cause performance issues if too many files are locked at once.

To avoid this issue, you should disable POSIX locks on your Isilon cluster. Doing so will allow more concurrent access to files and improve overall performance. You can do this by setting the “posix_lock” parameter in the SMB configuration file to “false”. Once disabled, make sure to test your changes before deploying them into production.

6. Disable NFSv4 ACLs

NFSv4 ACLs are a powerful tool for managing file and folder permissions, but they can also be difficult to manage. If you don’t have the right expertise or resources in place, it’s easy to make mistakes that could lead to security issues.

By disabling NFSv4 ACLs, you can simplify your Isilon SMB environment and reduce the risk of potential security vulnerabilities. Instead, use Windows-style access control lists (ACLs) to manage file and folder permissions. This will help ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive data.

7. Disable Kerberos authentication

Kerberos authentication is a security protocol that allows users to securely access resources on a network. However, it can be vulnerable to attack if not properly configured and monitored.

By disabling Kerberos authentication, you reduce the risk of malicious actors gaining access to your Isilon SMB environment. Additionally, this will help ensure that only authorized users are able to access the system. To disable Kerberos authentication, simply navigate to the Security tab in the Isilon web interface and uncheck the box next to “Enable Kerberos Authentication”.

8. Disable SMB signing

SMB signing is a security feature that requires both the client and server to sign all SMB packets. This helps protect against man-in-the-middle attacks, but it can also cause performance issues due to the extra overhead of signing each packet.

Disabling SMB signing on Isilon clusters will help improve performance by reducing the amount of time spent signing packets. To do this, you’ll need to edit the cluster’s smb.conf file and set the “server signing” parameter to “disabled”. Once this is done, restart the SMB service for the changes to take effect.

9. Disable SMB encryption

SMB encryption is designed to protect data in transit, but it can also cause performance issues.

When SMB encryption is enabled, the Isilon cluster must encrypt and decrypt all data that passes through it. This adds an extra layer of processing which can slow down file transfers and other operations. Additionally, if you’re using a third-party security solution such as Symantec Endpoint Protection or McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, these solutions may not be able to scan encrypted files.

For these reasons, we recommend disabling SMB encryption unless absolutely necessary. If you do need to enable SMB encryption, make sure to test your environment thoroughly to ensure there are no unexpected performance issues.

10. Use an Isilon SmartConnect zone for client access

SmartConnect zones provide a single access point for clients to connect to the Isilon cluster. This eliminates the need for clients to know which node in the cluster they should be connecting to, and it also simplifies the process of adding or removing nodes from the cluster.

SmartConnect zones also allow you to configure multiple IP addresses that can be used by clients to connect to the cluster. This provides redundancy and ensures that if one IP address becomes unavailable, clients will still be able to connect using another IP address. Finally, SmartConnect zones make it easy to manage client connections since all of the settings are configured in one place.


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