The Dell PowerScale SmartSync feature provides data replication for file and object deployments on-premises or in the cloud. SmartSync enables file-to-file transfers between PowerScale clusters using RPC and file-to-object copy transfers to S3 (ECS, AWS) and Azure cloud systems. SmartSync ensures that we have a consistent copy of your data on another PowerScale cluster or cloud platform. SmartSync allows us to control the frequency of data transfers at scheduled times using policies. SmartSync provides a flexible execution model of push/pull data transfers between systems. SmartSync requires an active SyncIQ and SnapshotIQ license, ensure that both licenses are activated on both the clusters.

SmartSync provides the following primary functions:

  • Data protection
  • Data repurposing (copy)
  • Data archive

In this demo we will be configuring push policy for file-to-file data copy between PowerScale Clusters and file-to-object copy data copy from PowerScale cluster to ObjectScale. PowerScale cluster PS01 will be acting as the source cluster and the PS02 will be configured as the target PowerScale cluster and the ObjectScale OS01 will be the S3 object storage.

Configure Certificates

For SmartSync policies to run, trust must be established between the source and target cluster. Transport Layer Security (TLS) provides the authorization, authentication, and encryption, resulting in a mutual handshake. Each cluster requires configuration of a Certificate Authority (CA) and Certificate Identity (CI). Certificate for the SmartSync service is issued by the Enterprise CA, key and the certificates are copied to the clusters.

Enable SmartSync Service

The SmartSync daemon only runs after a CA and CI are configured, so once the certificates are configured enable the SmartSync service using the below command.

# isi services -a isi_dm_d enable

Create SmartSync Account

Accounts define connections to remote systems where the data is copied to and what systems are accessible and how you access them. Depending on the data copy requirement the accounts can be File for file-to-file copy or object for file-to-object copy. Here we are configuring file-to-file push from PS01 to PS02. It is also possible to define the source and target network pool to be used for the data copy.
In the PowerScale cluster there are two access zones configure one the default System access zone which is used for the management purpose and the access zone az01 is used for the data. The below screenshot we can see the access zone details and network pools configured for the access zones.

Policies specify what data to transfer, at what frequency, and what accounts are used. There are four types of policies:

Dataset creation policy is the process of creating the dataset.

Dataset copy policy is used for one-time data transfers.

Dataset repeat copy policy is used for repeated transfers.

Dataset expiration policy is how long the snapshot is stored.

Create Dataset Creation Policy

Datasets are self-contained, independent entities that are assigned globally unique IDs when they are created. Datasets are backed by file system snapshots on PowerScale clusters. Unlike snapshots, which are cluster-specific, datasets can “fan-out” to multiple clusters and cloud platforms. Datasets have parent-child relationships on every system. We can use dataset creation policy to schedule the creating of datasets. Here we will configure the dataset creation policy in our source PowerScale cluster PS01.

Create REPEAT-COPY Policy

Repeat copy policy is used for the repeat incremental data transfer. Configure the REPEAT-COPY policy in source PowerScale cluster as we are using the push data transfer.

Configure EXPIRATION Policy

Expiration policy is used to configure clean up the expired datasets. Expiration policy can also be configured to run at scheduled intervals.

Initial Data Copy

Modify the dataset creation policy to run now, as the repeat copy policy is configured as the child policy of the dataset creation policy the repeat copy policy will also run on the successful completion of the dataset creation policy.

We can see in the historical job list, the dataset creation job is successfully completed and after that the data copy job is also successfully completed.

Incremental Data Copy

With the repeat copy policy, we can perform incremental data copy. After making changes to the source directory, modify the dataset creation policy to run now, which will trigger the incremental data copy after the completion of the dataset creation. We can verify in the historical job list that the incremental copy job is completed successfully after the data creation job is completed.

Create Cloud Copy Account

Create cloud copy account to transfer data from PowerScale to Object Storage, we will be using the Dell ObjectScale as the Object storage and the PowerScale cluster PS01 as the source cluster for the file-to-object data transfer.

Create FILE-to-OBJECT COPY Policy

We will use the same dataset created previously for the file-to-object data copy, so we will create the copy policy to copy the data from the PowerScale cluster to ObjectScale cloud storage.

We can verify the copy job status in the historical job list. We can see the data copy job got completed successfully.

Data copy to the S3 bucket in ObjectScale is completed and we can verify using the S3 browser.

You can see a demo how it all works, below.

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