How to Add Nodes to a SolidFire Cluster

It’s remarkably simply to add nodes to a SolidFire Cluster. So easy that these two videos covering “Expanding a SolidFire Cluster”, cumulatively don’t amount to even 4 minutes viewing time.

Scale on Your Terms: Expanding a SolidFire Cluster (1:09)

How to Install and Scale Your NetApp SolidFire Cluster (2:44)

Quick Walkthrough

0) Before you begin:

- The node you are adding has been set up, powered on, and configured (via the TUI - LACP recommended for the Storage Network)
- Both the major and minor version numbers of the software on each node in a cluster must match for the software to be compatible. For example: Element 9.0 is not compatible with version 9.1.

Note: If the node you are adding has a different major or minor version of NetApp Element software than the version running on the cluster, the cluster asynchronously updates the node to the version of NetApp Element software running on the cluster master. After the node is updated, it automatically adds itself to the cluster. During this asynchronous process, the node will be in a pendingActive state.

Note: SolidFire version here is

1) Log in to the SolidFire WebUI via the Management Virtual IP address:

2) Go to Cluster > Nodes > Pending

Find your pending node(s) > click on the cog > click Add

Image: SolidFire WebUI: Cluster > Nodes > Pending > Add Node

3) “While you wait... When adding a pending node to your cluster, SolidFire auto-installs the cluster version of Element OS onto the pending node. This may take a few minutes; when it has completed the node will show up in the active nodes list. Until then, the node will be in the PendingActive list.”

Click Sounds Good

Image: Waiting for node(s) to be added to SolidFire cluster

Wait for the node to go from “PendingActive” to “Pending”.

Go to Cluster > Nodes > Active

One the new node is listed under Active nodes, we’re good to proceed with adding drives.

4) Go to Cluster > Drives > Available

Select the checkbox at the top of the list to select all available drives.
Select Bulk Actions > Add

Image: Adding Drives to SolidFire cluster

5) Once the ‘Synching to x Block Services’ is complete - in the ‘Running Tasks’ field view (top right corner icon / Reporting > Running Tasks) - job done!

APPENDIX: Further Reading

What is the SolidFire Best Practices on adding or removing drives from a cluster?

For Adding Drives:
- All Block drives should be added and block syncing complete before adding Slice drives.
-- Element Software 10.x and beyond, it is recommended to add all block drives at once.
--- This should be done for no more than 3 nodes at once.

For Removing Drives:
- The Slice drive should be removed and slice syncing complete before removing the block drives.
-- All Block drives from a single node should be removed at one time.  All block syncing should be complete before moving on to the next node.

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APPENDIX: System Tests on https://NODE_MGMT_IP:442

For Active or Pending nodes. If you connect to https://NODE_MGMT_IP:442 there are a-number-of ‘System Tests’ you can run:
- Run All Tests
- Test Connect Ensemble
- Test Connect Mvip
- Test Connect Svip
- Test Drives
- Test Hardware Config
- Test Locate Cluster
- Test Network Config
- Test Ping

Image: SolidFire System Tests

Also, the list of ‘System Utilities’
- Control Power
- Create Support Bundle
- Delete All Support Bundles
- Reset Drives
- Reset Network Config
- Reset Node
- Restart Network
- Restart Services

Image: SolidFire System Utilities