Adding H610S Nodes to 10.4.0 SolidFire Cluster: A Couple of Lessons Learned

10.4 is a fairly old version of SolidFire (10.4 was posted on 22-Oct-2018).

Recently I was involved with adding some H610S nodes to a 10.4.0 SolidFire cluster. And I learnt a couple of things which I thought I’d share.

1) RTFI the new H610S nodes to 10.4.2!

There’s a KB - - 1090191 - which mentions -
“An issue exists in the Element 10.4 RTFI process which causes the NIC firmware to not get downgraded as it should”
- and that -
“This issue is resolved in Element 10.4.1, 10.5, and 11.0”.

10.4.2 was the highest 10.4.x version available at the time of writing this. And from the SolidFire documentation -
- it says -
“Both the major and minor version numbers of the software on each node in a cluster must match for the software to be compatible.”
- so, anything 10.4.x is compatible with a 10.4.0 cluster.

Perhaps it is sensible to always use the latest x release or P release (where x is MAJOR.MINOR.x). Not seen that recommendation anywhere but it makes sense.

2) Use the API to add the new nodes to the cluster with autoInstall = false

‘autoInstall = false’ will stop the automatic re-RTFI from happening.

In the following example (this is Element 10.1.0 but it’s what I had in a lab), we use Postman and the REST API to first ListPendingNodes.

POST to https://{{MVIP}}/json-rpc/9.0
Authorization: BasicAuth: Username = admin / Password = ********
Body =
  "method": "ListPendingNodes",
  "params": {},
  "id": 1

From the output we get the “pendingNodeID” = 2

Image: POSTMAN ListPendingNodes example

Then AddNodes.

POST to https://{{MVIP}}/json-rpc/9.0
Authorization: BasicAuth: Username = admin / Password = ********
Body =
  "method": "AddNodes",
  "params": {
    "pendingNodes": [2],
    "autoInstall" : false
  "id": 1

If all is well you should get a Status 200 OK.

Image: POSTMAN AddNodes example

And we see our node (Node ID 6) added to our SolidFire cluster (the drives are to be added). And it’s a lot quicker than if autoInstall was true (the default) and it went and re-RTFI-ed the node.

Image: Node added with autoInstall false

1) Remember to give the H610S nodes a good 25 minutes for first system initialization to complete and do not power cycle. As per this KB: NetApp Storage Device H610S Installation Brief
2) It is highly recommended to log a support call and engage with SolidFire support before adding new nodes to a production SolidFire cluster.