Cluster peering

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Each MetroCluster site is configured as a peer to its partner site. You should be familiar with the prerequisites and guidelines for configuring the peering relationships and when deciding whether to use shared or dedicated ports for those relationships.

Each MetroCluster site is configured as a peer to its partner site. You must be familiar with the prerequisites and guidelines for configuring the peering relationships. This is important when deciding on whether to use shared or dedicated ports for those relationships.

Prerequisites for cluster peering

Before you set up cluster peering, you should confirm that connectivity between port, IP address, subnet, firewall, and cluster-naming requirements are met.

Connectivity requirements

Every intercluster LIF on the local cluster must be able to communicate with every intercluster LIF on the remote cluster.

Although it is not required, it is typically simpler to configure the IP addresses used for intercluster LIFs in the same subnet. The IP addresses can reside in the same subnet as data LIFs, or in a different subnet. The subnet used in each cluster must meet the following requirements:

  • The subnet must have enough IP addresses available to allocate to one intercluster LIF per node.

    For example, in a six-node cluster, the subnet used for intercluster communication must have six available IP addresses.

Each node must have an intercluster LIF with an IP address on the intercluster network.

Intercluster LIFs can have an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address.

Note ONTAP 9 enables you to migrate your peering networks from IPv4 to IPv6 by optionally allowing both protocols to be present simultaneously on the intercluster LIFs. In earlier releases, all intercluster relationships for an entire cluster were either IPv4 or IPv6. This meant that changing protocols was a potentially disruptive event.

Port requirements

You can use dedicated ports for intercluster communication, or share ports used by the data network. Ports must meet the following requirements:

  • All ports used to communicate with a given remote cluster must be in the same IPspace.

    You can use multiple IPspaces to peer with multiple clusters. Pair-wise full-mesh connectivity is required only within an IPspace.

  • The broadcast domain used for intercluster communication must include at least two ports per node so that intercluster communication can fail over from one port to another port.

    Ports added to a broadcast domain can be physical network ports, VLANs, or interface groups (ifgrps).

  • All ports must be cabled.

  • All ports must be in a healthy state.

  • The MTU settings of the ports must be consistent.

Firewall requirements

Firewalls and the intercluster firewall policy must allow the following protocols:

  • ICMP service

  • TCP to the IP addresses of all the intercluster LIFs over the ports 10000, 11104, and 11105

  • Bidirectional HTTPS between the intercluster LIFs

The default intercluster firewall policy allows access through the HTTPS protocol and from all IP addresses (0.0.0.0/0). You can modify or replace the policy if necessary.

Considerations when using dedicated ports

When determining whether using a dedicated port for intercluster replication is the correct intercluster network solution, you should consider configurations and requirements such as LAN type, available WAN bandwidth, replication interval, change rate, and number of ports.

Consider the following aspects of your network to determine whether using a dedicated port is the best intercluster network solution:

  • If the amount of available WAN bandwidth is similar to that of the LAN ports, and the replication interval is such that replication occurs while regular client activity exists, then you should dedicate Ethernet ports for intercluster replication to avoid contention between replication and the data protocols.

  • If the network utilization generated by the data protocols (CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI) is such that the network utilization is above 50 percent, then dedicate ports for replication to allow for nondegraded performance if a node failover occurs.

  • When physical 10 GbE or faster ports are used for data and replication, you can create VLAN ports for replication and dedicate the logical ports for intercluster replication.

    The bandwidth of the port is shared between all VLANs and the base port.

  • Consider the data change rate and replication interval and whether the amount of data, that must be replicated on each interval, requires enough bandwidth. This might cause contention with data protocols if sharing data ports.

Considerations when sharing data ports

When determining whether sharing a data port for intercluster replication is the correct intercluster network solution, you should consider configurations and requirements such as LAN type, available WAN bandwidth, replication interval, change rate, and number of ports.

Consider the following aspects of your network to determine whether sharing data ports is the best intercluster connectivity solution:

  • For a high-speed network, such as a 40-Gigabit Ethernet (40-GbE) network, a sufficient amount of local LAN bandwidth might be available to perform replication on the same 40-GbE ports that are used for data access.

    In many cases, the available WAN bandwidth is far less than the 10 GbE LAN bandwidth.

  • All nodes in the cluster might have to replicate data and share the available WAN bandwidth, making data port sharing more acceptable.

  • Sharing ports for data and replication eliminates the extra port counts required to dedicate ports for replication.

  • The maximum transmission unit (MTU) size of the replication network will be the same size as that used on the data network.

  • Consider the data change rate and replication interval and whether the amount of data, that must be replicated on each interval, requires enough bandwidth. This might cause contention with data protocols if sharing data ports.

  • When data ports for intercluster replication are shared, the intercluster LIFs can be migrated to any other intercluster-capable port on the same node to control the specific data port that is used for replication.