Netezza hardware components

The IBM® Netezza® appliance has a number of hardware components that support the operation of the device. The Netezza appliance consists of one or more racks of hardware, with host servers, switches, SPUs, disks, power controllers, cooling devices, I/O cards, management modules, and cables. However, in the day-to-day administration of the device, only a subset of these components require administrative attention of any kind. Many of these components are redundant and hot-swappable to ensure highly available operation of the hardware.

The following table lists the key hardware components to monitor:
Table 1. Key Netezza hardware components to monitor
Component Description Comments/Management Focus
Host servers Each Netezza HA system has one or two host servers to run the Netezza software and supporting applications. If a system has two host servers, the hosts operate in a highly available (HA) configuration; that is, one host is the active or primary host, and the other is a standby host ready to take over if the active host fails. Tasks include monitoring of the hardware status of the active/standby hosts, and occasional monitoring of disk space usage on the hosts. At times, the host might require Linux® OS or health driver upgrades to improve its operational software.
Snippet processing arrays (SPAs) SPAs contain the SPUs and associated disk storage which drive the query processing on the Netezza appliance. IBM Netezza 100 systems have one host server and thus are not HA configurations. Tasks include monitoring of the SPA environment, such as fans, power, and temperature. SPUs and disks are monitored separately.
Snippet Processing Units (SPUs) SPUs provide the CPU, memory, and Netezza FPGA processing power for the queries that run on the system. Tasks include monitoring the status of each SPU. If a SPU fails, the disks that it “owns” are redirected to other SPUs for processing ownership.
Storage group In the IBM Netezza High Capacity Appliance C1000 model, disks reside within a storage group. The storage group consists of three disk enclosures: an intelligent storage enclosure with redundant hardware RAID controllers, and two expansion disk enclosures. There are four storage groups in each Netezza C1000 rack. Tasks include monitoring the status of the disks within the storage group.
Disks Disks are the storage media for the user databases and tables that are managed by the Netezza appliance. Tasks include monitoring the health and status of the disk hardware. If a disk fails, tasks include regenerating the disk to a spare and replacing the disk.
Data slices Data slices are virtual partitions on the disks. They contain user databases and tables, and their content is mirrored to ensure HA access to the data in the event of a disk failure. Tasks include monitoring the mirroring status of the data slices and also the space consumption of the data slice.
Fans and blowers These components control the thermal cooling for the racks and components such as SPAs and disk enclosures. Tasks include monitoring the status of the fans and blowers, and if a component fails, replacing the component to ensure proper cooling of the hardware.
Power supplies These components provide electrical power to the various hardware components of the system. Tasks include monitoring the status of the power supplies, and if a component fails, replacing the component to ensure redundant power to the hardware.

The Netezza appliance uses SNMP events (described in Event rules) and status indicators to send notifications of any hardware failures. Most hardware components are redundant; thus, a failure typically means that the remaining hardware components assume the work of the component that failed. The system might or might not be operating in a degraded state, depending on the component that failed.

Never run the system in a degraded state for a long time. It is imperative to replace a failed component in a timely manner so that the system returns to an optimal topology and best performance.

Netezza Support and Field Service work with you to replace failed components to ensure that the system returns to full service as quickly as possible. Most of the system components require Field Service support to replace. Components such as disks can be replaced by customer administrators.