Sunday Oct 28, 2012

Our winners- and some BBQ for everyone

Please also see "Allen's Grilling Channel" over to the right in my Bookmarks section...

Congrats to our two winners for the first two comments on my last entry. Steve from Australia and John Lemon. Steve won since he was the first person over the International Date Line to see the post I made so late after a workday on Friday. So not only does he get to live in a country with the 2nd most beautiful women in the world, but now he gets some cool Oracle Swag, too. (Yes, I live on the beach in southern California, so you can guess where 1st place is for that other contest…Now if Steve happens to live in Manly, we may actually have a tie going…)

OK, ok, for everyone else, you can be winners, too. How you ask? I will make you the envy of every guy and gal in your neighborhood or campsite. What follows is the way to smoke the best ribs you or anyone you know have ever tasted. Follow my instructions and give it a try. People at your party/cookout/campsite will tell you that they’re the best ribs they’ve ever had, and I will let you take all the credit. Yes, I fully realize this post is going to be longer than any post I’ve done yet. But let’s get serious here. Smoking meat is much more important, agreed? J In all honesty, this is a repeat of another blog I did, so I’m just copying and pasting.

Step 1. Get some ribs. I actually really like Costco’s pack. They have both St. Louis and Baby Back. (They are the same ribs, but cut in half down the sides. St. Louis style is the ‘front’ of the ribs closest to the stomach, and ‘Baby back’ is the part of the ribs where is connects to the backbone). I like them both, so here you see I got one pack of each. About 4 racks to a pack. So these two packs for $25 each will feed about 16-20 of my guests. So around 3 bucks a person is a pretty good deal for the best ribs you’ll ever have.

Step 2. Prep the ribs the night before you’re going to smoke. You need to trim them to fit your smoker racks, and also take off the membrane and add your rub. Then cover and set in fridge overnight. Here’s how to take off the membrane, which will not break down with heat and smoke like the rest of the meat, so must be removed. Use a butter knife to work in a ways between the membrane and the white bone. Just enough to make room for your finger. Try really hard not to poke through the membrane, you want to keep it whole.

See how my gloved fingers can now start to lift up and pull off the membrane? This is what you are trying to do. It’s awesome when the whole thing can come off at once. This one is going great, maybe the best one I’ve ever done. Sometime, it falls apart and doesn't come off in one nice piece. I hate when that happens.

Now, add your rub and pat it down once into the meat with your other hand. My rub is not secret. I got it from my mentor, a BBQ competitive chef who is currently ranked #1 in California and #3 in the nation on the BBQ circuit. He does full-day classes in southern California if anyone is interested in taking his class. Go to www.slapyodaddybbq.com to check him out. I tweaked his run recipe a tad and made my own. It’s one part Lawry’s, one part sugar, one part Montreal Steak Seasoning, one part garlic powder, one-half part red chili powder, one-half part paprika, and then 1/20th part cayenne. You can adjust that last ingredient, or leave it out. Real cheap stuff you can get at Costco. This lets you make enough rub to last about a year or two. Don’t make it all at once, make a shaker’s worth and use it up before you make more. Place it all in a bowl, mix well, and then add to a shaker like you see here. You can get a shaker with medium sized holes on it at any restaurant supply store or Smart & Final. The kind you see at pizza places for their red pepper flakes works best.

Now cover and place in fridge overnight.

Step 3. The next day. Ok, I’m ready to go. Get your stuff together. You will need your smoker, some good foil, a can of peach nectar, a bottle of Agave syrup, and a package of brown sugar. You will need this stuff later. I also use a clean spray bottle, and apple juice.

Step 4. Make your fire, or turn on your electric smoker. In this example I’m using my portable charcoal smoker. I got this for only $40. I then modified it to be useful. Once modified, these guys actually work very well. Trust me, your food DOES NOT KNOW how expensive your smoker is. Someone who tells you that you need to spend a bunch of money on a smoker is an idiot. I also have an electric smoker that stays in my backyard. It’s cleaner and larger so I can smoke more food. But this little $40 one works great for going camping. Here is what my fire-bowl looks like. I leave a space in the middle open, and place cold charcoal and wood chucks in a circle going outwards. This makes it so when I dump the hot coals down the middle, they will slowly burn outwards, hitting different wood chucks at different times, allowing me to go 4-5 hours without having to even touch my fire. For ribs, I use apple and pecan wood. Pecan works for anything. Apple or any fruit wood is excellent for pork.

So now I make my hot charcoal with a chimney only about half-full. I found a great use for that side-burner on my grill that I never use. It makes a fantastic chimney starter. You never use fluids of any kind, nor ever use that stupid charcoal that has lighter fluid built into it. Never, ever, ever.

Step 5. Smoke. Add your ribs in the racks and stack them up in your smoker. I have a digital thermometer on a probe that I use to keep track of the temp in the smoker. I just lay the probe on the top rack and shut the lid. This cheap guy is a little harder to maintain the right temperature of around 225 F, so I do have to keep my eye on it more than my electric one or a more expensive charcoal one with the cool gadgets that regulate your temp for you.

Every hour, spray apple juice all over your ribs using that spray bottle. After about 3 hours, you should have a very good crust (called the Bark) on your ribs. Once you have the Bark where you want it, carefully remove your ribs and place them in a tray. We are now ready for a very important part to make the flavor.

Get a large piece of foil and place one rib section on it. Splash some of the peach nectar on it, and then a drizzle of the Agave syrup. Then, use your gloved hand to pack on some brown sugar. Do this on BOTH sides, and then completely wrap it up TIGHT in the foil. Do this for each rib section, and then place all the wrapped sections back into the smoker for another 4 to 6 hours. This is where the meat will get tender and flavorful. The first three hours is only to make the smoke bark. You don’t need smoke anymore, since the ribs are wrapped, you only need to keep the heat around 225 for the next 4-6 hours. Obviously you don’t spray anymore. Just time and slow heat. Be patient. It’s actually really hard to overdo it. You can let them go longer, and all that will happen is they will get even MORE tender!!! If you take them out too soon, they will be tough.

How do you know? Take out one package (use long tongs) and open it up. If you grab a bone with your tongs and it just falls apart and breaks away from the rest of the meat, you are done!!! Enjoy!!!

Step 6. Eat. It pulls apart like this when it’s done.

By the way, smoking tri-tip is way easier. Just rub it with the same rub, and put in your smoker for about 2.5 hours at 250 F. That’s it. Low-maintenance. It comes out like this, with a fantastic smoke ring and amazing flavor.

Thanks, and I will put up another good tip, about the ZFSSA, around the end of November.

Steve 

Friday Oct 26, 2012

Replication - between pools in the same system

OK, I fully understand that's it's been a LONG time since I've blogged with any tips or tricks on the ZFSSA, and I'm way behind. Hey, I just wrote TWO BLOGS ON THE SAME DAY!!! Make sure you keep scrolling down to see the next one too, or you may have missed it. To celebrate, for the one or two of you out there who are still reading this, I got something for you. The first TWO people who make any comment below, with your real name and email so I can contact you, will get some cool Oracle SWAG that I have to give away. Don't get excited, it's not an iPad, but it pretty good stuff. Only the first two, so if you already see two below, then settle down.

Now, let's talk about Replication and Migration.  I have talked before about Shadow Migration here: https://blogs.oracle.com/7000tips/entry/shadow_migration
Shadow Migration lets one take a NFS or CIFS share in one pool on a system and migrate that data over to another pool in the same system. That's handy, but right now it's only for file systems like NFS and CIFS. It will not work for LUNs. LUN shadow migration is a roadmap item, however.

So.... What if you have a ZFSSA cluster with multiple pools, and you have a LUN in one pool but later you decide it's best if it was in the other pool? No problem. Replication to the rescue. What's that? Replication is only for replicating data between two different systems? Who told you that? We've been able to replicate to the same system now for a few code updates back. These instructions below will also work just fine if you're setting up replication between two different systems. After replication is complete, you can easily break replication, change the new LUN into a primary LUN and then delete the source LUN. Bam.

Step 1- setup a target system. In our case, the target system is ourself, but you still have to set it up like it's far away. Go to Configuration-->Services-->Remote Replication. Click the plus sign and setup the target, which is the ZFSSA you're on now.

Step 2. Now you can go to the LUN you want to replicate. Take note which Pool and Project you're in. In my case, I have a LUN in Pool2 called LUNp2 that I wish to replicate to Pool1.

 Step 3. In my case, I made a Project called "Luns" and it has LUNp2 inside of it. I am going to replicate the Project, which will automatically replicate all of the LUNs and/or Filesystems inside of it.  Now, you can also replicate from the Share level instead of the Project. That will only replicate the share, and not all the other shares of a project. If someone tells you that if you replicate a share, it always replicates all the other shares also in that Project, don't listen to them.
Note below how I can choose not only the Target (which is myself), but I can also choose which Pool to replicate it to. So I choose Pool1.

 Step 4. I did not choose a schedule or pick the "Continuous" button, which means my replication will be manual only. I can now push the Manual Replicate button on my Actions list and you will see it start. You will see both a barber pole animation and also an update in the status bar on the top of the screen that a replication event has begun. This also goes into the event log.

 Step 5. The status bar will also log an event when it's done.

Step 6. If you go back to Configuration-->Services-->Remote Replication, you will see your event.

Step 7. Done. To see your new replica, go to the other Pool (Pool1 for me), and click the "Replica" area below the words "Filesystems | LUNs" Here, you will see any replicas that have come in from any of your sources. It's a simple matter from here to break the replication, which will change this to a "Local" LUN, and then delete the original LUN back in Pool2.

Ok, that's all for now, but I promise to give out more tricks sometime in November !!! There's very exciting stuff coming down the pipe for the ZFSSA. Both new hardware and new software features that I'm just drooling over. That's all I can say, but contact your local sales SC to get a NDA roadmap talk if you want to hear more.  

Happy Halloween,
Steve 

New Write Flash SSDs and more disk trays

In case you haven't heard, the Write SSDs the ZFSSA have been updated. Much faster now for the same price. Sweet.

The new write-flash SSDs have a new part number of 7105026 , so make sure you order the right ones. It's important to note that you MUST be on code level 2011.1.4.0 or higher to use these.

They have increased in IOPS from 6,000 to 11,000, and increased throughput from 200MB/s to 350MB/s.  

 Also, you can now add six SAS HBAs (up from 4) to the 7420, allowing one to have three SAS channels with 12 disk trays each, for a new total of 36 disk trays. With 3TB drives, that's 2.5 Petabytes. Is that enough for you?

Make sure you add new cards to the correct slots. I've talked about this before, but here is the handy-dandy matrix again so you don't have to go find it. Remember the rules: You can have 6 of any one kind of card (like six 10GigE cards), except IB which is still four max. You only really get 8 slots, since you have two SAS cards no matter what. If you want more than 12 disk trays, you need two more SAS cards, so think about expansion later, too. In fact, if you're going to have two different speeds of drives (in other words you want to mix 15K speed and 7,200 speed drives in the same system), I would highly recommend two different SAS channels. So I would want four SAS cards in that system, no matter how many trays you have. 


About

This blog is a way for Steve to send out his tips, ideas, links, and general sarcasm. Almost all related to the Oracle 7000, code named ZFSSA, or Amber Road, or Open Storage, or Unified Storage. You are welcome to contact Steve.Tunstall@Oracle.com with any comments or questions

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