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As of the Netmail 5.1 release, Netmail Store supports a drive identification function that allows an administrator to select a volume from the admin console and have the LED associated with the volume flash for a selectable period of time. By default, when the Identify function is enabled, Netmail Store will continuously read blocks from the drive to force i/o activity and thereby flash the drive LED. However, integrators or hardware vendors with knowledge of manufacturer-specific mechanisms for flashing drive lights may substitute an alternate mechanism using the plugin API described below.

Overview

The Identify function is implemented as a linux shell script daemon. The daemon monitors a set of control files generated by Netmail Store that tell the daemon when to turn a drive light on or off. Netmail Store signals device identification 'on' by creating a control file with its name matching the name of the device. Netmail Store removes the control file to signal identification off. The default Identify script is provided in the Netmail Store distribution (caringo/samples/genericDrivePlugin.sh) and can be modified and/or replaced. The resulting custom script can then be downloaded to Netmail Store (see 'volPluginURL' below). For most applications, the customization steps will entail modifying the default script to provide an alternate implementation and then configuring Netmail Store to download that custom script. The functions that typically will need to be modified in the default script are:

  • identifyOn() - primary function to turn identification on
  • identifyOff() - primary function to turn identification off

Customization Steps

The following steps must be taken to substitute an alternate drive light script:

1. Copy the default drive light script from the samples directory of the Netmail Store software distribution (caringo/samples/genericDrivePlugin.sh) to a new script with a unique name. The script name must not contain any periods or special characters.

2. Modify identifyOn() and identifyOff() as required to implement an alternate drive light identification mechanism.

3. Tar and gzip this script and any other required custom files.

4. Deploy by placing the tar file on an HTTP server or Netmail Store USB stick and updating the 'volPluginURL' configuration parameter to point to the location of the tar file.

When customizing the plugin, the following other functions may be helpful:

  • _monitorAndInitiate() - This function polls for a drive status file and initiates identification by spawning _identifyOn().
  • _identifyOn() - This function is spawned as a process when identification is turned on by Netmail Store for a volume (e.g., 1 process per volume). It calls identifyOn() then waits for identify to get turned back off by Netmail Store so that it can call identifyOff().
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