The CSN (Cluster Services Node) is an integrated services node whose advantages include the centralized installation & configuration of all network services required by a Netmail Store cluster, as well as of nodes' firmware. The specific benefits of deploying a Netmail Store CSN are described below.
Why install a CSN? There are several advantages to such deployments:
1) USB boot is no longer required to boot the nodes:
PXE boot is now possible, saving time and reducing the ‘pain factor’ often associated with firmware updates. For example, upgrading a five-node Netmail Store cluster is a simple two-step process with a CSN. With non-integrated nodes, a manual upgrade is needed on each node in the cluster.
2) An external syslog server is no longer required:
Netmail Store requires a syslog server to log tracing information. In a non-CSN environment, this role is usually added to a Netmail Archive or other production server, increasing its load.
3) Licensing is a simple process:
With a standard USB installation, it is necessary to unplug USB keys, replace licenses (on all nodes), and reboot the entire cluster. With CSN, it is enough to simply import the license and the CSN will apply it to the entire cluster.
4) All the supporting network services required by a Netmail Store cluster are provided by the CSN itself:
Services such as DHCP, PXE boot, TFTP, NTP, etc... are all available off the CSN, removing dependencies which are external to the cluster.
5) Crisp, easy-to-read graphical reports:
Nicely-organized, graphical reports containing status & trending information about the cluster are generated by the CSN.
6) Full integration with the Netmail platform's Administration Console:
Since the CSN is fully integrated with the Netmail platform, its management interface is directly available within the Netmail Administration console.