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Moving epsilon for certain manually initiated takeovers

You should move epsilon if you expect any manually initiated takeovers will result in your storage system being one unexpected node failure away from a cluster-wide loss of quorum.

About this task

To perform planned maintenance, you must take over one of the nodes in an HA pair. Cluster-wide quorum must be maintained to prevent unplanned client data disruptions for the remaining nodes. In some instances, performing the takeover can result in a cluster that is one unexpected node failure away from cluster-wide loss of quorum.

This can occur if the node being taken over holds epsilon or if the node with epsilon is not healthy. To maintain a more resilient cluster, you can transfer epsilon to a healthy node that is not being taken over. Typically, this would be the HA partner.

Only healthy and eligible nodes participate in quorum voting. To maintain cluster-wide quorum, more than N/2 votes are required. In clusters with an even number of online nodes, epsilon adds additional voting weight toward maintaining quorum for the node to which it is assigned.

Note: Although cluster formation voting can be modified by using the cluster modify -eligibility false command, you should avoid this except for situations such as restoring the node configuration or prolonged node maintenance. If you set a node to be ineligible, it stops serving SAN data until the node is reset to eligible and rebooted. NAS data access to the node might also be affected when the node is ineligible.

See the Clustered Data ONTAP System Administration Guide for Cluster Administrators for information about quorum and epsilon.


  1. Verify the cluster state and confirm that epsilon is held by a healthy node that is not being taken over.
    1. Enter the following command to change to the advanced privilege level: set -privilege advanced
      Confirm you want to continue when the advanced mode prompt appears (*>).
    2. Determine which node holds epsilon by using the following command: cluster show
      In the following example, Node1 holds epsilon:
      cluster::*> cluster show                       
      Node                 Health  Eligibility   Epsilon
      -------------------- ------- ------------  ------------
      Node1                true    true          true
      Node2                true    true          false
      If the node you want to take over does not hold epsilon, proceed to Step 4.
  2. Enter the following command to remove epsilon from the node that you want to take over: cluster modify -node Node1 -epsilon false
  3. Assign epsilon to the partner node (in this example, Node2) by using the following command: cluster modify -node Node2 -epsilon true
  4. Perform the takeover operation using the following command: storage failover takeover -ofnode node
  5. Enter the following command to return to the admin privilege level: set -privilege admin