Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance FAQ
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What is Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance?
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage Software Appliance is a cloud storage gateway that helps you bridge your on-premises environment with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Using Storage Software Appliance, any applications that can store data on an NFS target can easily and seamlessly move data to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage without having to first modify the application to uptake the REST APIs. Storage Software Appliance exposes an NFS mount point, which can be mounted to any host that supports NFS v4 client. Storage Software Appliance performs the NFS to REST API translations for you. A local configurable cache enables asynchronous and optimized movement of data to the cloud to work around poor and/or flaky internet connectivity issues. Local cache also improves latency when reading data from the cloud, since frequently accessed data is cached locally. Each Storage Software Appliance NFS mount point maps to an object storage container/bucket. The NFS interface lets you use the traditional file system commands to interact with cloud storage. Since Storage Software Appliance keeps track of object metadata, data written to object storage using the Storage Software Appliance must always be read back using Storage Software Appliance.
What are the benefits of using Storage Software Appliance?
Using Storage Software Appliance you can easily move data generated by traditional applications (that work with file system protocols like NFS) to object storage without first having to modify the application to integrate with the REST APIs. Storage Software Appliance helps open up bottomless cloud storage to traditional on-premises applications, which previously could not take advantage of the seamless scalability, durability and cost efficiency of cloud storage.
Can I use Storage Software Appliance as a general purpose Network Attached Storage server?
No, Storage Software Appliance must not be used as a general-purpose network attached storage. Though Storage Software Appliance is in many ways a virtual file system, its primary function is data movement to the cloud. It's not built to handle transactional workloads that a full-featured file system would be expected to handle.
What use cases does Storage Software Appliance support?
Storage Software Appliance is an efficient tool to move data from your on-premises datacenter to the cloud. You can effectively use Storage Software Appliance to copy backup/archive data to the cloud, especially when the backup/archive application does not integrate natively with the Oracle Object Storage. Storage Software Appliance can also be used to move data from on-premises filers to object storage, leveraging the ‘rsync’ utility.
Which use cases are NOT supported using Storage Software Appliance?
General purpose network storage - Storage Software Appliance isn't a general purpose storage filer, it must not be used as a replacement for traditional network storage appliances.
File sync and share – Though Storage Software Appliance is an effective data mover, it’s not a replacement for file sync and share services. You must evaluate Oracle services like Oracle Document Cloud service if you wish to use a file sync and share functionality.
Content collaboration - Storage Software Appliance does not support multiple appliance instances simultaneously reading from and writing to a single object storage container/bucket. It must not be used as a tool for distributed teams to collaborate on creating and managing content.
Frequently modified files – If you expect your data to be modified very frequently, you must not use the storage software appliance. This is because when data is modified the content is first read from object storage (if not present in storage appliance cache). The modified data is then uploaded as a new object. Thus data that is frequently modified result in substantial inefficiency, both in terms of consuming upload/download bandwidth and capacity utilization.
How much does Storage Software Appliance cost?
Storage Software Appliance is free for use. Anyone with access to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage or Object Storage Classic can freely use the service to move data to the cloud.
How can I start using Storage Software Appliance?
You can download Storage Software Appliance from here. To install Storage Software Appliance you’ll need to provision a server with the following minimum hardware/software:
- Two dual-core CPUs (4-core CPUs recommended)
- Minimum memory requirements (based on the maximum number of files that can be uploaded to the appliance filesystem):
- 16 GB for filesystems up to 1 million files
- 32 GB for filesystems up to 5 million files
- 64 GB for filesystems up to 10 million files
- Minimum disk size required to install Docker: 10 GB
- Oracle Linux 7 with UEK Release 4 or later
- Docker 1.12.6
Follow the installation guide to install Storage Software Appliance. Once installed, you can start configuring the Storage Software Appliance filesystem using the configuration guide and then mount the filesystem. You can now start using Storage Software Appliance to move data seamlessly to the cloud.
Which protocols does Storage Software Appliance support?
Storage Software Appliance supports NFS v4.
Does Storage Software Appliance support a windows operating environment?
No, Storage Software Appliance currently does not support a windows operating environment.
Can I use Storage Software Appliance to move data to the cloud from 3rd party storage arrays?
Storage Software Appliance can be used to replicate data from any storage as long as the NFS client that is performing the data copy can facilitate it.
How does Storage Software Appliance leverage Object Storage?
When you create a filesystem on Storage Software Appliance, an object storage container/bucket with the same name as your filesystem is created on the object storage target, in the region of your choice. Once a file system is created, Storage Software Appliance completely manages your data in the object storage container/bucket for you. You only need to directly interact with the local file system using normal file system commands.
Do I need to use object storage REST APIs to use Storage Software Appliance?
No, you do not need to use any Object Storage APIs to use Storage Software Appliance. Storage Software Appliance performs the NFS- REST API translation for you.
Which cloud storage platforms does Storage Software Appliance support?
Storage Software Appliance supports the following platforms:
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Archive Storage
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic Object Storage
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic Archive Storage
Can I run Storage Software Appliance on an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute instance?
Yes, you can run Storage Software Appliance in an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure compute instance, using the same instructions as you would if were installing the product on premises.
Can I run Storage Software Appliance on a Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute Classic instance?
Yes, you can install Storage Software Appliance with the following Storage Software Appliance-Cloud Distribution instructions.
Which Oracle Cloud regions does Storage Software Appliance support?
Storage Software Appliance is supported in all available Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic regions.
Does Storage Software Appliance support compression and/or de-duplication?
No, Storage Software Appliance does not support compression and de-duplication.
Installation and Configuration
How do I create and configure a file share?
Follow the documentation instructions posted here to configure a file system. Before you create a filesystem, be sure to first create a cloud tenancy because you’ll need to supply the object storage endpoint and user credentials to create the filesystem.
How can I create an Object Storage account to use with Storage Software Appliance?
You can sign up for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic Object Storage in the following ways:
- Go to the Oracle Store. Visit shop.oracle.com and sign up for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
- Contact your Oracle sales representative.
Your Oracle sales representative can provide you information about the pricing options available to your company. Your sales representative will collect some information from you and initiate the registration process.
Can I create more than one filesystem per Storage Software Appliance?
Yes, you can create multiple file shares per Storage Software Appliance instance. The available host resources dictate the upper limit on the max number of shares that can be supported by an Storage Software Appliance instance.
However It is recommended to have no more than four active file systems since they compete for resources.
Can I create multiple Storage Software Appliance instance?
There is no limit to the number of appliances can be used with a storage account or tenancy, however only one appliance instance can be created on a given host.
What are the software requirements to run Storage Software Appliance?
- Oracle Linux 7 with UEK Release 4 or later
- Docker 1.12.6
Can Storage Software Appliance be installed behind a Proxy server?
Yes, Storage Software Appliance can be installed behind a proxy server. To set the proxy server use the following command:
oscsa configure proxy https://:<proxy_ip>:<port>
Restart OSCSA: oscsa down; oscsa up. You can find more details in product documentation here.
How can I specify the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure compartment while creating a file system?
When you create a file system, unless you specify a compartment where you would like to create it, by default the container/bucket backing up the file system is created in the default 'root' compartment.
How can I optimally size Storage Software Appliance cache?
Storage Software Appliance uses local storage attached to the server (or virtual server) for hosting the filesystems and cache. Files written to a filesystem in the appliance are uploaded to the Object Storage container/bucket, with a portion of the file set maintained locally in the filesystem as a warm cache. The local cache of Storage Software Appliance serves two roles: ingest cache (upload/write buffer) and read cache. You can specify the maximum size for the read cache. The write buffer will use any remaining available space on the local storage volume and does not have a cache size setting. For optimal performance, reliability, and fault tolerance, consider the following guidelines when configuring the local appliance storage:
- Allocate a dedicated volume for the appliance filesystem and metadata.
- Multiple disks (hard disk drives or solid state drives) in a RAID10 set provide an optimal balance of performance, reliability, and fault tolerance. Alternatively, RAID6 may be used. Avoid RAID0 or single disk (no RAID) due to the potential for data loss due to disk failure.
- A general guideline is to use a volume that is at least 1.5 times the size of the data set that you want to hold in the local cache. For example, if the expected size of the entire file set is 50 TB and if 10% (5 TB) of that file set will be accessed frequently, then the cache storage volume should have at least 7.5 TB of usable capacity.
- The general strategy is to set the read cache size to equal the amount of data that you anticipate to be accessed frequently while leaving enough capacity on the volume for the ingest cache (write buffer).
- Do not set the read cache maximum to the size of the local storage volume. Doing so would allocate 100% of the volume for read cache and would not leave available capacity for ingest. If there is no available space for new file ingest, then the appliance may throttle the ingest rate and begin evicting files from the read cache to create space. This severely degrades ingest performance.
- Start with a read cache setting that is 50% of the size of the local storage volume (leaving 50% for ingest). Monitor the available capacity on the local storage volume over time, especially after periods of very high or sustained ingest activity. If the available capacity remains above 30% consistently, consider increasing the read cache size. If the available capacity is consistently below 20%, then consider decreasing the read cache size.
Can I reuse an existing object storage container/bucket with an Storage Software Appliance file system?
When a file system is created, a corresponding object storage bucket/container of the same name is created. When a file system name is specified which matches an existing container/bucket, the appliance will prompt the user to confirm that the file system (that might have been created by a different appliance instance) should be transferred to this appliance instance.
How does Storage Software Appliance manage data security?
Data stored in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage is encrypted by default. Data is uploaded and downloaded from Oracle Object Storage over SSL endpoints using the HTTPS protocol. For Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Classic, you have the option of encrypting the data on the client side. You can provide your own RSA asymmetric keys if you’ve enabled encryption for a filesystem. The symmetric key converts the data to a readable form called cleartext. If you lose the keys, you lose the data.
Asymmetric keys: There’s a single key pair for every instance of the appliance. The same key pair is used to encrypt information related to local configuration. If you provide an asymmetric key pair, then the key pair is used to encrypt or decrypt the specified filesystem database configuration items. Ensure that the asymmetric keys are backed up.
Symmetric keys: The symmetric key is stored within the local filesystem database. Each filesystem can have its own unique symmetric encryption key. The symmetric key is encrypted using the asymmetric key that’s stored locally on the disk.
At any time, you can download a tar.gz file containing the details of all the keys stored on the disk. Key rotation enables data recovery if the appliance fails at any time.
Rotating Keys in the Appliance
- Log in to the management console and select the filesystem.
- Provide your asymmetric key pair. The appliance ensures that the keys are valid by encrypting and decrypting randomly generated sample data.
- If the keys are valid, then they are saved in a temporary location on the disk. The old keys are moved to a backup location on the disk.
- The database’s encrypted configuration items are encrypted again in the filesystem by using the asymmetric key pair.
- The new keys are saved to a permanent location on the disk.
- Download the compressed key archive of the encryption keys. The compressed archive includes the new key details as well as the backup keys.
Does Storage Software Appliance support encryption using user managed keys?
- Yes, Storage Software Appliance supports user managed keys for client-side data encryption for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure-Classic. This feature is not currently supported on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
What are the Storage Software Appliance scalability limits?
- Ensure that the number of objects stored in an appliance filesystem doesn’t exceed 10 million (10,000,000). For data sets that consist of more than 10 million objects, ensure that the objects are distributed across multiple filesystems.
- The minimum amount of memory required for any appliance filesystem is 16 GB.
- For filesystems with the number of files up to 5 million, the required amount of memory is 32 GB.
- For large filesystems with the number of files up to 10 million, the required amount of memory is 64 GB
- To improve the efficiency of file ingest and cloud upload operations, and to reduce the number of objects in the namespace, bin-pack or zip small files before writing them to the appliance.
- Multiple filesystems can be created on a single appliance. However, for optimal performance, ensure that each filesystem is hosted on a dedicated appliance.
What is the maximum file size that can be uploaded using Storage Software Appliance?
The file size is dictated by the maximum object size supported by Object Storage. For Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage limits, see Object Storage Limits.
How much data can I upload to the Object Storage using Storage Software Appliance?
- As long as the local cache is sized accurately, there is no upper bound on the amount of data that can be uploaded to object storage. However as a best practice file systems should not exceed 10M files.
Can I access my data uploaded to object storage using Storage Software Appliance via alternate object storage tools like the CLI / UI etc?
No, data uploaded leveraging Storage Software Appliance must always be read using an Storage Software Appliance instance. This is because Storage Software Appliance maintains metadata about the uploaded data, which is a necessary to reconstruct the uploaded file from its constituent parts, stored in object storage.
Can multiple Oracle Cloud Infrastructure users write data to Storage Software Appliance file system backed by a common object storage container/bucket?
No, Storage Software Appliance does not support multi-writer collaboration. Multiple Storage Software Appliance filesystems cannot map to a single object storage container/bucket.
Can I use Storage Software Appliance with multiple cloud accounts?
Yes, you can use multiple cloud accounts to create multiple file system in any given instance of Storage Software Appliance.
Can I have multiple Storage Software Appliance instances reading data from the same object storage container/bucket ?
No, we do not support multiple Storage Software Appliance instances mounting file systems that are backed by a common object storage container/bucket. We also do not support Storage Software Appliance in a 'Read-Only' mode.
How can I change the filesystem cache size after it’s been created?
To change the properties of a filesystem, log in to the management console, and click the name of the filesystem in the Dashboard pane:
- You can edit the filesystem properties and advanced settings (such as the cache limits) of the service instance specified for the filesystem in the Settings tab.
After updating the filesystem properties, click Save.
How do I get Storage Software Appliance console logs?
The Storage Software Appliance console logs can be download by using the web GUI client: Download the console logs.
How can I restore data from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic Archive Storage?
How do I verify whether my archived data has been restored?
How can I identify if a filesystem is an archive or standard filesystem?
From the web GUI, the "Details" tab of the filesystem shows if the file system is backed up by an archive storage container/bucket.
Can a file system and all of its data in the cloud be deleted?
If a file system is deleted/removed, the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure cloud container/bucket is left intact in the cloud. The file system can be restored by creating a file system with the same name in the same Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic identity-domain or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy.
If you want to permanently delete a file system including all data in the cloud there are two ways to accomplish this:
- Delete data via the file system and then delete the container:
- Enable version compaction for the file system (in file system Advanced Options in the appliance web console). Set the number of versions to retain to “1”.
- Delete all files in the file system.
- Allow the version compactor to run (it is started periodically and runs as a background task) and remove all objects in the cloud container/bucket.
- Delete the file system.
- Delete residual objects in the cloud container/bucket manually. The container/bucket will contain metadata and other control files related to the file system that can’t be deleted through the file system.
- Delete the container/bucket.
- Delete the file system and then manually delete all objects in the container/bucket and then delete the container/bucket.
How can I delete the data in my object storage account from the appliance?
Storage Software Appliance allows file operations with byte-level granularity, such as append, re-write, over-write, and truncate. When a file is modified in an appliance filesystem, it results in a new version of the file being created and uploaded to the account.
When you create a filesystem, you can choose whether older versions of an object stored in the cloud must be retained whenever the corresponding file is updated or deleted in the filesystem.
- If you select the Delete Old File Versions check box for a filesystem, then every time you start the appliance and once every 24 hours after that, a version compaction process runs automatically in the background. This process removes older versions of all the objects in the container/bucket that's connected to the filesystem. Only the latest version of each object is retained.
- If you don't select the Delete Old File Versions checkbox:
- When a file is updated in the filesystem, a new version of the corresponding object in the cloud is created. Additional capacity is consumed in the cloud after each such update operation.
- When a file is deleted in the filesystem, all older versions of the object in the cloud are retained. Capacity continues to be used in the cloud for the file that you deleted in the appliance.
Does deleting data from the Storage Software Appliance, delete the data permanently from Object/Archive Storage?
- Yes, if Delete Old File Versions is enabled, deleting data off Storage Software Appliance permanently deletes data from the ‘Object/Archive’ storage. If this feature is disabled, deleted files will be removed from the file system namespace on the appliance, but the corresponding objects will remain in the object storage container/bucket.
Why is the number of objects in my cloud container/bucket much larger than the number of files in the file system?
The number of objects in the cloud container/bucket will normally be larger than the number of files in the file system for a number of reasons including:
- Large files (>1GB) are sliced into segments which are uploaded and stored as separate objects. Segmented objects will have the segment number appended to each object, such as “-s1”, “-s2”, etc.
- When files are modified, a new version of the file is uploaded. If version compaction is disabled, previous versions of files are not removed from the cloud. Object versions are indicated by the version number appended to the object name, such as “-v1”, “v2”, etc.
- The appliance uploads backup copies of metadata and other critical data in the cloud container/bucket.
Why does deleting files not result in fewer number of objects in the cloud container/bucket?
If version compaction is disabled (default) objects in the cloud are not deleted when a file is deleted. In this mode the file is removed from the file system namespace but the corresponding data object in the cloud is left intact, thus object count is unlikely to decrease. If version compaction is enabled and a file is deleted, the corresponding object in the cloud will also be deleted. The process for removing the object in the cloud runs periodically so there will be a delay (up to 24 hours) before the change is reflected in the object count.
How long does the appliance wait before uploading files to the cloud bucket/container?
The appliance will not commence uploading a new file or modified file until the file is closed. After a file is closed, the appliance allows a 1 minute settling time before queueing the file for upload. There may be a long list of files pending upload, thus it may be a while before it shows up in cloud container/bucket. Admin UI and/or diagnostics command may be used to check file upload status, but no reliable way to predict when it will actually be transferred to cloud.
Do Linux “df” and "du" commands work with Storage Software Appliance file systems?
Yes, "df" and "du" work with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Classic, but when using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage these commands report a value '0'. This occurs because Storage Software Appliance is a file mover, there are no true filesystem size limits unless constrained by cloud account and/or bucket/container quota. Similarly, files are uploaded to the cloud as objects, there is no usage accounting like traditional filesystems.
My Storage Software Appliance cache is full and data is not uploading to object storage. What shall I do?
If the cache reaches a near-full threshold, you can either wait for the cache contents to sync with Object Storage, or increase the cache size. The performance of a disk volume also degrades as it fills, due to fragmentation. To prevent either of these conditions from affecting the I/O performance, provision the volume such that it will never be more than 80% full.
How can I recover from an unexpected Storage Software Appliance crash?
If an Storage Software Appliance instance unexpectedly crashes due to software or hardware failures, you can create another instance and connect the filesystem to the object storage container/bucket that holds your file system data. Files that were buffered on the failed appliance but had not yet been uploaded will have to re-written to the recovered appliance.
If encryption was enabled in the Storage Software Appliance instance, then you will need to re-enter the RSA keys used in the previous instance.
If the filesystem was previously configured as an archive filesystem, then you must select Enable Archive for the same filesystem. You can mount the filesystem only after you select this option.
If the filesystem had write ownership in the previous appliance instance, ensure that the filesystem has write ownership in the new instance. To claim write ownership, you must reconnect the filesystem in the new instance.
The FileSystem: Claim Ownership window is displayed, prompting you to confirm whether the other appliance must be disconnected.
If you opt to proceed, then take necessary action, depending on the storage service:
- For an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic account, re-enter your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic password and select Claim Ownership.
- For an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage tenancy, re-enter the values for the following fields in the FileSystem: Claim Ownership window and select Claim Ownership.
- Public Key Finger Print
- Private Key
- Private Key Passphrase
I forgot my Storage Software Appliance management console admin password. How do I change the password?
- Log in to the host on which you installed the appliance.
- Enter the following command to reset the password:
oscsa do password:reset
- Enter the new password:
oscsa do password:set [new_password]
How can I proactively monitor the health of Storage Software Appliance?
The web GUI provides Storage Software Appliance system status.
The NFS calls are returning I/O errors, how can I recover from these errors?
There are a few things that you can do if your NFS calls are returning I/O errors:
- Determine if the Storage Software Appliance local cache is full. If it's full extend the Storage Software Appliance cache size
- Restart rpcmount daemon or nfs service
docker exec oscsa_gw /opt/oracle/gateway/./restart-rpcmountd.sh
- Restart the NFS service and remount nfs client, if required
- If extending the cache size does not help eliminate the I/O errors download the console logs and other diagnostics information and then contact Oracle support for help.
Collect the output of two commands below
sysctl -a | egrep -i '(nfs|serverfault)'
dmesg | grep -i nfs
OSCSA cannot connect to Object Storage. I am getting unauthorized error, how can I troubleshoot this problem?
If you are unable to connect to Oracle Object Storage, verify your object storage connectivity using cURL commands.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic URL authentication test: docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/iaas/storage-cloud/ssapi/Authentication.html
What should I do if the file system is mounted successfully but mount point is not exported by NFS?
Make sure that when you create the file system, the mount point is exported using the command
docker exec oscsa_gw /opt/oracle/gateway/./nfs-exports.sh
What can I do when Cloud Storage Software Appliance cannot access other VMs across Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Classic IP network?
IP network exchange enables the VM access on different IP networks. Security rules and ACLs may impact the access as well.
The configuration reference: docs.oracle.com/en/cloud/iaas/compute-iaas-cloud/stcsg/managing-ip-network-exchanges.html
I installed docker and NFS in my host, but can’t install Storage Software Appliance, what should I do?
- Add the docker group to the existing groups in your host:
sudo groupadd docker
- Add your user id to the docker group:
usermod -a -G docker username
- Check the storage driver for docker and modify if necessary (only "devicemapper" is supported).
docker info | grep 'Storage Driver:'
- Shut down your host:
shutdown –r now
- Log in to your host and run the Storage Software Appliance script:
I can’t access the Storage Software Appliance management console.
Check if Storage Software Appliance is running:
If the appliance is not running, then start the appliance:
Make a note of the management console port number.
Creating OSCSA Volume Starting OSCSA [oscsa_gw:1.0] Management Console: https://myappliancehost.example.com:32771/. If you have already configured an OSCSA FileSystem via the Management Console, you can access the NFS share using the following port. NFS Port: 32770 Example: mount -t nfs -o vers=4,port=32770 myApplianceHost.example.com:/OSCSA_filesystem_name/local_mount_point
In the sample output,
-myApplianceHost.example.com is the appliance host name
-32771 is the management console port number
Ensure that you are using https if you have enabled SSL. By default, SSL is enabled.
- Check if the appliance is running on docker on the appliance host.
- Check that the management console port number in the output (from oscsa info) matches the port you’re using to access the management console.
I provided my Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic account details in the management console, but why can’t I create a filesystem?
Check your user credentials in your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic account and update them in the management console.
I am unable to mount a filesystem, what should I do?
Check if Storage Software Appliance is running:
If the appliance is not running, then start the appliance:
Make a note of the management console port number and NFS port number.
Check if the appliance is running on docker on the appliance host.
Ensure that the NFS protocol is running:
sudo systemctl enable nfs-server
Check that the NFS port number in the output (from oscsa info) matches the port you’re using to connect to with your NFS client.
How can I get support for Storage Software Appliance?
You can get support for Storage Software Appliance by contacting normal Oracle Support channels Oracle:
- Go to https://support.oracle.com.
- In the Sign In pane, select Cloud Portal as the portal and click Sign In.
- On the Dashboard page, click Create Service Request.
- In the Create Service Request wizard, do the following:
- In the Service Type field, select Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage Classic.
- In the Problem Type field, Select Issues accessing a Storage Software Appliance or Issues installing or upgrading a Storage Software Appliance, and select the appropriate problem subtype.
- Follow the prompts in the wizard to complete the service request.