Archive for November, 2010

Native FcoE Connectivity Now Available on Clariion Arrays

November 21, 2010

FCoE or Fibre Channel over Ethernet has been a long awaited cabability for the EMC Clariion Platform.  For many IT shops who have been considering upgrading to something like a Cisco Nexus infrastructure this is great news.  Now in addition to 1Gb iSCSI, 10Gb iSCSI, 4Gb FC and 8Gb FC Ultra Flex Module you can add FCoE to the mix.  This of course give you the capability to run both your SAN and your IP traffic over the same link.  Clariion customers now have the choice of either 8Gb FC and FCoE or 1GbE/10GbE iSCSI as base configs for new Clariion arrays…..and of course existing arrays can be upgraded to the new technology with a simple Ultra Flex port upgrade.

So here are some of the details you’ll need to know about the new Ultra Flex FCoE modules:

  • Sold in pairs
  • Max of 2 modules for the CX4-120 and CX4-240 and a max of 4 modules for the 480 and 960
  • Suppoort for Cisco Nexus and Brocade CEE
  • FCoE performance should equal roughly 90% of what you’d see from 8Gb FC
  • Can only be installed in empty Ultra Flex ports. **Existing modules can NOT be replaced**
  • Support for Optical or TwinAx (copper) SFP+
    • EMC sku – CX-MXGFCOEOPA – for optical connectivity
    • EMC sku – CX-MXGFCOETWA – for TwinAx connectivity
    • Each module has 2 port and is sold in a pair (4 ports total per sku)
  • Currently support: Windows 2003/2008, Linux (SLES 10,11 / RHEL 5,6), ESX 3.5, 4.0, 4.1
  • Customer Installable
  • 2 full coordinated reboots required during installation

From a cost standpoint the modules are very reasonable wether ordering as part of a new array or upgrading your existing array.  Talk to your EMC reseller to get more details.



Say YES to Cisco UCS

November 12, 2010

If you have been thinking about implementing Cisco UCS in your environment there is no better time than NOW.  Just recently for the 4th quarter of 2010 Cisco has released several new bundles designed to save you a bundle and get started with UCS.  The bundles are called YES Bundles and offer SIGNIFICANT savings over ordering these systems any other way.  So what exactly is available?  Here you have it:

Value B200 YES Bundle


Performance B200 YES Bundle


Value B230 YES Bundle

Value B250 YES Bundle

Performance B250 YES Bundle

vBLOCK 0 YES Bundle

These bundles only are good for orders booked with Cisco by 12/23/2010 so if you’ve seen Cisco UCS and liked what you saw now is definitely the time to take a harder look at it.  I can’t quote pricing here but believe me when I tell you that the pricing is unbelievable and that these bundles will save you thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars.  Contact your favorite Cisco reseller for more information and pricing.

Update Your Datacenter with APC

November 7, 2010

I’ve blogged in the past about some of the quality products I’ve seen out of APC for the datacenter.  If you need to design a new datacenter or upgrade an existing one APC pretty much has everything to cover your needs.  We recently had the opportunity to build out a small datacenter from scratch for one of our clients and were able to use APC solutions for the complete design.  I’ve helped spec out many APC product from UPS Units and racks to cooling solutions, but this is really the first project I got to see from inception to completion.

Last week I went on site to see how everything had turned out and to take a closer look at some of the APC equipment we spec’d out for the project.  The purpose of this datacenter was to act as a disaster recovery site.  From a size perspective we only needed a room big enough to hold 2 – 3 racks so a relatively small room was constructed about 20ft long by 15ft wide.  From a technology perspective we had APC throughout.  Some of the equipment included:

APC Netshelter Rack (2)

  • Extra deep and extra wide, these racks make installing equipment and running cabling a breeze
  • Two metered PDU’s in each rack each with LCD displays to allow you to see exactly what is going on from a power standpoint.  In addition to looking really cool you can remotely monitor their status remotely via your LAN/WAN.
  • Low profile Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse insert with KVM switch

APC InRow Cooling

  • This is really the way to go.  They mount right in between two racks.  This unit was only a half rack wide and the same depth as the equipment racks.
  • Hot air from your equipment is sucked in the back, cooled and pushed out the front where the equipment can pull the cool air straight back through.
  • Very efficient with adaptive fans that constantly adjust to the environment.  Open the door to the datacenter for a minute or so and the fans speed up to increase the cooling.
  • Digital display on the front panel to display, adjust and monitor temperature and humidity.

APC SmartUps Online 5000VA UPS units

  • 1 per rack to provide uninterupted, clean power to the equipment
  • Generator compatible with zero failover time.
  • Rack mountable with mimimal rack space requirements

APC Netbotz Security and Environmental Monitoring

  • Security Webcams to monitor door access and rack access. Integrated with the door latch on the rack itself.  If you unlock and open the rack – smile your on film.  Pretty cool technology.
  • Temperature and humidity sensors
  • Fluid/Flood sensor at the bottom of the racks to detect and leaks or flooding.
  • Netbotz central monitoring

The interesting thing about this project was that there is really no IT staff in the building where all the equipment is located.  In fact the nearest “IT Help” is around 3 hours away by car.  This being the case, one of the requirements was to be able to monitor and remotely access EVERYTHING at the site.  In this day and age remotely accessing your servers is pretty much a given but most of the time people don’t think about remotely monitoring power, physical access and enviromental variables.  With this solution everything could be managed from 200 miles away with minimal need for human interaction onsite.  APC allowed us to provide a complete solutions that not only worked well but also looked great.  Which brings me to my next point – astetics!

When I first walked in the door to the new datacenter my initial thought was “Wow this really looks good.”  Everything matched and had a neat and clean installed look to it.  Now, I’ve worked for places in the past where crap was just thrown together.  We had 10 different brands of racks and cables all over the place.  Did everything work ?  Sure.  Would you want your CEO to take the board of directors on a tour of the datacenter ?  Not a chance.  In my opinion looks matter.  If your CEO walks into your datacenter and sees “Clean, organized, attention to detail……” – that can only help your cause as a datacenter manager or administrator.

So if you are thinking about upgrade your datacenter or building a new one – take some time to tour some existing datacenters with APC solutions.  For the money they provide a very impressive set of solutions.