Posts Tagged ‘Clariion’

How-To Generate SP Collect Data from Unisphere

December 22, 2011

Many times you may be asked to provide “SP Collects” for your EMC Array.  This may be for EMC Support or for your VAR, who may need to see how your existing array is configured.  Either way SP Collect data is very useful and relatively easy to generate.  With the release of Unisphere for EMC Clariion, Celerra and VNX the menus and processes have changed just a little.  Below you will see step by step instructions on how to generate these files from the new Unisphere interface.

         Login to the Unisphere console

         Select the array you want to collect data from

         Click on the “System” tab, then click on “Generate Diagnostic Flies – SPA” under the “Diagnostic Files” section on the right.

          Click YES to generate the SP Collect Data for SPA

         Click on “OK” to confirm the success of the process

         Now click on “Generate Diagnostic Files – SPB” under the “Diagnostic Files” section on the right.

         Click YES to generate the SP Collect Data for SPB

         Click on “OK” to confirm the success of the process

         Click on “Get Diagnostic Files – SPA

         The SP A – File Transfer Manager Window will appear.

  • 1st – sort the files by date with the most recent date at the top by clicking the top of the “Date” column.
  • 2nd – Highlight the “APMxxxxxx.zip” file.  (Depending on your array – your file may not start with “APM” but with a different set of letter.  Regardless, the rest of the file name will be followed by a series of numbers_SPA_date_time)
  • 3rd – Select your destination directory where you want the file saved to.  (Use something easy to find like c:\)
  • 4th – Click the “Transfer” button below the list of files

         Click on YES to confirm you want to transfer the file.

 

         In the “Transfer Status” window – look and wait for the file transfer to report successful. (This may take a minute or so)  Once the transfer is successful click OK.

         Click on “Get Diagnostic Files – SPB

 

         The SP B – File Transfer Manager Window will appear.

  • 1st – sort the files by date with the most recent date at the top by clicking the top of the “Date” column.
  • 2nd – Highlight the “APMxxxxxx.zip” file.  (Depending on your array – your file may not start with “APM” but with a different set of letter.  Regardless, the rest of the file name will be followed by a series of numbers_SPB_date_time)
  • 3rd – Select your destination directory where you want the file saved to.  (Use something easy to find like c:\)
  • 4th – Click the “Transfer” button below the list of files

         Click on YES to confirm you want to transfer the file.

 

         In the “Transfer Status” window – look and wait for the file transfer to report successful. (This may take a minute or so)  Once the transfer is successful click OK.

         Open up Windows Explorer or whatever file manager you use and go to the destination directory where you downloaded the files to.  Verify the SPA and SPB .zip files are there.

         Send those files to your VAR or EMC technical consultant/contact.

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EMC 146GB Drives Get Shanked!

February 7, 2010

It’s all over for the 146GB drives.  Last week EMC announced that the 146GB fibre channel disk drives will no longer be available for new Clariion and Celerra platforms.  I don’t see this as a huge deal to most customers but for some very specific applications the drives were very useful. 

Some databases that we run across have very high I/O requirements but really do not require much disk capacity.  For applications like these where you many need 20+ spindles to get the performance you need the 146GB drives were perfect because of their price point.  The other situation where the 146GB drives were handy was for the Vault on the Clariion and Celerra platforms.  As a general practice you don’t want to use the remaining space on the Vault drives for anything with high I/O requirement as to not affect the performance of the array.  For many clients they would not put anything on the remaining space on the Vault.  So why use 300GB of 450GB drives for the Vaults 4+1 RAID5 when you really only need 300GB – the 146s were perfect for this.

On the flip side of this argument, drives prices over the last year have come down significantly so having to use 300GB drives really doesn’t cause a huge financial impact on new arrays.  The fact is that for most of the clients we’ve worked with, 146GB drives were just too small for the majority of applications.  Let’s face it; the trend of data growth is going upwards steeply.  Most reports and studies I’ve seen show industry average data growth anywhere from 30 – 50% per year.  With that kind of growth smaller capacity drives will continue to become “legacy hardware”.

EMC Clariion RAID Group Recommendations

October 4, 2009

Last week we had a client that needed a replacement disk drive for an older EMC Clariion array.  Now this is by no means anything complicated but the drive needed wasn’t available anymore.  The questions was posed, “ Can you mix 15k and 10k fibre channel drives in the same RAID group?”  Hmmmmm, I hadn’t run across this yet so I had to look it up.  The short answer is YES you can but it’s not best practice.  So what is the best solution in a case like this?  Simple, buy a larger capacity drive of the same speed (10k rpm, 15k rpm) and use it in place of the failed drive.  You’ll lose the additional capacity of the drive but the performance won’t be affected.

In the process of looking for the official answer to this question I came across several other little tidbits that are good information to know about Clariion arrays in regards to drives.  To give credit where it’s due most of this and additional info can be found at www.emcstorageinfo.com

–          All disks in a RAID group will match the smallest capacity drive.

–          The Vault Drives in a Clariion MUST all be the same size.

–          SATA and FC drives can NOT be mixed in the same disk tray or DAE

–          SATA drives can only use a SATA Hot Spare and FC drives can only use a FC Hot Spare

–          A 15k FC drive can use a 10k Hot Spare and vice versa.

–          A DAE allows one speed change within the shelf but it is recommended to have all the same speed drives in a DAE.

–          If drive speeds will be mixed in a DAE the faster drives should be installed in the leftmost drive slots first.

Flash Drives – Solid State Drive Technology for your SAN

February 8, 2009

Every once and a while at client meeting the discussion about Flash Drives or Solid-State Drives (SSD) comes up.  Flash drives are now an option in EMC’s Clariion arrays.  Usually the first question is “I heard they’re expensive, what do those things cost anyway?”  Well the short answer is A LOT.   Retail from EMC is over $15,000 each!  Yeah….I’ll take a few trays just in case we need some extra storage space!

Obviously you wouldn’t purchase this type of storage to store your MP3 collection but what are the benefits and use cases for these drives?  According to EMC the new Flash Drive technology is for Tier Zero apps or in other words, applications that require incredible amounts of disk I/O and performance.  Examples of this could be some SQL and Oracle production databases.

So why use Flash Drives?  Marketing numbers from EMC state “up to 30x the IOPS” of a standard drive can be achieved.  Let’s be conservative and say 15x IOPS for the purposes of this example.  If you had a database the generated, let’s say 10,000 IOPS, you would need to stripe that data over at least 55 drives to achieve the performance needed (assuming 180 IOPS/drive).  With Flash drives you could theoretically do it with as little as 4 or 5 drives or even less.  Of course with a maximum drive size of 73GB per drive, space might be an issue.

Here is a brief summary of the benefits of these new drives:

          More Performance:        At up to 30x IOPS of a normal high-speed drive you can reduce the number of spindle you need and increase performance.  Latency is also dramatically reduced

          Greener:                             The drives use much less power because there are now moving parts which translates in to less heat, less cooling a smaller carbon footprint and more financial savings.

          Higher Reliability:           No moving parts equal less to break as well as much faster rebuild times.

          Less Rack Space:               Using less drives will free up rack space and datacenter floor space.

The obvious drawback to these drives is cost.  Most companies with tight budgets will have a hard time justifying the astronomical cost per megabyte that comes along with this technology.  For some high-performance apps though, they may be a great solution.  Hopefully with time and competition the cost will come down and the usable space will go up.