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Third party software for CLARiiON fibre channel management

Posted on 2003-12-08
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Let me give some brief insight to the issue at hand.  My company has quite a number of CLARiiON fibre channel disk arrays sitting around (a result of a bad venture a couple years ago with a now defunct company).  When they were in use the arrays were controlled by an NT 4.0 server using undetermined software (I believe the software was Trilligent or SAN INSite, because that's the software I saw installed on the machine) and a fibre channel card.  But, that point is moot, because whatever software the defunct company used, we don't have and can't seem to get.
What I would like to know is if there is software out there for Windows 2000 that will discover and can configure these disks.  Essentially replacing the "Storage Processors" that typically control these disks (which we obviously don't have).
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Question by:Milano_EH3
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durindil earned 84 total points
ID: 9901293
The service processors (SP's) are required to control the disks - or at least present them.  The DAE's do not work alone.  As for software, there are many previous versions of Navisphere out there, and you can probably find that you need on ebay.  Your old SP's should be able to be re-configured to present the disks without the old software, as long as you are not trying to use them to present to a dynamic filesystem on Win2K.
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by:Duncan Meyers
Duncan Meyers earned 83 total points
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To expand on durindil's answer - in the EMC world, there are two sorts of cabinets: the DPE (Disc Processor Enclosure) which has the smarts and the DAE (Disc Array Enclosure) which has no smarts. If the equipment is a couple of years old, it is likely to be either a FC4700 and DAEs or FC4500 and DAEs with a maximum of 10 discs per cabinet. In a FC4500 the SPs (Service Processors) have a pair of FC-AL ID switches one numbered 0-F and the other 0-7 and a pair of GBICs for FC connection. The FC4700 has a different SP with a pair of PCI type FC cards that connect to the FC SAN. The FC4700 also has a monitor (15 pin) connector. You may even have a FC5500/5700. There is also a FC5300, an entry-level box which looks like a DAE but has SPs where the LCCs are in other models. A DAE is 3.5U high and has a pair of power supplies, two link control cards (with two DB-9 FC connectors) and discs.

So: first step is we need to know what model of DPE you have.
Second step is that the arrays are configured and managed by EMC software called Navisphere - but how that is run depends on the model and version.
Thirdly - configuration is easy once you've got the basics out of the way. Once the array is configured the hosts just see a disc (or lots of discs).
Fourthly, have a hunt around for the release software - things such as Navisphere, PowerPath, ATF, Access Logix.

EMC kit is fast and ultra reliable, so it is worth your while to get it all going.

Hope this helps,
Duncan
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by:chicagoan
chicagoan earned 83 total points
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If they're DAE's, what would stop one from using a third party raid controller?
(i.e. Infortrend, etc.)
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by:durindil
ID: 9903919
Drive interfaces, formatting, and firmware.
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by:chicagoan
ID: 9904170
the interface wouldn't seem to be an issue, how does that play in ?
nor would non-standard sector sizes, it's fairly staightforward to reformat
firmware I can see being a hurdle if a commodity version isn't available
you have to wonder if the claims that custom firmware and formatting are providing the customer with real-world performance improvements or are designed more with an eye to revenue enhancement for the manufacturer.
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by:Duncan Meyers
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>If they're DAE's, what would stop one from using a third party raid controller?
>(i.e. Infortrend, etc.)

Its a good point - the discs are on a Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop via the LCC. You _may_ be able to talk to the disks directly via the FC-AL but that's a big _may_. The LCC provides the AL for the loop and the port bypass circuitry, so its worth a try. I've never seen it done.

You would need a  FC adapter such as a QLogic or Emulex. I'm not aware of a PCI FC RAID controller - all FC attach arrays have internal RAID controllers (or SPs in EMC-speak).

>you have to wonder if the claims that custom firmware and formatting are providing the customer with real-world >performance improvements or are designed more with an eye to revenue enhancement for the manufacturer.

The additional 8 bytes per sector was used for the vault, which is an area used to dump the write cache quickly in the event of a hardware failure or power outage. It is also used for the FLARE code (the OS of the Clariion box) etc. The new CX range uses a different arrangement.

Finally, the drives themselves have FC interfaces, not SCSI.

FWIW.
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