Second hand EMC CX500/700 questions

Posted on 2009-07-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I'm in the process of buying my first full blow san (kudos to me :P)

but... (the fatal question)

Since I'm on a budget which is fairly small I have the following questions:


I found a second hand SAN all equiped CX500 with 5 storage expansion units and all the cabling, to start it up

Being so:

I don't plan to licence any of the bells and whistles that EMC gives as "applications" or "licences". Will I be able to fire up the little baby and make it work as a basic san system???
I plan to only distribute LUNs via fiber channel for various servers and export 5-10 LUNs as ESX LUNs to create datastores visible by multiple hosts.

SO... if I absolutetly need licences what do I need to acheive that? and can I expect the same method for a CX700 (I might need the extra 2 fiber ports)

Thanks in advance...

recommandations and advice are all welcome I desperatly need info...
Question by:ismog_tech
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 24829808
For basic connectivity, whatever shipped on the system will see you right. You may have to add Access Logix - the on-array LUN masking software - but I'd be very surprised - it should be enabled. Additional licensed software (aka layered software) included SnapView (SAN-based snapshots), SANCopy, MirroView/A and /S, and Navisphere Analyzer. You'll need EMC PowerPath or Symantec Storage Foundations Basic on the SAN attached hosts - if you're on a budget, download Storage Foundations as its free for up to 2 processor sockets and 3 LUNS under management per server.

Depending on you requirements and what you payed for the CX500 or 700, though, you may be better off with an AX4 array instead - and you get a warranty...

Author Comment

ID: 24830606
From what you are telling me everything I need for basic connectivity is on the san itself...

ok that's a good starter

Will I need a software to manage it or it's done via an embedded CLi or Web page ?
because I don't think you can download any software from the EMC website... that is navisphere related...

as for the san the whole bundle is somewhere around 4000$ loaded with 74gigs 15k drives
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 24832909
Navisphere is embedded in the array - you'll  need to know the IP addresses of the storage processors or you'll have to reset the IP addresses (simple to do - you'll need the 9 pin serial cable that shipped with the array, or supply your own - I can never remember if it's a null modem cable or straight though...). If you can't get a copy of Navisphere Agent and CLI, no matter - you can manually register hosts on the array. Navisphere Agent maps a host name and IP address to the FC world-wide names, so it makes connecting hosts simple - but you can live without it. Not having Navisphere CLI won't matter for you unless you want to script array functionality.

If you intend to connect more than two hosts, you'll need fibre channel switches and LC-LC FC cables as well as HBAs. The thing to be aware of here is that you don't get high availability without FC switching.

Storage Foundation download is here: http://www.symantec.com/business/storage-foundation-basic

Finally, when you're setting the system up, make sure you allow plenty of spares as you can expect the failure rate of the 73GB drives to be significant.
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Author Comment

ID: 24833359
while were at it...

if I would like to implement storage redundancy (and I'm not talking about paths) as per my knowledge I will need:

2X Storage processor units
and what sancopy??? as the software option??

I already know the basics of san networking I'm maintaning 3 IBM SAS SANs with blade centers...
up to that point only the media changes the concept is pretty much the same...

the point of my question is that since I will have a bundle of expansion units, I better find an additional
Storage processor and make it storage redundant...

so my final config would be a dual switch/dual domain config with san replication???

Correct me if I'm wrong...
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

Duncan Meyers earned 2000 total points
ID: 24836479

>if I would like to implement storage redundancy (and I'm not talking about paths) as per my knowledge I will need:
>2X Storage processor units
>and what sancopy??? as the software option??

You'll need at least another CX500 or CX700 or CX3- or CX4- storage system and SANCopy software on the source storage system. You can then have an incremental SANCopy session running which is close enough to an asynchronous mirror as to not matter. There are, of course, some limitations such as the maximum number of SANCopy sessions per storage system and so on. If you want to use synchronous mirroring, you'll need MirrorView/S licenses for source and destination storage systems. Fr CX500 and CX700 systems, you'll need to connect the two storage systems via FC on port 1 on each SP for the CX500 or port 3 for a CX700. CX3- and CX4- CLARiiONs added the ability to replicate across iSCSI - a pretty handy feature.

>the point of my question is that since I will have a bundle of expansion units, I better find an additional
>Storage processor and make it storage redundant...

Yes indeed. An important thing to note is that you need the OS drives which should be included in any storage system you purchase second-hand, but you must check. A CX500 has the OS drives included in the cabinet that houses the storage processors, while a CX700 has the OS drives in slots 0 to 4 in DAE 0 on loop 0. If the drives aren't there, the system won't boot. I've seen an ebay vendor advertising CLARiiON CX300 and CX500 storage heads - if they've pulled the drives out to resell, then the "heads" are little more than a boat anchor - that is; un-bootable and unusable without at least one of the OS drives. Also avoid any FC-series storage system and the even numbered first CX range (CX200, CX400, CX600) as they are now simply too old.

>so my final config would be a dual switch/dual domain config with san replication???

Yes. You may have some trouble getting SANCopy software - be aware that is specific to the version of FLARE that your CLARiiON is running. The method of installing or enabling layered software changed with Release 16 (IIRC) - there are old Dell|EMC CLARiiONs out there on even earlier releases (Dell charges for FLARE code upgrades - highway robbery in my opinion - while so many Dell|EMC storage systems will be on a very old level of code.  EMC include them in the maintenance contract. If you're buying new arrays, buy EMC, not Dell) so you need to check what release of SANCopy software you're purchasing and that it matches the array.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31602352
Thanks for all the info it was priceless!!!

I'll post other questions if the need arise or if I find myself stuck in the ditch with the system, Thanks a lot for your patience.

I'm not much more confident in buying a second hand unit

Author Comment

ID: 24836698

I'm *** NOW***  much more confident in buying a second hand unit
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 24836720
Thanks! Glad I could help.

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