Google+
Home > Storage, Technology > EMC Clariion FLARE Code Operating Environment

EMC Clariion FLARE Code Operating Environment


TO SUBSCRIBE TO STORAGENERVE BLOG

The Clariion Environment is governed by FLARE Code and the Symmetrix / DMX by Enginuity Code. FLARE Code was developed internally at EMC (Data General) and so far to my knowledge (certain portions) have been outsourced to EMC India for development purposes.

I have posted a detailed blog on EMC’s Enginuity Operating Environment in Dec 2008.


FLARE: Fibre Logic Array Runtime Environment


Clariion name comes from Data General, where they designed the first 16bit minicomputer called NOVA. Later NOVA was called NOVAII. NOVAII became AVIION (letters rearranged). CLARiiON is a simple derivative of that naming convention. AVIION name still exist with AX100, AX150 and AX-4.

 

EMC Engineering is the crown of EMC, inventing new technology and pushing the envelope in terms of defining future products, technologies and markets. That is exactly what has happened with acquisition of Data General by EMC. They have really taken the Clariion products, rebranded them with tons of features and user interfaces to make it the flagship product. If you asked anyone at EMC about 3 to 5 years ago about their flagship product, the answer would have been Symmetrix, ask them now? Clariion has dominated the SMB and the Mid Tier Enterprise market making it the cash cow at EMC.

Unlike the Enginuity Code, the FLARE Code is customer self upgradable. This Code sits on the first 5 drives of the Clariion SPE or DAE (depending on the model), the drives that are marked with numbers (0 to 4) and do not remove stickers.

With a Code upgrade, the FLARE Operating Environment gets loaded onto the service processor and this can be performed while the machine is running. The funny part is, a Clariion service processor is merely a PC running Microsoft Windows XP 32 Bit (which might have changed with CX4 to possibly a Windows XP 64Bit Version). In short when you reboot your Clariion service processors, Windows XP will start and load the FLARE Operating Environment from the first 5 drives and bring the system online.

With these first 5 drives, do not to configure any user-host LUN Space on them. Best bet, get 5 x 73GB 15K drives and only use it for FLARE Code operation. The total space the FLARE Code occupies is 6GB per disk if its release 19 and lower and for releases 24 and above its 33GB per disk drive. Also along with the Flare Operating Environment on the first 5 drives is stored the PSM LUN (Persistent Storage Manager), Flare Database LUN and Vault Data (Save Area for write cache in case of a catastropic failure of SP). Do not move your drives around on the Clariion. Also do not insert a different drive type when replacing the first 5 drives.

From the Data General days with the Clariion, the FLARE Operating Environment is pretty open; in sense the customer can perform all sorts of changes without any restrictions (unlike the Symmetrix and DMX) where a lot of it is done through Hardware BIN file changes. Upgrades in terms of hardware, software, etc can all be performed by the customer themselves making it a neat product to work on.

As new FLARE Code releases hit market, customers can download those FLARE Code upgrades from EMC’s Customer Website (Powerlink) and self install it (I believe if you have purchased Clariion from Dell, you have to obtain FLARE Code through Dell).

The service processors run the Flare Operating Environment along with the first 5 drives. During a Non Disruptive Upgrade (NDU), the FLARE Code is loaded on one SP at a time and then reboot is performed. In short if your failover and redundancy is setup correctly you will not have any outages. It is highly recommended you perform these changes during quite times or possibly take your SQL and Oracle databases down before performing this upgrade. Also a good practice would be to get EMC Grabs out of the host that are connected to this Clariion and verify that they are new FLARE Code compatible.

If you are new to Clariion Environment, it is highly recommended you perform the pre-installation steps or read release notes before performing an upgrade or get professional assistance. It is very normal for customers to go through multiple code upgrades during the 3 to 5 year life cycle of these machines.

These Service processors also sent you service alerts through an email or sms system for proactive replacement and failing components example: failing drive, failing SP, backend issues, data sector invalidates, etc. The replacement of these parts should be carried out by an EMC trained and qualified engineer.

It is common knowledge, you can enter Engineering mode on FLARE Code using keys Ctrl + Shft + F12 and using the engineering password. The Engineering mode will allow you to perform certain functions not allowed in a normal Admin or User mode.

Initially with the FC series of Clariion, there was no web interface into the Service Processors, which has been added with the CX series of machines. With release 26 new features enhancing customers to perform a lot of maintenance work themselves has been added including performing SP Collects, etc.

FLARE Code version information is as follows.

For the sake of this blog we will limit our explanation only to CX, CX3 and CX4 platforms.

Generation 1: CX200, CX400, CX600

Generation 2: CX300, CX500, CX700 including the iSCSI flavors

Generation 3: CX3-10, CX3-20, CX3-40, CX3-80

Generation 4: CX4-120, CX4-240, CX4-480, CX4-960      
(last three digits are the number of drives it can support)

The FLARE Code is broken down as follows (Please see the color coded scheme below).

1.14.600.5.022 (32 Bit)

2.16.700.5.031 (32 Bit)

2.24.700.5.031 (32 Bit)

3.26.020.5.011 (32 Bit)

4.28.480.5.010 (64 Bit)


The first digit: 1, 2, 3 and 4 indicate the Generation of the machine this code level can be installed on. For the 1st and the 2nd generation of machines (CX600 and CX700), you should be able to use standard 2nd Generation code levels. CX3 code levels would have a 3 in front of it and so forth. 

These numbers will always increase as new Generations of Clariion machines are added.

 

The next two digits are the release numbers; these release numbers are very important and really give you additional features related to the Clariion FLARE Operating Environment. When someone comes up to you and says, my Clariion CX3 is running Flare 26, this is what they mean.

These numbers will always increase, 28 being the latest FLARE Code Version.

 

The next 3 digits are the model number of the Clariion, like the CX600, CX700, CX3-20 and CX4-480.

These numbers can be all over the map, depending what the model number of your Clariion is.

 

The 5 here is unknown, its coming across from previous FLARE releases. Going back to the pre CX days (FC), this 5 was still used in there. I believe this was some sort of code internally used at Data General indicating its a FLARE release.

 

The last 3 digits are the Patch level of the FLARE Environment. This would be the last known compilation of the code for that FLARE version.

 

Again if you are looking at the CX and the FLARE Code Operating Environment it is pretty strong, powerful, lots of features a customer can use and does blow away a lot of other manufacturers in the same market space.


Hope this information was useful in your endeavor while searching for Clariion Flare Code Operating Environment information.

 

  • Storagezilla

    “With these first 5 drives, do not to configure any user-host LUN Space on them.”

    It should be noted there’s no rule that you should not or can not use those drives. You’ve paid for the capacity just be aware they’re being used.

  • Storagezilla

    “With these first 5 drives, do not to configure any user-host LUN Space on them.”It should be noted there’s no rule that you should not or can not use those drives. You’ve paid for the capacity just be aware they’re being used.

  • Devang Panchigar

    Hi Mark,

    I have seen issues in the past with performance on the first 5 drives. With some Cap2 output that EMC guys have shown me in the past, it seems like EMC highly recommends not to configure lun space on the first 5 drives.

    I am sure it is doable and customers absolutely use it, but i believe it is not recommended.

    Not sure if the game changes with the CX4’s now.

    Thanks
    Devang

  • Devang Panchigar

    Hi Mark, I have seen issues in the past with performance on the first 5 drives. With some Cap2 output that EMC guys have shown me in the past, it seems like EMC highly recommends not to configure lun space on the first 5 drives. I am sure it is doable and customers absolutely use it, but i believe it is not recommended. Not sure if the game changes with the CX4’s now. ThanksDevang

  • http://storagenerve.com/2009/01/06/emc-clariion-flare-code-operating-environment/ Arunkumar

    Thanks for knowing the clarion flare code is running in the windows xp platform other usefull information about the first five drives in the clarion array.

    Thanks a lot,God bless you

  • http://storagenerve.com/2009/01/06/emc-clariion-flare-code-operating-environment/ Arunkumar

    Thanks for knowing the clarion flare code is running in the windows xp platform other usefull information about the first five drives in the clarion array.

    Thanks a lot,God bless you

  • Pingback: intravirt.com - Practical Guide to Virtualization With VMWare » Blog Archive » CLARiiON Background()

  • Deepak

    That was really helpful.. Good work.. :)

  • Deepak

    That was really helpful.. Good work.. :)

  • vinod

    Well, not all of the Flare codes are based on windows Xp. The even series of Arrays CX200, 400 and CX600 have flare code which is NT based.

  • vinod

    Well, not all of the Flare codes are based on windows Xp. The even series of Arrays CX200, 400 and CX600 have flare code which is NT based.

  • Pingback: Clariion SPCollects for CX, CX3, CX4 « StorageNerve()

  • philler

    4.28.480.5.010

    The 5=GA CODE, there is also a 3=ENGR CODE

  • philler

    4.28.480.5.010

    The 5=GA CODE, there is also a 3=ENGR CODE

  • Mastermind

    Helpful and a very important knowledge!

    “Mastermind”
    ManualLab -> Storage and Virtualization Blog

  • Mastermind

    Helpful and a very important knowledge!

    “Mastermind”
    ManualLab -> Storage and Virtualization Blog

  • Roman

    In Flare version A.BB.CCC.D.EEE

    [D] Stands for Software Distribution Type
    0 – Debug Private
    1 – Debug Frozen
    2 – Retail Private
    3 – Retail Frozen
    4 – Early Access
    5 – General Release
    6 – Special

  • Roman

    In Flare version A.BB.CCC.D.EEE

    [D] Stands for Software Distribution Type
    0 – Debug Private
    1 – Debug Frozen
    2 – Retail Private
    3 – Retail Frozen
    4 – Early Access
    5 – General Release
    6 – Special

  • admin

    Hi Roman, this is great info…..thanks

  • admin

    Hi Roman, this is great info…..thanks

  • Pingback: EMC AX4 Platform | StorageNerve()

  • Pingback: 15 Most Popular post of all time on StorageNerve Blog | StorageNerve()

  • dancooper

    This is great information, but let me ask you. What if i purchased a CX600 Storage head from ebay and a DAE seperately, so obviously the 1st 5 drives are missing the FLARE OS. How do i go about getting it loaded?

  • Les

    You may have purchased a DAE2, you will need a DAE2-OS (for CX600, not CX700). Your going to need the OS drives (actually drives 0-3).
    Drives 0 and 2 are mirrored for SPA.
    Drives 1 and 3 are mirrored for SPB.
    Drive 4 contains space for Core Dump.
    Stripe across drives 0, 1, 2 contain the PSM.
    Another Stripe across drives 0, 1, 2 contain the Database.
    Stripe across drives 0, 1, 2, 3 contain reserved space.
    Stripe across drives 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 contain the Write Cache Vault.
    I have been working with the CLARiiON line for 7-8 years.
    I've never seen a CX600/CX700 pieced together. I'm not sure how you will need to proceed.

  • horpek

    Very useful information, Devang!

    Just a few question on creating luns from the 1st 5 vault disks:
    1. You mentioned performance issue on the 1st 5 drives – do you refer to the performance issue of the raidgroup on these vault drives? Or do you mean if the vault drives are used it slow down the entire system?
    2. If for some reason we created a RG using the 1st 5 drives. Can we “destroy” the RG later? Will it impact the FLARE OS?
    3. If for some emergency we utilized the vault drives. Can we do lun migration later to move the luns out to normal RG? Is the luns migration on CX4 really transparent? Or the host will detect different hardware path or disk ID render a glitch in service?

    rgds~horpek

  • horpek

    Thanks Devang for the very useful information.

    Just a few question of the 1st 5 vault drives:
    1. You mentioned about the performance issue using the vault drives – are you referring to the luns on the vault drives? Or you mean using the vault drives will slow down the entire system?
    2. If for emergency we used the vault drives, can we still “destroy” the raidgroup created? Will it impact the FLARE on them?
    3. Can we do lun migration from vault drives to normal RG? Is the lun migration offered by FLARE really transparent to host OS? Or will it cause different hardware path or disk ID issue?

    One funny thing – On EMC ControlCenter (ECC), if we leave the vault drives unused, it will show up as “Unconfigured Raw” and the “Raw storage used” chart is showing less than 100%. This is like encouraging us to use it :-).

  • http://storagenerve.com storagenerve

    Hi Horpek,

    Here is my understanding the the vault disk,

    1. With the flare OS on the first five drives, its used for system operations including maintaining consistency with data including managing drives, writing logs, etc, etc. Also during a system shut down, the data from the memory will be flushed to the vault drives. I have seen customers at times just put very very low IO apps on vault drives, like apps that are only used during a certain time of the day, etc. EMC even recommends using 15K drives as vault drives.

    2. You can destroy the RG without any problems, it shouldnt affect the Flare OS.

    3. You should be able to without issues….

    Thanks
    Devang

  • rgeddam

    Nice one! Easy to understand

  • Pingback: Quickie: #CX4 Vault Drive Space Layout « blog.vTacit.com()

  • Joean Sian

    28.480.5.010 is wrong. EMC no longer using different FLARE code for different model.
    It has standardize to one.
    The valid one is 04.28.000.5.706, for all CX4 Series. 706 is the patch number.

  • storagebomb

    Great work devang and others

    I know this is a year old posting and I am not sure if anyone is visiting this again.

    I have a few questions for devang and for les

    Dev: You mentioned that in engineering mode there are certain things that can be done which cannot be done in other mode. Can you give some examples of what kind of things. And what is the engineering password?

    One of the commentators wrote that EMC has standardized on the Flare code across all models of CX-4, Can anyone confirm that.

    To Les, you mentioned that “Another Stripe across drives 0, 1, 2 contain the Database” Can you clarify which database this would be.

    And if my understanding is correct the FLARE itself is stored in the first 4 drives. Am I correct.

    Does anyone know what the average size of the PSM database is. If we are to take a backup of the PSM database, how would we go about it since this LUN is invisible to Navisphere. Where would we backup the database file to. And how would we restore the file if needed (I mean which command).

    And finally if we have to replace one of the 5 drives, what is the procedure to do that.

    Thanks in advance to all those who have taken time to read thru my long posting and for thier contribution.

  • storagebomb

    Great work devang and others

    I know this is a year old posting and I am not sure if anyone is visiting this again.

    I have a few questions for devang and for les

    Dev: You mentioned that in engineering mode there are certain things that can be done which cannot be done in other mode. Can you give some examples of what kind of things. And what is the engineering password?

    One of the commentators wrote that EMC has standardized on the Flare code across all models of CX-4, Can anyone confirm that.

    To Les, you mentioned that “Another Stripe across drives 0, 1, 2 contain the Database” Can you clarify which database this would be.

    And if my understanding is correct the FLARE itself is stored in the first 4 drives. Am I correct.

    Does anyone know what the average size of the PSM database is. If we are to take a backup of the PSM database, how would we go about it since this LUN is invisible to Navisphere. Where would we backup the database file to. And how would we restore the file if needed (I mean which command).

    And finally if we have to replace one of the 5 drives, what is the procedure to do that.

    Thanks in advance to all those who have taken time to read thru my long posting and for thier contribution.

  • Jonathan

    So, if I were to purchase a CX300 and it did not come with FLARE installed and configured, is this something I can download and install myself? I'm having trouble finding any of this information on the EMC site.

    Thanks.

  • http://storagenerve.com storagenerve

    Hi Jonathan,

    Typically the flare is loaded on the first 5 drives, if you do not have those, you may want to get in touch with your EMC rep or if the unit has support, open a ticket within powerlink to obtain support for it. You may need to buy flare code to run on the system, not sure how EMC handles it for the CX platforms anymore….

    Devang

  • ali

    hi, thanks for the great information.
    we have and AX4-5i version of Clarion purchased through Dell,
    it has 8 disks of 750GB, 7.2k Rpm…(Seagate Barracuda)
    I've the last disk with another Seagate Barracuda which is 250GB, 7.2k Rpm…
    However, as far as I saw from Navisphere, Disk Array does not seem to recognize it…
    Do I need to set the Jumpers or does it need to be formatted in some way prior to inserting it into array?
    thank you for your help…

  • http://storagenerve.com storagenerve

    The drive formats used on Clariion systems are 520 byte style. If a 512 byte format drive is inserted, it may not be recognized. Please use Clariion drives supplied by the manufacturer.

  • amsinc

    I do not have EMC maintenance. I am a self maintainer. Where can I purchase Flare code.

  • http://storagenerve.com storagenerve

    You may need to buy it from EMC…on T&M

  • Sophie

    Do you have any idea how to install Flare on CX-300. The 15 disk are formated and there is no way to find the procedure to install Flare (no CD-ROM, no network, no software …)

  • http://storagenerve.com storagenerve

    You will need the install files for the CX300, which can possibly be obtained from EMC. During the install process the flare OS will be installed on the first 5 drives.

  • mike

    Hello,

    EMC has not standardized on a FLARE version and it is still genration specific. FLARE 28 is a 64 bit version and it is only supported on gen 4 CLARiiON (64 Bit Hardware), example 4.28, 4.29. CX3 would reuire 3.26 etc. You can re-install FLARE on the first 5 disks, DAE0, loop 0. You will just need to find the correct version specific to your model and generation. Reach out to an EMC partner.

  • Sophie

    Hello,
    I spoke to EMC in france, there is not way to install flare (no CD-ROM or USB ..).
    They ask me to send the 5 first disk to US. This procedure, said EMC, is very expensive. well, it is better for me to find SCSI or SAS solution, i don't want to use this kind of technology anymore…
    Thanks.

  • http://storagenerve.com storagenerve

    Hi, if your current Clariion system is up, running and functional, you should be able to download and get the flarecode from EMC and self upgrade the Clariion to the latest version as supported for the model number you have.

    Incase your Clariion is currently not functional and you cannot get to the management interface of the system using http://192.168.1.1 IP using the serial port, you may need to get the flarecode installed on the first 5 drives.

    If you can connect to the management interface above and get a prompt, you should be able to load the *.mib file from that interface and get the Clariion functional to the version needed.

    Cheers
    Devang

  • Unknown

    1. GG.RR.PPP.D.PPP
    GG=Generation
    RR=Release
    PPP=Platform
    D=Distribution (5 = General Availablity)
    PPP=Patch or build number

  • Unknown

    1. GG.RR.PPP.D.PPP
    GG=Generation
    RR=Release
    PPP=Platform
    D=Distribution (5 = General Availablity)
    PPP=Patch or build number

  • Alvin R

    Hi
    Is there any one can confirmed the EMC performance after the flare core update?
    just come a cross “Read cache” size settings reduced after a FLARE code upgrade

    Thanks
    Alvin

  • Praveen Chintamani

    “The next 3 digits are the model number of the Clariion, like the CX600, CX700, CX3-20 and CX4-480.” you comment on identifying the type of model for the CX4 series, doesnt match the for any of FLARE versions for CX4 models. Is there anything else that need to be looked into?

  • Asender

    >>One of the commentators wrote that EMC has standardized on the Flare code across all models of CX-4, Can anyone confirm that.

    If you have gone through an our of family upgrade cx3->cx4 the conversion flare code is indeed standardized for all cx4 platforms. When you first boot the code will prepare itself for the specific cx4 platform.

  • abhi

    Really Helpful for beginners. Appreciate it and thanks much:)

  • Adrians

    EMC vault packs are actually quite complicated; if you want more info email me – adrians@vmguest.com