Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

How to Map / UnMap a LUN (HYPER) in a DMX and Symmetrix System from SYMCLI

January 9th, 2009 No comments

This is a pretty easy symcli change, with solutions enabler installed the customer should be able to perform this change very easily. The command line should be used as follows. Save the file as a .txt file which is called your command file.

map dev SymDevName to dir DirectorNum:PortNum,
vbus=FibreVbus, target=scsitarget, lun=scsilun;


SymDevName is the symmetrix device name of the device to be mapped
DirectorNum is the number of the FA the device is being mapped to
PortNum is the port on the FA the device is being mapped to
FibreVbus is the virtual bus address
scsitarget is the scsi target id
scsilun is the scsi logical unit number or lun address

Once the command file has been created, the following command needs to be run to actually make the changes.

symconfigure -sid xxxx -f commit

In order to unmap a device from an FA, the device should first be made write disabled on the FA from which it is being unmapped:

symdev -sid xxxx write_disable SymDevName

Next, a command file with the following syntax should be created:

unmap dev SymDevName from dir DirectorNum:PortNum;


SymDevName is the symmetrix device name of the device to be mapped
DirectorNum is the number of the FA the device is being mapped to
PortNum is the port on the FA the device is being mapped to
Once the command file has been created, the following command needs to be run to actually make the changes.

symconfigure -sid xxxx -f commit

EMC Clariion FLARE Code Operating Environment

January 6th, 2009 54 comments


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) (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.


EMC Symmetrix Management Console

December 19th, 2008 1 comment


The Symmetrix Management Console is a very important step towards allowing customers take a control of their Symmetrix / DMX Disk Arrays. As much as it allows a customer to manage their Symmetrix / DMX, it allows them to duplicate devices when provisioning. Customers can manage up to 6 Symmetrix Systems all through a web interface.

Important Features of Symmetrix Management Console are

  • 1) Simplify day-to-day Symmetrix management with ease-of-use capabilities.
  • 2) It takes minutes to install. Windows environment running a Windows Server 2003 along with IIS would be the best choice.
  • 3) The interface the customers work on is a GUI that has the looks and feels of ECC and the Console also integrates with ECC.
  • 4) New systems configured and managed through the Symmetrix Management Console.
  • 5) The console gives the customer capabilities for Discovery, Configuration, Monitoring, Administration and Replication Management.
  • 6) Allows customer to setup ILM policies for Tiered Storage including Symmetrix Priority Controls, Dynamic cache partitioning, SRDF and Timefinder replication.
  • 7) Manages Access Control through iSCSI CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol) and RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-in Service)
  • 8. Command line Generator for additional flexibility

Major strengths of Symmetrix Management Console are

  • 1) Management, Configuration, Administration of Symmetrix DMX.
  • 2) Dependable Local and remote replication management
  • 3) Robust information and system security

It is not a replacement to Symcli at this point but does make a SAN Admin’s provisioning and system management easy. It only allows configuration from a software level, will not allow perform any functions related to hardware changes (adding or replacing disk, adding or replacing FA’s, etc).

Symmetrix Management Console can be obtained from EMC Powerlink or through your account manager from EMC if you have an active contract in place with EMC for hardware/software maintenance or if your systems are under warranty.

Highly recommended management tool for SAN Admins and its free.

EMC Symmetrix Enginuity Operating Environment

December 19th, 2008 8 comments


The Clariion Environment is governed by Flare Code and the Symmetrix / DMX by Enginuity Code. The Enginuity Code was developed internally at EMC and so far to my knowledge not outsourced anywhere for development purposes.

EMC Engineering is the crown of EMC, inventing new technology and pushing the envelope in terms of defining future products, technologies and markets.

Unlike the Clariion Flare Code that is customer upgradeable, the code on EMC Symmetrix / DMX is upgraded through EMC only. This code sits on the Service Processor but also gets loaded on all the Directors during installation and upgrades. On these Directors is also loaded the BIN FILE (Configuration of the Symmetrix) along with the Emulation code. The initial Enginuity code load and BIN FILE setup is performed when the customer first purchases the machine and is customized based on their SAN environment.  

As new Enginuity code releases hit market, customers can get the upgrades from EMC. It is very normal for customers to go through multiple code upgrades during the 3 to 5 year life cycle of these machines.

The service processor houses the code, but the Symmetrix / DMX can be rebooted or can be fully functional without the Service processor present. The Service processor will allow an EMC trained and qualified engineer to perform diagnostics and enable the call home feature for proactive fixes and failures.

For any host related configurations changes, the presence of this service processor including EMC’s Symmwin Software is absolutely necessary. Without the presence of above it becomes impossible to obtain configuration locks on the machine through ECC or Symcli, restricting customer BIN FILE Changes for reconfiguration.

Enginuity Code level break down are based on the Family of machines.

Typically 50XX versions are limited to Symm 3.0 Models (3100/5100, 3200/5200, 3500/5500). 

The 37xx versions are limited to Symm 2.5 Models (4200,4400, 4800)

The code levels 5265, 5266, 5267 are limited to Symm 4.0 (3330/5300, 3400/5430, 3700/5700) and Symm 4.8 family (3630/5630, 3830/5830, 3930/5930) of machines.

For Symm 5.0 and 5.5 the Enginuity code versions are 5567 and 5568. The last code version for the Symm 5.0 and 5.5 is 5568.68.28. There will be no code upgrades for the Symmetrix after this version.

Going into the DMX1 & DMX2 (DMX800, DMX1000, DMX2000, DMX3000), code levels 5669, 5670 and 5671 are the major family Enginuity Code levels. For the DMX3 and DMX4 code levels 5771, 5772 and 5773 are the major releases.

The latest version 5671.75.75 is the last known version for the DMX1 and DMX2 family of machines.


The guidelines for Enginuity Code level breakdowns is as follows.

Example 5671.75.75 (Please see the color coded system below)


First Two digits

50=Symm 3.0

52=Symm 4.0, 4.8

55=Symm 5.0, 5.5

56 = DMX1/DMX2

57 = DMX3/DMX4


The next two digits are

67, 68 = Microcode Family, Major Symmetrix Releases for Symm 5.0/Symm 5.5

69, 70, 71 = Microcode Family, Major Symmetrix-DMX Releases for DMX1/DMX2

71, 72, 73 = Microcode Family, Major Symmetrix-DMX Releases for DMX3/DMX4


The next two digits are

Emulation Number designated as EE 


The last two digits are

Field Release level Service Processor Code Level (Symmwin Version)


The version of the Enginuity code will define what functionality and features the Symmetrix / DMX will have for that generation. As the hardware gets better and faster, the Enginuity Code has to improve and add features to perform along with it.