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EMC Symmetrix V-Max: Supported drive types

June 25th, 2009 No comments

With the release of EMC Symmetrix V-Max systems, EMC introduced higher density EFD’s (Enterprise Flash Disks) than being supported on its predecessor, the EMC Symmetrix DMX-4.

Below are some stats related to the supported drive types on a Symmetrix V-Max system with 5874.123.104 microcode.

Possibly with introduction of FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) later in the year we will see an upgrade to the microcode family for the V-Max systems to 5976, also with that expect a much denser EFD support.

In the mean time we should atleast see some additional support for VSphere 4.0 (Vmware) in 2009 with 5875 family of microcode. With that we should see sort of a new concept of Federation with Symmetrix V-Max Systems where EMC might give some clues on how the 8 engine systems might be expanded into either 16 or 32 engine systems. A nice blog post by @edsai on the breathing data site. http://breathingdata.com/?p=20

The following size drives types are supported with Symmetrix V-Max Systems at the current microcode 5874: 146 GB, 200 GB, 300 GB, 400 GB, 450 GB, 1000 GB.


Drive Types, Rotational Speed and Formatted Capacity


146 GB FC Drive

Drive Speed: 15K

Open Systems Format Cap: 143.53 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 139.34 GB

300 GB FC Drive

Drive Speed: 15K

Open Systems Format Cap: 288.19 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 279.77 GB

400 GB FC Drive

Drive Speed: 10K

Open Systems Format Cap: 393.84 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 382.32 GB

450 GB FC Drive

Drive Speed: 15K

Open Systems Format Cap: 432.29 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 419.64 GB

1000 GB SATA II Drive

Drive Speed: 7.2K

Open Systems Format Cap: 984.81 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 956.02 GB

200 GB EFD

Drive Speed: Not Applicable

Open Systems Format Cap: 196.97 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 191.21 GB

400 GB EFD

Drive Speed: Not Applicable

Open Systems Format Cap: 393.84 GB

Mainframe Format Cap: 382.33 GB

Support for 73GB and 146GB EFD’s have been dropped with the Symmetrix V-Max Systems, they will still be supported with the Symmetrix DMX-4 Systems which in addition to 73 GB and 146GB also supports 200GB and 400GB EFD’s.

EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems: FAST & VIRTUAL


A must read, blog post on FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) and the V-Max Technology at Gestalt IT. The post focuses on the current marketing efforts from EMC related to the V-Max technology, the current state of the technology and the vision behind this technology.

http://gestaltit.com/featured/top/gestalt/emc-symmetrix-vmax-fast-virtual/

Vaulting on EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems

May 6th, 2009 1 comment

In this blog post we will cover the Vaulting technology related to the EMC Symmetrix V-Max and the DMX-4 technology. Vaulting is a key feature added on DMX-3 series of machines, which was further extended into the DMX-4’s and now the Symmetrix V-Max Systems. With power outages or major power fluctuations or other critical environmental conditions (temperature, water, fire and environmental hazards) in data centers, the vaulting technology saves all the data during the shutdown of the machine offering additional safety features with the customer’s data in transit (channels, cache – memory, etc).

 

Vaulting wasn’t available on the Symmetrix 3, 5 & 8 series of machines neither on the DMX nor the DMX-2 technology. With those machines, as a power hit, power fluctuation or environmental issue would be sensed; the BBU (battery backup unit) power would kick in keeping the machine in an online state for 3 minutes. During this time, all the I/O to and from the host is aborted; anything sitting in the cache is de-staged and written to disk drives. At that point, the entire machine goes into a DD (dead) state leaving itself offline (powered on but non-operational) or turning itself off if it’s a power outage.

 

With the DMX-3, DMX-4 and V-Max systems, since the number of cabinets has expanded; it becomes crucial that the data be saved before the Symmetrix turns itself offline or off. The concept of BBU has now changed to SPS (Standby Power Supply) modules that are locally attached to DAE’s (in Storage cabinets) and also in the System bay, that will keep the Symmetrix running for 5 minutes. During this time, the Symmetrix cuts off all I/O from the host, then lets the cache in the machine sync for consistency and then de-stage all the data from the cache – memory to the vault drives.

 

With the DMX-4 and V-Max as the memory is mirrored, it copies all the mirrored memory data to vault drives, creating literary two copies of the same data. In the later part of the blog post we will discuss what the rules of vaulting are and how is this technology deployed within the customers EMC Symmetrix storage environment.

 

The official definition of vault operation as referenced by EMC is: The vault operation is triggered when the Symmetrix system is powered down or transitioned offline or when environmental conditions initiate a vault situation.

 

During a power up procedure after the shutdown (vaulting), the hardware initializes and restores all the data in the cache – memory from the vault drives which verifies its integrity. Before another vault operation can be initialized, the SPS (Standby Power Supply’s) will have to be charged, which might take hours.

 

EMC Hopkinton Manufacturing (remember those HK serial numbers, they stand for HopKinton)

The picture as published by Boston Globe

 

 To read the blog post on EMC Serial Numbers, please see here

 

 The following are the Vault requirements within the V-Max Systems 

  1. Each director pair (2 – odd / even) on the V-Max system will require 200GB of vault space, that is 40 x 5GB chucks of dedicated vault data space
  2. The vault drives are M1 devices with not Raid or mirroring protection
  3. The vault drive cannot to be used by any host and is reserved for the Symmetrix
  4. Vault drives cannot be configured by Timefinder/Snap, virtual or dynamic sparing
  5. The data space created by the vault drives will be almost equivalent to the size of the cache – memory installed on the machine
  6. As mentioned in the previous blog post on enterprise flash drives, EFD’s cannot be used for vaulting operations
  7. For permanent sparing, 5 vault drives per loop are essential.


    One Correction as pointed byBasRaayman@StorageNerve Regarding vaulting/EFD’s on #V-Max. According to @storageanarchy this can be requested via RPQ: See http://bit.ly/5Lvrg 

    As referenced by TSA on his site, I quote “……You cannot order a DS8K with only SSDs (both Symmetrix DMX-4 and V-Max can be RPQ’d as flash-only configurations, although using HDDs for vault drives is more cost-effective).”

Enterprise Flash Drives (EFD) on EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems


EMC has been a pioneer it its Flash Drive (EFD) Technology. With the V-Max Systems EMC has taken another leap in the Flash Drive technology to support larger and denser drives. Typically with EMC Symmetrix V-Max systems you will see support for 73GB, 146GB, 200GB and 400GB EFD’s.

 

 

The following are some of the characteristics and benefits of using Enterprise Flash Drive (EFD) with EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems.

  1. 30X IOPS compared to traditional disk drives
  2. 98% less power consumption per I/O compared to traditional disk drives
  3. 60% lighter in weight than traditional disk drives
  4. 4GB interface available with Flash Drives
  5. No spindles, no mechanical failures
  6. Used for very high I/O, throughput and data hungry applications like Stock & Currency Trading, Algorithmic Trading, Data modeling, Real Time data needs, etc
  7. No special software required to manage the EFD technology on EMC’s
  8. Same looks feels of external casing of the EFD like the Traditional drives, fits in the same enclosure as a standard fiber channel drives
  9. Drives are seen by the storage and host as traditional fiber channel drives (73GB, 146GB, 200GB, 400GB)
  10. The above drives are also supported on the DMX-4 Series of machines
  11. Flash Drives are classified as Tier 0 in the customer’s ILM tiering
  12. Mirroring, Raid 5, Raid 6 is supported on Enterprise Flash Drives now, all members of the Raid group have to be on Enterprise Flash Drives
  13. Flash drives support MetaLUN technology and all the member volumes of a metalun have to be on flash drives for it to work
  14. Flash drives cannot be configured as Vault devices in V-Max or prior DMX series machines
  15. A hot spare of a flash drive have to be configured as another flash drive.
  16. Also the Symmetrix File Systems (SFS Volumes) cannot reside on Flash Drives
  17. EMC certified erasure services are not supported on Flash Drives. The Flash drives have to be scrubbed through EMC based appliances services. 

A nice blog post by Mark Peters at ESG about the SSD Technology

One Correction as pointed byBasRaayman@StorageNerve Regarding vaulting/EFD’s on #V-Max. According to @storageanarchy this can be requested via RPQ: See http://bit.ly/5Lvrg 

As referenced by TSA on his site, I quote “……You cannot order a DS8K with only SSDs (both Symmetrix DMX-4 and V-Max can be RPQ’d as flash-only configurations, although using HDDs for vault drives is more cost-effective).”