Posts Tagged ‘Symmetrix’

EMC Symmetrix Management Console (SMC – For Symmetrix V-Max Systems)

The Symmetrix Management Console is a very important step towards allowing customers take control of their Symmetrix V-Max Systems. With the new Symmetrix V-Max comes a new version of Symmetrix Management Console allowing customers to manage their EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems through a GUI web browser interface with tons of new added features and wizards for usability. 

The Symmetrix Management Console was developed back in the day as a GUI to view customers Symmetrix DMX environment, over years it has evolved more to be a functional and operational tool to interface the machine for data gathering but also to perform changes. EMC Solutions Enabler Symcli is a CLI based interface to the DMX and V-Max Systems, but the SMC complements the CLI by allowing customers to perform more or less similar functions through a GUI. The looks & feels of SMC also resemble ECC (EMC Control Center) and customers sometime refer it as a ECC-lite (SMC). 


EMC Symmetrix Management Console in action monitoring EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems

Some of the important features and benefits of the SMC for V-Max are listed below:

1)    Allows customers to manage multiple EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems

2)    Increase customer management efficiency by using Symmetrix Management Console to automate or perform functions with a few set of clicks

3)    The Symmetrix Management Console 7.0 only works with Symmetrix V-Max systems

4)    The Symmetrix Management Console is installed on the Service Processor of the V-Max System and can also be installed on a host in the SAN environment.

5)    Customers can now do trending, performance reporting, planning and consolidation using SMC

6)    SMC will help customers reduce their TCO with V-Max Systems

7)    It takes minutes to install. Windows environment running a Windows Server 2003 along with IIS would be the best choice.

8 )    The interface the customers work on is a GUI. It has the looks and feels of ECC and the Console also integrates with ECC.

9)    New Symmetrix V-Max systems are configured and managed through the Symmetrix Management Console.

10) SMC also manages user, host permissions and access controls

11) Alert Management

12) From a free product, SMC now becomes a licensed product, which the customers will  have to pay for

13) It allows customers to perform functions related to configuration changes like creating and mapping masking devices, changing device attributes, flag settings, etc

14) Perform replication functions using SMC like Clone, Snap, Open Replicator, etc

15) SMC enables Virtual Provisioning with the Symmetrix V-Max arrays

16) Enables Virtual LUN technology for automated policies and tiering.

17) Auto Provisioning Group technology is offered through wizards in SMC

18) Dynamic Cache Partitioning: Allocates and deallocates cache based on policies and utilization.

19) Symmetrix Priority Controls

20) From the SMC, customers can now launch SPA (Symmetrix Performance Analyzer), this is more on the lines of Workload Analyzer which is a standard component of ECC Suite. This allows customers to view their storage & application performance & monitoring. SPA will can be obtained as a Add-on product from EMC based on licensing.


Virtual LUN Technology in works using a wizard

21) The SMC gives the customer capabilities for Discovery, Configuration, Monitoring, Administration and Replication Management.

22) SMC 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 yea it’s not free anymore for V-Max Systems.   

To read the previous blog post on Symmetrix Management Console, as it relates to Symmetrix DMX-3 and DMX-4 machines.

A nice technical post by Steve Todd on V-Max and Symmetrix Management Console

A post by StorageZilla on Auto Provisioning Groups with SMC

Note: Both the pictures in this blog post have been derived from EMC’s Symmetrix Management Console Data Sheet.

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 7

April 27th, 2009 No comments



The Technical Case

Continuing the blog posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA), this post focuses on the technical case on why analysis of your storage platforms is important and how it might help you discover inconsistencies in storage environments.


To read the previous blog posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA)

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 1: Storage Resource Analysis and Storage Economics

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 2: The IT – Storage World of 2009

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 3: The IT – Storage Budgets of 2009

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 4: Some Fundamental Questions

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 5: Facts about your Data

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 6: Inconsistencies in Storage Environments

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 7: The Technical Case

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 8: The Business Case

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 9: The End Result


From a technology standpoint, it’s very important to understand what Storage Analysis will do and how it might overall bring more value, efficiencies and utilization in your environments. To talk about a few technical issues it might help you understand are..

1)      How much headroom (total possible growth) we have in our storage environment (drilldown array, lun)

2)      How much reclaimable storage do we have in our environment (drilldown array, lun)

3)      How much immediate deployable storage do we have in our storage environment (drilldown where)

4)      Can we predict capacity planning and future growth

5)      The information obtained above should be as of today, not something you started working about 3 months ago.

6)      In large volatile storage environments, things are changing every second, it hard to keep a track of your storage configurations, relationships, headroom, capacity, reclamation.

7)      Are you maintaining spreadsheets or access databases to keep a track of your applications, application owners, wwn, servers, zones, etc. You need to consider something soon.

8 )      Do you enforce Tiering in our environment, how much data do we have based on each tier.

9)      Do we follow ILM approach, how much data needs to be migrated over to different tiers based on business needs and rules (we should see FAST later this year that should automate the process on V-Max)

10)   Do we have any configuration issues in our environments that have caused major storage outages (single path host, multipath host with only one path active, LUN masking issues, zoning issues, BCV issues, other configuration issues)

11)   How many times in the past 6 months have we had a major application outage and what caused it (how much penalties did we pay for those – OPEX dollars).

12)   If we follow any compliance (SEC, Sarbanes Oxley, HIPPA, etc), is our data complaint in terms of replication, policies, etc

13)   Do we have any manual processes for charge backs and bill backs, if so, what can we do to automate it.

14)   Do we know how the LUN’s in our environment are setup and the relationships it has with LUN’s on other arrays in terms of replication, BCV, Snaps, Clones, SRDF, etc.

15)   Do we know how the storage is growing in our environment: Trend Analysis

16)   What sorts of report are available to you for the analysis you are performing.

17)   Be careful to not just obtain a nice topology diagram of what is connected where, but being able to drill down real time to obtain LUN level details is important.

18)   With any storage analysis product, how much work is involved, How much training, How much training related cost, ease of use, number of users, detailed drill down, how easy would it be to analyze your environment, etc needs to be understood before the project starts.

19)   Do we have a Storage Economics Practice setup within our Storage environment to consistently increase our utilization, efficiency, reclamation and lower our outages & cost.



We had a conference call with a potential customer late last week about our storage offerings. This is a large insurance company that has acquired quite a few different companies over the past 5 years and are growing and currently going through data center consolidation projects.

During the call, we asked what they were doing for reclamation and other storage economics. To my surprise, they answered, we had purchased an OEM based Operational Software about 5 years ago and we didn’t like it, there are different people within the organization that still use it, but it’s not giving us the required results we want, more or less its used for alerts.

Now we have just purchased and going through an implementation of another OEM’s Operational Software for data reclamation, analysis and monitoring. The customer goes ahead and says, we have been trying to implement this software within our environment for the past 4 months now.

The point I am trying to make is, whatever these deployments are, they have to be easy enough, cost effective, not time and resource consuming, not consume your CAPEX dollars and not spend you OPEX dollars (training, implementation, outages).

It has to be light weight, easily deployable, should yield results in a short duration of time (hours or days rather than months), but still should be able to analyze your environment at a very detailed level.


What are you using today to manage your several hundred TB or an enormously large double digit PB storage estate?

EMC Symmetrix DMX-4: Components

March 16th, 2009 6 comments

In my previous posts on EMC Symmetrix 3, 5, 8 Series and EMC Symmetrix DMX, DMX-2 Series we discussed some important components that comprise in systems, in this post we will discuss some of the important components of EMC Symmetrix DMX-4.

EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 consist of 1 System Bay and (1 upto 8) Scalable Storage Bay’s. Each Storage Bay can hold up to 240 Disk Drives totaling 1920 drive in 8 Storage bays or 1024 TB System.  Systems  with special requirements can be configured to 2400 drives instead of standard 1920 drives.

The primary bay is the System Bay which includes all directors, service processor, adapters, etc, while the Storage Bay contains all the disk drives, etc.


System Bay (1 Bay)

Channel directors: Front End Directors (FC, ESCON, FICON, GigE, iSCSI), these are the I/O Directors.

Disk directors: Back End Directors (DA), these control the drives in the System.

Global memory directors: Mirrored Memory available with DMX-4, Memory Director sizes range from 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB totaling 512GB (256GB mirrored).

Disk adapters: Back End Adapters, they provide an interface to connect disk drives through the storage bays.

Channel adapters: Front End Adapters, they provide an interface for host connection (FC, ESCON, FICON, GigE, iSCSI).

Power supplies: 3 Phase Delta or WYE configuration, Zone A and Zone B based Power Supplies, maximum 8 of them in the system bay.

Power distribution units (PDU): One PDU per zone, 2 in total.

Power distribution panels (PDP): One PDP per zone, 2 in total, power on/off, main power.

Battery backup Unit (BBU): 2 Battery backup modules, 8 BBU units, between 3 to 5 mins of backup power in case of a catastrophic power failure.

Cooling fan modules: 3 Fans at the top of the bay to keep it cool.

Communications and Environmental Control (XCM) modules: Fabric and Environmental monitoring, 2 XCM located at the rear of the system bay. This is the message fabric, that is the interface between directors, drives, cache, etc. Environmental monitoring is used to monitor all the VPD (Vital Product Data).

Service processor components
Keyboard, Video, Display and Mouse. Used for remote monitoring, call home, diagnostics and configuration purposes.

UPS: UPS for the Service Processor

Silencers: Made of foam inside, different Silencers for System and Storage bay’s.



Storage bay (1 Bay Minimum to 8 Bay’s Maximum)

Disk drives: Combination of 73GB, 146GB, 300GB, 400GB, 450GB, 500GB, 1TB and now EFD’s 73GB, 146GB and 200GB available. Speed: 10K, 15K, 7.2K SATA are all compatible, each RAID Group and each drive enclosure should only have similar speed drives, similar type drives. 15 drives per Enclosure, 240 per bay, 1920 total in the system. If the color of the LED lights on the drive is Blue its 2GB speed, if the color of the LED is green, the speed is 4GB.

Drive Enclosure Units: 16 per Storage Bay, 15 drives per enclosure

Battery Backup Unit (BBU): 8 BBU modules per Storage bay, each BBU support 4 Drive enclosures

Power Supply, System Cooling Module: 2 per drive enclosure

Link Control Cards: 2 per drive enclosure

Power Distribution Unit (PDU): 1 PDU per zone, 2 in total

Power Distribution Panels (PDP): 1 PDP per zone, 2 in total


In the next couple of post, we will discuss EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 and some of its design features. 

Reducing Power Consumption on DMX3 & DMX4 Arrays

March 16th, 2009 No comments

Great Post by Diwakar on his Blog about reducing power consumption with DMX3’s  and DMX4’s