Posts Tagged ‘Symmetrix’

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. 

EMC Symmetrix and DMX Serial Numbers

December 13th, 2008 2 comments

You always wondered how EMC comes up with these serial numbers for your Symmetrix and DMX Machines.

If your machine serial number starts with HK (it means it was manufactured in Hopkinton, MA) and for most of the international customers if it starts with CK (it means it was manufactured in Cork, Ireland).

With the DMX Series of machines, EMC has introduced two new manufacturing centers (TN and SA).

There are still machines starting with HK and CK that will be shipped internationally and vice versa.

  • The serial number HK would always have a 1 following it.
  • The serial number CK would always have a 2 following it.
  • The serial number TN would always have a 2 following it.
  • The serial number SA would always have a 2 following it.

Here is the Symmetrix and DMX Serial Numbering Convention.

  • Symmetrix 3.0, 1/2 cabinet: HK18160xxxx
  • Symmetrix 3.0, 1 cabinet: HK18150xxxx
  • Symmetrix 3.0, 3 cabinet: HK18140xxxx
  • Symmetrix 4.0, 1/2 Cabinet: HK18260xxxx
  • Symmetrix 4.0, 1 cabinet: HK18250xxxx
  • Symmetrix 4.0, 3 cabinet: HK18240xxxx
  • Symmetrix 4.8, 1/2 cabinet: HK18360xxxx
  • Symmetrix 4.8, 1 cabinet: HK18350xxxx
  • Symmetrix 4.8, 3 cabinet: HK18370xxxx
  • Symmetrix 5.0, 1 cabinet: HK18450xxxx
  • Symmetrix 5.0, 3 cabinet: HK18470xxxx
  • Symmetrix 5.5, 1 cabinet: HK18550xxxx
  • Symmetrix 5.5, 3 cabinet: HK18570xxxx

The DMX Serial numbers still need more research because its hard to find a trend with the numbering convention on it.

  • DMX800: HK18790xxxx
  • DMX1000-S: HK18740xxxx
  • DMX1000-P: HK18746xxxx
  • DMX2000-S: HK18770xxxx
  • DMX2000-P: HK18776xxxx
  • DMX3000: HK18788xxxx
  • DMX3000-M2:HK18789xxxx
  • DMX3: HK19010xxxx
  • DMX4: HK19110xxxx

It is very important that you Service processor Serial Number is exactly similar to that of the Symmetrix / DMX Serial Number (As defined in the BIN FILE). If both these serial numbers are different, your basic symcfg discover commands will fail.

Your actual hardware Symmetrix / DMX Serial Number can still be different than the Serial number defined in the BIN file, since the BIN file serial number takes precedence.

The find your Symmetrix / DMX Serial Number look at the front and back of the Symmetrix on the top, the number should begin with HK or CK or TN or SA.

To find your Symmetrix / DMX Serial Number from the service processor, run E7,CF or you can also try to run symcfg discover or syminq from the service processor via SYMCLI located C:\Program Files\EMC\Symclibin. One option before running this, you can delete the file located on the service processor called symapi_db.bin located C:\Program Files\EMC\Symapidb. During the symcfg discover process, this file will be recreated. The logs if this operation fails can be found at C:\Program Files\EMC\Symapilog.

It is very important you do not change your Symmetrix / DMX Serial number since the FA WWN are determined using the last two digits of your actual Serial Number. If you change this, all the WWN’s will change causing your FA’s, Disk WWN etc to all change. As far as my knowledge, this can only be changed through a BIN FILE change.

DMX, DMX2 and the Early days of Symmetrix

December 10th, 2008 No comments

It’s getting pretty late here in Atlanta. Travelling to this part of the US for two days for business visit to win some business. Had a long good day, couple of meetings at the office, flew in Atlanta, had dinner, some drinks and now this blog……. hope I can finish it……


I am really not sure if the title of this blog is exactly what this blog is about, but I think it is quite closer….


So from the Symmetrix (SCSI based Disk Arrays), EMC moved aggressively to release the all Fiber based disk array, now called Symmetrix DMX (Direct Matrix Architecture). While the DMX was a major move or an upgrade from SCSI – 40Mbps Disk I/O to a new speed of 2048Mbps Disk I/O.

Early in the days the major bottle neck use to be around the Disks speeds. With the I/O’s per second reaching 2 Gbps on the DMX1 and DMX2, the disk drives now work at the same speed as the fiber directors I/O’s per second. The DMX was a notch above with atleast 40 times better performance than its predecessor Symmetrix.

The backend of the DMX Symmetrix came from the acquisition of Data General. The DMX800 was one of those hybrid boxes that got EMC Symmetrix engineers really confused about how to use the DG Clariion backend on a Symmetrix Enterprise Level System and they created the DMX800 (oh believe it or not, I have had customers telling me they have ghost like issues on that box).

A Clariion architecture to be implemented with a Symmetrix Enginuity Code is a DMX800 (don’t get me wrong, I am not talking bad about the Clariion, we are comparing the enterprise level machine code running on a really strong mid tier machine). EMC Symmetrix Engineers learned a lot from it and then came the DMX1000 and DMX2000. With the early success, EMC went to work on a much larger config of the DMX3000. As much as the DMX3000 is more or less the same technology as the DMX1000 and DMX2000, the memory requirements, power requirements, device numbers, address spaces, memory, algorithms, data structures, productive laptop (Service Processor) required for handling the memory and address space on Symmwin were much different. The Enginuity Code was now able to handle drives (volume addresses) much more than the older Symmetrix 5.5 and the new DMX1000 and DMX2000.

So during that time came the Enginuity code 5669 on the DMX800 and the DMX1000. Ask the Symmetrix engineers what happened? Every day the drives would drop, loops would drop causing backend issues, it was a support and engineering nightmare in real sense.  These were the good old days of EMC making tons of money, but again as the call volumes went up and they starting selling more boxes internationally, it got EMC to start creating product support labs in Sydney, Australia and Bangalore, India on top of Hopkinton, MA and Cork, Ireland.

Almost after a year of the DMX, EMC now was at a point of releasing the DMX2 which in essence would be 2 times more faster than then its predecessor, the DMX. The DMX processors per director were of speeds of 500 Mhz Power PCs. With the DMX2 now each director was configured with atleast 1Ghz Power PC chips.

This was more a data-in-place upgrade like they offered on the Clariions back in the day. This would be a change of all directors throughout the box. The only drawback was this was an offline change and customers get scared away from the offline events. With the DMX2, now it would support the 73GB – 15K disk drives, Single memory board going up to 32GB and the largest memory configs being supported upto 256GB.

Also with the DMX1000, DMX2000 and DMX3000 and the 5670 code came a native support for RAID5 (3RAID5 and 7RAID5) on top of Mirroring (M1/M2), RAID S (3+1 and 7+1), BCV and DRV devices. Now with the support of RAID5, EMC all of a sudden started competing in the market between the mid tier and the enterprise applications. Enterprise customers requiring data storage for mid tier applications and non critical applications started using RAID5 along with some customers using it for critical business continuance backups.

Raid5 was a big boon for system administrators and storage administrators, which in essence they were all used to across all their other storage platforms and systems. Now with almost a similar protection level, you could lose a member device of a Raid5 and still be fully functional, like losing a mirror. There are still drawbacks of losing another member in the same Raid group or losing a mirror whose partner is already down. The concepts of BCV’s would come in to play in these situations.

Anyways, the DMX is where EMC made a big impact into the storage market. EMC used to be a 6 Billion company in 2004 to being about 13 Billion in 2008. A lot of it has to do with the software acquisitions but their move to get into the fiber based storage market has put them to being the storage industry solutions provider company over the past decade.

The internal transformation of EMC under its existing management from being a Hardware Storage Company to being a Hardware/Software Storage Company to being a Storage Solutions company has kept EMC as a leader in this industry……

EMC Symmetrix DMX3 and DMX4 Comparison

December 6th, 2008 1 comment

See how the DMX3 and DMX4 are compared side by side.  

Comparison is based on different DMX3 and DMX4 models for maximum number of drives it can support, total drive capacity, channels, global memory directors, max global and usable memory and different connectivity from host to the storage. 

With total number of drives fluctuating from 32 to 2400’s and capable of supporting more than 1 PB (PetaByte) of Storage onto a Single machine. 

With I/O Speeds going up to 4 GB on the Fiber Backend, its lighting fast.