Pushing Virtual Limits

New Hardware – simples mistakes and stupid errors
March 31, 2008, 1:57 am
Filed under: VM

I was blessed by the manufacturing folks to be the recipient of three new DAE’s (2x (300gb 15k x 15 drives) and 1x (15x 1TB 7200 rpm drives).

Having read through the procedure generator instructions I thought I had everything under control. I proceeded to unbox this 23TB of amazing hardware and rack it up.
*Note – for all those who praise Apple for solid hardware design and ease of use needs to spend some time working with Apple’s terrible rack equipment and then see how EMC ship’s their hardware. It was the easiest rack deployment I have ever had.

However this is where it went downhill.  I have a CX4-40F with four back end loops and decided since I now had four DAEs it only made sense to give each one its own BE loop. My first time through cabling things up I goofed up a few of the cables and had two DAEs splitting loops (SPA to BE1 and SPB to BE3, flip it for the other unit).

Needless to say that did not make the unit happy. I got a variety of fun errors which indicated I had a bad LCC on one of the DAEs. After cleaning up the cabling everything worked except the DAE with the 1tb drives.

I gave a call over to the fine folks in the CX support team and Tom helped me run through everything conceivable to fix that short of a full reboot of the enclosure (which wasn’t possible without an outage window). I ended up trying to cable it in as an expansion system (which had the same results) and then I cabled it back up to BE1 and *poof* everything started working.

We are not sure what caused the initial issue but after having two bad copper fiber cables I have a sneaking suspicion that some of my cables were not good. Without a testing tool for the copper fiber cables I have no way of knowing which ones are bad so I tossed all suspicious cables in order to avoid this confusion five months down the road.

The storage is fast, available, and already provisioned into my ESX infrastructure. Thank God for SANs. I don’t know how we ever managed utilizing local storage for so long. Next month I will be setting up a CX3-40C in another datac enter to bring that site into the fold.  Without VMWare I have a sneaking suspicion I would have a lot less fun at work.


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