I wanted to start my series of blog posts about the
Omaha-Area VMUG lab infrastructure with the base of the infrastructure (or any
virtual infrastructure): the storage.
We were lucky enough to work out a deal with EMC to let us
borrow a couple of Clariion arrays.
Specifically they are CX4-120 arrays.
Not that impressive you say? What
if I told you they were configured with six 200GB Enterprise Flash Drives (EFD)
(see the first photo)? Now do I have
Anecdote: I had
an EMC sales rep ask me why I don’t have the face plates on our devices. I told him it was because I care more about
geeking out about the devices than about marketing the devices.
To summarize, we have two CX4-120s with about 1TB of usable
EFD storage. Both arrays have EMC’s
mirroring software, MirrorView enabled so we can replicate between the two
arrays (for the SRM lab).
The array consists of three distinct parts: the standby
power supplies (SPS), which act as power distribution, but also contain
batteries to allow for a graceful shutdown of the array should a loss of power
occur; the storage processor enclosure (SPE), which contains the storage
processors (SPs) (some may call these the controllers) and I/O modules
(including fiber and iSCSI connectivity); and the disk array enclosure (DAE),
which contains up to 15 drives (the first five of which contain the operating
system for the array). More technical
details can be found here.
I would love to post a comparison of the HP EVAs that my
company is used to dealing with (see the next picture with an EVA below and
above the CX4 in our rack), but I have to admit to not knowing enough about
either array to do such a comparison justice.
Not to mention the fact that I’d be comparing an array with EFDs to one
with mostly 10k disks. So, I’ll just
discuss my experiences with the CX4 for what they are, not as a comparison to
the EVA (sorry EMC).
The racking of the equipment wasn’t terribly complicated and
was easily figured out using the enclosed quick start guide, though there is a
mess of cables required to get all the pieces properly connected (see the next
At this stage, we have only racked, cabled and powered on
these two arrays, so I can’t judge performance yet. That’s it for now, but keep a look out for a
future post where I will hopefully be gushing on how awesome performance is on