Surprises we got while working on Storage products

Friends i am sharing here Some last min issues for EMC SAN admin which comes to us as surprise while working on multiple EMC devices like VMAX, VPLEX, RPA, Unified VNX and others. Most of these has come to us in the very last min and we were forced to cancel/reschedule the work due to this.

1. VMAX DIMM replacement which as per EMC statement an online activity is not actually online (non-disruptive) work. FA port will go offline during the replacement.

2: VPLEX upgrade is online activity only when many specified conditions are met during the pre-checks. These pre-check require making changes on the servers as well. So basically one upgrade need multiple hours of work to make it non-disruptive. On funny note – Multiple downtime is required to avoid downtime during upgrade.

3: RPA upgrade – EMC has 2 kind of RPA product one for which EMC will perform the upgrade other is customer up-gradable which means EMC will charge for it if they are asked to do the upgrade.

4: Unified VNX file upgrade is not a online upgrade if you have NFS shares configured and client is using these shares on the application. During the DM failover the application will be impacted and it will go down causing application issue and obviously financial losses.

5: VPLEX support matrix is very selectinve and as the same time very comprehensive. This results in problem after after the migration of server to VPLEX. most of the time when you open case with vendor you will end up finding that you are not on the supported configuration or settings. So it is always better to do hard work before the migration rather than beating your head with support later.

6: SRDF related issue are really troublesome and you expect same generic kind of response from support when contacted and its troubleshooting covers very area which is approx everything in the environment.

Please add if you too have these kind of information related EMC, HP, IBM, HDS or Netapp products.

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One thought on “Surprises we got while working on Storage products

  1. I think another heads up that needs to be there for all the cloud enthusiasts is about VBlock. VCE, the Virtual Computing Environment Company – It was a joint venture between EMC, Cisco and VMware provides VBolck as a whole assembled Vblock System, using EMC storage, Cisco servers and networking, and VMware virtualization technology.

    The JV was created by Cisco and EMC with minority investments from VMware and Intel to create the converged infrastructure market. With Cisco drastically cutting its stake in it, EMC took control of the business by acquiriring controlling interest in the JV.Following the acquisition, EMC owns 90% of the JV, with Cisco maintaining about a 10% stake in the company.But since it is still a Joint venture, there are a lot of ambiguities on the support with multiple stakeholders involved as vendors.

    So when it comes to upgrades, EMC/VCE VBlock is another product for which EMC has got a shocker once you have the product implemented. VBlock upgrades are charged by VCE, even if you have a valid contract – YES, even with a valid contract. So once the customer finds out that there is an additional cost associated even with a valid contract, it won’t be pleased to say the least.

    While as a storage admin, you can get the individual components upgraded with various EMC teams such as VNX, VNXE and connectrix, there is a huge amount of time that needs to be invested to identify the compatible codes for each component including the UCS blades and ESX codes. Unless the customer has got a proper dedicated VCE resource against its account, who helps out with the right code matrix, it will be a nightmarish experience to say the least. Even the availability of right EMC resources might not be sufficient as this involves multiple stakeholders from the server and network teams to be involved right from the start of the planning phase.There is certain order in which each component has got to be upgraded, and even that information needs to come from VCE.

    All these are not a problem whatsoever if VCE does the upgrade – but with that coming with a premium undeclared price, EMC has to seriously consider acquiring VCE completely and bringing it under their direct support.

    Liked by 1 person

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