EMC VNX5300: My First Encounter

I have worked with several EMC SAN’s as well as a slew of SAN’s from other vendors, but I had not yet gotten the opportunity to mess around with a VNX5300 before last week. This SAN is for an upcoming project I will be installing so I figured since I wanted to make sure my Fiber Channel Kung Fu was good to go, I went ahead and racked this guy up in our datacenter.

I started racking gear about 5pm, and by 645pm I had a Virtual Machine running off the SAN! In that (almost) 2 hour time block I was able to rack the SPS, DPE, two DAE’s, and an HP DL360 G6 Server. This particular SAN has 10 – 600GB SAS drives and 26 – 300GB SAS drives in addition to the 4 Vault drives. It uses 8Gb Fiber Channel as its fabric and has one 4 port 8Gb FC module on each controller in addition to the 4 on board ports. I’m also pretty sure there is a V8 engine inside of it somewhere as well.

Anyhow 🙂

After starting everything up I took a look at the Liebert nFinity 10kVA UPS that it was plugged into and the load had gone up 15%! Clearly, this isn’t a Prius… but let’s face it… it is faster than a Prius! VMware ESXi 5.0 was already installed on my DL360 host, so the next step was to go run the deployment wizard from my laptop.

The wizard literally takes 5 minutes, then the controller’s reboot, and then you’re in business. Plus these things come with Unisphere which is light years ahead of the old Clariion and Celerra management tools. The next thing I did was add my ESXi host to Unisphere, to do that I put in its IP and it instantly found which Fiber Channel ports on the SAN the host was plugged in to. (I love the vSphere integration these things have)

I also created two storage pools, one that was RAID 10 and one that was RAID 5, I put a stupid amount of drives in them because we both know I’m going to run IOMeter 🙂 on this guy later. Out of those two storage pools I created 1 LUN in each (I had room to create more, but this is just for testing).

All that was left to do was create a Storage Group so that I could tell it that my host was allowed access to my two LUNs. After doing that I rescanned my Fiber HBA in the DL360 and both LUN’s showed up and I was ready to go.

I have set up a VNXe series SAN before, but this was my first VNX and I must say that I think the VNX was easier than the VNXe! LOL, The only thing that took me a couple minutes to figure out was how to provision the Cache memory to either Write or Read, but after I found the area for the setting it was easy to provision.

As I said before I did run a couple IOMeter tests on this guy and I must say that it is stupid fast! But I will wait to post those until I have it onsite with all the host’s setup on it and get some good numbers.

Overall this SAN looks like the nicest one I’ve gotten to mess with yet!



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11 Responses to "EMC VNX5300: My First Encounter"

  1. Just curious what your extended experience with this device has been. I am looking to purchase one and I am speaking to the City Council tonight. So far my research has not presented any red flags but I thought I should ask an actual user. Thank you for your time if you have it.

  2. I haven’t had any problems with them. They are very solid boxes, I work for a reseller so I don’t get to see them long term on a day to day basis, but at the same time I also don’t get service calls from them either. I would recommend them for sure.

  3. One thing that does not get mentioned enough is that it does lots of cool replication with Mirrorview but does not support vMSC (VMware Metro Storage Cluster) as it cannot present a single LUN from 2 devices. You will need VPLEX for that.

  4. you make it sound so easy. any chance you can provide some tips for me? i got one delivered in the rack already. so most of the stuff is plugged in, including the spa and spb mgmt ports. i can’t get the cs0 port to connect to my lan. i’m at a loss as where to even begin. 🙁

  5. Hi

    I will be installing the vnx 5300 with unified setup, I have one doubt that can I create one storage group and divide in to multiple Luns one for the block and one for the file.


  6. If you have a license for FAST you should have no problems doing that.

    If you dont have fast you will want to create a pool for each type of disks you have.

  7. Oh, i should also mention that it is a best practice to seperate your block and file to different raid groups so if you plan to use both flie and block then you would be best to create two groups.

  8. Hello,

    Am trying to understand what is the utility used to run IOmeter ? Can please share the process for doing so ? We have done with initial configuration and setup of VNX ! so want to check IOMeter.


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