EMC – Sometimes the header gets more attention than the footer

Technical document writing can be hard. You can see that from the dead documents I’ve got sitting in my Articles section that haven’t been updated in forever. It’s also been a little while since I’ve poked fun at an innocent typo / template SNAFU in a document from EMC. I’ve been immersed in some RecoverPoint release notes in preparation for an upcoming design and thought this one was too good to let slide.


Anyway, you can find that in EMC’s very useful “EMC® RecoverPoint Deploying VNX and CLARiiON Arrays and Splitter Technical Notes”, P/N 300-012-305, REV 06, June, 2014. I think I love it because it’s exactly the kind of silly thing I do in my documents. Incidentally, if you need some solid design info, this document is an extremely handy starting point. Just ignore that spot where they spelt initiator wrong though.

EMC – Go home Unisphere, you’re drunk

Mat forwarded this one through to me this morning. Seems one of his CX4s is feeling a bit odd :)


OT – Thank you

Just a quick post to say thanks to the (literally) dozens of people who’ve visited the blog over the last 5 years – without you I would have less page views.

EMC – CLARiiON Support Staff are Supportive, Funny.

I made a boo boo about a year ago. I was defragmenting a RAID Group and unbound a LUN after the defrag had commenced. The LUN wasn’t in use, but the array has had issues with my behaviour ever since.

Clearly, I’m a bad person. My colleague was sick and tired of looking at the Error, and was hoping Support could make it go away. Here’s how the WebEx chat went (I’ve evidently changed the names):

from EMC Support to All Participants:

can you tell me, on which of these clariion box you received the alert?

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:

I’m not recieving an alert … the array is showing a fault

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:

that I would like to get rid of

from EMC Support to All Participants:

on box CKM12341234567

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:


from EMC Support to All Participants:

give me 2 mins

from EMC Support to All Participants:

iam sorry Long Suffering but we cant remove it

from EMC Support to All Participants:

it is Functioning as designed

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:

ever? what … this alert have been here for months

from EMC Support to All Participants:

this is an event on the box

from EMC Support to All Participants:

every time a poll happens , the event will be logged

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:

so how do we get rid of the error

from EMC Support to All Participants:

in future flare releases we might be able to remove it but for now..we just need to ignore this

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:

right … ok … thanks for your help

from EMC Support to All Participants:

thanks for your time

from EMC Support to All Participants:

so can we close the ticket ?

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:


from EMC Support to All Participants:

thanks…you have a nice day ahead…!

from Long Suffering Colleague to All Participants:


from EMC Support to All Participants:


VMware – Some old school support

We had a network connectivity issue on one of our remote hosts at work the other day and Ops asked for my help. It turned out to be a cabling issue following a cyclone up north. I think the picture speaks for itself. Oh yeah, rocking with the MUI once again.

HTPC – HDMI audio

HTPC audio over HDMI – why does it have to suck so much? I’ve learnt a lot about the limitations of PC-based entertainment systems in the last few weeks. And I hope to deliver a series of scathing posts that outline my failures along the way. A lot of this you can put to down to a learning experience (I’ve not built a PC for quite a few years) and my stubbornness regarding the use of Windows XP instead of Windows 7. But I’ll get to that at some stage.

On my HTPC I’m running Windows XP Pro SP3, a dual-core Intel chip, MSI mobo with onboard RealTek audio, 2GB RAM and an AMD/ATI 4350 video card with VGA, DVI and HDMI. I’m using the really quite excellent XBMC as the media player. In and of itself this is fine. I have it hooked up to a Sony STR-DG910 7.1 receiver which then passes the video on to a Sony projector.

So, the cool thing is that you can run audio through the graphics card (one cable to the receiver), if you load up the ATI HDMI audio driver. There’s a few things to note though.

If you find that you’re only getting stereo output even though you’ve adjusted the speaker settings in the XP sound control panel, chances are your receiver is passing audio through to your projector or TV. It is then telling the receiver that it can only do stereo. And so the receiver then tells your PC the same thing and it adjusts accordingly. You’ll need to dig through the receiver’s setup and stop it from passing audio on to the display device. Becuase you’re speakers are hooked up to the receiver, right?

While the nerds are happy that the graphics card outputs 7.1 LPCM I am not. When I listen to music, unless it’s been mixed for multi-channel, I want it in stereo. Same goes for OTA TV shows I’ve recorded. I don’t want everything coming out as 7.1 because it just doesn’t sound right. I could fiddle around with XBMC’s sound output and adjust it depending on what I’m listening to, but  really I want it to work it out for itself. Now, I think the one of the main reasons for this is that it’s a limitation of the card. But it seems to be also a limitation of XP as well. I’ve done some reading on multi-channel HDMI soundcards and it seems that they can all solve my problem, but not under Windows XP. Even if I go and buy PowerDVD 10 or whatever I think I’ll still have this issue. What I haven’t tried yet is using the analog outputs on my onboard soundcard to see what kind of decoding is available, although I fear it will be the same story. Any time you configure a PC with 7.1 speakers it thinks you want to use them all, all of the time.

I know, a lot of this could have been avoided by buying a copy of Windows 7 and using some of the media centre stuff built in to that. And I may still go that route. And yes I tried mythbuntu and no I don’t want to spend 3 hours getting my kernel recompiled and downloading SVN releases of code from various repositories just to get my TV tuner working. I’ll keep you posted on how things progress.

Maybe someone is reading the blog …

Or, more likely, someone came to the same conclusion as I did. I pointed out a little while ago in this post that EMC had introduced a new severity level: blah. Seems like that little “issue” has been rectified.

I’d say critical is probably more apt in this case …

EMC CLARiiON FLARE Release Notes for R29

I was reading through the latest release notes for FLARE 29, released very recently, and came across this gem!

How many times have you felt like writing “blah” as the severity rating? Someone is living the dream.

2009 and penguinpunk.net

It was a busy year, and I don’t normally do these type of posts, but I thought I’d try to do a year in review type thing so I can look back at the end of 2010 and see what kind of promises I’ve broken. Also, the Exchange Guy will no doubt enjoy the size comparison. You can see what I mean by that here.

In any case, here’re some broad stats on the site. In 2008 the site had 14966 unique visitors according to Advanced Web Statistics 6.5 (build 1.857). But in 2009, it had 15856 unique visitors – according to Advanced Web Statistics 6.5 (build 1.857). That’s an increase of some 890 unique visitors, also known as year-on-year growth of approximately 16.82%. I think. My maths are pretty bad at the best of times, but I normally work with storage arrays, not web statistics. In any case, most of the traffic is no doubt down to me spending time editing posts and uploading articles, but it’s nice to think that it’s been relatively consistent, if not a little lower than I’d hoped. This year (2010 for those of you playing at home), will be the site’s first full year using Google analytics, so assuming I don’t stuff things up too badly, I’ll have some prettier graphs to present this time next year. That said, MYOB / smartyhost are updating the web backend shortly so I can’t make any promises that I’ll have solid stats for this year, or even a website :)

What were the top posts? Couldn’t tell you. I do, however, have some blogging-type goals for the year:

1. Blog with more focus and frequency – although this doesn’t mean I won’t throw in random youtube clips at times.

2. Work more on the promotion of the site. Not that there’s a lot of point promoting something if it lacks content.

3. Revisit the articles section and revise where necessary. Add more articles to the articles page.

On the work front, I’m architecting the move of my current employer from a single data centre to a 2+1 active / active architecture (from a storage and virtualisation perspective). There’s more blades, more CLARiiON, more MV/S, some vSphere and SRM stuff, and that blasted Cisco MDS fabric stuff is involved too. Plus a bunch of stuff I’ve probably forgotten. So I think it will be a lot of fun, and a great achievement if we actually get anything done by June this year. I expect there’ll be some moments of sheer boredom as I work my way through 100s of incremental SAN Copies and sVMotions. But I also expect there will be moments of great excitement when we flick the switch on various things and watch a bunch of visio illustrations turn into something meaningful.

Or I might just pursue my dream of blogging about the various media streaming devices on the market. Not sure yet. In any case, thanks for reading, keep on reading, tell your friends, and click on the damn Google ads.