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 :)


EMC – Sometimes it’s best not to pay too much attention to USM

Just a quick one to start the year off on the right note. I was installing updated Utility Partition software on our lab CX4s today and noticed that USM was a bit confused as to when it had started installing a bit of the code. Notice the Time started and Time elapsed section. Well, I thought it was amusing.


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 – Unisphere Dashboard

I went away for a few days this week and came back to a Unisphere dashboard that looked slightly, er, funky.

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:


EMC – FAST and FAST Cache on the CX4-960

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few months – I have been nuts deep in work and holidays. I’m working on some literature around Storage Pools and FAST in general, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this nugget with you. We finally got approval to install the FAST and FAST Cache enablers on our production CX4-960s a few nights ago. We couldn’t install them on one of the arrays because we had a dead disk that prevented the NDU from going ahead. Fair enough. Two awesome things happened when we installed it on the other array. Both of which could have been avoided if I’d had my shit together. Firstly, when I got into the office the next morning at 8 am, we noticed that the Read Cache on the array was disabled. For those of you playing at home, we had the cache on the 960 set at 1000MB read and 9760MB for write. I think I read this in a whitepaper some where. But after FAST went on, we still had 9760MB allocated to Write, and 0MB available for Read. Awesome not so much. Seems that we lost 1000MB, presumably because we added another layered application. Funnily enough we didn’t observe this behaviour on our lab CX4-120s, although you could argue that they really have sweet FA of cache in the first place. So now we have 8760MB for Write, and 1000MB for Read. And I’m about to configure a few hundred GB of FAST Cache on the EFDs in any case. We’ll see how that goes.

The other slightly boneheaded thing we did was forget to trespass the LUN ownership of LUNs on SP A back from SP B. In other words, an NDU applies code to SP B first, reboots the SP, checks it, and then loads code on the other SP. As part of this, LUN ownership is temporarily trespassed to the surviving SP (this is the whole non-disruptive thing). Once the NDU is complete, you should go and check for trespassed LUNs and move them back to their owners. Or not, and have everything run on one SP for a while. And wait for about 9000 Exchange users to complain when one of the Exchange clusters goes off-line. Happy days.

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 …