Dell EMC World 2016 Austin, TX, USA

Dell EMC World 2016

You’ve all heard the news last week (at least, I think you did): On September 7 the huge merger between Dell and EMC took place, making the Dell Technologies transaction the biggest technology company integration in history! So the digital transformation is really here, and Dell Technologies / Dell EMC is leading the way. From October 18 to 20, Dell EMC will host business and IT leaders from around the world for the biggest enterprise technology event of the year, Dell EMC World 2016 in Austin, Texas. And I received an invite to join the EMC Elect and Dell Rock Stars to report on the news that Michael Dell and others will bring us. Many thanks go to Mark Browne, who made sure EMC Elect people were invited to be present at this event. We’ll be in super secret influencer meetings, sneak peek preview breakfasts and we’ll be sitting in a reserved seat section to watch Michael Dell perform on stage! Yeah, I’m pretty excited! After being invited to the VNX2 launch in Milan in 2013, I’m once again present at a major event as part of the EMC Elect.

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How to add new members to an existing Cisco smart zone

Cisco MDS

DCNM is down. I love the tool, but the downside is that you forget how to use the CLI. I faced downtime of our DCNM appliance and was forced to use the CLI instead. No big deal actually, but I still want to post the commands to use when you need to add new hosts to existing zones.

First you might want to create a new device alias for the new hosts:

device-alias database
device-alias name server1 pwwn 20:11:00:15:b9:00:00:00
device-alias name server2 pwwn 20:11:00:15:b9:00:00:01
device-alias commit

And then you want to add the new aliases to the existing (smart) zone:

config
zone name NameOfZone vsan 123
member device-alias server1 init
member device-alias server2 init
zone commit vsan 123

You don’t need to commit the whole zoneset again, since that one didn’t change. Check it by running:

zoneset activate name ZoneSetName vsan 123

That’s it! there’s not much to it, and can save you a lot of time as well!

Useful EMC VMAX CLI commands

VMAX

Over the years I collected a number of useful CLI commands to control the DMX / VMAX machines I worked with. Even though nowadays Unisphere for VMAX is a useful tool, nothing really beats the command line!
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How to list Host LUN ids in VMAX Masking Views

VMAX

Creating tdevs and masking them to hosts (storage groups in a masking view) is relatively easy in the Unisphere for VMAX interface, but what if you add a few tdevs of exactly the same size and you want to make sure that the VMware administrator uses the right LUN for each VMFS he’s going to create? One way to make sure he knows which LUN corresponds with what tdev is the Host LUN id. To list the host LUN ids

symaccess -sid 1234 show view mv_some-maskingview-name

or (a bit more verbose)

symaccess -sid 1234 list view -name mv_some-maskingview-name -detail

The second command shows each initiator group nested within other initiator groups as well.

Both generate a table with the following headers:

Sym                                                            Host
Dev     Dir:Port    Physical    Device    Name    Lun    Attr    Cap(MB)

The column under “Host Lun” shows the Host LUN ids.

How to enable SSH on a VMware 5.5 ESXi host using the vSphere client

virtual machine

Recently I needed to make some edits on vmdk files in order to get rid of a reference to the change tracking files, as mentioned in Gabrie’s post: Cannot open the disk and could not open change tracking file. An SSH connection to a VMware ESXi host was required. SHH was disabled and I needed to enable it temporarily.

How to enable SSH on an ESXi host using the vSphere client

In vSphere, select the host you want to enable SSH on.

Select the “Configuration” TAB, then “Security Profile”. In the upper right select “Properties.

A new window opens, now select SSH (you may need to scroll down a bit) and in the lower right select “Options”.

Again a new window opens and here you can either “Start” or “Stop” the SSH daemon.

enable SSH

Free EMC trial software / virtual appliances

virtual machine

A quick heads-up this time about building your own lab environment

Sometimes you just want to run a VNX, Avamar, PowerPath, Data Domain or Isilon as a virtual machine to see how things work, or to write work instructions. And EMC offers a lot of these virtual appliances for free!

Take a look at these:

 

EMC Unity: simplicity redefined

EMC Unity

It’s been a while since the VNX2 was born: September 2013, I remember it very well. Being a part of the EMC Elect, I was invited to be at the actual launch in Milan (Italy) and what a ride it was! The whole launch was wrapped around Formula 1 technology and it sure was “speed 2 lead“. That “old” VNX2, which I’m still perfectly happy with by the way, was a revolution in my humble opinion: multi-core everything, in short MCx. And yes, it was like everything just went faster, smoother and better.

New technologies

But with new technologies popping up every so many months now, it was time for a new mid-range storage array. Flash storage isn’t a novelty anymore, it’s a must! And the “old” hybrid arrays were fine, but needed some fine-tuning. With flash devices growing bigger every quarter or half a year and faster as well, the whole back-end needed an upgrade. The old 6 Gb back-end (x4) needed an upgrade.

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How to gather performance statistics from an EMC XtremIO

XtremIO

The XtremIO GUI looks very slick and it has this chronometer with IOps and MBps and everything, but when you need to have MiTrend analyze the statistics, the questions comes to mind: what statistics, what files?

How do I get my hands on these files?

First log on to the XtremIO GUI. Then click on the administration button

Administration

Now click on the “CLI Terminal TAB” and type:

create-debug-info

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A list of (social) activities during EMC World in Las Vegas 2016

Las Vegas

It’s a list of activities. No big story or my thoughts on it, it’s just a list and yes, there’s a lot of overlap. I’ll be editing this list when more events come to my attention, so keep an eye on this blog post at all times!

I’ll list as much activities as are known to me, but feel free to add comments to this post and I’ll edit any unlisted events to the list asap!

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Create and retrieve spcollect files from the command line (VNX)

Hard Drive

Java, it’s a curse. And now you suddenly need to upload the spcollect files to EMC and Java isn’t installed or incompatible and Unisphere won’t start.

Now what?

Make sure you have NAVISECCLI installed and just do it from the CLI!

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Cisco MDS “fabric merge” and “switch add” prerequisites

Cisco MDS

Prerequisites when adding a new SAN switch to an existing SAN fabric

When using enhanced device aliases, make sure you enable this on the new switch as well:

device-alias mode enhanced
device-alias commit

You can verify if this is enabled on an existing switch by this command:

sh run | grep “device-alias mode”

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EMC World 2016: what to do? There’s not enough time, that’s for sure!

Las Vegas

Will this be the last EMC World ever? I can’t imagine that.

Some say this year will be the final EMC World. Ever. But then again, there might not be another Dell world either. Not in this format anyway. Will EMC World continue in another format, or will it be called DEll/EMC World? Maybe EMC/Dell World? Or just World? No, that doesn’t make sense at all.

Anyway,

let’s think out loud about EMC World 2016

What’s going on from May 2 to May 5?

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Uptime defined, or what is uptime exactly?

Five nines

You often hear vendors mentioning their system has five 9s of uptime, but what exactly is uptime?

Some define uptime only for their own specific piece of technology. For example, a storage array with five 9s uptime, can only tolerate 5 minutes and 15 seconds of downtime per year, but if your network vendor also has a five 9 uptime specification and your power company and your data center and your internet provider and a whole lot of other components…. do the math!

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The “Internet Of Things”, or simply IoT, what’s it good for?

Internet of Things

Internet Of Things, the IoT

We’ve all heard the hype about the IoT, the Internet Of Things, but is it really a hype? Back in the dark ages (the 90s), a company called Novell already claimed that coffee machines and refrigerators would be equipped with a mini OS and an IP address, so automatic ordering systems could make sure you always have specific foods (or beer) in your fridge.

But at the same time the world was running low on IP addresses, so actually providing all these electronic devices with a unique address was a challenge. The solution was IPv6 which provides a few more addresses than IPv4 does.

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EMC World 2016: the Dutch edition

Fremont street

Het is weer die tijd van het jaar: EMC World komt eraan. Het is niemand ontgaan dat in de afgelopen dagen en weken weer allerlei noviteiten van EMC het daglicht hebben gezien: VxRail, VMAX all flash en de nieuwe DSSD en waar is het beter om deze noviteiten te gaan bekijken en je goed te laten informeren? Juist: op EMC World in Las Vegas!! Wissel ervaringen uit met andere klanten, maak kennis met (Nederlandse) partners en filosofeer met EMC specialisten over nieuwe mogelijkheden of maak gewoon die overstap naar het derde platform in IT.

The Dutch Delegation

Net als voorgaande jaren organiseert EMC Nederland weer een sociaal programma rondom het EMC IT-event van het jaar. Heb je de hele dag interessante sessies gevolgd en ben je toe aan wat ontspanning, dan is de Dutch Delegation een aanrader. Dit sociale programma begint op zondag 1 Mei en eindigt op donderdag 4 Mei en zal gedurende EMC World de rode draad zijn door dit drukke evenement.

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Announcing the EMC Elect 2016!

EMC Elect 2016

Another year has past and what a great year it was. A lot has happened, both personal and work related. The whole Dell / EMC merger made many think about the future once again and I must say it’s going to be an interesting year. I’m very much looking forward to EMC World, this May, as Michael Dell, Dave Goulden and Joe Tucci will make their appearance in the opening keynote. I think that I’ll be present in the big hall for once, even though the EMC Elect lounge has proven to be a wonderful and relaxed place to experience the keynote. And yes, that’s just one of the advantages of being EMC Elect: you’ll get to enter the realms of this small and privileged group of people.

On the EMC Community Network (aka ECN) you will find the latest and complete list of the EMC Elect 2016.

Thank you EMC, for making me part of this group again!!

The EMC / Dell merger: my tears and thoughts

Dell EMC

It’s been a few weeks now since Mr Dell, Silver Lake and MSD Partners announced they want to take over EMC and with that become the world’s largest privately held IT company. For me I relived the whole HP / Compaq merger and at that time Compaq was my favorite company. My whole world collapsed. What was going to happen to the world I lived in? It was going to disappear! But luckily it did not. The best pieces of Compaq at the time, their servers, were simply rebranded and sold as HP Proliants and the Alpha CPU “suddenly” appeared as the Itanium from Intel. And everybody was happy. Well, sort of. At least the server department kept on delivering what they were famous for.

And now this happened

I never realized Michael Dell was even in a position to actually raise that kind of money. But with help from Silver Lake and MSD Partners he succeeded to raise sixty five Billion US Dollars! Just imagine! Oh, wouldn’t I like to get my hands on a small portion of that!! But that’s a whole other story. Forget the money, forget the stock exchange market: what will this mean for both companies and the people working there? As some of you know, I’m involved with both the EMC education department as well as the customer facing piece of EMC Support and I want to share my thoughts on the future of my current “Compaq” equivalent, aka “EMC”.

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Why securing devices using your fingerprint is not safe

fingerprint

Think about it: fingerprints are unique. Everybody has them and every one of them is unique, so it’s a secure way to prove your identity, right?

WRONG!

We all thought that passwords were easily hackable, if not by guessing, by brute force attacks. And we all know the “difficult” passwords: P@$$w0rd123 and 3AsyD03s1T. As if hackers are stupid! They’re not! Believe it or not, but these so called encrypted, but still “readable” passwords are easy to guess, just like your dog’s name and your mother’s birthday. I mean, a dog’s name is Bello, Spot, Rex, Fluffy or a dozen other names and as for birthdays: we only have to try every date since 1-1-1900, which is roughly only 115 x 365 = 42,000 dates which are there to try.

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Cisco Smart zoning – part II: examples

Einstein

Smart zoning examples

In my smart zoning post from last February I already presented the way to get started with Cisco smart zoning. I initially planned to give a more detailed calculation on how much time you can save if you were using smart zoning compared to SIST zoning.

SAN fabric

I was talking to an EMC SAN instructor (Richard Butler) this week and after I did a little white boarding and used my hands to picture how massive a traditional SIST zone environment would be, we agreed smart zoning is the way to go.

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Nominate your candidate(s) for the 2016 batch of EMC Elect!

EMC Elect Nominations are open

EMC Elect 2016 nominations are open

It’s that time of year again: the nominations for the community heroes that might become part of the EMC Elect group of next year.

EMC Elect Nominations for 2016

The nominations can be sent in by anybody who wants to honor their community hero. What’s considered a community hero? To be recognized as EMC Elect candidate you could think about how you represented EMC throughout 2015. Well, represented is not the right word, since you don’t really represent EMC, but if you write or talk about EMC on ECN, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or you are a speaker in public accessible forums or events, or write blogs about EMC equipment or software, you certainly are a candidate to be nominated.

Can you nominate yourself?

Why not? It’s not about who nominates who, but who gets nominated! And it’s not a contest! Only 1 nomination will do just fine. It has no added value to nominate somebody more than once! In the end the judges will look at your curriculum anyway and what you did during this year, so it’s perfectly fine to mention this to EMC yourself! Go ahead, make a nomination, or two, or five. Get the word out and make sure we get as many nominations as possible. The judges will decide who gets in after the current month.

Nominations can be done from November 1, 2015 to November 30, 2015, so don’t wait too long and let’s all nominate!!!

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