VNX DPE / DAE SAS cabling

A quick note to clarify SAS cabling between EMC VNX and extra enclosures or DAE’s as they are called.

When setting up a VNX with only the base DPE enclosure, there’s no need for cabling.

When adding the first and the second enclosure, you need a special kind of SAS cable, called the “mini-SAS to mini-SAS HD cables”.

When adding a third enclosure or more, you need a “mini-SAS to mini-SAS cable”.



The following is an overview on the partnumbers for both situations:VNXSAS



Dell EMC Unity unboxing

This week we received our Dell EMC Unity (all-flash) demo machine.
Some time ago I already certified to perform EMC Unity implementations and in the meantime I already went onsite with customers to install several boxes.

Unity is SIMPLE, Unity is MODERN, Unity is AFFORDABLE, Unity is FLEXIBLE and therefor the ideal unified storage offering from EMC, now DELL EMC for mid-market today.
You get a flexible storage systems for SAN, NAS. You get things like snapshots, replication, thin provisioning, file, block, vvols, encryption, autotiering, fast cache…. you get a flashy front and some blue flashing lights 😉

With this article I want to show you how the EMC Unity arrives and what’s next, so let’s start…

  1. First there was a box, only 1 box (except if you order extra disk enclosures of course).
    Inside a flat box containing power cables, front bezel, some labels, tie wraps and a quick-start.
    Below all of that, the actual EMC UNITY wrapped and protected in plastic.tla-unity-1tla-unity-2
  2. There you have it, all unwrapped, on the desk in front of you.
    This demo machine is the ALL-FLASH version with 10x400GB 2.5″ flash drives with 12Gbs SAS back-end connections.tla-unity-4tla-unity-6Looking at the back of this demo machine, we see Storage Processor B on top, Storage Processor A at the bottem, both containing builtin 2x10Gbs RJ45 Ethernet, the Converged Network Adapter with 2x10Gbs Optical Ethernet and 1 IO Flex module with 2x16Gbs Fibre Channel and still 1 slot availble for extra connectivity.
    As you can see, I couldn’t wait and already put in some power cables to give it a go.tla-unity-5
  3. The system comes with a Quick-Start guide which will guide you through the simple process to get the system on the network ready for the final configuration.
    The quick-start provides you with very clear instructions how to put the EMC UNITY in the rack, where to put in the management network cables and which tool to use to perform the basic config (setting the IP) and which admin password to use.tla-unity-8
  4. Up next, discover the DELL EMC UNITY on the network using the “Unity Connection Utility” and setting the IP. Therefor you need a PC.tla-unity-12
  5. The Unity Connection Utility you can download from the EMC website. A very easy small tool to get you up2speed with the system. First it discovers the Unity on the network, next you put in IP address settings and a few clicks and minutes later you are able to login to the management webpage, based on HTML5.tla-unity-15tla-unity-16tla-unity-17tla-unity-18
  6. Here you go, the login page… clean and minimalistic, the way I like it. The quick-start guide provides you with the default password to use, keep it mind that you will be asked to change it.tla-unity-19
  7. Between the time you ordered the Dell EMC Unity and the actual delivery you should have received notice from EMC containing licensing information for the system. If you are new to Dell EMC, you should have registered an online account.
    It’s not my intention to go into details about all of this, so I presume by now you downloaded the EMC Unity License file which is a requirement to be able to continue the install.
    The file should look like this: “CKM00xxxxxxxxxx_2859253_12-Oct-2016.lic”.
  8. The Inital Config starts with the usual introduction and copyright messages.
  9. Next you need to change the ADMIN password and SERVICE password.
  10. Then upload your license file.
  11. next DNS and NTP…tla-unity-24
  12. create a first pool of disks…tla-unity-26tla-unity-27Select the Storage Tiers to use in your pool, in our All-Flash system, of course you don’t have multitiering…tla-unity-28then look for the ideal RAID configuration…tla-unity-29tla-unity-30tla-unity-31tla-unity-32tla-unity-33
    Done with the pool
  13. next, you need to enter email settings & support credentials.tla-unity-34tla-unity-35
  14. To end the initial configuration, you can even already configure iSCSI interfaces and/or NAS server settings.tla-unity-36
  15. Done, ready to go !tla-unity-38tla-unity-39


if you find any typos, well that’s because I wrote this on a friday 😉

#SSD Flash drives: #SLC or #eMLC or #MLC or #TLC NAND… but also V-NAND

Flash drives or Solid State Drives (SSD) use NAND flash memory chips, on each chip millions of cells with a limited life span (limited write operations). NAND comes in differente grades of performance, cost & reliability.


SLC (Single Level Cell)  ****
– HIGHEST performance, High Cost, Enterprise grade NAND
– HIGH cost (3x more than MLC)
– industry grade, critical apps
– endurance: 100.000 write/erase operations per cell

eMLC (Enterprise Multi Level Cell) ***
– GOOD performance, enterprise use
– LOWER cost
– 2 bits per cell
– enterprise use and high-end consumer
– endurance: 30.000 write/erase operations per cell

MLC (Multi Level Cell) **
– AVERAGE performance, consumer grade NAND
– LOWER cost (3x lower than SLC)
– 2 or more bits per cell
– consumer, not suggested for critical apps with frequent updates of data
– endurance: 10.000 write/erase operations per cell

TLC (Three Level Cell or 3-bit MLC) *
– LOWER performance,
– 3 bits per cell
– BEST PRICE (30% of an MLC)
– good fit for low-end consumer
– not recommended for critical applications with frequent data updates
– endurance: 5.000 write/erase operations per cell

On the opposite of the previous described planar NAND, also consider the new Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology, 2-bit & 3-bit which increased capacity needs by stacking cells in multiple layers in stead of shrinking the cell geometry thereby avoiding performance & endurance issues of cell-to-cell interference.
Performance of a 3-bit V-NAND is higher the 3-bit NAND

Wi-Fi Assist, the new dangerous Apple IOS9 feature. #ios9 #wifiassist #apple

If you have no Apple devices, this post is of no use to you and you can stop reading and close this page 😉

If you are using Apple mobile devices, please continue to read below.

Ok, so you have an iPhone of iPad.

Did you try upgrade to IOS 9 ?

If yes, then please DISABLE the new Wi-Fi Assist function -> (Settings / Cellular / Wi-Fi Assist)

Apple IOS9 Wi-Fi Assist

Apple IOS9 Wi-Fi Assist

Wi-Fi assist is a new functionality to automatically switch to 3G/4G mobile network when free wifi connectivity is poor… if you do not have a mobile subscription that’s sufficient to cover your traffic, this can be a costly function.


Also important to know, if you already disabled it after the IOS9 upgrade.
Well if you do another upgrade to IOS 9.0.1… the function is ENABLED again.
And again if you upgrade to IOS 9.0.2…. again, it will be ENABLED.

So always check when doing a new upgrade, unless you mobile subscription can cover the extra traffic.


Good luck !