Day 1 – EMC training @ Dell Campus in Round Rock, TX

Training is going well so far.  The morning got off to a bit of a slow start, but the pace is picking up rapidly.  We’ve covered the basics of SAN design and terminology, and we are moving along into territory that is new.  The physical hardware is sitting in a room just off the training room.  Each two person team was assigned a rack containing two servers, two SAN fabric switches, and some flavor of EMC Clarion SAN.  Our rack has a CX3-40 (which is one step down from what our company purchased – the CX3-80).  Aside from minor cabling differences, the management tools for all the systems are the same.

The afternoon lab was geared toward learning how to zone the Brocade SAN fabric for the two host servers.  The first step was installing the QLogic and Emulex device drivers on the two lab servers.  Then we had to use the vendor supplied tools to learn the world wide names (WWN) of each host bus adapter (HBA).  Once we had that documented, it was time to dive into the switch zoning.  And that is when the fun started.  The switch I was working on saw the two server HBA’s correctly (one Qlogic, one Emulex), but I only saw one of the two front-end ports on the storage processors.  On a hunch, I decided it must be a physical connectivity issue … and it was.  The lack of a link light and a dangling FC cable were the clues.  We plugged it back in, got a link light, and refreshed the switch managment utility.  Bingo.  Problem solved.  I accused the instructor of trying to trip us up.  It was a great lab exercise, and I think I enjoyed it even more because of the challenge.  Tomorrow we will tackle management tasks within Navisphere (creating RAID groups, LUNS, etc).

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