Hello EMC community
I have an CX-2 DAE which I am trying to pair up with a cheap SPE. I have asked around and a person was kind enough to offer a compatibility list, what I am looking for is to see what the lowest-cost option would be. I know I need a SPE with vault drives to get it all running but all I have been able to find so far on ebay is upwards of $2500 even for the oldest systems. Does this sound about right or is there some option I am not aware of? I bought the DAE for around $300 so I was hoping that the rest of the system would cost around $500.
This is my first build and it is for a home lab. Basically, if you were me, what would you do? If it costs $2500-3000 to get the lab going, so be it. It will just take longer to pull the money together than I originally intended.
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I reckon, I have already posted couple of times not to buy parts from eBay especially for home users like you and me. There are multiple reasons behind it:
1. We hardly get a compatible part and get it working. (after so much trouble)
2. In future, component failure(s) you not only will get disappointment but also either a faulty replacement part from eBay or if you want a part from the MFG. i.e. EMC the cost will be high for an individual.
Well, getting a home lab actually depends on what exactly you are looking for?! What sort of environment you are trying to build? etc.
My honest advice will be, if you can get rid of that junk for the same price, sell it back on eBay! Research on the inter-webs there are nice people around the block who have shared their builds and home labs!
Based on your replies so far, the threads that were linked, and information I have gathered from other people, my best option would be to get a complete system- even if it has more DAEs that I can run(due to power requirements). This option would also be the most expensive. The closest complete systems I could find (with OS/Flare/SPE/etc.) is around $6,000 on or off ebay and even then the details are a bit sketchy as to what the system actually comes with and how well it will perform. Most of the pictures I see on these sites do not even match the actual item- they are just pretty generic pictures from a completely different model(like the VNX series).
I will take your advice and consider taking the time to sell the DAE I have(maybe someone else will get some use out of it) and then come back to this when I have $6k to invest. It really is a shame that the devices and vault drives are not easier to match up- even if the performance isn't what it should be. Older systems like this get better use out of being in Lab environments than production environments.
1. Personal use/training.
2. I only have the DAE.
My interest was initially from when I took a storage class as part of my degree a few months back. This class really peaked my interest but I had no way to follow through at the time(money, time, patience). I was also part of a 'computer club' where we met up and tried to just make IT magic happen(learn and have fun with technology- true geeks). We would pool all of our networking equipment and expertise to make certain things work. For example we built a Cisco CUCM network with a fully operational multi-extension VOIP network. Eventually we came across a lot of storage issues- we were using ESXI on 4 Dell 2900 series servers. They had very limited space and the VMs were tricky to set up on the older hardware(bad drives, PERC? cards were giving us issues). I bought the DAE under the impression that would be all I needed and maybe some software to make the two talk to each other.
Fast-forward to now, I learned that I need a SPE, Vault drives, etc. I have not put any more money on this as I obviously was not prepared when I bought the DAE. I have been trying to do research on this and have found some documentation along the way but ill be honest, EMC has very bad documentation when it comes to older models. I can google anything about Cisco devices and find an answer within minutes. I try to do the same thing with EMC devices and I get more from community sites like this and people with first hand knowledge than PDFs with generalized instructions.
So to answer your question, the lab is partially just to indulge in how cool I think storage technology is, and the other half is that I might make a career out of it.
To answer the second question, I am not sure what you mean. I have no other equipment other than the DAE that has the EMC brand on it. It has all 15 disks and seems to boot up just fine as far as power goes although I have no real way of testing the condition of the equipment.
Right now I am still going to school. The money I have now is what I saved from my last job. I can spend some $$ on the lab but not $6000. I guess I just got a little ahead of myself. I thought since older/used Cisco equipment was easy to obtain, so would a small storage array. I realize EMC is "big storage" and not really for small data situations, but I figured as they phased out Clariion/CX-series, they would be easily available from companies that no longer needed them. I guess I just misjudged the SPE to DAE ratio(SPEs hard and expensive to get, DAEs pretty easy to come by). Additionally, I would just like to add I learn by doing. I have a hard time staying interested in a book that just explains something you could be doing in real life. I have a desktop/server with 16GB of RAM so I can run multiple VMs. I have a decent networking lab with Cisco devices. I have 3 laptops, a 42" monitor, etc. This is what I do and how I learn. I have already read the book by EMC about storage technology but it more concepts and less practical applications. I'm sure if I had spent more time and attention to reading about EMC devices then I might have avoided buying the DAE prematurely. To be honest, I can't stay interested in a topic if all I do is read about it. I have to do it. And since companies require 4-year degrees and multiple certifications to get an 'entry' level position, I am not even looking to go that route.
I really think it would be cool to have an EMC home lab but as I learn more, it seems more unrealistic- at least at the moment.
How old are you when you say you are in a school?
What is maximum amount you can stretch to pay for a Storage?
What is your requirement for the storage?
[Capacity | iSCSI/FC]
Which EMC book are you referring to?
I'm almost 30. I am 3 months from graduating with my Bachelors. I also have my CCNA. The storage class I took was at college.
I can go $2,000-3,000 but not for a few months(assuming I have a job by then- I recently left my last job so I am upping my trade skills in the mean time). If it was less than $700, I might have been able to pull it off right now but looking at some of the replies, I think it would just be better to wait.
The requirements are minimal, I was just looking for a bare bones setup to use for learning purposes. To be able to create and destroy LUNs, RAIDS, etc, without having to worry a lot about disk space. I would only run the storage as needed- not on 24/7. Really I don't care about storage space and using the device for any practical purposes. It would all just be for testing a learning. Maybe throw ESXI and a few other hypervisors on, a VM here and there. Nothing too special. Nothing production level. Probably just FC. iSCSI would be nice but not a requirement. I could probably get away with less than 1TB of space for my purposes but I already have a DAE with over 3TB of storage so that is pretty much covered anyways.
"Information Storage and Management" https://education.emc.com/ISMbook/default.aspx
if all you are looking for is some shared storage option for your ESXi lab, maybe you could consider beefing up your workstation and using open source tools like openfiler, freenas ..etc. Something that will give you reasonably good storage for your VMs (NFS or iSCSI based). Putting a Clariion in my basement would be very expensive, parts and power $$$.
That is defiantly a possibility. I'm just one of those people who doesn't spend much time doing other things than tinkering with my lab and other computer related things. I've had to join a gym to stop gaining weight because I literally spend the rest of my time behind a computer.
What I am getting at is that I don't mind spending the time and money in the long run, it is just a matter of practicality. If I was loaded and had a job that paid $100k/yr, I would be all over buying one of the $4,000 systems. I wish this was the case but it is not(yet). I appreciate everyone's replies. I'll update this post when/if I decide to get a system and how it turns out. I am pretty determined to get this done, just have to see how the next few months go.