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1 Copper

VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

We are trying to allocate front-end FC data ports but are struggling with inadequate documentation.

The VNX5500 system was shipped with:

  • onboard/in-built ports 2 and 3 having 8Gbps SFP transceivers
  • onboard/in-built ports 4 and 5 do not have SFP transceivers, and some  documentation states "In VNX Unified system or VNX for File system the  onboard Fibre Channel ports 4 and 5 are for blade connections." (i.e. to  connect to data-movers in the future if you were to add  "file"/"unified" functionality)
  • 4-port FC 8Gbps I/O module, per SP, with 8Gb SFP transceivers in all ports.

The EMC VNX5500 System Installation Guide does not deal, in the Block only section, with connecting the system to FC fabric (or any other fabric).  It does show the use of onboard/in-built ports FC3, FC4 and FC5 ports on SP A and B being used to connect directly to three blade file datamovers.

Using NaviShere CLI to query the onboard FC ports and the UltraFlex FC !/O module in slot A0 and B0, shows that port FC2 (the first port onboard port in both SPA and SPB, and specifically named SPA0 and SPB0 - see table below) is "special" confirming that it is allocated to MirrorView usage.  All other ports are "normal" indicating that they can be allocated to other functionality.

Other information from EMC documentation:

"You can connect servers to the VNX onboard Fibre Channel host ports 2 and 3 and to any ports (0, 1, 2, 3) on the UltraFlex Fibre Channel I/O modules in slots A0 and B0 or A1 and B1."

"The MirrorView/A and MirrorView/S applications use the lowest port value, which is SLIC A1 and B1 Port 0.  The SAN Copy application may restrict or require the use of certain ports.  Refer to the application documentation for specific cabling information."

"The MirrorView/A and MirrorView/S applications use onboard port 2.  The SAN Copy application may restrict or require the use of certain  ports.  Refer to the application documentation for specific cabling  information." [contradicts both the first quote and the second quote]

Based on some of the above information, and what we have learnt by connecting the FC ports to our fabric, we have create this table.

Physical Ports

SP ASP B
ModulePort

SFP

Installed

NameWWPNConnectionNameWWPNConnection

Onboard

FC

ports

FC2

8Gb SFPspA050:06:01:60:<seed>

MirrorView

(default)

spB050:06:01:68:<seed>

MirrowView

(default)

FC3

8Gb SFP

spA150:06:01:61:<seed>spB150:06:01:69:<seed>
FC4No SFP

spA2

50:06:01:62:<seed>

DataMover

(reserved)

spB250:06:01:6a:<seed>

DataMover

(reserved)

FC5No SFP

spA3

50:06:01:63:<seed>

DataMover

(reserved)

spB350:06:01:6b:<seed>

DataMover

(reserved)

I/O

Mod

#0

(A0/B0)

FC08Gb SFP

spA4

50:06:01:64:<seed>spB450:06:01:6c:<seed>
FC1
8Gb SFP
spA550:06:01:65:<seed>spB550:06:01:6d:<seed>
FC2
8Gb SFP
spA650:06:01:66:<seed>spB650:06:01:6e:<seed>
FC3

8Gb SFP

spA750:06:01:67:<seed>spB750:06:01:6f:<seed>

What we would like is some form of Best Practice information to suggest how we should allocate the remaining ports, and in a fashion where we are not compromising future feature aspects and/or requirements of the system.

What port should we allocate for SAN Copy?

What ports should we allocate for dual fabric connectivity? (Presumably we should avoid ports that share the same silicon chip, i.e. generally there are two FC channels in an integrated circuit chip).

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6 Replies
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3 Argentium

Re: VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

If you aren't using MirrorView and/or have no plans to use it, you can use those ports for anything you want.  I use the iSCSI ports for my MV/A connections so I don't need to eat up FC ports.  You can use the iSCSI ports for SAN Copy as well.  If you are going long-haul over IP for MV/A or SAN Copy there shouldn't be much of a difference other than (I think) the possibility of compression for the FCIP traffic that may or may not be there in your FC switches.  For me, avoiding the FCIP licensing was a huge cost savings on the SAN switch side.  There are fewer restrictions with using ports for SAN Copy than MV,in other words, you can use the ports for both host traffic and SAN copy traffic. Obviously, if you need more than 1Gbit speed (assuming you don't have 10Gbit iSCSI) you'll want to use the FC ports.  There might be other reasons to use the FC ports but I haven't found any technical docs as to why or why not from EMC.

Dan

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4 Tellurium

Re: VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

Just to add to what DanJost said:

1. You can use the same port for SAN Copy and host traffic.

2. You can use the same port for MV and host traffic.

3. The only restriction is that you cannot use the same port for SAN Copy and MV.

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7 Thorium

Re: VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

Avi,

on my 5700 with file ..port A4 and A5 are used for datamover connection, when i look under Network > Settings for Block, A4 is listed as MirrorView. So no harm in using the same port for MirrorView and Datamover connection ? Can i move MirrorView designation to another i/o module ( say i have another 4 port module)

Thanks

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1 Copper

Re: VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

you would not share the same port for datamovers and MV since the DM ports will be directly connected

There is a primus solution for this 5700's delivered with only one controller :emc2696.

best regards,

Thierry

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4 Tellurium

Re: VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

Dynamox,

Can you double check the ports that you have mentioned in your post. Usually, on-board ports 4 and 5 are reserved for FC connection between the SP and the Data Movers. MirrorView port gets assigned by default and it is supposed to be the lowest port among the four on-board FC ports on the SP. You should not see a port being shared between MV and Data Mover ports. The MV ports gets assigned automatically on the first power up of the storage system.

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3 Argentium

Re: VNX 5500 Block - front-end FC port allocations

Hi,

You can find the information about the port configuration under Unisphere -> Hardware -> Hardware for Block.

You should see what is already connect and what port for MV is used.

If you want to use SAN Copy, the only restriction is to not use the MV Port.

For FC Fabric connectivity best practice is to to this configuration

FABRIC 1 : SPA4,SPB5,SPA6,SPB7

FABRIC 2 : SPB4,SPA5,SPB6,SPA7

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