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EMC AX4 Platform

On a few reader request, here is a blog post on EMC AX4 technology.

Previously in one of the post on StorageNerve, I had explained the evolution of the EMC Clariion Technology including the AX products and the flare code that is associated with the success of this platform, to read the blog post.

The following are the 4 available models within the AX4 Platform; the naming conventions will explain it further.

  • AX4-5F (Fiber Channel Host Connect)
  • AX4-5FSC (Fiber Channel Host Connect, Single RAID Controller)
  • AX4-5i (iSCSI Host Connect)
  • AX4-5iSC (iSCSI Host Connect, Single Raid Controller)

Drives per DAE (Drive Array Enclosure):  12

Maximum DAE’s (Drive Array Enclosure) supported per System:  4

DPE (Disk Processor Enclosure):  12 drive per DPE

Maximum Drives Supported per System:  60

Minimum Drives Supported per System:  4 Drives including the Flare Drives (Flare code resides on the 1st 4 drives of the DPE, with do not remove stickers).

Naming Convention for Drives:

  1. Bus
  2. Enclosure
  3. Drive No

Possible Options

  • Bus 0 and 1
  • Enclosure 1, 2, 3, 4 (DPE becomes enclosure 0)
  • Drive 0 through 11 (12 Drives total)

B0_E3_D11 becomes Bus 0, Enclosure 3 and Drive 12

The following are the disk drives that are supported with the AX4 Platforms.

Capacity Speed Type
750GB 7.2K SATA
450GB 15K SAS
400GB 15K SAS
400GB 10K SAS
300GB 15K SAS
146GB 15K SAS

As you notice above, only SAS and SATA drives are usable on an AX4 system with no support for FC or EFD’s.

Supported RAID Types with AX4 Systems

  • RAID 0, RAID 0+1, RAID 3 and RAID 5 Technologies.
  • CORRECTION: RAID 6 is now supported on AX-4 Platforms starting release 23 (Navisphere Express).

Supported Software on the AX4 Systems

  • Navisphere Express included
  • Navisphere Manager (Only with 2 Service Processors)
  • Navisphere QoS
  • Navisphere Analyzer
  • SnapView
  • MirrorView/S and /A
  • SANCopy
  • Ionix Control Center plug-in
  • PowerPath
  • RecoverPoint/SE and CDP/CRR
  • Replication Manager

Host Type Supported

  • Windows 2000/2003/2008
  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • HP-UX
  • AIX
  • VMware

Some very important characteristics of the AX4 Platforms

  • Very cost effective
  • Completes in the SMB space with low end IBM and HP Storage
  • Scales upto 60TB RAW Storage
  • Supports upto 64 Host systems connected
  • 1GB Cache per Service Processor, 2GB max for dual processors.
  • 4GB FC connectivity to host (fiber ports to switch / host)
  • You can run it with a single controller or dual controllers
  • iSCSI Support
  • SAS and SATA drives are supported
  • All Clariion Software supported
  • SPS (single included): Standby Power Supply — Battery allows the cache to destage during a forced shutdown resulting in no data loss
  • MetaLUN Technology supported
  • Virtual LUN Technology supported
  • Snaps and Clones supported
  • Supports Flare Release 23, 26 and 28.

About the author

Devang Panchigar

With more than 7 Years of IT experience, Devang is currently the Director of Technology Solutions and IT Operations at Computer Data Source, Inc. Devang has held several positions in the past including Sr. Systems Engineer, Sr. Network Engineer, Technical Support Manager, Director of Storage Support & Operations. He has been responsible for creating and managing worldwide technical support teams, technology solutions team, operations management, service delivery, pre and post sales support, marketing and business planning. In his current role Devang oversees multiple aspects of the Technology Solutions Group that works with various Multinational and Fortune 500 companies providing them infrastructure services. Along with various industry certifications, Devang holds a Bachelor of Science from South Gujarat University, India and a Master of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University.

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