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5 minute readThe Nuts & Bolts: Hardware and Software Components of a VNX5300

Understanding your VNX5300 is half the battle when it comes to correctly managing your VNX equipment. Once you have a grasp on what each of the major components of your VNX5300 does and what purpose it serves in the storage array, the better educated your decisions can be when it comes to data center management.

To break it down in its most simplistic form, there are two types of the components within a VNX5300 – hardware and software. In this blog, we will overview the main hardware and software components of a VNX5300.

Hardware Components of a VNX5300

These five hardware components will be some of the core elements used in your VNX5300:

• SPs or Storage Processors: Storage processors are the array controllers. They support block data with UltraFlex I/O technology. This Ultraflex I/O technology supports multiple protocols including: Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface), and FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet). The storage processors (SPs) provide access for all of the external hosts and the file side of a VNX5300.

• SPS or Standby Power Supplies: Standby power supplies are 1U in size. The SPS are designed to provide enough power to each of the storage processors (SPs) to ensure that any data in flight is de-staged to the vault area in the event of a power failure. This will ensure that, in the event of a power failure, no writes are lost. Once the VNX5300 is restarted, the pending writes are then reconciled.

• DAE or Disk-Array Enclosure: DAEs essentially contains the hard drives used in the VNX5300. A VNX5300 DAE can hold either 15 or 25 disks as well as two Fibre Channel link control cards (LCCs) and two power supplies. A DAE, however, does not contain the storage processors. Those are housed in the Disk-Processor Enclosure (DPE).

• DPE or Disk-Processor Enclosure: This houses the VNX5300 storage processors, a disk array enclosure (DAE) that houses a maximum of 126 drives, two Fibre Channel LCCs, two power supplies, as well as four fan packs.

• I/O Modules: An I/O module provides front and backend connectivity between the SPs (storage processors), DAEs (disk-array enclosures), and hosts. These modules provide you with various host connectivity options

Software Components of a VNX5300

The software available for your VNX5300 is just as important as the hardware when it comes to performance. You also may be better able to diagnose an issue in your storage array if you know what type of software your VNX5300 runs. For the sake of this post we’ll stick pretty close to the basics.

One of the main software components of the VNX5300 is the VNX FAST Suite, which includes FAST Cache and FAST VP. FAST, or Fully Automated Storage Tiering, is used to migrate your data to a high-performance drive such as flash drives, or a high-capacity drive depending on your need to access the information.

FAST Cache and FAST VP automatically tiers and serves data from the most cost-effective drive type, thereby improving the performance of your VNX system.

This is most common after creating storage pools which are made up of traditional RAID Groups. An example to understand this function better is: Say you’re a healthcare provider who is getting ready to see a patient that you’ve not seen in a year.

In order to access that patient’s medical history, in this case your VNX5300, would use FAST to migrate or “promote” the data from the high-capacity drive such as a NL-SAS drive to a high-performance drive such as a Flash/SSD drive.

Creating storage pools and using the FAST Suite is a great way to meet your data center objectives because storage pools allow you to mix drive types in order to have both the performance and capacity that you need while also being somewhat cost efficient.

What’s Next?

Do you want to know more about your VNX5300? Reliant Technology has the in-depth product knowledge to help you support and maintain your storage, server, or networking hardware. Chat with one of our storage experts to learn more about your EMC equipment or keep up with the latest storage updates by checking out our Twitter & Linkedin. If you have any other questions reach out to us or call 1.877.227.0828.


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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.