Little Known CLARiiON Facts and Trivia

I’ve just returned from EMC training in MA, where we learned a wealth of information about how to use the array, but also some interesting background information about the device itself.

First, the name CLARiiON has some interesting history. Before EMC was EMC, it was Data General, who had a 16-bit minicomputer called the NOVA. DG later came up with new product which the engineers had named the NOVAII. The marketing group, not wanting to recycle the “NOVA” name, insisted that a new name be chosen. The engineers, always wanting to get their way in the end, came up with a anagram “AViiON” by reversing the letters, and cleverly placing the two “ii’s” in the middle. The CLARiiON is simply a derivative of this naming convention.

Secondly, most people know that the operating system of the CLARiiON is called “FLARE”, but it is not commonly known that this is actually an acronyms that stands for Fibre Logic Array Runtime Environment.

It is also fairly common knowledge that one can access “Engineering Mode” on a CLARiiON by pressing Ctl,shft, and f12 and entering the password “messner”. The story behind this password, however, is that the engineering group at the time were avid mountain climbers and chose the password in honor of Reinhold Messner, the first person to climb Everest without the use of oxygen. Apparently the password before that was “pink floyd”, but the marketing group didn’t approve and made them change it.

Registering Solaris CLARiiON Hosts With QLA 2310 HBAs

Sun Microsystems likes the QLA 2310 Fiber Channel HBA. It’s only a 2Gig card, but it works with the Sun native driver, which makes it wonderful for us Solaris Administrators. Unfortunately, it does not integrate perfectly with EMC CLARiiON SANs because it does not register properly with Navasphere. Even if you manually register the host, the LUNs will not be presented to the host because the agent can’t pass commands to the array.

To remedy this situation on my Solaris 8 host, I used the following procedure:

Edit the /etc/system file and add the following line:

set fcp:ssfcp_enable_auto_configuration=1

Next, I rebooted my Solaris host with the “-r” flag:

reboot -- -r

Next I checked Navisphere to make sure my paths have logged in. They were, so I logged into the Solaris host and ran the following commands:

cfgadm
devfsadm
format

I then saw the storage that was presented to my host. Finally, I restarted the Navisphere agent and started using my new LUNs.