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EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

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Matt Szary
Advisor

EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

We're looking at storage solutions for a 4-node MC/ServiceGuard cluster and have narrowed it to two options:
an EMC Clariion FC4700 or
an HP VA7400.

I'm getting conflicting answers from EMC and our HP vendor on whether the EMC is certified for ServiceGuard.

Has anyone seen any definitive information on this?
Has anyone had good or bad experiences with either of these solutions in a ServiceGuard environment?

Thanks.
12 REPLIES
harry d brown jr
Honored Contributor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Matt,

I've been beta'ing a va7400 for some time now, and we have a lot of emc products (we just bought over 10M worth). The va7400 kicks the crap out of emc when it comes to ease of managebility - I like to call it plug and play (bill gates wished he had something this easy, that works). As to wether the emc works in an MC service guard - if emc says its so, tell them you want to visit that client - but only if they have actually failed over!!!!!!! Make them put "your" money where there mouth is :-)


live free or die
harr
Live Free or Die
Matt Szary
Advisor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Harry,

Was the EMC that you're comparing to the VA7400 a Symmetrix frame or Clariion array?
From my understanding, the management of the Clariion arrays is a lot easier than the symms (ie no bin file, everything can be done online, etc). I've worked with several different generations of Symms in the past, and agree that managing them is somewhat of a pain.

Thanks
Insu Kim
Honored Contributor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

I have an experience with EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array.

I suffered from a few problems with it.
1. SAM couldn't see that array.
-> There're 3 LUNs configured but SAM only sees 2 LUNs.
-> It looks like that SAM gets confused.
-> dind't get official support from HP for this problem.
-> SAM is not designed for non-HP products.

2. ioscan always takes a long time to see it, approximately 10 minutes.
-> dindn't find out why.

Since this is not a HP product, HP doesn't test this disk array for supportability.

Remember that FC4700 is not sold by HP unlike EMC boxes that HP sold before.
This implies a possibility of any configuration issues or compatibility issues.

Hope this helps,

Never say "no" first.
Gregory Thomas
Frequent Advisor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Not sure what your specific questions are, in regard to ServiceGuard and HP or EMC storage, but I have used many EMC Symms and VA7400 and Clarion in HP ServiceGuard environments.

I have yet to see one that does not work; there are various problems and pros and cons with each solution.

I have never setup a 4 node cluster, only two node clusters, but I can't see how that might differ if all four nodes see the same controllers and LUNs.

Gregory
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Hello,

I'd go for the VA7400, definetely. The reason is not performance-related or whatever (although it does offer greater speed than the Clariion FC30), but the main reason is support. Remember that the FC30 is already discontinued and it will not be supported for much longer. Whereas the VA7400, it's a relatively new product.

If you want your product and data to last and be supported, go for the VA7400.

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Bill McNAMARA_1
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

You are likely to get a very biased opinion from this forum.

Remember that EMC just do disk and are experts on their technology.
They have been OEMing for HP (and IBM and SGI) up until the HP/Hitachi alliance created tension.

You will get a good product with both manufacturers, but a single source of contact for support from HP.

I recommend too that you go for the HP product, but try to get the price down by mentioning the EMC possibility!

Later,
Bill
It works for me (tm)
Mark T. Stanard
Occasional Visitor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

I have some experience with FC4700 and N4000's on a switched SAN. I have had difficulty with "trespassing" (a Clariion term) and a variety of errors in syslog when using PV-Links & current HP LVM patches.
Also, Clariion array is "not on supported products list" with HP. Support comes from EMC.
-mark
Martha Mueller
Super Advisor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Mark,

We, too, have N4000 and four L2000's on the fc4700.

I am really glad to hear from someone else seeing the same events in the syslog.log file. When I reported it to emc, they seemed surprised. As a matter of fact, I see these error log entries during every scheduled battery test since we went to the current version of the firmware. We had to upgrade to the current version of the firmware to solve a different problem. The firmware version that was loaded when the fc4700 was installed last summer couldn't handle two hot spares. When we had a disk failure last month, it couldn't rebuild and caused us to have to rebuild one of the raid groups. We were down 9 hours while we backed up to tape, rebuilt the raid group, and then restored from tape. But, no data loss. And, the current version of the firmware should keep this problem from occuring again. On the other hand, if we had only had one hot spare, we wouldn't have had this problem. Boy, try to plan ahead and sometimes it backfires.
Jon Hawkins
Occasional Visitor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Matt why not do the sensible thing and rent both boxes for a few weeks and accurately compare their pros and cons?
Matt Szary
Advisor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Well,
I personally was in favor of the EMC solution, but the decision was made higher up to go with the VA7400. I think either solution would have worked just fine. We actually have the new systems with the VA7400 onsite now, and it's certainly nice to work with new hardware. It's nice and fast and the cluster is going without a problem. We'll see how it performs once we get some apps up on it. Now if only my second Brocade wasn't backordered...
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Ah, and now if you would only assign some points to those folks nice enough to help you!
No matter where you go, there you are.
Matt Szary
Advisor

Re: EMC Clariion FC4700 Disk Array vs HP VA7400

Sorry...forgot about that.
Thanks for all the help folks.