How to Successfully Install VNX installation assistant (VIA)

VNX Installation Assistant
EMC’s VNX Hardware

The new line of EMC VNX2 arrays comes in 3 different flavors across 6 different models. Those flavors are described as block, file only, and unified.  The VNX installation assistant or “VIA” provides initialization or new install of a file only or unified array.  Unified simply means the array supports both file and block level data.  A block only array is initialized and configured using a different tool called the Unisphere initialization utility.

VIA is a single instance tool that can be downloaded from the EMC support site.  Prior to running VIA, ensure that the VNX array is powered on, properly cabled, and of course connected to your management network.  A good practice is to locate the MAC address of your primary control station.  There are typically two control stations, a primary and secondary.  They are used to “control” and manage the various components of the array such as the data movers and disk processor enclosures as well as disk access enclosures.

After installing VIA and running it, a discovery process will take place to discover your control stations.  Once discovered, you will be prompted to provide basic details for the control stations such as IP address, hostname, etc.

Next, you will provide the same details for the Storage Processors; there will be an A and a B.

Finally, you will specify the blade settings.  The “blade” is the File component of the array. Simply provide the DNS settings and domain details.

This will bring you to the ESRS (EMC Secure Remote Support) section- what you would refer to as the “call home” feature.  It is a proactive feature that can and will identify issues and then provide a secure, 24-7, connection to EMC support for error notifications and troubleshooting- fast and efficient resolutions!

The final component is licensing. Select the licensing purchased, and then the system will perform a health check (this is where you get to find out if your cabling is correct).  The install finishes up with a nice list of configuration changes and their status.

When all settings have been successfully applied, you’re good to go!  Launch UniSphere, and you’re off and running.  Not familiar with Unisphere?  No worries. My next blog will go over the features of Unisphere!

Image (cc) Bob Mical via Flickr

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