Understanding the VMAX FA/RDF port numbering

The logical numbering of the VMAX ports (FE, RF etc.. ports on the VMAX-3 and VMAX AFA’s) are quite confusing. It is important as we do the zoning and the host integration for these arrays. And yes it really is confusing, for any storage administrator who is not very familiar with.

This post is an attempt to explain the mapping of physical to logical numbering of the FA/RDF ports on a VMAX system.

The physical numbering of the SLICs (IO Modules) are as in the above snip and is quite straightforward. The modules are starting from the Slot 0 to Slot 10 with the Management modules (MMCS on the first engine/ MM on the remaining engines) on the left most. Few slots will be used for Vault to Flash modules which will have no ports on them. The slot# and the type of module in it may vary slightly with the addition of compression modules in AFA arrays. The SLICs 2,3,8 and 9 are important from an admin point of view as these will have either FA/RDF modules in. Even though the Back-end modules will have physical ports and will have connectivity, it is not of much concern for an admin as it will be configured during the array initialization.

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Here comes the logical numbering. For numbering a port, we should be aware of the director we are referring to and the slot number for the specific module. Considering the above snip as a single engine scenario, the odd director will be director 1 and even director will be director 2. This will be similar for the remaining engines (e.g., For engine-4, the odd director will be director 7 and even will be director 8 ).

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Now, let us assume the SLIC 2 is configured with FA emulation. The ports on director 1 SLIC will be numbered starting with 1d (d for FA emulation). The port numbers will be 1d4,1d5,1d6 and 1d7. You will have to keep this image in mind or will have to make a note of it to have the logical numbering for each SLIC. For RDF emulation, the numbering will have an e in it (e for RDF). Let us assume, the SLIC 8 is of RDF emulation. The 3rd port (the last port with numbering starting from 0 as in first pic) on SLIC 8 on even director will be 2e27. 2 for 2nd director, e for RDF emulation and 27 is the logical number.

Hopefully that was not that tough and it helped you. You may try various combinations for your practice. To start with, what will be the logical number for an FA port odd director SLIC 8 and port 2 ?

You may find more EMC VMAX posts here. Please use the comments section for any queries/suggestions.

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