EMC ControlCenter 6.1 Upgrade

EMC sent me a brand new V-Max storage unit with 10TB of disk space to use for a test. On November 30th, I started an EMC ControlCenter (ECC) upgrade, having read that to manage the new storage subsystem I needed to be at ECC version 6.1. Contacting EMC support on what version was needed to allow me to manage the new storage unit. They sent me a somewhat detailed list of patches and ISO images to download from their site, and the exact order they should be applied to the system.

Everything seemed fine at the beginning. I started to apply the first patch it failed so I reapplied the patch it was successful the second time. Moving onto the next patch it failed, I tried the patch again, and it failed again. Contacting the support staff once again, they had me disable some services and try a few things. Finally, the patch was successfully installed, and the next patch installed with no issues. I was finally patched up to a version that would allow me to upgrade from 6.0 to 6.1. This is where the fun begins. I started my upgrade to ECC 6.1; I have the 4 CDs that are needed. I have a full backup of the system, a complete backup of the ECC directory. I have followed the upgrade guide and have all of the services disabled that are listed in the upgrade guide, and finished running all of he needed scripts to backup all database.

I will skip all of the extremely long and boring issues/errors that I went through over a 10-day period to make this post not go on forever.

On the 4th attempt to upgrade from the CDs, EMC support asked me to do a WebEx session with them, to allow them to monitor the upgrade process. While they where helping me with the upgrade we had 2 more failures. Finally, after 6 failed upgrade attempts and the subsequent system restores to get my server back to a working state. We where able to get the server upgraded to ECC 6.1, however I was not finished. I had 6 more patches to install to get me to a supported version to allow me to be able to manage the V-Max storage. Having my Service Request sitting a SEV1 for many days, and my Sales representatives getting very upset, EMC sent someone onsite to assist me with the rest of the upgrade and to help with getting the V-Max configured in ECC.

Well as of December 11th I have ECC upgraded to version 6.1, still have a few outstanding issues that EMC needs to resolve, but I am able to see the V-Max storage.  I run into some more issues; the V-max is not exactly the same as a Symmetrix DMX3. EMC decided to do things a little different. I had to install a new piece of software the Symmetrix Management Console (SMC) to allow for me to Mask LUNS to hosts. Not sure why EMC thought, it would be a good idea for customers to have t use tow pieces of software to manage a storage unit.

Still having an open Service Request with EMC, for issues that are ongoing with my ECC server software and I am hoping that the ticket will not stay open for over a month.

I hope that this post does not sound to disgruntled, but I have never know of a Service Request needing to stay open for almost a month. I have had a very poor experience with EMC on this issue. I have had many other Service Requests get resolved very quickly.

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3 Responses to EMC ControlCenter 6.1 Upgrade

  1. Ciro says:

    Just being curious, we’ll be replacing our current storages with emc2 products and apparently we have to provide the management host. What are the supported operating systems for ControlCenter 6.x host?.

  2. edub says:

    Well it all depends on what management pieces you are going to use. There are several applications that can be used to manage all of the EMC storage. We have SAN Manager and Storage Scope running on a Win 2003 server, the only windows host we have. They should give you some installation guides to install, Not sure what the current level for 6.1 is but I thing we are a couple behind.

  3. unix-queen says:

    I feel your pain, on so many levels.
    We just upgraded to VMax. And it’s performance is wonderful – great array. But ECC has never really performed on any version I’ve seen so far the way it was presented. It would get out of sync with the database (house on UNIX) at times. This newer version is staying more in sync, but it just plain doesn’t work right. The nightmare of upgrading was bad enough, but so far I’ve been on a support call for days now, and it is clear they do not know what to do. I just seem to keep finding issues with the software. Trying to create a meta with 10 disk. Well you can create the meta with maybe 3 disks to it, but it won’t allow you to add more than 3. And after that it’s hit and miss if you get to add 3 more or just one. Or like yesterday where it choked and wouldn’t even let you add another disk to the meta – period. Thank goodness I kept my command line skills so I could add them via scripts. Poof…done! Create another one from command line – all the disks I want to add…done!
    This whole configuration is a nightmare. Use smc to add your IG/SG/MV or whatever, then there are all the other software pieces – all requiring their own server (what a waste). So far, none seem to be working well together. Oh well….
    GUI’s were created so folks who have no clue how to work from a command line and write a script to run things – can be a SAN person! You know just highlight & click and the software will do all the real work for you. I bet there are alot of companies with folks who only know how to click and play in some trouble, cause the GUI here is just plain not working right!!!

    This keeps up there should be a real nice niche industry being created where folks who know how to NOT use a GUI will have tons of work.

    And sadly, EMC is not the only vendor with this kind of problem. I’ve watched software from respected vendors take total nose-dives in quality. So bad I can not afford to upgrade the software because the product has gotten so bad, that the older version is the only one you can rely on. One company I know the product was sent to their outsourced/global section of their company. And now the product is not ‘berry,berry good’! And the 6 figures this company pays for support costs is unbelievable for the support we get, when you compare it to how good it’s support used to be just 5 years ago! So sad!

    Keep up your scripting skills folks – you will need them….

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