Data Domain Installation – A picture story

I recently worked with a client to install our newest line of Data Domain hardware and wanted to share the experience with all of you in picture form.

It was a rainy day in Texas and here I was headed to the data center once again. I called my contact and they met me in the lobby. We weaved our way through the long and ghostly silent corridors until we reached the nondescript door that led to Data Domain nirvana. I knew it was the right door in part due to a low mechanical hum that indicates lots of cooling and power lies beyond. My contact swing his arm back and grabbed the security badge that was tethered to his waist on the springy retractable clip, and in one swift motion the card readers glow had changed from the unwelcoming red to an inviting and alluring green. We entered and before me was the sight I had longed for. New equipment.


Data Domain in the box


I quickly began gnashing at the tape with still damp hands from the misty morning and quickly realized I would need some type of tool. Keys to rental sprang into my hand and to the rescue and I was in. I moved the usual documentation to the side; “I’ll read that later”, i thought as I dug through my open treasure chest. It was then that I spotted it. I wasn’t sure if the quick change in temperature as I entered the data center was still affecting my vision, but that looked like a screwdriver. I dug deeper and my suspicions were confirmed, and my heart sent a fluttering. Who would be so thoughtful to provide me with the one tool I knew I was going to need, and knew I hadn’t brought with me? EMC…that’s who! I moved forward spurred on by the excitement to use my new tool and grabbed the universal rails.


The contents of the box


“Hmm…,” I said to my companions, this says universal, but I sure don’t see any brackets or screws for a square hole rack like the one I have in front of me. That’s when the Emo kid burst forward from behind the rack. “What are these?” he asked as he handed me the mounting instructions to the rail kits. “Those are exactly what I am looking for…that’s what!” I remarked back as I snatched them from the black nail polish adorned fingers. “Now go back behind the rack and don’t cry when I hand you the other end of the rail to hold”. So we set to mounting the rail kits and found that process very easy. Our mantra “Second from the top and the bottom” was repeated four times as we attached the alignment screws. Again we chanted “Recessed side out, tighten most of the way” as we attached the brackets to the rails that had now been aligned in the rack. Finally, with a few twists here and turn there we had the rail kits installed and were ready to rack the Data Domain appliances.


Appliance wrapped up


I ripped into the pink static preventing cocoon that the appliance was trapped in like a kid opening his presents on Christmas morning. Emo Kid leaned in to help and slid a hand under the far side of the appliance. We hoisted it up to the rails, slid it in, and began securing the mounting ears. Rinse, repeat, and we had the second appliance installed. Time elapsed, about 45 minutes. Most of that was time spent on a quick trip to the convenience store for some caffeine since I passed Starbucks that morning. We connected power and the power assembly lights came to life. We attached network cables and the activity lights started blinking their spritely song of data packets. We connected VGA, and PS2 cables so we could complete the setup, and pressed the power button.


Racked and Stacked


I know this appliance uses a modified linux kernel, and was impressed to see how well even the boot sequence was trimmed. Lots of interesting tasks completed related to initializing the filesystem and we were soon prompted to login. Not to be outdone by Emo Kid again, I already had the quick setup guide in hand which instructed me to enter sysadmin as the user and the serial number of the unit as the password. Then the magic truly began. We reset the password, configured the network, created some CIFS shares, joined the domain, and answered a few other questions. Rinse, repeat and we had two operational Data Domain appliances that were up and running. We logged into the web interface to ensure everything was green and that we had hooked the network cables up to the correct ports. We were wrong, so Emo Kid was summoned to correct the situation. We then ensured we were able to successfully send autosupport emails back to the mother ship, and when confirmed, we all looked at each other, then the clock, and realized it was all done and it was time for lunch Off the to steakhouse, but that’s another story.


Data Domain Appliance

We consumed 4U or rack space, and brought over 15tb of capacity online. We are replicating the two appliances, and have connectivity for 6 copper ports. We can encrypt the data at rest, and during replication, can enable a retention lock to ensure data doesn’t change once it is stored, and also provide native CIFS and NFS access to the filesystem.




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