Unboxing the EMC Celerra NS-120 Unified Storage

January 8th, 2010 by jason Leave a reply »

Wednesday was a very exciting day! A delivery truck dropped off an EMC Celerra NS-120 SAN. The Celerra NS-120 is a modern entry-level unified storage solution which supports multiple storage protocols such as Fibre Channel (block), iSCSI (block), and NAS (file). This hardware is ideal for the lab, development, QA, small and medium sized businesses, or as a scalable building block for large production datacenters. The NS-120 is a supported storage platform for VMware Virtual Infrastructure which will utilize all three storage protocols mentioned above. It is also a supported on other VMware products such as Site Recovery Manager, Lab Manager, and View.

The Celerra arrived loaded in an EMC CX4 40u rack, nicely cabled and ready to go. Storage is comprised of three (3) 4GB DAE shelves and 45 146GB 15K RPM 4GB drives for about 6.5TB RAW. The list of Bundled software includes:
Navisphere Manager
Navisphere QoS Manager
Many others

There is so much more I could write about the Celerra, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t know a lot about it yet.  The goal is to get it set up and explore its features.  I’m very interested in comparing FC vs. iSCSI vs. NFS.  DeDupe, Backup, and Replication are also areas I wish to explore.  Getting it online will take some time.  The Electrician is scheduled to complete his work on Saturday; two 220 Volt 30 Amp Single Phase circuits are being installed.  When it will actually be powered on and configured is up in the air right now.  Its final destination is the basement and it will take a few people to help get it down there.  Whether or not it can be done while the equipment is racked or during the winter is another question.  I really don’t want to unrack/uncable it but I may have to just to move it.  Another option would be to hire a moving company.  They have strong people and are very creative; they move big awkward things on a daily basis for a living.

Unloading it from the truck was a bit of a scare but it was successfully lowered to the street.  Weighing in at over 1,000 lbs., it was a challenge getting it up the incline of the driveway with all the snow and ice. We got it placed in its temporary resting place where the unboxing could begin.

The video

I’ve seen a few unboxing videos and although I’ve never created one, I thought this would be a good opportunity as this is one of the larger items I’ve unboxed. It’s not that I wanted to, but I get the sense that unboxing ceremonies are somewhat of a cult fascination in some circles and this video might make a good addition to someone’s collection.  There’s no music, just me. If you get bored or tired of my voice, turn on your MP3 player.  Enjoy!

EMC Celerra NS-120 Unboxing Video pt1 from Jason Boche on Vimeo.

EMC Celerra NS-120 Unboxing Video pt2 from Jason Boche on Vimeo.

EMC Celerra NS-120 Unboxing Video pt3 from Jason Boche on Vimeo.


No comments

  1. level67 says:

    Wow… nice kit to add to the home lab… Scared me how much power it may suck down when its running 24×7!!

  2. jason says:

    It’s replacing an existing 3 shelf 42 spindle MSA1000 SAN which will be decommed. I won’t say it will be an even wash but it should be close enough. I have all my electrical draw calculated down to exact amounts on an Excel spreadsheet. I rented an Amp meter which told me the draw of each electrical cable in the rack while on dual as well as single power sources. I use this information to balance each of the circuits. VMware advanced cpu power management and DPM also save quite a bit per month.

  3. remon says:

    One word; WOW, that’s realy realy cool. I wish I had one for my own 🙂

  4. Wow!! I got to have envy of you!! Nice piece of storage to have at home! Don’t forget to have a good cooling system.

  5. Ben says:

    Nice gear. How much did this puppy set you back?

  6. Brian Norris says:

    Hi Jason, Glad to see youve got your self a Celerra, looking forward to seeing what you think.


  7. Sixth says:

    Just curious…What brand hard drives are being used? Seagates?

  8. jason says:

    Seagate Cheetah

  9. Jase McCarty says:

    Entry level? What does that retail for?

  10. Plico223 says:

    Keep us inform on FC vs. iSCSI vs. NFS with this hardware.

  11. CGrossmeier says:

    At least your garage will stay warm this winter here in MN. I almost ended up with one of these at home. It came down to power and the fact I was moving. I kind of wish I did install it, but it serves me better in the office lab than at home.

  12. Hi Jason,

    Impressive stuff. I am in market for entry level unified storage device so my EMC rep recommended this particular model and while searching I stumbled on your website.

    The unboxing videos are great, gives me alot of insight as to what this solution has and is about, thank you.

    How much did it cost?



  13. Far out ! How long will it take you to fill up that puppy?

  14. ghani patriadi says:

    I got some problems about delivering the EMC Celerra NS-120 to my Customer. I want to use the elevator. But, they don’t have any good elevator to lift the device up to the Data Center room which is placed on second floor. I guess, that their elevator can only lift up to 350 kgs. Any suggestion about how to lift it up? Because I know from the outer box that the weight is 500 kgs. Can I uninstall something to decrease the weight? Can I uninstall the power supply (does it worth much)? Can I uninstall the disk also? Are there any particular box or else to wrap the disk if they are uninstalled?

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

  15. jason says:

    @ghani patriadi
    The reported weight of the EMC Celerra NS-120 from the config spreadsheet I got from EMC is 697 lbs. which is 316 kg. That includes 3 DAEs (30 FC drives), dual SPS, Control Station, SPE (block controllers), and X-blade enclosure. The rack is an additional 400 lbs. (181 kg.). The total shipping weight (NS-120 + Rack) was over 1,000 lbs. (454 kg.)

    I hired professional movers to move the Celerra rack down a flight of stairs. I didn’t attempt to move the rack with the Celerra installed, it’s WAY too heavy and it is never recommended to move a rack with equipment in it. Dangers include destroying your rack, destroying your equipment, or killing yourself should the rack fall on you. Prior to the movers arriving on site, I unracked the Celerra and moved each Celerra component down the stairs by myself.
    Then the movers arrived on site to move the EMC Celerra rack. The rack is a lot heavier empty than it looks. I swear the bottom is made out of lead. This is typical of most racks I’ve worked with. The movers (2 men with an electric stair stepper dolly) estimated the rack weighed about 400 lbs. empty (181 kg.).

    So you can unrack the Celerra and move each component separately to decrease the aggregate weight. Before you unrack and uncable, take several pictures of the stack (front and back) and document all cabling and cable routing so you can put it all back together again correctly.

  16. Johnny says:

    Wow, this is way to cool. I want one. You never did say what it all cost…

  17. othello says:

    Your video is an awesome way to present on what to expect of an EMC product. We have bought an AX4 recently and we are now going to store digitized maps, plans, drawings of about 3,000 buildings, our partner recommends either an NX4 or NS120 since budget and storage capacity is our main stumbling block, I suppose. Anyway, I just got to know how much did you spend for this “puppy”. I work for our government so cost will be the worst of my worries.

  18. Austin says:

    What is the nameplate power supply wattage on the celerra NS-120??

  19. Austin says:

    Awesome, thanks Jason!