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Identifying Symmetrix devices using the esxcfg-mpath and symdev commands (1010402)

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This article provides steps for System and Storage Administrators to identify the mapping of a LUN being presented from an EMC Symmetrix to an ESX/ESXi host. The process combines information available from the ESX/ESXi host with information from the EMC Symmetrix. This may be necessary when attempting to locate a device or ensuring correct presentation.

Note: Information is obtained from the EMC Symmetrix using the symdev command-line utility. This command is part of EMC Solutions Enabler, a suite of command-line tools released by EMC for managing storage environments. Licensing and configuration of EMC Solutions Enabler are outside the scope of this article. For licensing and full usage information, see
Note: The preceding link was correct as of May 9, 2011. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.


A full list of devices can be obtained from both an ESX/ESXi host and from a Symmetrix. The devices in each list are correlated based on key Network Addressing Authority (NAA) identifiers used for each device.

  1. Connect to the ESX/ESXi host and obtain a list of all devices by their Network Addressing Authority (NAA) identifier.
  2. Connect to the EMC Symmetrix using the symdev command and obtain a list of all devices by their WWN identifier and Disk IDs.
  3. Search the output of step 2 for each device from step 1, matching the ESX/ESXi host NAA against the Symmetrix WWN.

Device identifiers on ESX/ESXi

VMware ESX/ESXi 3.x and 4.x represent a unique device using a vml identifier, plus a naa or mpx identifier. Local and remote management tools expose these device identifiers. For more information on working with these identifiers, see Identifying disks when working with VMware ESX (1014953).

Before beginning, open a console session where the command-line utility will be used. For more information on using the remote vCLI commands, see the VMware Command-Line Interface documentation. For more information on opening a console session to use the local console on an ESX or ESXi host, see Unable to connect to an ESX host using Secure Shell (SSH) (1003807), Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 or 5.0 (1017910), or Using ESXi Shell in ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 (2004746).

  • For ESX/ESXi 3.x, obtain a list of devices using the console command esxcfg-mpath --list or the rCLI command vicfg-mpath --list. The device's Network Addressing Authority (NAA) identifier is embedded within the VML identifier. Remove the first 10 and last 12 digits to produce the NAA. For example:

    vicfg-mpath --server esxhostname --username root --list

    Disk vmhba1:4:5 vml.0200050000 6006048000019030091953303030413353594d4d4554 /dev/sd N ( 249271MB) ...

  • For ESX/ESXi 4.x, obtain a list of devices using the command esxcfg-scsidevs --compact-list, or the vCLI command vicfg-scsidevs --compact-list. The device's Network Addressing Authority (NAA) identifier is listed as the Device UID. For example:

    vicfg-scsidevs --server esxhostname --username root --compact-list

    Device UID Console Device Size Plugin Display Name
    naa. 60060480000190300919533030304133 /dev/sd N
    249271MB NMP ...

  • For ESXi 5.x, obtain a list of devices using the command esxcli storage core device list . The device's Network Addressing Authority (NAA) identifier is listed as the Device UID and is also embedded within the VML identifier (remove the first 10 and last 12 digits to produce the NAA). For example:

    esxcli storage core device list

    Display Name: EMC Fibre Channel Disk (naa.
    60060480000190300919533030304133 )
    Has Settable Display Name: true
    Device Type: Direct-Access
    Multipath Plugin: NMP
    Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.
    Vendor: EMC
    Model: SYMMETRIX
    Revision: 5772
    SCSI Level: 4
    Is Pseudo: true
    Status: on
    Is RDM Capable: true
    Is Local: false
    Is Removable: false
    Is SSD: false
    Is Offline: false
    Is Perennially Reserved: false
    Thin Provisioning Status: unknown
    Attached Filters:
    VAAI Status: unsupported
    Other UIDs: vml.0200000000
    60060480000190300919533030304133 53594d4d4554

Note: The identifiers are also accessible via the CanonicalName property of a ScsiLun in PowerCLI. For more information, see the vSphere PowerCLI documentation.

Device identifiers on a Symmetrix

EMC Symmetrix devices can be managed using the symdev command supplied with EMC Solutions Enabler.

To obtain a list of storage devices:

  1. Discover the Symmetrix arrays using the command:

    symcfg discover

  2. List all the connected Symmetrix arrays by their SymmID using the command:

    symcfg list

    For example:

    SymmID Attachment Model Version Cache(MB) PhyDevs SymDevs
    1234 Local ABCD-1 5874 229376 152 19924
    5678 Remote ABCD-1 5874 229376 0 21153

  3. List all devices in the Symmetrix using the symdev command, specifying the SymmID from step 2:

    symdev list -wwn -sid <SymmID>

    For example:

    symdev list -wwn -sid 1234

    Num WWN
    4E0F Not Visible
    4E10 Not Visible 60000480000192602314533034453130
    4E11 Not Visible 60000480000192602314533034453131
    4E12 Not Visible 60000480000192602314533034453132

  4. The Network Addressing Authority (NAA) for the device is listed in the WWN column.

    Note: When presented to an ESXi/ESX host, the Symmetrix devices will be shown in the format: sym.xxxxxxxxx.

Device identifiers on a Clariion

EMC Clariion devices can be managed using the symdev command supplied with EMC Solutions Enabler. To identify the Device WWN on a Clariion:
  1. To determine the NAA identifier on the ESX/ESXi, run this command:

    esxcfg-scsidevs -m

    The output will look similar to this:

    naa.60060160946028003ed1033043dde011:1 /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.60060160946028003ed1033043dde011:1 4e84a079-84e764df-d643-d8d3855ff8b4 0 cx4-120

  2. To determine which device naa.60060160946028003ed1033043dde011 relates to on a Clariion, run this command:

    symdev list -wwn -clariion

    Clariion ID: CKM00100900477

    Num Physical Name Config Cap(MB) WWN

    00000 Not Visible RAID-5 20480 6006016094602800D620BA18DDDAE011
    00001 Not Visible RAID-5 10240 60060160946028003ED1033043DDE011
    00002 Not Visible RAID-5 10240 60060160946028006C04B098D5DEE011
    00003 Not Visible RAID-5 10240 60060160946028000045C63CA4E0E011

  3. The Network Addressing Authority (NAA) for the device is listed in the WWN column.

Additional Information

The output of these commands can be redirected to a file for later reference or searching. For example:
vicfg-scsidevs --compact-list > vicfg-scsidevs-output.txt



See Also

Update History

06/28/2011 - Added ESX/ESXi 4.x to Products.

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