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Which Image Media Does My Unitrends Appliance Use?

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This article covers the different generations of Unitrends Appliances and which of those can support which which specific imaging media to reinstall the currently supported factory image for that model.
Details
Unitrends has releases many generations of models over its hardware history, and these models and systems, though most do support the current software releases, differ in feature specific support and hardware options, so the OS imaging media used for these appliances is periodically changed.  

In past years, specific image media by generation was used, and knowing the proper imaging media to use for a given appliance was somewhat complicated to determine.  The divide between Cent OS 5 and 6 further complicated this matter.

With recent releases, Unitrends has made an effort to simplify this process and unify as many models as possible to the current CentOS 6 factory image process using USB media. With 10.X, models were further clarified into "generation' categories in a selection menu on the current imaging media.  However, there's no immediately visible generational determination that can be made by physically looking at an appliance or it's asset tag designation prior to our most recent Generation 8 launch.  In several cases, older generation models and newer generation models my differ only by CPU speed, disk manufacturer, or by simple card changes, while in others more substantial changes were made drawing compatibility lines, but without substantial re-numbering of our line.  Determining the correct generation to then determine the proper media to use is key. 

This article will clarify Unitrends logical generation gaps and the appropriate image media for each of these systems.  
Physical assets sold by Unitrends are currently identified by an asset string.  For the prior 7+ years, the format of this string has been XXX(S)-XXX-XXXXX.  In July 2018 this model was changed to use capacity in the model numbering.  

Generation 8 numbering: 8XXX(S)-XXX-XXXX
The first digit defines this platform as generation 8.  The following 3 digits are the appliance RAW array capacity.  For example a Generation 8 system with 4X4TB drives, disconting one as raid parity has 12TB RAW capacity, so the model would be 8012-XXX-XXXXX.  This is a change since Generations prior.  Additional digits follow the older modeling convention defined below. 

Generation 4 - 7 numbering: XXX(S)-XXX-XXXX
The first 3 digits (and potentially an "S") determine the chassis class, and include information to help identify some platform features, capacity of unit, and base performance tier.  This is the primary model line number as would be seen in marketing materials.  The next 3 digits after the first dash are model hardware variances within the line.  Changes to the first didgit often indicate generational change (though not always uniform in history), and other digits may indicate minor changes to chosen manufacturer or internal parts like memory or drive systems, or the inclusion or lack of certain internal cards, as these specs may need to be changed slightly over time due to component availability.  The final digits are a code number to relate to specific build orders at manufacturing and are what separates your particular model from another customer's identical model in our record systems.    

To image your system, knowing the first 2 digit sets (XXXS-XXX) may be necessary for some models, while knowing the current 3 digits alone is good enough for many others.  Our current image media divides systems into Generation 8, 7, 6, and Legacy, so this information will help you understand what those divisions are.  

Unitrends in the past has not placed a specific effort to separate one generation from another logically. more recently, we've been making clearer divides between system generations.  We have decided to finally change this with Generation 8 making the future easier but knowng the older generation designations is still required. Below we'll discuss the basic tenants of how we have "logically" defined which systems are part of which generational divides.  The generation terminology is unofficial, and more normally coincides with basic manufacturing revamp efforts necessary over time as parts go end of life, but in some cases major design differentiation has been made to some models.  We'll now explain this logic.  "Generation' does not necessarily imply all systems grouped together were released at the same time, it's more a designation of the potential for support of modern features in use today.  

"Generation 8" is Unitrends Current production generation released in July 2018.  Generation 8 is designated by a 4-digit first octet with the first digit an 8.  (an "S" if present is not counted as one of these 4 digits)

"Generation 7" is the prior produced and advertised line.  However, this also includes some few systems prior a part of generation 6 that were fundamentally unchanged when the shift was made.  These systems will typically have a 7 after the first dash as XXX(S)-7XX, but there are a few models from generation 6 that were unchanged and are still offered once generation 7 launched so a 6 may also be found here for some models.  Model line simplification and a movement to larger capacity drives was also part of this shift.  

"Generation 6" was the introduction of our "S" series or Nextgen line.  These systems in most full-rack and all 2U and larger designations include SSD front-ended hardware or software array cache drives for improved IO performance necessary to properly support inline deduplication and other advanced software features.  Lower end models including half-rack units and our remaining desktop class chassis did not gain the "S" feature.  

"Generation 5" is the prior generation of hardware that some of which initially shipped including the CentOS 6 operating system, but older units in this same generation may have shipped with CentOS 5, but are new enough to support imaging directly to the newer OS.  This "generation" includes models from several years over time as the line evolved.  We refer to this as the "Legacy" generation, though we do have many even older systems.  Most models in this line do not support inline deduplication, but some of the later sold models in mid to late 2016 do have that option.  

"Generation 4" are yet older systems that were never initially supported on CentOS 6 are had been out of production for some time prior to us beginning to offer the OS migration option.  These systems support 64bit hardware (with one exception), and have the requirements to support CentOS 6 and our current release, but cannot be directly imaged with the current media.  Generation 4 systems require imaging with older CentOS 5 media, followed by upgrade cycles to the last CentOS 5 release (9.1.1-3), after which migration to CentOS 6 can be done with the help of unitrends Support, and finally be updated to the current release.  With the release of CentOS 7 support planned for later 2018/early 2019 these units will stop receiving software releases!  If you have one of these units, you should be seeking to replace it before the end of the year to ensure you have the latest software available.  

"Generation 3" or older systems are models that are either 32-bit and cannot support CentOS 6, or predate our current image support systems.  Some of these models were the first to use our current asset tag scheme, and older Gen 1 and 2 models used a completely different model.  These models are effectively end of life (though some may still be covered under extended support), and cannot be updated past release 9.1.1-3, some models cannot update past release 6.4.  If you have a model older than generation 4, please contact our sales team or your reseller immediately to replace these units.  
Based on the generation above, and with your asset tag in hand, use the chart below to identify which image media you require.  Once you identify this media, you can download it from FTP://FTP.unitrends.com/support/isos/FactoryImages and then reference KB 6058 for the specific imaging process to use based on that media.  

Within this table "Series" Identifies any model starting with the first octet indicated.  If a model is followed by additional digits, then you must identify the correct series of digits in your asset tag such to correctly confirm the required image media to use.  Within the current 10.0+ image media, the current generations supported by that media are itemized in a list.  locate your asset within the correct menu as designated by the generations noted here.   An "X" indicates that media supprts the referenced model and can be used.  
 
Model and buildImage Media Version to use (including older supported media)
Always use the most recent release supported.
Generation 8 (July 2018+)10.X (current) ISO8.0.0-3 ISO7.4.0-3 ISO6.2.0-1 ISO
8002 - 8012X   
8016S - 8120SX   
     
Generation 7 (late '16 - mid '18)    
602 SeriesX   
604 SeriesX   
606 SeriesX   
608 SeriesX   
814S SeriesX   
818S SeriesX   
824S-600+X   
926S SeriesX   
928S SeriesX   
938S SeriesX   
944S-701+X   
946S-700+X   
     
Generation 6 (NextGen Line)    
201 SeriesXX  
603 SeriesXX  
713S-600+XX  
714S SeriesXX  
823S-600+XX  
933S SeriesXX  
936S SeriesXX  
943S SeriesXX  
944S-600XX  
946S-600XX  
     
Generation 5 (Legacy Gen Cent 6)    
312 SeriesXXX 
313 SeriesXXX 
712 SeriesXXX 
713-100 thru 106XXX 
813-100 thru 105XXX 
822 SeriesXXX 
823-100 thru 305XXX 
824-100 thru 105XXX 
833-200 thru 306XXX 
943-100 thru 305XXX 
     
Generation 4 (Cent 6 "capable") (must be imaged with Cent 5 and re-migrated to Cent 6) 
172-Series  XX
212  XX
612  XX
722  XX
732  XX
812 Series  XX
832 Series  XX
833-100 thru 105 XXX
     
     
Older Legacy Systems (end of development after 9.1.1-3, if not older)  
DPU 2U   X
DPU 3U   X
171   X
211   X
300   X
311   X
411   X
511   X
610   X
611   X
621   X
631   X
710   X
711   X
720   X
721   X
730   X
731   X
 
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Michael Ciraco
Michael Ciraco

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