FAS960 setup help

I have a FAS960 filer and 3 DS14 MK2 drive shelves that I would like to get up and running, but I don't have any of the drives that the unit originally came with, as the company (obviously) destroyed them upon recycling the filer.  I am assuming that this also means that I don't have an OS with the filer, but perhaps I am wrong if the filer contains some sort of a HDD or SSD with the OS on it (I work in IT, but I have never dealt with NetApp products or filers before).  I have done some google searches to try to figure out if I would be able to get an OS onto it, as well as learn even just the basics that I would need to know to get it set up, but the vast majority of the information I have found seems to assume that you have at least a year or two of experience.

So in short, a few of my questions are:

- If I install a PCI USB card, will it be recognized (especially for the purpose of keyboard/mouse/USB video and a bootable USB drive)?

- Would the filer be compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2?  Linux server OS?  Or is there anyplace I can get a copy of Data OnTap?

- If I get an OS installed, is there software I will need in order to program it via the console cable, and is that available anywhere?

In spite of all the research I have done, it still seems like I am starting from square one.  I also understand that what I am trying to do just might not be possible, or at least not without shelling out a bunch of money to buy a version of whatever OS/console software I would need.  Either way, I greatly appreciate whatever help or advice anyone can provide.



Re: FAS960 setup help

I'll try to answer your questions and suggest a few pointers and gotcha to be aware.

FAS960 is around 10 years old.

Do you have the disk carriers with the shelves? You are going to need at least 3 or 4 working disks.

I'm not familiar with this model, but normally the o/s is held on a CF card.

If I install a PCI USB card, will it be recognized (especially for the purpose of keyboard/mouse/USB video and a bootable USB drive)? doubt it

Would the filer be compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2?  no

Linux server OS?  sort of, but you need to do a lot work.

Or is there anyplace I can get a copy of Data OnTap?

The filer should work via console port without any software, you should get output now, you'll get to use this serial connection to set a IP and provide input anyway.

You've most likely need to install OnTap via a TFTP server.

Good luck.

Re: FAS960 setup help

Thank you very much for the info.  I figured it was anywhere between 5 and 10 years old, so that doesn't bother me at all.

I don't have any of the disk carriers, but I have found drive carriers with drives on eBay for about $20 each.  The ones I have found are model number X276A-R5, which are 10k rpm 300gb sas drives.  I haven't bought any yet, as I didn't want to invest any money before I knew I could get it going.

A couple questions I have about the drives:

- If I were to buy (for example) 4 drives just to get it up and running and want to add drives later, will I need to reformat the drives and recreate the RAID, or can it dynamically expand as I add drives?  I can probably make it work either way as long as I plan accordingly.

- Once all the shelves are filled with drives, does each shelf act as a separate RAID, or does the entire array of shelves comprise a single RAID array?

I do have the CF card, and as far as I know, it's contents are intact.  I have booted it up without any drives in the shelves, but without a monitor or a way to connect to the filer, I don't know for sure if it is booting properly or not (or if it will boot at all if it doesn't see any drives).  Do you know of any websites (or other sources for that matter) that could help me to learn the basics of Data OnTap, especially the initial setup and configuration info?

Again, thanks for the help.


Re: FAS960 setup help

I think the first thing you need to do is see what state the system is. The only way you're going to able to do this is to plug a serial cable in to the back, the documents for the FAS960 aren't on the NetApp site any more but if it's like any other filer there should be RJ45 labelled 010101 or similar. If you can get a prompt that says loader you're in luck, typing "boot_ontap" will start the OS. but without disks you're not going to get very far. If ontapp isn't on the CF card, you're going to need to set up a TFTP server and install ontap from there.

All being well you should be able be to get things up and running with 4 disks, you can easily add more disk later without having to reformat. An array can span across all or some disks in one or more shelves.

The X276A-R5,disk aren't SAS but in fact Fiber channel SCSI, which is what you need, the  is a good source of info on the basic OnTap commands etc.

Re: FAS960 setup help

Nitpicking - FAS960 has standard DB9, not RJ45. Also it has Open Firmware with prompt OK>, not loader with prompt LOADER>. Finally, netboot was not officially supported on FAS900; I think I used it a couple of times but may be mistaken, it was too long ago (and it was FAS920 which is newer). At least, netboot image is present for these old models.

For FAS900 it is also possible to copy image to CF on your PC. There should be some documents (both KB articles as well as Internet ones) describing how to do it.

Re: FAS960 setup help

Thanks everyone for the help so far.  I ordered 4 or the drives I mentioned above so that I can set up a RAID once I can get the filer configured.  I also now have a serial to USB cable and PuTTY, but so far I haven't been able to establish a connection to the filer through the console cable.  I don't know much about PuTTY or Telnet, but my brother does know a little bit and is helping me here and there.  I also have a serial cable with a serial to RJ45 adapter, so if I need to use that in place of the serial to USB cable, that's easy enough to do.  The settings we have been using in PuTTY are as follows:

     Com3 (which is what the serial to USB cable shows as in Device Manager)

     Speed (baud) 9600

     Data bits 8

     Stop bits 1

     Parity None

     Flow control None

Based on what is displayed on the LCD screen as it boots, I'm guessing that it is booting normally, at least to a point.  Below is the text that is displayed as it boots (a couple spots might be slightly inaccurate, as a few things flash across the screen fairly quickly):

     Testing CPU

     Testing clock

     Testing pc-card

     Checking sensors

     Probing devices at /pci4/pci@7/pci6/fcal@3

     Set boot alias

     Testing 512MB

        2 to 64MB (tests up to 512MB in 64MB increments)



There are also 3 LED's that will come on either blinking or solid periodically as it is booting, but I haven't paid a lot of attention to them so far.  It will also display "Entering firmware..." if I push the small button on the front (originally thought it was a hard reset button) when "Starting" is displayed, but it will not proceed from "Entering firmware..." even after several hours of waiting.

If anyone has any tips or advice on how to connect to the filer and do initial configuration, I would greatly appreciate it.  As far as info about the filer, I know what the MAC address is, and I know what the machine name could be (not guaranteed though), and I can assign it a specific IP address through DHCP, but I'm guessing that it at least has a static IP set as standard practice, and may not even have the option of using DHCP.  So in short, the first things I will likely need to configure are the machine name and the IP address.

Again, thanks for the help.