I just purchased (2) NetApp DS14MK4 and also (2) Brocade 5000 32 port 4GB Switch.
I am brand new to setting up FC connection, after reading all over the internet I see a lot about "filer" (Ex: FAS3170). Do I have to puchase a "FAS3170" in order to make my NetApp DS14MK4 disk array work? Or can I simply use a custom made server running Windows Server 2012 R2. And just a bunch of 4GB FC port cards as needed?
I plan on having 2 Databases Servers (custom made). They will run Windows Server 2012 R2, 128GB RAM, SSD for OS each. I believe I would then need to add (2) Dual FC cards 4GB to each server. (I could be wrong about that, I am not 100% sure on the wire diagram to make this all work.
So basically to be clear, is a FAS3170 or some other model required in order to make "NetApp DS14MK4" work properly? Or can I simply use my custom server to attached the "NetApp DS14MK4" with the approiate FC cards attached to custom server?
DS14 is not array - it is dumb shelf (JBOD). You may be able to connect it to FC HBA (there were success reports) but you will need to use software volume manager to have RAID like functionality. I am not aware of any external RAID array with disk FC interface. And such configuration will not be supported by NetApp.
So yes, you almost sure need FAS to make full use of DS14.
Thank you for your response. With that being said, can someone install Server 2012 R2 onto a FAS3170 or do you have to use their Data ONTAP. Do you know of any pre-made used Disk array models that could be used in my setup that will allow RAID and not just JBOD.
I originally was going to basically build 2 new computers and just put 16 disk in each with a high power raid card and FC cards. Is that an option?
Once I connect the disk array to my 2012 R2 Server via FC, can I use the software raid that Windows Server includes to create a Raid 5 within the disk array? That was my plan. I understand if you are unsure about this.
I am not aware of anyone trying to install Windows on FAS - it would be very expensive excercise for very little gain. As for direct shelf connection - you are on your own here, sorry. Search Internet, you may find some reports of earlier attempts.