I got myself a DS14MK2 unit with 2x FC-ATX modules & 14x 500GB SATA HDDs from work for $50, but i have no idea how to set it up. As you can tell i am not willing to spend an arm and a leg on a filer unit, from what im told is just an overpriced server, and spend an extra $10-$20/mo on electricity.
I have a Dell PowerEdge 1950 server with windows server 2008 r2 installed on it, and i'll be getting a qlogic dual port 4gb fc card from work tomorrow \w cables.
So, any one know if how i can do this - how to connect the DS14MK2 to a normal server with fc cards?
PS, Mr. Big Enterprise Guys... i'm not rich... so, please don't try to sell me anything.
I can shed some light on here, I've acquired several NetApp shelves in my day, all from eBay, all for home/self use. I have:
DS14MK4 FC (ESH4)
DS14MK2 AT (AT FC2)
and, of course, the DS14MK2 AT (AT FCX) with SATA drives.
This is the one that I've connected with a FC HBA also from eBay, the Qlogic QLE 2360 to be specific. I've got it connected to a Windows Server 2012 R2 box. Storage Spaces is my software "RAID" of choice, I've used it at work, great product.
Here are my findings with my setup:
The unit came with 14x 750GB SATA drives, and while that seems like a lot, it shrinks substantially when I configure a mirror Virtual Disk in the storage pool. So, I've decided to plug in a variety of larger disks. At first I attempted to fill the shelf with several 2TB drives and some 1.5TB drives and some 1TB drives, but the system wouldn't recognize 2 of the drives. Of course I thought they were failed so I replaced them with 2 of the original 750GB drives, but then the system would't recognize one of those. I did a whole array of "musical chairs" with the HDDs and found that I'm not using any failed drives.
Instead, it appears that 2 bays - and actually, up to 4 bays - in the shelf do not allow the system to recognize the storage drives. I looked in the BIOS config for the Qlogic card, and it allows me to get a low-level look at what's going on. Besides the confusion with jumpy FC addresses, most of the drives are recognized. But it appears when the 2-4 bays are populated, the FC target doesn't show the drive, but just a "Xyratex blah blah" module target. If I play musical drives some more (a lot more), I find that the maximum config I can achieve is 7x 2TB drives, 3x 1.5TB drives, and a couple of original 750GB drives.
Note that the bays are not bad, If I have all 14x 750GB drives in the shelf, they are all recognized by the OS.
Two scenarios in my mind right now:
1 The bays are being automatically administratively reserved for some firmware reason.
2 Or, there is a cap on the total TBs this shelf can contain. Does anyone know if there is a number for this?
The latter seems more realistic, and I'm bummed if that's the case - I had hoped to eventually bump this thing up with 10-12 4TB drives.
Anyway, If anyone here can help shed some light, that'd be great! I can contribute much more too, if anyone has any questions with the shelves. I have played around with some FC drives in the MK4 shelf, those speeds were fun 🙂 and I've got experience testing FC drives without the shelf, using just a FC point-to-point transceiver & silicon.
This is all great fun for a basement lab!
Oh, and if there is an updated thread that I can add this message to, lemme know I'll chase it down.
I was able to setup a DS14MK2 shelf with 2x FC-ATX connected to my Dell PowerEdge Server with a Qlogic dual port 4gb FC card installed. Will I be able to setup a similar connection with a DS2246 shelf? If so, any suggestion on the kind of QSFP port controller I will need for my server? Thank you
Sorry about taking forever to reply; my car got rear-ended really badly, so i've been soo freaking busy...
I setup MPIO, and it has definitely worked, but i'm only able to get about 300MB/s tops; i believe that the array just cant handle much faster :S but it's still pretty fast or it could also be the fact that i'm still resyncing the array... which is going to be 3-4 days...
*tip for anyone else doing this... turn off automatic updates while you create the raid lol*
Just waiting on my cat6 crimp ends, and then i'll be able to get the 300MB/s to my PC so i can store my software on the array without clogging up my home network Thanks to the MPIO suggestion, it occurred to me that i can do the same thing with ethernet so i'll have myself a 4GB/s network setup for under $100
starting to get a bit expensive... but i'm sure it'll impress the ladies
Basically, the physical connection just works, but to actually store data on the disks you have to jump through some hoops. Although, come to think of it, SATA drives should just work since they are not 520BPS drives, they'd just need a new partition table, I think. Again, never tried this myself, YMMV, etc. pp.
I also seem to remember some discussion (on the toasters' mailing list? Not sure.) about the drives' firmware doing some funky stuff when it is not driven by Ontap. Can't remember any details, though.
I just got my FC cables in today and hooked everything up... it was... PLUG N PLAY, like a USB stick lol... Just did a software RAID-5, but the performance is... well 2gbps...
Any ideas on speeding it up? i've currently got it connect to 1 controller; would it speed up if i connected it to a second controller? or is that mainly just for redundancy? Also, is there any way to upgrade it to 4gbps or can the array not handle that speed?
AT-FCX modules cannot handle more than 2Gbps. Connecting a second module might help, and I'd say it's certainly worth a try. You will probably need to use some multipathing solution to do that, though. I don't know if the native Windows MPIO will just handle it.
As to the general speed: Keep in mind that SATA drives arent't that great at concurrent access, so random IO will probably not max out the links (although a RAID5 array of 10+ disks should be more than enough for home use). Sequential IO will be limited by the AT-FCX module, so it should top out at somewhere between 180-200 MB/s (with luck twice that for a multipath connection).