ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

Playing with Hardware

Got about two solid hours of sleep before I realized I wasn't going back to bed. Too much on my mind. So I shuffled down into the server room and began tinkering with several ideas I'd had lately. First, I wanted to build a FreeNAS server. I have these double-walled totes I keep my hardware in. One is filled completely with SCSI cables, another, 80-pin hot-plug SCA hard drives in a variety of sleds, and another one yet filled with a variety of PCB boards. I dug out the only SCSI adapter I have, an ancient Symbios 22802, and untangled a high-density DB68-to-68-pin adapter cable to connect to a 20-year old Sun 711 disk pack.

The disk pack holds six drives, so I pulled a matching set of 73GB 15k drives from their HP sleds, and removed an equal number of 9GB, 18GB, and 36GB drives from their Sun sleds, and swapped them to complete a matched set of drives for the disk pack. Presumably UltraSCSI doesn't require a terminator, but I dug one of those out as well.

Cracking open the largest of the PowerEdge 2950's I discovered its expansion riser was PCIe, and I needed PCIx for the SCSI adapter card. Thankfully the other PowerEdge 2950 is slightly older, and had a PCIx expansion riser in it! Once that was swapped and the Symbios installed, I rebooted the server with the disk pack attached in several combinations but could never get the card to see the drives. Additionally, I lost half of the six drives during the subsequent power cycles as they hadn't been powered on in 15-years. It was only then I checked the FreeNAS matrix, and even if the server had seen the drives, FreeNAS doesn't support the Symbios 22802.

Once I put everything back together I decided to upgrade the RAM in my OpenBSD bastion, an even older Cisco branded DL320. Upgrade might not be the right word, as the RAM I wanted to use was slower (533MHz vs 66&MHz), but significantly more (8GB vs 2GB). I had pulled this ECC RAM from a second, non-working RX2600 HP/UX chassis but despite the two modules being interchangeable, the Cisco server wouldn't boot with it in any combination. I searched for a physical jumper on the motherboard to shunt to no avail.

In all of this, I did find a virtual SAN, specific to our production environment, which runs solely on VMware to emulate SAN connections to virtual servers, so might try that despite the fact I'm not a storage admin. Could be fun.

Tags: linux

  • Speaking of Old School

  • Playing the Game

    Global Chat and Online Forums are a wondrous, yet frightening thing; you can learn so many new ideas, helpful hints, and gain previously unthought…

  • World of Warships Roster


  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.