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Looking for SCSI-to-SATA RAID w/active-active controllers



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 9th 04, 08:27 PM
Mark Landin
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Default Looking for SCSI-to-SATA RAID w/active-active controllers

Subject says it all! Probably need no more than 16 drive bays. Host is
an HP 9000 A500 server. All the SATA controllers with redundancy I've
seen have been FC controllers, and I need SCSI.
  #2  
Old February 11th 04, 02:02 AM
Benjamin Goldsteen
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Mark Landin wrote in message . ..
Subject says it all! Probably need no more than 16 drive bays. Host is
an HP 9000 A500 server. All the SATA controllers with redundancy I've
seen have been FC controllers, and I need SCSI.


That's going to be a hard combination to find. Most manufacturers are
focusing on FC now. Since SATA is new, support for it is only
appearing in newer units which tend to have FC host connectors.
Similarly, active-active is a somewhat more advanced
design/configuration (especially a working one...) and support for
that feature tends to be only found in higher-end designs -- like
those that serve the market that demands FC host connectors. I'm not
saying such a combination isn't possible -- just that the market for
such a device is probably too small to justify the engineering effort.

Infortrend and StorCase do have single-controller units that meet your
needs: A16U-G1A3 and S10H100 respectively. My experience with
Infortrend hasn't been too positive and I have no experience with
StorCase since they were Kingston.

Unless someone comes up with a better idea, I think your best bet is
either settle on a single-controller SCSI/SATA model or find a
dual-controller SCSI/ATA model and use PATA/SATA adapters (you'll have
to find a chassis design that accomidates). I've heard these adapters
work pretty well.

By the way, I'm assuming that you want SATA drives because you want
good reliability (better than traditional ATA) and low drive price
(less than SCSI). If so, you probably want the Western Digital Raptor
drives. Personally, I would stick with SCSI/SCSI units until I could
replace the HP 9000 with something that could support FC controllers.

P.S.This e-mail address is not accepting messages. Please post as
followup or send to my Yahoo account. My name there is bzgnyc.
  #3  
Old February 11th 04, 02:10 PM
Mark Landin
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Default

On 10 Feb 2004 18:02:26 -0800, (Benjamin Goldsteen)
wrote:

Mark Landin wrote in message . ..
Subject says it all! Probably need no more than 16 drive bays. Host is
an HP 9000 A500 server. All the SATA controllers with redundancy I've
seen have been FC controllers, and I need SCSI.


That's going to be a hard combination to find. Most manufacturers are
focusing on FC now. Since SATA is new, support for it is only
appearing in newer units which tend to have FC host connectors.
Similarly, active-active is a somewhat more advanced
design/configuration (especially a working one...) and support for
that feature tends to be only found in higher-end designs -- like
those that serve the market that demands FC host connectors. I'm not
saying such a combination isn't possible -- just that the market for
such a device is probably too small to justify the engineering effort.


That's the conclusion I was coming to also.

Infortrend and StorCase do have single-controller units that meet your
needs: A16U-G1A3 and S10H100 respectively. My experience with
Infortrend hasn't been too positive and I have no experience with
StorCase since they were Kingston.


I have a unit wit Infortrend controllers now. I've been happy with it
but the vendor I bought it from is not wowing me with their support
policies and the thing is about to come out from under warranty. We're
just seeing if it makes sense to get a technology refresh, and along
with it a new warranty and a more responsive vendor.

Unless someone comes up with a better idea, I think your best bet is
either settle on a single-controller SCSI/SATA model or find a
dual-controller SCSI/ATA model and use PATA/SATA adapters (you'll have
to find a chassis design that accomidates). I've heard these adapters
work pretty well.


Interesting, Hadn't heard of that.


By the way, I'm assuming that you want SATA drives because you want
good reliability (better than traditional ATA) and low drive price
(less than SCSI).


Right.

If so, you probably want the Western Digital Raptor
drives. Personally, I would stick with SCSI/SCSI units until I could
replace the HP 9000 with something that could support FC controllers.


Well I could get FC controllers for my HP if need be. I was hoping to
avoid the need (and expense) however.

  #4  
Old February 11th 04, 09:29 PM
Benjamin Goldsteen
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Default

Mark Landin wrote in message

If so, you probably want the Western Digital Raptor
drives. Personally, I would stick with SCSI/SCSI units until I could
replace the HP 9000 with something that could support FC controllers.


Well I could get FC controllers for my HP if need be. I was hoping to
avoid the need (and expense) however.


My experience (the kind you get when you don't get what you want) is
that there is only so far you can cut corners. By going for SATA
drives (instead of e.g. Seagate SCSI), I think you've cut as much as
you want to cut. You should look for someone with a high-quality
chassis and electronics and who will give you the support that you
need. In order to be compatible with the vendors/manufacturers that
you want, I think that means you are going to have to bite the bullet
and get FC controllers.

If the motivation is a technology refresh, I would bite the bullet on
FC host adapters now rather than later. The drives are somewhat
disposable but the controllers represent more of an investment, and
SCSI host connections do not appear to be the future.

I've worked with Alex @ Impediment ,
http://www.impediment.com) for Xyratex stuff (http://www.xyratex.com).
Impediment is a small company but Alex stands behind his sales.

The other manufacturer that I would be interested in is LSI Storage
Logic (http://www.lsilogicstorage.com). I've only bought it through
Silicon Graphics (e.g. SGI TP9400 is an LSI 4884). I also thought
their stuff was very well made.

Whatever you get, I would demo it thoroughly. In particular, failover
and failback, bad block handling, drive failure, and bad block
handilng simultanious during a failed drive mode or rebuild. Error
and failure handling was something that Infortrend controllers had
particular trouble with in early revisions of their firmware on early
SCSI/IDE RAID units (I have not thoroughly tested their more recent
FC/SATA controllers).
  #5  
Old February 25th 04, 10:23 PM
Bill
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Default

http://www.maxtronic.com/products/sa8600.html

Cheers, Bill

"Mark Landin" wrote in message
...
Subject says it all! Probably need no more than 16 drive bays. Host is
an HP 9000 A500 server. All the SATA controllers with redundancy I've
seen have been FC controllers, and I need SCSI.



  #6  
Old February 26th 04, 05:10 AM
Benjamin Goldsteen
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Default

Hi Bill,
The unit you mentioned appears to be a single controller unit. The
difficult combination of options the original poster was looking for
was SCSI, SATA, and dual/active-active controllers. It seemed like
only two out of three was possible. Can you confirm that the unit you
mentioned features dual/active-active controllers?


"Bill" wrote in message ...
http://www.maxtronic.com/products/sa8600.html

Cheers, Bill

"Mark Landin" wrote in message
...
Subject says it all! Probably need no more than 16 drive bays. Host is
an HP 9000 A500 server. All the SATA controllers with redundancy I've
seen have been FC controllers, and I need SCSI.

 




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