Baby SAN (Storage Area Network)

This is my new baby SAN (Storage Area Network), it’s a MSA 1000 (Modular Storage Array) with Active/Active Dual Controllers, Dual SanSwitch 2/8 connected to a MSA30 external storage box. Currently filled with 18.2 and 36.4GB disks to test and configure before moving any data.

Hewlett Packard MSA1000

Hewlett Packard MSA1000 - bright orange LED lit - Volume rebuilding!

This will replace my aging RA4100’s which are FC-AL, connected to host VMware servers at 1 Gbit/s to provide shared storage. using Compaq/HP Smart Array 5300 with FC-AL modules. Although the MSA1000 is now discontinued, it’s a real Fibre Channel SAN, and can be connected to Fibre Channel HBAs at 2Gbit/s, so potentially faster than iSCSI or NFS even with jumbo frames over gigabit networking, until I get some 10Gbit/s LAN switches! No longer supported by HP or VMware for vSphere 4.0, but then again neither are my RA4100’s!

Three Compaq RA4100s FC-AL Storage Arrays

Three Compaq RA4100s FC-AL Storage Arrays

The manual states, “Migration from RA4100 to MSA1000, removed all the discs from the RA4100, re-insert in MSA1000 in correct order, it will recognise the array configuration, and mount the volume, it should then be ready to present this LUN to your servers” – sounds too easy to me!

it uses a slightly unusual variation of an RJ45 connection, which further research indicates is called an RJ45Z. A normal RJ45 cable doesn’t work, because the Rj45Z has a special notch on it!

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