Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks?? - SUN

This is a discussion on Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks?? - SUN ; I'm thinking of buying a used Blade 2000. I've been offered a Dell 147 GB F-CAL (fibre) disk. Are Suns fussy about their disks, or will pretty much any FCAL disk work in a Blade 2000? I know on the ...

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Thread: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

  1. Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    I'm thinking of buying a used Blade 2000. I've been offered a Dell 147
    GB F-CAL (fibre) disk. Are Suns fussy about their disks, or will pretty
    much any FCAL disk work in a Blade 2000?

    I know on the older machines, it rarely seems to matter who makes the
    SCSI disk. One usually has to label non-Sun disks, but that is about it.
    But I've not no idea if this freedom extends to fibre disks.



  2. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    On 2007-09-27, Dave wrote:
    > I'm thinking of buying a used Blade 2000. I've been offered a Dell 147
    > GB F-CAL (fibre) disk. Are Suns fussy about their disks, or will pretty
    > much any FCAL disk work in a Blade 2000?
    >
    > I know on the older machines, it rarely seems to matter who makes the
    > SCSI disk. One usually has to label non-Sun disks, but that is about it.
    > But I've not no idea if this freedom extends to fibre disks.


    W-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-llll. This is long, but bear with me...

    I bought a SB2000 a couple of months ago, from eBay, after my main home machine
    (an Ultra 60) died in a lightning strike. (Trying to claim on the insurance for
    a non-PC, non-Mac computer was amusing, but that's another story). The SB2000
    has twin 73GB disks, 4 GB of memory and twin 1.2GHz processors and initially I
    was delighted with it.

    I reinstalled everything, restored from the U60 backup tapes and was poised on
    brink of getting disk mirroring set up (which I'd put off, because it's fiddly
    to do and the sort of thing I only do rarely (the systems I work on at work are
    set up by other people)) when it started crashing. No errors, nothing in syslog,
    it just died. I dd'd /home to the other disk to save my work. Then I noticed I
    was getting UFS log rollover errors from the boot disk - they weren't getting
    syslogged, just coming on the console, so I never saw them unless I was actually
    there. After a day of crashes of increasing frequency, it would no longer boot
    from the main disk. Booting from DVD, the main disk could no longer be seen by
    the system at all. probe-scsi also couldn't see it at all.

    So I contacted the supplier, who was absolutely brilliant throughout, and he
    sent me another 73Gb disk. This is where it gets relevant to you. The original
    disks were Sun badged ones. The replacement disk was a Fujitsu one. The original
    disk was c1t1d0, the new one came up as c1t33d0, and I *could* *not* make its
    logical ID correct (and no-one responded when I posted here asking for help -
    not to worry, I learned loads about luxadm, OBP, FC-AL disks and so on). I
    decided to press ahead regardless and run the machine with c1t33d0 and c1t2d0,
    but first I ran a surface analysis on the new disk. Hundreds of errors, where it
    said that the error was repairable, but was unable to determine the block ID to
    repair it.

    I contacted the supplier again, and he sent me another new disk, only this time
    another Sun badged one, identical to the original. This came up as c1t1d0
    immediately, surface analysis ran fine, so I installed it. By this time, I'd
    reinstalled everything (again) on c1t2d0, so I just made c1t1d0 the mirror. It's
    been absolutely fine for about 10 days now. (I do need to swap the boot disk
    back to c1t1d0, I suppose).

    So ... my conclusion? I'd be inclined to think that the SB2000 *is* picky about
    disks, and if I ever need to fit another, I shall be choosy about what I buy.
    Would I ever buy another machine with FC-AL disks? Probably not.

    Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?


    --
    "Religion poisons everything."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org uk]

  3. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    Huge wrote:
    > On 2007-09-27, Dave wrote:
    >
    >>I'm thinking of buying a used Blade 2000. I've been offered a Dell 147
    >>GB F-CAL (fibre) disk. Are Suns fussy about their disks, or will pretty
    >>much any FCAL disk work in a Blade 2000?
    >>
    >>I know on the older machines, it rarely seems to matter who makes the
    >>SCSI disk. One usually has to label non-Sun disks, but that is about it.
    >>But I've not no idea if this freedom extends to fibre disks.

    >
    >
    > W-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-llll. This is long, but bear with me...
    >
    > I bought a SB2000 a couple of months ago, from eBay, after my main home machine
    > (an Ultra 60) died in a lightning strike. (Trying to claim on the insurance for
    > a non-PC, non-Mac computer was amusing, but that's another story). The SB2000
    > has twin 73GB disks, 4 GB of memory and twin 1.2GHz processors and initially I
    > was delighted with it.
    >
    > I reinstalled everything, restored from the U60 backup tapes and was poised on
    > brink of getting disk mirroring set up (which I'd put off, because it's fiddly
    > to do and the sort of thing I only do rarely (the systems I work on at work are
    > set up by other people)) when it started crashing. No errors, nothing in syslog,
    > it just died. I dd'd /home to the other disk to save my work. Then I noticed I
    > was getting UFS log rollover errors from the boot disk - they weren't getting
    > syslogged, just coming on the console, so I never saw them unless I was actually
    > there. After a day of crashes of increasing frequency, it would no longer boot
    > from the main disk. Booting from DVD, the main disk could no longer be seen by
    > the system at all. probe-scsi also couldn't see it at all.
    >
    > So I contacted the supplier, who was absolutely brilliant throughout, and he
    > sent me another 73Gb disk. This is where it gets relevant to you. The original
    > disks were Sun badged ones. The replacement disk was a Fujitsu one. The original
    > disk was c1t1d0, the new one came up as c1t33d0, and I *could* *not* make its
    > logical ID correct (and no-one responded when I posted here asking for help -
    > not to worry, I learned loads about luxadm, OBP, FC-AL disks and so on). I
    > decided to press ahead regardless and run the machine with c1t33d0 and c1t2d0,
    > but first I ran a surface analysis on the new disk. Hundreds of errors, where it
    > said that the error was repairable, but was unable to determine the block ID to
    > repair it.
    >
    > I contacted the supplier again, and he sent me another new disk, only this time
    > another Sun badged one, identical to the original. This came up as c1t1d0
    > immediately, surface analysis ran fine, so I installed it. By this time, I'd
    > reinstalled everything (again) on c1t2d0, so I just made c1t1d0 the mirror. It's
    > been absolutely fine for about 10 days now. (I do need to swap the boot disk
    > back to c1t1d0, I suppose).
    >
    > So ... my conclusion? I'd be inclined to think that the SB2000 *is* picky about
    > disks, and if I ever need to fit another, I shall be choosy about what I buy.
    > Would I ever buy another machine with FC-AL disks? Probably not.
    >
    > Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    > machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    > up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?
    >
    >


    Just guessing but it might have something to do with buying disks in
    quantity and/or not needing to stock hundreds of different replacement
    disks.


  4. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    On Sep 27, 6:37 am, Dave wrote:
    > I'm thinking of buying a used Blade 2000. I've been offered a Dell 147
    > GB F-CAL (fibre) disk. Are Suns fussy about their disks, or will pretty
    > much any FCAL disk work in a Blade 2000?
    >
    > I know on the older machines, it rarely seems to matter who makes the
    > SCSI disk. One usually has to label non-Sun disks, but that is about it.
    > But I've not no idea if this freedom extends to fibre disks.


    YMMV as they say. Huge had problems with one disk whereas I have 50
    odd
    of them and nary a squawk from one in the last X # of years. Lest we
    forget SAN
    used to be exclusively (pretty much ) FC/AL. Anyway - that said all my
    disks
    are Sun branded. And each one has the latest firmware updates.. How
    would you,
    if you had to, update a Dell disk? Further I have used lots of SCSI
    too and the
    non Sun ones did on occasion act strangely. Some died the death. All
    the
    Sun ones still live : > Recently I purchased an HBA for my 2000. Too
    bad the PCI
    only has one 66 MHz slot as I built an external 500 GB SATA-II drive
    and
    it works very well and was under 200 CDN dollars. Fast even at half
    speed.
    The 2000 with dual 1.2's is a fine box. I dont think they have
    released anything to
    replace it YET thats worth buying new or used. Still waiting.


  5. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.admin Huge wrote:
    > So ... my conclusion? I'd be inclined to think that the SB2000 *is* picky
    > about disks, and if I ever need to fit another, I shall be choosy about
    > what I buy. Would I ever buy another machine with FC-AL disks? Probably not.


    Not my experience. I recently put "defective" disks from an EMC
    Symmetrix DMX2 into my SB1000 and had no issues at all.

    These are Seagate disks with a custom EMC firmware (they identify themselves
    as SX3146707 instead of ST3146707). The two 146GB disks replaced the
    original 36GB disks.

    --
    Daniel

  6. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    Daniel Rock wrote:
    > In comp.sys.sun.admin Huge wrote:
    >
    >>So ... my conclusion? I'd be inclined to think that the SB2000 *is* picky
    >>about disks, and if I ever need to fit another, I shall be choosy about
    >>what I buy. Would I ever buy another machine with FC-AL disks? Probably not.

    >
    >
    > Not my experience. I recently put "defective" disks from an EMC
    > Symmetrix DMX2 into my SB1000 and had no issues at all.
    >
    > These are Seagate disks with a custom EMC firmware (they identify themselves
    > as SX3146707 instead of ST3146707). The two 146GB disks replaced the
    > original 36GB disks.
    >


    If EMC thinks they are defective they MIGHT be OK. EMC tends to be
    ultra conservative; I worked with an EMC 3630 for several years without
    a single failure! Every once in a while someone from EMC would show up
    and replace a cable or a circuit board but this was almost always done
    without down time! What they replaced was working but they considered
    the replacement to be "better" or "more reliable". If it's not the most
    reliable storage on the planet, it comes close! If it's not the most
    expensive storage on the planet, it comes close!

    It's worth noting that there is almost NO secondary market in EMC
    equipment; if you didn't buy it from EMC, they won't support it!



  7. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.admin Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > If EMC thinks they are defective they MIGHT be OK.


    I know. That's why I put them into the SB1000. We have a policy of not
    giving back failed disks. Instead we keep them and physically destroy
    them from time to time.

    90% of the "failed" EMC disks are indeed Ok. They may have spin-up problems
    or a few entries in the grown defect list. But basically they are Ok.

    The EMC firmware also doesn't prevent using them in another environment.

    > It's worth noting that there is almost NO secondary market in EMC
    > equipment; if you didn't buy it from EMC, they won't support it!


    Why would EMC support its disks in a SB1000?

    --
    Daniel

  8. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Daniel Rock wrote:
    > In comp.sys.sun.admin Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >> If EMC thinks they are defective they MIGHT be OK.

    >
    > I know. That's why I put them into the SB1000. We have a policy of not
    > giving back failed disks. Instead we keep them and physically destroy
    > them from time to time.
    >
    > 90% of the "failed" EMC disks are indeed Ok. They may have spin-up problems
    > or a few entries in the grown defect list. But basically they are Ok.


    I'd say a disk that doesn't always spin up correctly is not a good place
    to store data.

  9. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    According to Huge :

    [ ... ]

    > So I contacted the supplier, who was absolutely brilliant throughout, and he
    > sent me another 73Gb disk. This is where it gets relevant to you. The original
    > disks were Sun badged ones. The replacement disk was a Fujitsu one. The original
    > disk was c1t1d0, the new one came up as c1t33d0, and I *could* *not* make its
    > logical ID correct (and no-one responded when I posted here asking for help -
    > not to worry, I learned loads about luxadm, OBP, FC-AL disks and so on). I
    > decided to press ahead regardless and run the machine with c1t33d0 and c1t2d0,
    > but first I ran a surface analysis on the new disk. Hundreds of errors, where it
    > said that the error was repairable, but was unable to determine the block ID to
    > repair it.


    Hmm ... that may be because the new disk had a different WWN
    (World Wide Number) which makes all FC-AL disks unique, and Solaris had
    already allocated c1t1d0 to another WWN. The way to fix that is to run
    devfsadm with the -C (cleanup) option, so it removes the data about the
    old WWN and frees c1t1d0 for the new one.

    Perhaps the reason that things worked as desired with the third
    disk is that you had done a fresh install of Solaris on c1t2d0 while
    there was no disk in the c1t1d0 slot.

    An interesting thing, BTW, The Sun Fire 280R (which I have) uses
    the same system board, but a slightly different drive cage, and it
    assigns c1t0d0 and c1t1d0 instead of the c1t1d0 and c1t2d0 which the Sun
    Blade 2000 does. Another difference is that the Sun Fire 280's drive
    cage will only accept 1" high drives, while the Sun Blade 2000's drive
    cage will accept 1.6" high drives.

    > I contacted the supplier again, and he sent me another new disk, only this time
    > another Sun badged one, identical to the original. This came up as c1t1d0
    > immediately, surface analysis ran fine, so I installed it. By this time, I'd
    > reinstalled everything (again) on c1t2d0,


    With nothing in the c1t1d0 slot? So Solaris was able to start
    from scratch, with no WWN conflicts.

    > so I just made c1t1d0 the mirror. It's
    > been absolutely fine for about 10 days now. (I do need to swap the boot disk
    > back to c1t1d0, I suppose).
    >
    > So ... my conclusion? I'd be inclined to think that the SB2000 *is* picky about
    > disks, and if I ever need to fit another, I shall be choosy about what I buy.
    > Would I ever buy another machine with FC-AL disks? Probably not.


    My Sun Fire 280R came with no disks, and I bought a pair of 146
    GB drives (non Sun) and both work with no problems. Before I knew that
    the Sun Fire 280R would not accept the 1.6" high drives, I had gotten a
    pair of them (at about 180 GB) from eBay -- and I was able to test them
    in a friend's Sun Blade 2000, and they just would not work at all. The
    vendor took them back, since he had not been able to test them either.

    > Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    > machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    > up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?


    Because the same system board goes in the Sun Fire 280R, which
    has both (1") drives, and both hot-swap power supplies changeable from
    the front panel with no interlocks. I guess that they figure that if
    you don't need the hot swappable power supplies, you also don't need hot
    swapable disks. :-)

    When you *do* hot swap them in the Sun Fire 280R, you do have to
    umount them anyway, which may require rebooting onto another drive.

    I have a card cage for a Sun Blade 2000 which I plan to set up
    for making duplicate drives for backups using the external FC-AL
    connector.

    And I did not answer the original questions probably because I
    did not have the Sun Fire 280R yet and thus had no experience with the
    FC-AL disks.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.

    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  10. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    On 2007-09-27, Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > Huge wrote:



    >> So ... my conclusion? I'd be inclined to think that the SB2000 *is* picky about
    >> disks, and if I ever need to fit another, I shall be choosy about what I buy.
    >> Would I ever buy another machine with FC-AL disks? Probably not.
    >>
    >> Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    >> machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    >> up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Just guessing but it might have something to do with buying disks in
    > quantity and/or not needing to stock hundreds of different replacement
    > disks.


    It was a rhetorical question... )


    --
    "Religion poisons everything."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org uk]

  11. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > I'd say a disk that doesn't always spin up correctly is not a good place
    > to store data.


    So don't let it spin down.

    The disk is in a workstation. If one fails the mirror is still Ok. If both
    fail, I can restore the data from the backup.

    --
    Daniel

  12. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    On 2007-09-28, DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > According to Huge :
    >


    [snippage]

    >> but first I ran a surface analysis on the new disk. Hundreds of errors, where it
    >> said that the error was repairable, but was unable to determine the block ID to
    >> repair it.

    >
    > Hmm ... that may be because the new disk had a different WWN
    > (World Wide Number) which makes all FC-AL disks unique, and Solaris had
    > already allocated c1t1d0 to another WWN. The way to fix that is to run
    > devfsadm with the -C (cleanup) option, so it removes the data about the
    > old WWN and frees c1t1d0 for the new one.
    >
    > Perhaps the reason that things worked as desired with the third
    > disk is that you had done a fresh install of Solaris on c1t2d0 while
    > there was no disk in the c1t1d0 slot.


    This was happening even when booting from the install media, which builds its
    device tree from scratch each time.

    >> Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    >> machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    >> up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?

    >
    > Because the same system board goes in the Sun Fire 280R, which
    > has both (1") drives, and both hot-swap power supplies changeable from
    > the front panel with no interlocks. I guess that they figure that if
    > you don't need the hot swappable power supplies, you also don't need hot
    > swapable disks. :-)


    Ahhh, that makes sense. Although 30 seconds with some Scotch tape sorted out the
    interlock.

    > When you *do* hot swap them in the Sun Fire 280R, you do have to
    > umount them anyway, which may require rebooting onto another drive.


    In theory you can metadetach, then luxadm {remove - whatever the comnand is} the
    drive on the SB2K, except you can't open the box! )

    > And I did not answer the original questions probably because I
    > did not have the Sun Fire 280R yet and thus had no experience with the
    > FC-AL disks.





    --
    "Religion poisons everything."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org uk]

  13. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    Huge wrote:

    >>> Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    >>> machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    >>> up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?

    >> Because the same system board goes in the Sun Fire 280R, which
    >> has both (1") drives, and both hot-swap power supplies changeable from
    >> the front panel with no interlocks. I guess that they figure that if
    >> you don't need the hot swappable power supplies, you also don't need hot
    >> swapable disks. :-)

    >
    > Ahhh, that makes sense. Although 30 seconds with some Scotch tape sorted out the
    > interlock.


    Personally, given the Blade 2000 is not designed for hot swapping of
    disks, I suspect it could be risky to swap them. I would suspect both
    the disk and where it plugs must both be designed to allow hot-swap. It
    seems unlikely Sun would have designed the Blade 2000 to be
    hot-swappable, then put an interlock on it.

    Of course, it may be that the disk just connects to a standard SCSI
    chip, and that takes care of it all. But unless I knew that to be the
    case, I personally would not risk it.


  14. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    On 2007-09-28, Dave wrote:
    > Huge wrote:
    >
    >>>> Oh, and "Dear Mr. Sun", what's the point in fitting hot swappable disks to a
    >>>> machine with a power supply interlock on its access panel, so you can't open it
    >>>> up "hot" to swap the disks anyway?
    >>> Because the same system board goes in the Sun Fire 280R, which
    >>> has both (1") drives, and both hot-swap power supplies changeable from
    >>> the front panel with no interlocks. I guess that they figure that if
    >>> you don't need the hot swappable power supplies, you also don't need hot
    >>> swapable disks. :-)

    >>
    >> Ahhh, that makes sense. Although 30 seconds with some Scotch tape sorted out the
    >> interlock.

    >
    > Personally, given the Blade 2000 is not designed for hot swapping of
    > disks, I suspect it could be risky to swap them. I would suspect both
    > the disk and where it plugs must both be designed to allow hot-swap. It
    > seems unlikely Sun would have designed the Blade 2000 to be
    > hot-swappable, then put an interlock on it.


    Oh, I think you underestimate the stupidity of the Health and Safety fascists.


    --
    "Religion poisons everything."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org uk]

  15. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Daniel Rock wrote:
    > In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >> I'd say a disk that doesn't always spin up correctly is not a good place
    >> to store data.

    >
    > So don't let it spin down.
    >
    > The disk is in a workstation. If one fails the mirror is still Ok. If both
    > fail, I can restore the data from the backup.


    Do you drive around with a flat tire? Three out of four isn't too bad.

  16. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > Do you drive around with a flat tire? Three out of four isn't too bad.


    Bad analogy.

    Do you change your LCD screen if it shows a bad pixel?

    --
    Daniel

  17. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Daniel Rock wrote:
    > In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >> Do you drive around with a flat tire? Three out of four isn't too bad.

    >
    > Bad analogy.
    >
    > Do you change your LCD screen if it shows a bad pixel?


    If my display has two pixels, and I know one is broken to start with, yes,
    I replace it.

  18. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    > If my display has two pixels, and I know one is broken to start with, yes,
    > I replace it.


    Do you replace your car if you jump-started it once?

    --
    Daniel

  19. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    Daniel Rock wrote:
    > In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >> If my display has two pixels, and I know one is broken to start with, yes,
    >> I replace it.

    >
    > Do you replace your car if you jump-started it once?


    If my car doesn't work reliably, I find out what's wrong and fix or
    replace it. If the disk is purely scratch storage and I wouldn't miss
    what's on it, the I would reuse the disk. I however would not store
    anything critical on the disk even if it is part of a mirror set.

    If your car's steering failed once, would you keep on driving it?

  20. Re: Are Suns fussy about fibre channel disks??

    In comp.sys.sun.hardware Daniel Rock wrote:
    > In comp.sys.sun.admin Cydrome Leader wrote:
    >> If my display has two pixels, and I know one is broken to start with, yes,
    >> I replace it.

    >
    > Do you replace your car if you jump-started it once?


    I would replace what was broken or failing.

    I prefer preventative maintenance, not cleaning up larger messes later.

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