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SGI Rackable SE3016 SAS Expander - Best Practices?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Snuffy22, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Snuffy22

    Snuffy22 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi Guys,

    The time has come, I knew it would, I held out for as long as possible, I resisted, I fought the urge, I tried to seek help... but alas, I have run out of space on my Norco RPC-4220 4RU server and need to expand.

    I have a SGI Rackable SE3016 (also know as SGI InfiniteStorage 1116) sitting in the garage that I picked up 18 months or so ago that I plan to use

    This SGI SE3016/1116 has a 6Gbps SAS expander built into it and I plan to run it to my server and connect it to a IBM BR10i SAS card, I will then move 10x 2TB Hitachi/Samsung drives from my server into it.

    This will be my first time using an expansion shelf, my question for all of you is what process should I be following when powering on my server and expansion shelf, should I power the expansion shelf before or after I power the server or does it not really matter?

    I am running ESXi 4.1 with a Solaris VM and I use ZFS, if I want to power my server without powering the expansion shelf I'm assuming the best practise would be to export the ZFS pool that's on the expansion shelf beforehand? and only import the pool when I choose to power on the expansion shelf?

    In my server I plan to use a couple of IBM M1015 SAS cards which can support 4TB drives and I will purchase 10x HGST CoolSpin 4TB Drives to use in the server, I'm a big fan of the Hitachi Drives as they have been very very good to me over the years.

    I have heard that some people have had issues putting 4TB drives into Norco 4220 Cases, I believe it had something to do with the power draw going through the chip on the backplane that managers the 'hot swap' function of the HDD trays, I personally never use the hot swap function so I'm going to just cross my fingers and hope the case handles the drives.

    Code:
    Current Server:
    Norco RPC-4220 4RU Server Case
    Inel S5520HC Server Board
    2x Intel Xeon L5520 CPU
    24GB ECC DDR3-1066 Tripple Channel RAM
    2x IBM BR10i SAS Cards
    2x IBM M1015 SAS Card
    
    5x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB
    15x HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 ML6OA580 2TB
    
    Anyone use to running expansion shelves your advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. Aetherone

    Aetherone Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Power up the SGI first. Hot-plugging expanders via sff-8088 can be a bit hit'n'miss in my experience.

    Then again, I am using early generation 8088 gear (3Gbps SAS), so it might work perfectly with more modern kit.
     
  3. McRutch

    McRutch Member

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    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Melbourne
    as long as the sas cards support hot swap i'd turn it on after the system..

    reason being, if i boot my expander box up first, the adaptec bios takes a very long time to load and system boot up time is increased hugely..

    obviously your cards aren't adaptec so that might not apply to you, so i guess just trial and error ?
     
  4. Stanza

    Stanza Member

    Joined:
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    2,901
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    Adelaide
    SE3016 is only a 3Gbps shelf......;)

    ALWAYS power up the shelf 1st.......
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Snuffy22

    Snuffy22 Member

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    Location:
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    thanks for the feedback guys :thumbup:

    any experience with ZFS pools?, should I be exporting the pool on the expansion when i shutdown my server in case I dont power on the expansion shelf the next time I turn the server on?

    the SE3016 is only 3Gbps hey, guess my memory is a little fuzzy, not that its super important for what it will be doing :)
     
  6. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    I would export the pool and import it when needed...just cleaner or it will say it's faulted (and produce lots of alerts for me from Nagios :) )

    I assume esxi will be happy to pass the drives on the expander through even thought it's not there when the esxi powers on...should do as all it will casre about is the hba's.
     
  7. Copie

    Copie Member

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    Yes the 3016 is 3gbps only and tops out at 650Mb/s or so. They are okish enclosure, pretty noisy and poor airflow. Better off getting a 4224 + chenbro expanded + UEK
     
  8. fuXK

    fuXK Member

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    I seen someone on hardforum modify thier SGI Rackable SE3016 by using an intel sas expander

    The sas expander that came with it, apprantly it suck. But this box is popular for JBOD
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  9. OP
    OP
    Snuffy22

    Snuffy22 Member

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    you just gave me an idea... i think i might do a dodgy and route power from my server into the shelf and run sas cables directly from the server to the backplane of the shelf

    i really don't want to have to manually power the shelf, i like being able to turn my server on via the ipmb interface
     
  10. fuXK

    fuXK Member

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    Yes it can be Done. Just have to find long 10cm sas cables + power molex.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Snuffy22

    Snuffy22 Member

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    Quick question; the Hitachi Deskstars im planning to purchase are 4K drives with 512k emulation, When creating my ZFS pool should I be setting ashift=12?
     
  12. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    yes. but the diff. in performance is not that big if you can not/do not.
     

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