Wednesday, March 08, 2006

T2000 problem

I just tried to buy a pair of Sun's T2000 machines, and then discovered (very late) that the system specification doesn't match my requirements.

It's not the system itself that's the problem, but the peripheral connectivity - or rather lack of such.

In particular, the plan was to hook up a couple of 3120 SCSI arrays. Not everything wants a fancy raid array, and FC arrays (and associated HBAs) are pretty pricy anyway. In this case, I'm looking at raw spindles for database access, but also if you look at ZFS it wants plain drives - raid hardware just gets in the way. So the plan was to have 2 SCSI channels and mirror them.

This won't work in a T2000. There's only 1 free PCI-X slot (the internal SAS controller takes the other one), and the only supported SCSI HBA is single channel anyway. So at the present time you simply can't have more than a single SCSI chain on a T2000.

To say that this is annoying is an understatement. It also limits the usefulness of the T2000 for several other projects I have in the pipeline.

Now, I could use FC storage, because the T2000 does have PCI-E slots, and there are PCI-E fibre HBAs, so it would work, but you're looking at a 50% or so increase in cost, which I regard as unacceptable. (The cost differential is particularly bad in small configurations - as you push up it becomes much less pronounced.)

Ho hum. Time to construct a plan B.


Danilo Poccia said...
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Danilo Poccia said...

Consider this timeline: starting from april both the PCI-X slots of the T2000 server will be available...

Peter Tribble said...

How will the internal drives be connected?

(Personally, it would have made more sense to have 3x PCI-X and 2x PCI-E slots, if one of the PCI-X slots was already allocated, as that would leave 2 of each free, which makes much more sense given that you often install HBAs in pairs.)

Danilo Poccia said...

The T2000 has an internal controller, but currently there is a problem in using it. Starting from april this problem will be solved and both the PCI-X slots will be available.

pci compliance said...

What a pity!