Storage Upgrade Stage 2 - Moving Cartman#

My parts arrived during the week, but it wasn't until the weekend that I actually had time to start putting things together.

However, before I could build the new machine with the new parts, I had to get Cartman out of the 5U case, which meant moving him into the 4U case I had. The 4U case was populated with a rather old Linux machine that I hadn't powered up in a couple of years. So all of that came out, leaving a clean 4U case, ready for loading:

The 4U Case Emptied

Once the case was clear, out came the rack again and Cartman shut down and pulled. I put Cartman on a separate table from my regular service table and gradually disassembled it and moved the parts into the 4U case.

Cartman motherboard in 4U case

Here you can see Cartman's motherboard loaded into the 4U case. Its an old Tyan board with dual P3 processors and 512MB of RAM. A great board in its day, its terribly dated now.

Notice also a pair of PCI-X slots, both of which are normally occupied - one with the Adaptec 29160 SCSI controller, the other with the Adaptec 2820SA RAID controller. The RAID controller just runs the big SATA storage array, the boot mirror runs off the SCSI controller, as well as the DVD drive and the external tape drive.

The drive array sits in the big gap on the left side of the case (right side if you're looking in the front), and the pair of boot drives live in the little gap full of wires between the drive array and the DVD.

Mounting the motherboard is always the trickiest bit of the build, once that's done, the rest goes quickly. The only difference between Cartman in the 5U case and Cartman in the 4U case is a four drive RAID array instead of six drives.

Cartman up and running in the 4U caseThis is what Cartman looks like fully loaded into the 4U case and booting up. You can see the SCSI ribbon cable running to the pair of drives in the center front of the case and the four blue SATA cables running from the RAID controller to the array chassis. Even the DVD is SCSI, although where the drives are SCSI-160 LVD, the DVD is SCSI-40.

The other two cards in Cartman are the video and gigabit ethernet. This is an old machine, very little is onboard. But you can appreciate why I have to replace Cartman. All those things we're used to having right on the motherboard have to be added card-by-card.

Cartman was none-the-worse-for-wear in the move, still working the same way, with just the RAID array being down.

The new drive array  In fact, as you can see from this shot at the front of the case, I did not install the terabyte drives into the chassis, since I currently have backup data on three of the drives, and I need six for the new array in the 5U case.

When I'm finally able to clean off those backup drives (when I believe everything is stable), I'll build a RAID 1+0 array using the old Adaptec controller. That will stay under the 2TB limit with the 1TB drives and give me the reliability and performance I want.

Ultimately, Cartman will be retired, but really only the motherboard. All the drives are fresh, what's needed is a new multi-core, multi-processor motherboard with a ton of RAM.

I'm thinking that since the 5U machine has an AMD motherboard, I'll put an Intel board in this machine. Probably something from ASUS, we'll see.

Cartman went back into the server closet without incident... tomorrow the 5U case gets a new motherboard, and a new machine will be born: Butters!

Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:03:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [0]  | 


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