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Dell PowerVault 200S Installation

Posted on 2005-02-24
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We have a Dell PowerVault 200S that we are trying to hook up to a Powerdge 6450.  I don't want to have to reconfigure the entire server and then reinstall all the software (this is our Exchange server).  Is there a way to do this??  (It doesn't seem that Dell's Open manage software will allow us to do this, unless I am missing something.)

Thanks,
Gordon
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Question by:grhelm
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21 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13398824
You'll need either a SCSI controller (an Adaptec 39160) or a a RAID controller such as a PERC 3/DC. You'll also an appropriate cable and a terminator if you are connecting a single system. If the 200S was used in a cluster, you'll need to unset the join bus jumpers.

>s there a way to do this?

What are you trying to achieve? Are you adding the PV200S as additional storage or to replace some existing storage?
Also, what hardware is in the PE6450?
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13398964
Thanks,

We have the SCSI/Raid controller and cables.  It is physically connected to the PE6450 now and pwoers on.  We are trying to add additional storage since the Exchange database keeps growing and I am concerned that eventually we will run out of disk space.  Here is what is in the PE6450:

Quantity Parts # Part Description
 
1 0659U ASSEMBLY, PRINTED WIRING ASSY, DAUGHTER, BACKPLANE, 2X2, POWEREDGE
1 123PH PRINTED WIRING ASSY, INTERFACE, BACKPLANE, 2X2, POWEREDGE, LG2
1 1409D PRINTED WIRING ASSY, MEMORY BOARD, MEMORY, CARD (CIRCUIT), 8GB, P6400/6450
1 1C538 PRINTED WIRING ASSY, PLANAR (MOTHERBOARD), HE-V2.1, P6400/6450, R3
1 287JC KIT, CABLE, POWER, PE6450
1 34MDE KIT, CABLE, DORADO/ATHENS/TUALATIN/ALMODOR, PE6450
1 5005C PRINTED WIRING ASSY, CONTROLLER, PANEL, P6350/4350
1 5693R PRINTED WIRING ASSY, INTERFACE, HOT PLUG PCI (PC INTERFACE), P6400
1 81WJE PROCESSOR MODULE, 80526, 700, 2M, 100, SLT2, A1
3 9465C POWER SUPPLY, 275W, 3.3V, POWER FACTOR CORRECTION, ELCO CORPORATION
1 3260R PREPARATION MATERIAL, DEV, SRV, DCRS #1
1 6878T CORD, POWER, 125V, 10FT, SJT, UNSHIELDED
3 81WJE PROCESSOR MODULE, 80526, 700, 2M, 100, SLT2, A1
8 160XM DUAL IN-LINE MEMORY MODULE, 512, 133M, 64X72, 8K, 168, R, S
1 532TH MODEM, 56K, V90.PCMCIA, PSION DACOM, WORLD WIDE
1 912UE KIT, DOCUMENTATON ON FLOPPY DISK, MODEM, PSION DACOM, WORLD WIDE
1 6878T CORD, POWER, 125V, 10FT, SJT, UNSHIELDED
1 743NE CARD (CIRCUIT), INPUT/OUTPUT, INTERFACE, REMOTE SYSTEM MANAGER, DELL REMOTE ASSISTANT CARD II, REV-E
1 4574E ADAPTER, ALTERNATING CURRENT, UNIVERSAL, EXTERNAL, DELL REMOTE ASSISTANT CARD II
1 52VXJ COMPACT DISK DRIVE, 650M, I, 5.25" FORM FACTOR, 24X, SAMSUNG, BLACK
1 47JFR ASSEMBLY, CARD (CIRCUIT), POWEREDGE EXPANDABLE RAID CONTROLLER NUMBER, 3-DC, 128
1 8613T FLOPPY DRIVE, 1.44M, 3.5" FORM FACTOR, THIRD HEIGHT, 6450/4350/1550
2 7085T ASSEMBLY, CABLE, SCSI3, TWISTED PAIR, INT-EXT, 29IN
2 83KNG ASSEMBLY, CABLE, DORADO/ATHENS/TUALATIN/ALMODOR, S3, INTERNAL, TWISTED PAIR, DISKETTE LABEL
4 92DFK HARD DRIVE, 18G, S, U3/160, 10K, 80P, SGT4
1 9897R SYSTEM INTEGRATION, FEE (CHARGE), INTEGRATION, #19
2 3710T CARD (CIRCUIT), NETWORK, PC INTERFACE, INTEL, PRO 100+

We just can't figure out how to confgure this so that it is added as an an addition logical drive.
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13399498
That's a leeeeetle bit more info than I was expecting... :-)

I'll check it out and get back to you...
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13402065
Easy-peasy.

Your PERC 3/DC card (an AMI/LSI jobbie) has two SCSI channels. One will currently be running your internal HDDs. Connect the PV200S to the other channel or you are almost certain to get SCSI address conflicts - it would be safest to connect the PV200S when the server is powered down. Go into the PERC BIOS using CTRL-M and you can then go into Objects - Physical Drives and check that the PV200S and your internal discs are on seperate channels. If they aren't, swap the PV200S to the other connector on the PERC 3/DC. You can either create your new logical discs in the BIOS using Configuratio - View/Add and adding a new logical disc or you can do it from Array Mangler. I prefer to use the BIOS because that's what I'm used to - but it won't make a scrap of difference - either way works. The its simply a matter of creating a volume/partition and formatting.

If your PV200S has been used in a config where two servers have been attached to it, you may need to change the Force Join jumper setting on the SEMM/EMM card. If the PV200S has come from a similar setup, you probably won't need to make any changes. You'll find the necessary docs here: http://support.ap.dell.com/docs/stor-sys/hendrx12/en/it/index.htm
And the index: http://support.ap.dell.com/docs/stor-sys/hendrx12/

If you PV200S has only a single SCSI connector on the back you won't need to worry about termination as the termination is handled by a terminbation card. If your PV200S has two SCSI connectors, you may have to fit a terminator to the second connector.

Probably the most important thing to note is that you'll need some down time to do this. If you connect the PV200S to the channel on the PERC that is currently in use on a running server you risk corrupting the data.
0
 

Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13405237
Thanks!!  We'll give that a shot next week and see if it works.
0
 

Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13421306
Meyersd,

One other question, what do you know about the "channels" that are on system?  My understanding is that currently both of the existing channels are being used and this may prevent us from installing the PV.  Is it possible to install another SCSI card and will this give us an additional channel?

Thanks,
Gordon
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13423853
The PERC 3/DC has two SCSI channels - that is; two independent RAID controllers on the same card much in the same way that an Adaptec 39160 has two independent SCSI controllers on the same card. The 6450 also has a couple of inbuilt SCSI contollers - which are usually connected to the SCSI connectors on the top of the rear panel. Not many people make use of them as there are better options for performance.

If you open the case of the system and the PERC controller has two cables attached, then you are indeed out of luck and you'll need a new controller. The PE6450 has a 2x2 SCSI backplane for your internal HDDs so I suspect that you are quite correct - both channels are in use. I don't recall if a 2x2 backplane can be converted to a 1x4 which would free up a channel for you PV200S. I'll check it out and let you know. If it is possible then you could make this change without having to rebuild your existing logical discs.

Alternatively, you'll need either an additional RAID controller (a PERC 3/DC is ideal) or a SCSI controller such as Adaptec's 39160.

 
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13426222
Ugh,

It looks like we need to add another RAID controler.  Do you happen to know the part number of the PERC 3/DC we should get?  Or, can you tell which one on Ebay you would recommend:
http://search.ebay.com/PERC-3-DC_W0QQsojsZ1QQfromZR40QQsatitleZPERCQ203Q2FDC 

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13426306
47JFR is what you have now. If you're going to buy a new one, get as much cache memory as you can - go with a 128MB card rather than the 64MB.

Happy buying!
0
 

Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13451915
Earlier, we had posted an inquiry to Dell and we just received their response:

==========
The backplane board itseld has two SCSI connectors on the rear side, one for each channel. With a backplane daughter board, the second channel is active and the backplane is split in two - each having two hard drive connectors (2X2 backplane).  Without a backplane daughter card, however, the second SCSI connector is inactive and all hard drive connectors are on the same channel, making this a 1X4 backplane.

To remove the daughter card, you will need to power down the server and remove (from the server) the cable that is going to the secondary SCSI connector on the rear side of the backplane (facing the back of the server).  Then look at the front of the server for the daughter card, you will see a sheet of metal below the hard drive bays, and in the bottom right corner is a thumbscrew.  Please loosen the thumbscrew and pull on the (approximately one inch wide) metal lip which is bent down in the center of the metal sheet.  Pull the metal sheet out and this will remove the daughter board.  You can separate the daughter board from the metal it is encased in, and reinsert it without the daughterboard and tighten the thumbscrew back in place.  The backplane will now be a 1X4 backplane.  Please be advised that this will can affect (and will likely remove) any logical drives that existed on channel B.
==========

Now I'm confused.  Can you explain what the 2x2 versus 1x4 means?  It sounds like the system is limited to two channels (A & B) and that is it.  I believe we originally configured the system so that the system drive is in channel A and the "data" drive is on channel B.  Based on the comments above, it sounds like regardless of what we do, we are going to have to reload the system since converting this to a 1x4 (which I assume we would need to do before installing the second RAID controller) will adversely affect the current logical drive configuration.  Bottom line, can we get away with doing nothing to the existing configuration and just install another PERC 3/DC to get us the extra channel we need?

I've up'ed the points since this seems to be getting more complex...

Thanks.

 
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13453745
What they mean is that the internal SCSI backplane of your PE6450 can be either a single 4 disc backplane, so that discs will take SCSI IDs 0-3, or you can split I/O across two SCSI channels - one pair of discs connected to one SCSI channel on the PERC 3/Dc and the other pair of discs connected to the other SCSI channel on the PERC 3/DC. The two channels refer to one PERC card. Add another PERC and you have another two channels.

Bottom line: yes, you can add another PERC 3/DC without any problems at all. No changes are required to the existing config. Depending on the order that teh cards are installed in the PCI bus, you may have to shuffle them around so that you current boot PERC remains the first card that the system finds. ALternatively, you can just disable the SCSI BIOS (which isn't the same as the CTRL-M BIOS) on the new card which will prevent the system from trying to boot from the new card. From memory, the slot order of the PCI bus is numbered from right to left on a PE6450, but I may be wrong... In any case the label on the inside of the case will tell you.
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13459025
Okay, I ordered another PERC 3/DC card.  As soon as it gets here we will install it and see if we can get the PV hooked up!

Stay posted...  Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13524817
The PERC card arrived, will try to install this next week.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13527786
I'm spending a few days at the Australian International Airshow - but I'll keep an eye out for any posts...

Airshow! Airshow! Airshow!
:-)
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13603009
I hope the airshow was enjoyable!!

We tried installing the card last night and got some results we weren't sure how to proceed with.  When we installed the card and powered up the system, we got a load beeping noise.  We did the cntr-M to bring up the configuration tool and determined that the system does now show two interface cards.  Through trial and error (removing and reinstalling the card) we did determine that the new card is "01" and the original card is "00".  However, when we went into the configuration of card 01, it seemed as if we were looking at almost the same configuration as card 00, which didn't make sense since the PV200 only has two drives in it while the PE6450 has 4 drives (2 logical drives).  One obvious difference we did see though is that the new card has a NVRAM configuration also, which we got a warning on indicating this did not match the other (??) configuration.  We decided to play it safe and just pulled the card back out since we weren’t sure what we were looking at and didn't want to change anything that might totally mess up the current OS & Exchange installation.

So, can you help by letting us know what we need to do to configure this properly?  (The card was most likely installed in another system and may have configuration on it that needs to be wiped clean??)

Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

by:
Duncan Meyers earned 1600 total points
ID: 13606994
> I hope the airshow was enjoyable!!
You better believe it! Check this out: https://www.jkairys.com - he performed at the airshow...

It sounds like the new card still retains the configuration of the system it came out of. Remove the existing card (not necessary, but it never hurts to be extra safe) then go into Objects - Controller (from memory) then Clear Configuration. Reboot and go back into the BIOS and you should now see the PV200S with it's two drives. You can either shut down the server and reinsert the first card, power it back on and go into the BIOS and configure it or you can configure the new card whilst the original card is removed. Go with whichever you feel comfortable with...

Either way, once you have put the original card back in and booted into the OS you should now see both cards and PV200S in Array Manager and configure them anyway you like.
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13607258
Sounds like a plan! (not a plane! ;-)  Cool pictures though!

I'm out the rest of the week, so we won't be able to try this until next week.

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13607289
Take a look at the videos. The guy is a complete idiot! :-)
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13607292
And I say that with both awe and respect...
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Author Comment

by:grhelm
ID: 13653040
Removing the original card, disconnecting the original drives, installing the new card, configuring it, and then reinstalling the original card and drives worked!!

I am accepting your answer, but we now have one more question, which I will make a new question.  Please see "How do we configure the PERC 3/DC in a PE6450?"

Thanks for all the help and your patience as this took much longer to complete that expected.

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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 13657062
My pleasure...
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