Intel Storage Server Part 2

In a previous post I mentioned my intention to install server 2008 R2 on my Intel Storage Server and that’s exactly what I have done.

The server is an SSR212MC2BR it was originally bought and configured as a NAS/iSCSI SAN running openfiler however it never worked quite right, it then had Open-e DSS software installed on it and this was choosen because the software had Intel Storview built in. Well a cut down version which actually never gave much info.

Still it had problems the complete set of 8 x 750GB enterprise sata disks were swapped out but that didn’t solve the issues we had where the array would just fall apart and the whole server was shipped back to the supplier were at no extra cost they installed a hardware raid card and also fitted a 2 port Intel nic which I had asked for.

We hoped that the raid card would help with our problems.

The server ran fine for a while and then one day it just stopped responding on it’s network interfaces, why I never found out and it just sat in it’s rack until the other day when I decided to implement my plan.

For backup software we use R1Soft CDP and as this is available as a windows based installation I didn’t see any benifit in having a server running the CDP software and then the storage being remote.

So armed with my Server 2008 R2 dvd I prepared myself for the installation, first hurdle no optical drive on the server.

Hmm thinks I and scratches my head, I first try my ide to usb adapter plugged into a dvd drive but the server doesn’t see it as a bootable device well infact it doesn’t see the drive at all.

Next I pop the lid of to see what connections are exposed, a row of sata connectors bugger I’ll have to find a sata dvd drive. Sata dvd drive located in a machine and plugged into a blue sata connector, reboot the server and look in the bios nothing there. I guess the blue ones are for the onboard raid capability.

Ahaha I spy an ide connector lets try the first dvd drive plugged into that so after a bit of swearing to get an ide cable routed we have it connected, yes the bios sees the ide dvd drive as a boot option.

Reboot the server and the windows installation begins very very very slowly. Eventually we get to expanding files and it gets to 7% then dies, bugger.

Ok next thought I had was that the server has 2 x 2.5″ boot drives so if I remove the sata cable to one of those I can plug my sata dvd into it and install from there, a single screw frees the 2 drives from their acoustic mounting and I do just that.

Reboot and the sata dvd drive is now picked up in the bios and I boot from it, success the installation of Server 2008 continues and is a lot quicker than before it can see the 80GB single boot drive that is still plugged in and can also see the 4.0TB RAID6 array whoopee!!!!!!

After a little while the installation is finished and the server is ready to go no missing drivers and all hardware is accounted for.

In order to provide visiblity into what is happening with the hardware I need to install 2 applications, Intel Storview to be able to see the status of the server enclosure itself and Adaptec Storage Manager to enable monitoring of the RAID system.

Downloads for both apps were secured and installation began, adaptec storage manager is working great storview isn’t the problem I have with storview is that I just get an “unable to connect” error page which would suggest the service isn’t working correctly however it starts and restarts just fine, if anybody has any ideas that would be great.

I have also downloaded the stable version of CDP Enterprise 3.0 from r1soft.com and look forward to filling up my 4.0TB array with some lovely server backups.

This morning I configured ASM to email me with errors etc… and then I decided to pull a drive to see what happened next, as expected ASM alerted me to the fact that there was a problem with the array and the alarm on the card started beeping too. I cancelled the alarm and reinserted the drive and again ASM picked this change up and started rebuilding the array.

Thats all for now but as I start using my “new” backup server in anger there may well be a part 3.

Update: It took 3hrs 38mins to rebuild the array.