Greetings all! I hope you had a good 3 day weekend. I certianly did. I got to spend some time with the family, and some time researching some low cost storage solutions. I didn't have to research them of course, but I love technology so I like doing that sort of thing in my spare time.
Anyhoo, the reason I was looking into low cost storage solutions is because my company currently has a NetApp FAS2020 SAN. It's basically the lowest end NetApp one can buy. Well, my company has managed to just about use up all the storage on it, and they have budgeted for another FAS2020 purchase this year. Our vendor TIG has quoted us at $24K or something. Not bad right?
Well, my company operates on a shoe string, and besides the storage there are other things I want to buy. If we blow all our money on a high priced SAN like NetApp, that leaves me no money to get anything else I need. One thing I learned from one of my previous managers was that in a company with litle cash flow, the way you get your money for IT is in cost savings. Therefore I decided that instead of buying another NetApp, I could make my own SAN using SuperMicro Chassis's and Openfiler.
For about $15,500 I can build a redundant 6TB SAN using 24 600GB SAS drives. For a little over $6,000 I can make a redundant 12TB SAN with SATA drives. It all comes down to performance right? For those of you who didn't know, with Openfiler, not only can you create iSCSI targets, you can also cluster two nodes together in an HA Active/Passive cluster. Pretty cool right?
Anyway, now to get back on topic. One of the things I've been doing this weekend is playing with Openfiler. It's been a while since I've messed with it so I thought I would load it in some VM's a screw around. One of the things I noticed was after I booted up my VM, I had about 100GB of free space. I wanted to create an iSCSI target with that 100GB. For some reason I couldn't!
Every time I went to create a new partition the page would refresh and nothing would happen. I finally figured out what I needed to do. I'm not sure if the Openfiler people know about this bug or not, but if you leave the default cylinder numbers it will never work. What I found out was I had to change the beginning cylinder number to be 60 cylinders more that what was displayed.
For example, here is what was displayed by default:
I added 60 to the starting cylinder:
And after that I was able to create the partition! Now 60 really is the magic number. I tried adding 10 at a time until it finally worked, and it didn't work until I added 60.
Besides that one little thing, everything else worked as expected with Openfiler 2.99. Have you experienced this in Openfiler? Is it a bug? Do you know why it works that way? Let us know the comments.