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About Sparky

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  1. Good morning everyone. I've just taken delivery of some new Dell-EMC Unity 450F arrays (in part due to the comprehensive review here:, and am looking to configure networking to a pair of Cisco Nexus 9000 series switches, configured with a vPC peer link. So far, this is what I've got configured: Unity port A0 - Cisco Nexux 1 port 1, VLAN 100 Unity port A1 - Cisco Nexus 2 port 1, VLAN 110 Unity port B0 - CIsco Nexus 1 port 2, VLAN 100 Unity port B1 - Cisco Nexus 2 port 2, VLAN 110 This is as per the attached diagram. All ports are via 10GbE optical SPF+ (we have SPF+ modules in both the onboard CNA ports and a 4 port I/O module), and each port on the Nexus is configured as a iSCSI interface (4 in total). At least for the time being, all connectivity will be via block/iSCSI. A few follow-up questions on the above: Is this actually a valid configuration? Should I be looking to have the separate VLANs across each switch (i.e., A0 to Nexux 1 via VLAN100, and B0 to Nexus 2 via VLAN100)? Is it accurate that LACP and FSN cannot be configured for block iSCSI access? Would it be wise to utilize both the onboard CNA ports and I/O module ports for each controller (say, one on each) to provide extra redundancy? Thanks in advance for any assistance with this.
  2. Hello everyone! My organization is currently in the process of investigating options for replacing our currently primary storage platform. Details of the current setup: 2 * Dell-EMC VNX5200 appliances in our production DC A 3rd VNX5200 in our DR DC (located in a separate country than the prod DC) RecoverPoint appliances for a modest amount block-level replication between appliances 90-95% storage presented to VMware vSphere environment, with the rest presented to Oracle physical DB servers All storage currently presented via FC/block Some of the requirements Increase in performance over existing platform Able to handle a wide range of workloads and IO requirements Move to iSCSI Replication and the appliance level (i.e., migrate away from RecoverPoint appliances) Better file support – it would be nice to present more of our files shares natively at the appliance level (not a must, but nice-to-have) Better ability to leverage storage snapshots (i.e., Veeam Storage Snapshot backups) We are currently looking at two vendors/models: the Dell-EMC Unity range (most likely hybrid Unity 400), and the NetApp FAS range (most likely FAS2650 range). Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on the above? Are you going through a similar process yourself? Are you using either vendor in your current environment? Would you have any other alternative suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help or advice on the above.
  3. Thoes drives both look perfect, thanks for the recommendation, and I'll keep an eye out for the We review! Edit: the review is up!
  4. Thanks for the replies, and apologies for the delay in getting back to you to clarify my requirements: Hands-on isn't necessarily a terrible thing, but on balance a pre-packaged option would probably be best. Cost isn't a primary consideration. These will be to replace drives that have recently caused problems and even failed, losing data - so quality and reliability are important. Capacity wise, something around the 2-4TB mark should suffice. I was thinking 2 * 5.25 inch bays in a simple RAID1 setup would cover this adequately. Good performance would be a plus, there will be some video editing involved. Moving into the realms of caching drives might be a little overkill, but is worth considering.
  5. Hello everyone! I'm looking for recommendations for a good quality external drive. USB 3 is a must, as is RAID1. Thunderbold, Firewire or any other interfaces are a bonus. I don't seem to be able to find a good selection of suitable devices out there, and would really appretiate some recommendations. Thanks in advance for any help with this.
  6. Good morning everyone! I have currently got a few TB of data sitting on my home desktop with little in the way of backups, redundancy or availability. I am looking at purchasing a NAS to fix all of the above. The data is a mixture of Office documents, pictures, music, videos, and other random file data. Some questions on NAS and drive selection: From a brief look around the various reviews and manufacturer sites, it seems the DS215+ would be a good choice of NAS. Would anyone have any other recommendations (maybe the DS713+ or something QNAP)? Does SHR (Synology Hybrid Raid) allow the creation of volumes on a NAS with different RAID protection levels? Some of the data on the NAS will need drive redundancy, however other data is not so critical and I am more than happy to store them with no protection. With regards to drives, I am looking at WD Reds (4-5TB), however would anyone consider WD Red Pros worthwhile for the above setup? My wireless router only has a single GB port, with multiple 100mb ports. Would connecting the NAS to two 100mb ports have much effect on performance? Thanks in advance for any assistance with these questions!
  7. Thanks for the replies! To clarify a few points: Our current setup entails purchasing the extra drive bay. If we do this, short term we won't be using this for any other drives. Longer term, if we notice good gains with the performance of this server, we could look at moving some other databases to this server. Budget wise, we have a healthy amount to play with - although obviously we won't want to throw money at the problem and if we can get the same results with cheaper hardware, that would be preferable. Datacentre wise, we have ample room in our cabinets. Although again, we obviously woudln't want to be putting things in for the sake of it.
  8. Good afternoon everyone! We run a number of mission critical databases on a DL460 G6 Blade with P4400 EVA storage. This setup is mirrored across two sites using an application called CA ARCserve Replication. This whole setup is starting to show its age and we are looking at replacement options. We have our eyes on some HP DL560 G8s (in a similar mirrored setup as above) and have got specs for two E5-4610 processors and 128 GB of memory per server. However, we are a little unsure on storage options. The server itself comes with 5 bays and option for a 25 drive bay external enclose. There are a raft of drive options available, from SSDs, FATA, 7.2/10/15K SAS and so on. For the on-board storage we need to cater for the following: OS (Windows 2008 R2) + SQL server (SQL Server 2005 SP4): maximum of 100 GB TempDB: around 50 GB Logs: 50 GB Pagefile: 128-192 GB ARCserve spool drive: .5 – 1 TB We are currently looking at the following: 2*200 GB 6G SSD in RAID 1 for OS plus either TempDB or logs 2*200 GB 6G SSD in RAID 1 for pagefile and, if there is room, either TempDB or logs 3 * 10k 600 GB SAS in RAID 5 (using the external bay) for spool drive and either TempDB or logs (if still required from SSDs) Some regarding following this setup: With 128 GB, these servers shouldn’t need to do much paging. However, I believe at the very least we need to have a 128 GB pagefile for crash dumps and know that some applications (such as Exchange) still need to page, even on servers with high memory servers. Do we still need to follow the 1.5 ratio for pagefile to physical memory (ie, is 128 GB enough, or will we need 192 GB)? Does the pagefile need to go on SSD? Does having the pagefile on RAID 6 cause issues? If for whatever reason we are only able to fit one of TempDB or logs onto the SSDs, which would benefit more from the extra performance, and which would be just as happy on 10K RAID5 SAS? Does anyone know enough about ARCserve Replication to know what sort of performance requirements we would need from spool drives? Would they benefit from SSD, or would 10K RAID 6 SAS be enough? Is there anything else we have missed or could do differently? Thanks in advance for any help with this!
  9. Hey there everyone! I recently purchased a Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook, which I am absolutly delighted with. It comes fitted with a 32gb Samsung PM830 mSATA drive, and a 500gb Hitachi 5K500 SATA drive. Everything also seems to be installed on the 5K500, which seemed a little bit odd. I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade the mSATA drive, and looking at the reviews the Pextor M5M seemed like a good option, so I ordered one. However, a couple of mistaken orders later and I now a 128gb Plextor M5M, and a 256gb Plextor M5S and I am unsure what to do with them all! They are also both unopened, so I have the option to send either or both back if needed. Storage space on the laptop (and in turn the 5K500) would be nice, but ultimately speed and power consumption are far greater. So, a few questions: - The M5M seems like one of the best mSATA drives on the market now, am I right in thinking I am not going to notice much in the way of a performance hit from using it over a "regular" 2.5" SSD SATA? - How much of a performance gain and power consumption hit will I get from using two drives (mSATA SSD and either 2.5" SSD or HDD)? - The Samsung PM830 seems like a half decent drive, albeit small in capacity. Is there anything creative that I could use it for - say using it as an OS partition and putting Program Files and user data whatever drive I put in the SATA bay - or should I just sell it and stick with either the M5M, or even a single SATA SSD solution? - The M5S reviews don't seem to be great. If I am going to use a 2.5" SSD (if I don't find a use for it with the laptop, I can always slap it in my desktop), would I be better off with a better model - or will it be hard to notice any difference? Thanks in advance for any help with this!
  10. This is on Windows, yes (XP SP3 to be specific). It also assumes then when a user clicks on an attachment, they select Open as opposed to "Save As" (which would corectly specific their default save location).
  11. I have a bit of a problem regarding editing and saving of files opened from emails. When a file, such as an office document, is opened from an email attachment, the file is stored as a temporary internet files directory. If the user makes changes to the document and saves those changes (as opposed to save as), the document remains in the temporary internet files directory. Now, I know in part this can be solved by educating users – but its still a pretty silly “bug”. Is there any way of resolving it? Thanks in advance for help help or advice!
  12. Sparky

    Some very strange goings on…

    I really don’t think its hard drive related. The problem started with drives that had been used extensively in previous machines without fault. Now its giving me BLOD when I try during the Windows installation routine without any hard drives attached at all. I get no SMART error on any of the drives during start-up. Not sure if there is anyway I can give you more detailed reports from the BIOS, I certainly cannot do it from Windows right now (having problems even getting into safe mode).
  13. Sparky

    Some very strange goings on…

    I've tried a new power supply, as well as a new GFX card. Neither helped the problem - which has now escalated. Was working on the machine earlier, and started getting the same errors and problems. It BSOD'ed and restarted the machine. About 3 seconds after seeing the Windows startup logo, I get the same BSOD. This happens with any number or combination of hardrives installed. I've tried resinstalling Windows, but that throws up another BLOD at the point where is tries to start the instalation process. It even does that with no hard drives installed (just the optical drive). Is my motherboard broken? Does the world just hate me? Any advice much appretiated here - I'm about ready to throw this PC out of the window.
  14. Sparky

    Some very strange goings on…

    The PSU is unchanged from my previous setup. Its a good quality unit, and one I have not had problems with before. None the less, I have tried different power connectors - along with different SATA leads, and it appears that the problem persists and is independant of cables.
  15. I’ve recently purchased and built a new PC that I am having some serious and strange problems with. Its an Asus P5E3, with aq6600, 4gb of DDR3 memory and numerous hard drives. I used a fresh installation of Windows for the machine. A day or so after the fresh installation, I started experiencing problems with one of the drives on the machine (a 1tb SATA Samsung). I was getting the following errors:- - An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk8\D during a paging operation. (warning, source:disk, code 51) - The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur. (warning, course:ftdisk, code 57) - {Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere. (warning, source:ntfs, code 50) This happened many, many times – and was presumed to be the fault of the hard drive itself. I struggled to get off the drive and backed up on other locations on my computer. Just when I had started to give up hope, I tried the drive in an external USB enclosure. Low and behold, it worked fine – and I was able to salvage all the data from it. Everything was fine and dandy for a while. Then, yesterday evening a 400gb ATA Maxtor drive started to experience the same issues. Numerous code 51s, 57s and 50s. As with before, the drive seemed to function normally using an external enclosure. Last nigh was the last straw. One of my new 1.5tb SATA drives displayed the same issues, with the event viewer flooded by another deluge of warnings and errors. I also noticed these errors (they might very well have happened during the previous faults too):- - The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk2\D (error, sorce:disk, code 11) - A parity error was detected on \Device\Ide\IdePort1 (error, source:atapi, code 5). Thanks in advance to anyone that can shed any light on these issues.