This is cool...

Adventures in testing. QLogic's SAN Express

September 23, 2005

2 Min Read
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I see a lot of products in a year. I mean a lot. It's kind of my job to get toys, play with them, try to break them, then tell you how well they did. Sometimes they break too easy, but you get the idea.Anyway, since I see so much, it is not often that I get a product and go "this is friggin' cool" about twelve times when opening the package.

That's what happened though when QLogic sent me the SAN Express promo pack - an example of SAN Express at work.

It's small, and it's a SAN. In short, "it's friggin' cool".

Put together by QLogic, Seagate, Studio Network Solutions, the package I received for our Green Bay lab is 280 Gigabytes of FC storage that fits in a 2x2x1 box that has plenty of padding.

So of course I want to put this thing together - there was no mention in the box about how much storage was in it, and no matter what they tell you, size does matter to Storage people ;-).

I take an old server we had lying around, a white box that CMP bought for us several years ago, and install a crispy clean copy of Windows on it. Of course, I haven't used one of these servers in a while, so I forgot that nothing works on it without the driver disk. So I had to dig out a rarely used driver disk and get everything working. That took longer than you'd expect.

So once Windows was running correctly, I shut it down and pulled the server out to put the FC card in. I haven't used these servers for hardware, I was doing only software testing at the time they were in popular use. So I was surprised to find that, in a 1U server, all the expansion slots were straight up and down.

Swearing, I went looking for the expansion lift to turn the cards sideways. Finally, I gave up in frutstration and dug out a newer tower machine.

Ripping the tower machine apart first, I slipped the card in and started the install. Thankfully, all went well, and a short three days after starting to play with this rig, I was able to hit the disks.

The actual SAN gear installed like a dream. All of my problems were from trying to use an old machine.

I'm still playing with it, this isn't in the labs for review, but thus far, I'm impressed with the product. My only concern is the concern that I have with all FC products - how many can they really sell at the price? Disk is cheap these days, and thousands of dollars for a 280 Gig drive, no matter how fast it is, might be too much.It's a shame too, because as I've said throughout this article, "This thing is friggin' cool".

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