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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
urbancamo
Member

Posts: 38
Location: Windermere, UK
Joined: 16.05.07
Posted on October 12 2011 21:17
Hi,

I'd be grateful if anyone could confirm whether what I am trying to do
with the hardware I have is sensible, and if it is, what might be
going wrong.

I have an Alphaserver 1000A working nicely with an external BA356 SCSI
disk enclosure via an 8-bit personality module. It is connected via an
NCR 53C810 based SCSI card. The disks in the BA356 are presented as
DKCx:


$4$DKC0: (SLAVE) Mounted 0 ODS5APPS 68005600 1 1
$4$DKC100: (SLAVE) Mounted 0 BUBBLE 56325360 1 1
$4$DKC200: (SLAVE) Mounted 0 APPSBACKUP 51453520 1 1
$4$DKC300: (SLAVE) Mounted 0 BACKUPS 65457088 1 1
$4$DKC400: (SLAVE) Mounted 0 ARCHIVE 126302976 1 1
$4$DKC500: (SLAVE) Mounted 0 SCRATCH 71131120 1 1





If I try and use a 16-bit personality module connected to a KZPBA-CX
QLogic card via a 68 pin external SCSI cable it doesn't work. I've
tried two different 16-bit personality modules and two different
cables (a right-angled and straight in cable - my understanding is
that the right angled-cable is the one I should be using)

When connected 16 bit I get the following error message on boot:
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...

Model number specifics are listed below with the boot information. Any
help gratefully received. I do also have a KZPBA-CY HVD SCSI card, but
I'm wary of plugging that into anything as I believe these cards can
do nasty things when connected to LVD devices.

Enclosure is a BA356-MA

Working 8 bit personality module is BA35X-MG
Non working 16 bit personality module is BA35X-MH

SCSI Card is KZPBA-CX 3L04434653 qlogic
Internal/External SCSI/SE 68 pin

Also have a KZPBA-CY, HVD card (not tried that)

With the 16 bit personality module connected to the KZPBA-CX external
port I get:

ff.fe.fd.fc.fb.fa.f9.f8.f7.f6.f5.f3.f2.f1.f0.ef.df.ee.f4.
probing hose 0, PCI
probing PCI-to-EISA bridge, bus 1
probing PCI-to-PCI bridge, bus 2
bus 2, slot 0 -- pka -- QLogic ISP10x0
bus 2, slot 2 -- pkb -- NCR 53C810
bus 2, slot 4 -- pkc -- QLogic ISP10x0
bus 0, slot 11 -- ewa -- DECchip 21140-AA
bus 0, slot 13 -- pkd -- NCR 53C810
ed.ec.eb.....ea.e9.e8.e7.e6.e5.e4.e3.e2.e1.e0.
V5.7-80, built on Mar 27 2000 at 09:43:35
Memory Testing and Configuration Status
512 Meg of System Memory
Bank 0 = 64 Mbytes(16 MB Per SIMM) Starting at 0x10000000
Bank 1 = 64 Mbytes(16 MB Per SIMM) Starting at 0x14000000
Bank 2 = 128 Mbytes(32 MB Per SIMM) Starting at 0x18000000
Bank 3 = 256 Mbytes(64 MB Per SIMM) Starting at 0x00000000

Testing the System
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...
waiting for pkc0.7.0.2004.0 to poll...



Edited by urbancamo on October 12 2011 21:24
http://www.wickensonline.co.uk
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
somersdave
Member

Posts: 63
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on November 04 2011 13:01
Sorry but I can't be of much direct help but here is a link to Hoffman labs which might be of some general interest: (Intro to StorageWorks, SureStore Disk Storage Shelves)

http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/54

I'm getting a little uneasy about needing a system backup of my Alpha 4000 with a 'degraded' 5 member RAID 5 setup - leaving one disk drive in the shelf (of 6) unused - but which I'm not sure if I can access. I know I raised this point before and I think Martin suggested that just replacing a failed 'brick' was not sufficient - but I noticed that when, say, running 'autogen', all 5 green disk LEDs were flashing (though not so brightly for the replaced disk brick)

For the Alpha 4100 , with 2 storage shelves, I've setup volume shadowing for the system disk - so I'm not so concerned about that one.

I'm very interested in the possibility of connecting a USB STICK to the alphas directly, possibly using an ETHERNET to USB adaptor, with OVMS 8.3? Both machines have unused DE500 cards.
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
somersdave
Member

Posts: 63
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on November 07 2011 09:53
Sorry to hijack the topicsmiley but it might be of interest in the general area of Alpha storage. Direct connection via ethernet to a modern portable disk seems an interesting proposition- for backup storage anyway. I've got no purist qualms about sticking with old hardware, outside the core system and VMS. (eg: after much fussing with old VDUs and cables, like VGA to BNC, both alphas seem to work happily with a fairly modern flat screen monitor and the common? No 9 graphics card though I've managed to get SSH, after stupidly losing the system password (seemed to cause problems even when it let me back in) working reliably between alpha and Ubuntu PC - so I can listen to things on the web instead of the alpha fans smiley )

Haven't investigated whether VMS will support the Backup command over TCPIP (last time I did one it was to a DAT tape or TK50/70?). I recall back in the 90s that the Co. I worked for, wanted to use a non DEC disk but it wouldn't allow some VMS functionality (backup - I think) but maybe times have changed.

It seems a co. called "Lacie" makes the ethernet connected external disk drives - which are far less common than USB types, it appears.
Edited by somersdave on November 07 2011 09:55
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
urbancamo
Member

Posts: 38
Location: Windermere, UK
Joined: 16.05.07
Posted on November 09 2011 01:23
I backup from VMS to Ubuntu using both straight FTP and Multinet based NFS.
I see no reason why you couldn't use a NAT box that supported NFS.
http://www.wickensonline.co.uk
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
somersdave
Member

Posts: 63
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on November 10 2011 07:22
Thanks - I need to 'read up' about system backups but I assume that I need to create a 'saveset' of the entire raid disk and then to copy it to the PC - obviously I have my OVMS 8.3 disk but I don't want to lose the ECO upgrade and compiler installations, etc, if there is a serious H/W failure. (I assume that under those circumstances I'd have to boot from the installation CD and then use the saveset to overwrite/add-to the basic system : better get reading)

(A quick approximation suggests transferring the the saveset wouldn't take too long)

Interestingly, I was given a couple of BA 356 enclosures and several disk bricks (2GBs, 4-mainly, and 9GBs) and I've just been examining them. The SWXCR, RAID controller has a spare channel but I don't have the cable to connect it to the 2nd disk shelf (the type with the special plug which also appears to connect to the top 'slot' in the BA 356). However, I have a SCSI cable which would 'daisy chain?' off of the plug into the working RAID disk shelf and connect to what-looks-like a disk brick (H885-AA Rev A02) and 'googling' , appears to be called a 'TRI LINK CONNECTOR or ADAPTOR' - perhaps this might allow me to use the BA356 for backups.

I hope there is little risk in trying this configuration though and that the additional disks will be 'seen' by the system. I'm going to try and source some SCSI cabling to use the Alpha's 2nd disk shelf.

Apart from writing some fortran 90 and some C++ to do some file handling, to refresh my memory I thought I might try using the system services routines (useful things but getting the call arguments correct, I used to find sometimes challenging) within some fortran code to do system monitoring in response to Youtube 'hacking VMS' video - linked by Hobbyist One (I guess that comes under 'How I use OpenVMS' )
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
somersdave
Member

Posts: 63
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on November 13 2011 02:04
'Got my fingers slightly burned' smiley Inserted a mixture of 4 and 9 GB disk bricks into. the upper shelf of the Alpha 4000 and fitted a single out channel SCSI controller A09-KZPSAPS, 'borrowing' a cable from the 4100. powered-up and though the alpha could 'see' the new card I somehow assumed that the disks would be visible via SH DEV but nothing. Then (rather stupidly again) I pulled out the disk shelf plug suspecting a bad connection. I'd booted at that stage and immediately 'amber' lights appeared on the RAID disks.

Anyhow after mucho time trying the original SWXCR and a 2 out channel 'KZPSC' (on card D040349-0 Rev C- interestingly reported on the alpha console as a 'Mass Storage Device' ) in various slots, no disk activity, and a worrying 'RAID FAILED' message on the console. Eventually I remembered a little about the original RAID setup and got 'Alphabios' powered up and miraculously found the original floppy with the RA200RCU (raid config utility).

All RAID drives were showing as failed 'FLD' - so I ignored the 'making a failed disk optimal (OPT) can have catastrophic results' (or similar) It seems I was lucky; after a parity check taking over an hour the amber lights had gone and all disks displayed a similar brightness green. The machine booted ok. (it seems amber lights don't necessarily mean that the disk itself is 'kaput'smiley (the RAID 5 setup will allow for one disk to fail and still maintain data integrity)

After a lucky escape I need to discover how to safely install the 2nd shelf of disks I assume if it's not RAID then there is some other method - though JBOD (just a bunch of disks) is an RCU option, I believe.
Edited by somersdave on November 13 2011 05:29
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
saq
Member

Posts: 53
Joined: 24.05.08
Posted on November 13 2011 08:01
On the BA356 you are correct in that you should be using the "right angle" connector. If you don 't have the official DEC connector and do have some extra space a slot can be cut out using a saw or Dremel-type tool to allow access to the side port. The termination is connected to the "front" port, so if you use that for SCSI in then the bus is terminated prior to your disks.

Make sure of two things. Depending on your setup, you may need to change the config switches to prevent a SCSI ID conflict with your HBA - on the first shelf all of the DIP switches on the personality module should be set to zero. Also check to see if you have a terminator (dual-channel) plug installed or a loopback plug. If it's a terminator plug you have two SCSI channels available and they are interleaved.

Third thing - check your cable length. The BA356 adds one meter to your SCSI bus length, which could be throwing your system off
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
somersdave
Member

Posts: 63
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on November 16 2011 11:29
Here are some more possibly more useful links. I think I have much the same setup as being initially discussed, having found out what a 'personality module' is. The code BA356 seems to apply to shelf mounted disks in the pedestal (ie: the server) and floor standing, separate disk enclosures (with the disks oriented in the horizontal plane and stacked vertically).

here are the links, I might try to configure the second shelf after getting a system backup stored safely:

http://giraffe-data.com/~bryanh/giraffehome/d/note/decsw

http://h30097.www3.hp.com/docs/cluster_doc/cluster_50/TCR_HCFG/CHSCSRQL.HTM


http://unix.derkeiler.com/Newsgroups/comp.os.vms/2005-09/1453.html
Edited by somersdave on November 16 2011 11:31
Author RE: Alphaserver 1000A with external BA356 enclosure - 16 bit issues
saq
Member

Posts: 53
Joined: 24.05.08
Posted on November 17 2011 18:00
BA356 is a StorageWorks shelf that supports 16-bit SCSI (BA350 is the 8-bit only shelf that doesn't take "personality modules"smiley. It can be set up as a freestanding, vertical shelf or mounted in a rack.

Most of the integral StorageWorks shelves that I've seen aren't technically BA356's (don't use the personality module or power bricks), but since they're functionally the same as far as the SCSI goes it's a good shorthand for "16-bit 7-position SBB shelf".
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