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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author StorageWorks RA3000 SCSI RAID tower

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on March 30 2009 12:55
I have one of these that came with the DS10 I inherited. It was set up, as far as I can tell, for RAID5 spread across three 16GB drives, with the other bays empty. It had Tru64 installed, for which I had neither passwords nor license, so I wiped the drives and installed Debian Linux instead. I get 32GB of usable space, which makes sense for RAID5.

The problem is that I did not receive any software or documentation on configuring this tower. I'd like to add drives to it, but that won't work unless I can get at the setup. As far as I can tell, that required a machine running Windows NT connected to a serial port, with some special software that Compaq/HP no longer distribute.

Am I stuck, or is there a known solution? The tower and drives have been running smoothly for over a year with Linux on them, but I'd like to add another drive or two and put OpenVMS on as a dual boot configuration. The DS10 has no internal hard drive, only a floppy and a CDROM.
Author RE: StorageWorks RA3000 SCSI RAID tower

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on March 31 2009 07:32
Thanks again. I had seen that article, but missed the link at the very bottom. Probably gave up when I realized that it was about controllers on PCI cards that actually reside on the CPU bus. The RA3000 is the HSZ22 controller that lives inside the cabinet with the disk drives. This time I followed the link through and found the "SWCC Tips" article with the link to the actual OpenVMS SWCC software on HP's site (which cannot be found by searching through any of HP's indexes I think, because I sure tried.)

It still poses a chicken vs. egg problem as I want to get VMS onto the machine that is attached to the array, so that machine can't yet run the VMS version of SWCC. This is not insurmountable, however. I'll just have to take the array home to my other Alpha that already has VMS installed, or else bring that Alpha to the array, which is in my work area at the library. In any case, you've provided what looks like a more viable option than any I had before. Mostly up to now it was "Keep using the array as is until the drives fail and then chuck the whole thing since you can't initialize new drives or reconfigure anything."
Author RE: StorageWorks RA3000 SCSI RAID tower

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on March 31 2009 11:06
Terrific. Now that's really the kind of answer I was hoping for. I'll give that a try ASAP (probably Thursday) and let you know if it worked. There are, if I remember correctly, two serial ports on the back of the RA3000 and I suspected that one of them must provide some sort of BIOS or configuration capability. The only manual I could find on HP's web site did not explain this though, and strictly assumed the use of SWCC type software from a Windows NT host.

I begged the former owner to hunt for the original CD, which they must have had at some point, but they insisted they had nothing.

Finding a cable that isn't a null modem may be the hardest part of this task.
Author RE: StorageWorks RA3000 SCSI RAID tower

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on April 01 2009 12:04
As I expected, it took some scrounging to find a straight through (modem) cable. However, I finally came up with one today. Your information about the HSZ22 is confirmed.

I found it did not require the "ESC &" sequence to start communicating. I connected the cable to a PC with both devices powered off. I booted the PC, started Hyperterm and set it to VT100 emulation at 9600-8-N-1 before turning on the RA3000 tower. The password prompt appeared immediately, without any keystroke entered on the PC. The password was still the default "decraid" as you suggest, fortunately, as I see there is an option in there to change it to something else. This gives access to the configuration menus, disk formatting and testing, error and activity logs, and even performance testing.

The host controller in this unit reports its identity as HSZ22 d11x, and the date stamp on the existing array (or perhaps the whole unit, it wasn't clear) is 09-12-02.

Thanks so much for your help. Now I just need to find a source for additional drives and carriers. I have four empty slots if I can get drives without mortaging my farm.
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