Storage Server: It’s Alive!
We took delivery of the storage server Tuesday after a weekend burn-in period. It is an HP MSA20 storage array, with five 250 GB SATA disks, attached to an HP ML380 2U pizza-box server.
James and I played with the configuration of the array a bit, setting it up in several different configurations and verifying that we could expand it with additional disks when we need more room. In the array configuration program you can build a raid 5 array, with a few disks, and then later add new disks and expand the array onto the additional disks, also expanding the logical volume. Cool!
After that I set up SuSE Enterprise Server 9 on it, installing the OS on the mirrored 72 GB internal SCSI disks inside the server itself. SuSE had no difficulty with the hardware, and other than deciding how to lay out the boot partition and choose the software I wanted installed, the installation went by fully automatically.
Once the OS was installed, we started working on the array, making sure it was properly visible to Linux, setting up partitions and filesystems on it, and generally running it through it’s paces. We discovered that unfortunately, Linux is not able to recognize additional disks when they are added to the raid set in the array, so when expanding a volume on Linux, we’ll have to add enough disks to the array to make a second raid set and then use the logical volume manager in Linux to add a second logical volume to the volume set and expand the partition onto it. It still works, but it costs an extra disk every time you add another raid 5 set. Because of this we may just bite the bullet and fill the array with twelve 250 GB disks before we roll the system out. I don’t know yet. According to our calculations, we are going to need another terabyte or two before we are through.
The next step is to continue the work I already started in building a web-interface and scripting system to manage and control creation and access to the rsync backup sets on the storage server. That’s where the fun part begins. I’m a geek, I admit it.