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  1. #1
    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Revenge!

    Today I ordered a HP MSA2012i

    My 5TB XRAID is going to be retired shortly

    I have had enough. AFP is actually working for once, but I've had so many issues with it. SMB remains broken on 10.4 and 10.5 with an infinite process spawning issue. This now kills my windows PCs as students have a home folder mapped to a windows box and the XRAID.

    No more, it is going. I will shortly have a £10k paperweight unless I can get openfiler working with it (going to put the apple FC card into an old 1U Xeon).


    Apple have broken NFS too, I had varying disk corruption when trying to store a VM image on it using the NFS featues of ESX.

    The last straw was 3 SMB crashes in a week, so now all my apple files are going to be from a windows server VM infront of a disk on the HP.

    One down, one apple server left. If I can get the OD extensions on AD I won't have any left

    FYI 10.5 as a client is bad, but workable. As a server it is quite useless.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Today I ordered a HP MSA2012i

    My 5TB XRAID is going to be retired shortly

    I have had enough. AFP is actually working for once, but I've had so many issues with it. SMB remains broken on 10.4 and 10.5 with an infinite process spawning issue. This now kills my windows PCs as students have a home folder mapped to a windows box and the XRAID.

    No more, it is going. I will shortly have a £10k paperweight unless I can get openfiler working with it (going to put the apple FC card into an old 1U Xeon).


    Apple have broken NFS too, I had varying disk corruption when trying to store a VM image on it using the NFS featues of ESX.

    The last straw was 3 SMB crashes in a week, so now all my apple files are going to be from a windows server VM infront of a disk on the HP.

    One down, one apple server left. If I can get the OD extensions on AD I won't have any left

    FYI 10.5 as a client is bad, but workable. As a server it is quite useless.
    The XRAID was flawed right from the beginning....non-redundant controllers, and half the RAID unusuable in the event of controller failure. Utterly pointless, and something you wouldn't find on even entry level iscsi and fc devices today.

    In my opinion it'd be good to keep atleast one xserve, if only to use as an occasional netboot/netinstall server or apple update server. I personally am tempted to go down the windows server route for our macs, looked briefly at ADmitMac to do some of the tasks in place of WGM and managed prefs. Although tbh with a tool like deepfreeze available for the mac, do we need to try and replicate managed prefs ?

    Also.....

    "Apple have broken NFS too, I had varying disk corruption when trying to store a VM image on it using the NFS featues of ESX."

    ....sounds like an odd thing to do, seeing as setting up services for unix from the command line on a windows storage server 2003!!!! would probably be preferable to turning an xserve w/ XRAID DAS into an NFS filer for the purpose of storing and accessing ESX VM's. That's how inflexible and hassle-prone osx server is for some tasks....agree with you that it can be a PITA, trick is to not think of it as a *nix server, otherwise you're likely to be disappointed. Even when it's on home ground with apple specific features it blows so hot and cold.
    Last edited by torledo; 11th July 2008 at 08:34 PM.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    I didn't choose the Xraid, having only used a mac mini up to that point. It is very pretty, and speed is decent.

    It is, as you say, not well designed. The fibre card is a custom apple version, with copper (for FC?) connectors! No controller redundancy is bad, and the first time I had a disk failure it had an error, didn't mark it as dead and took the whole volume offline instead.

    I did look at the Equallogics but I just can't afford one right now, and they have loads of feature, but most of which I don't need.

    The MSA1500/1000s are a bit limited, but the 2000s seem to be ok.. It's dual controller with 12 15k 300GB SAS drives with 3 years HP support for just under £7800.

    The closest one (for actual space/drives) for Equallogic was around 21000 for 4 less drives. The features and extra NICs just weren't worth the cost for a secondary SAN. ESX support from 3.5 onwards too (In fact I was picking SANs from the VMware compatability list).

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    I didn't choose the Xraid, having only used a mac mini up to that point. It is very pretty, and speed is decent.

    It is, as you say, not well designed. The fibre card is a custom apple version, with copper (for FC?) connectors! No controller redundancy is bad, and the first time I had a disk failure it had an error, didn't mark it as dead and took the whole volume offline instead.

    I did look at the Equallogics but I just can't afford one right now, and they have loads of feature, but most of which I don't need.

    The MSA1500/1000s are a bit limited, but the 2000s seem to be ok.. It's dual controller with 12 15k 300GB SAS drives with 3 years HP support for just under £7800.

    The closest one (for actual space/drives) for Equallogic was around 21000 for 4 less drives. The features and extra NICs just weren't worth the cost for a secondary SAN. ESX support from 3.5 onwards too (In fact I was picking SANs from the VMware compatability list).
    Sounds like you had the v1.0 XRAID which had, as you say, the unusual custom connectors (forgot what it was called) that couldn't accomodate fibre SFP's....utterly bizarre design decision, later version did have copper (short distance) and fibre connectivity options so it was possible to connect to a SAN....but it still wasn't suitable for a SAN fabric.

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    Sounds good

    Could you give us an update on how you get on with the msa 2012i. It just needs bonded nic's and we would laughing.

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    Dual independent controller cards each with 128MB memory?

    Dual hot-swappable power units?

    Hot swappable cooling modules?

    Replaceable battery modules?

    Replaceable controller units?

    Hot swappable drive units?

    My XServe RAID has it all. It may not be the best on the market but it has never let me down. I would have preferred more options on a unit its price and size, but for all intents and purposes it is "fit for purpose". I just bought a 4TB Netgear NAS box that is absolutely fantastic and was a third of the price and from what I hear the new Promise gubbins are even better than the older RAID units. With a good choice of storage solutions out there it wouldn't be hard to see why Apple stopped making the RAID unit themselves!

    I haven't seen any of the issues you are having with AFP or SMB (but nor am I knocking them).

    Even so, the unit you have purchased seems a best fit for your computing comfort zone. Enjoy it!

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    @ DMcCoy
    So have you got rid of your XRAID now then? How are you disposing of it

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood View Post
    Dual independent controller cards each with 128MB memory?

    Dual hot-swappable power units?

    Hot swappable cooling modules?

    Replaceable battery modules?

    Replaceable controller units?

    Hot swappable drive units?

    My XServe RAID has it all. It may not be the best on the market but it has never let me down. I would have preferred more options on a unit its price and size, but for all intents and purposes it is "fit for purpose". I just bought a 4TB Netgear NAS box that is absolutely fantastic and was a third of the price and from what I hear the new Promise gubbins are even better than the older RAID units. With a good choice of storage solutions out there it wouldn't be hard to see why Apple stopped making the RAID unit themselves!

    I haven't seen any of the issues you are having with AFP or SMB (but nor am I knocking them).

    Even so, the unit you have purchased seems a best fit for your computing comfort zone. Enjoy it!
    The Xserve RAID has two controllers because it HAS to. They are not redundant, each controlling one side of the array.

    It does not do raid 6, raid 50, raid 10. I had one drive fail, it took the whole array offline because of a dead disk in a raid 5 set.

    There have been huge numbers of issues with AFP/SMB file sharing from OS X, although this is independent of the XRAID. 10.5 had an issue where the kerberos ticket would expire, crashing the directory services. Then it stops serving files.

    The patch notes usually contain various fixes for stability of AFP.

    After 2 1/2 years and many frustrating hours there is one major thing I have learned.

    OS X is not a server grade OS. That is, the Apple added features are not stable or functional enough for use as a server.

    Printer sharing that doesn't actually share a printer (10.5). Print servers that don't run after boot (10.4). RAID utility that can't rebuild an array (10.5), Directory service that by default accepts no ssl certs, not even the machines own one (10.5). Directory service that can't be fully configured as they removed some options before the replacement utility had them (10.5). Configure all the security options on OD, and the OD client stops working, you can choose only a specific set without it breaking.

    AD Domain name different from the machine hostname? Directory services will crash after a few minutes. Printer deployment broken in WGM, local KDC doesn't get removed when imaging with the Apple tools, each machine now creates 3 directory records. Broken home directory mounting, user is unable to login after another logs out if the home folder is on a different share point (10.5). Automounter attempts to mount every home folder ever used (10.4).

    Add that to my spectacular rate of hardware failure and it's all been a pretty miserable experience.

    It's not about comfort, I know OS X inside out now, after spending so much damn time debugging it!

    Oh, and a shaking login screen is NOT sufficient diagnostic information

  9. #9
    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    @ DMcCoy
    So have you got rid of your XRAID now then? How are you disposing of it
    I am going to stick openfiler on a PC and hope it can use the custom LSI Fibre card. It will be used as backup storage for VM images.

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