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February 19, 2005

Netra SAN Cards

Earlier in the week I was asked one of those "off-the-cuff" questions which then result in lots of effort to find what should really be a simple question. A client has some Netra T1 105 machines which are a couple of years old. They have a 32 bit PCI slot suitable for a 2/3 length PCI card. They also have 2Gb fibre connected SAN infrastructure... The quick question is whether there is a Sun 2Gb card that will work in the Netra.

Well the immediate response is to go look this up in SunSolve and the answer is very clearly: NO. The documentation for the server clearly states that only 1Gb cards are certified. The doco for the cards (I selected the Qlogic X6767A / X6768A for testing) also indicated that this particular server was *not* supported.

Hmmm. Looks like a challenge to me. I just happened to have an X6768A lying around and I also dug up a Netra T1 105. Afterall, the doco for the card suggests that it is a 32/64 card which should work in a 32 bit slot (although you get part of the connector edge of the card hanging in space). Open up the box and whoops... the problem is that the card is a 2/3 length card... boy is that tight space to put anything in...

After some manoeuvring (and pulling half the contents of the server out onto the desk) I got the card in. A bit more experimentation and I was able to work out that all you need to remove is the plastic processor shield and the PCI support bar. After you fit the card, these can be reinstalled. Now let's fire the system up... Nada. Zip. Nothing...

Oh yeah, it helps if you plug the SAN into the power point before you try connecting to it. Still nothing. Ahhhh, what about drivers? Let's try the SUNWsan software with the two cfpl packages... Bingo.

After all that effort (about 4 hours work), the result is only a brief email:

A Sun X6768A dual channel 2Gb fibre card can be used in a Netra T1 105. There are some specific requirements that must be met for this to happen.

1. The earliest supported version of Solaris is Solaris 8 04/01 (we tested on Solaris 8 02/04)

2. You need to be extremely careful fitting the card (it will rest on the drive cables).

3. Not all the PCI connectors fit into the PCI slot - that is due to the slot being 32bit while the card is 32/64 bit (the card will still work fine).

4. You need to install the following three packages: SUNWsan, SUNWcfpl, SUNWcfplx. These packages can aquired from http://www.sun.com/storage/san but you should not install all of the SAN packages.

5. More detailed instructions can be found in Sun document 816-5000-14 (or later).

I sort of feel let down after that :-(

Posted by Ozguru at February 19, 2005 06:00 AM


Ah... but you figured it out on your own! Good goin'.

BTW, the blog looks wonderful... but I thought I was in the wrong place when I first got here!

Posted by: Kathy K at February 19, 2005 08:02 AM

I couldn't follow this past the third sentence, but I like the new look. Peskie? Miss ya, Mate!

Posted by: Tig at February 19, 2005 08:02 AM

Uh, sorry to bother you again, but I just noticed my birthday is Anzac Boxing Day. How cool is that?

Posted by: Tig at February 19, 2005 08:02 AM

Peskie wha?

Posted by: Peskie at February 19, 2005 08:02 AM

Hi Peskie!

Posted by: Df at February 19, 2005 08:02 AM