Subject: Re: DigitalServer 3305 & SRM console code upgrade necessary/desireable?
To: Chris G. Demetriou <>
From: Wilko Bulte <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 03/25/1999 19:15:18
As Chris G. Demetriou wrote ...
> Wilko Bulte <> writes:
> > [ ... ] but gave
> > up pretty quickly when we found out that this gives massive headaches
> > when people started using every disk type under then sun behind our
> > raid controllers. With the quality (ugh) of disk firmware out there
> > is was a support nightmare.
> Is that why they did it?  It's too bad you guys couldn't just say "we
> don't support that."

We also did. But it did not always help. Some people just don't want
to listen to messages like that.

> What it did for at least some customers, e.g. the group that I worked
> with at CMU, was cause them to look to other possible solutions for
> storage management.

I know. Some people also bought the drives that DEC sold to OEMs. Some
others the 'white boxes' as we called them. 

> We used to use lots of SW shelves filled with canisters filled with
> 'random' disks (i.e. purchased empty canisters, put our own disks in
> them), without the Digital RAID controllers.  We used a bunch of
> KZTSA/KZPSA adapters to drive them, and raidframe running on/in DUh or
> just accessed them as independent drives (or via the port of ccd to
> DUh that I did).
> When DEC stopped selling the empty canisters, the future became 'up in
> the air'.  It was ridiculous to pay DEC markup for (presumably
> StorageWorks RAID-qualified, now that you mention it) drives, when
> what we wanted was a bunch of disks in a kick-butt form factor...

They are definitely pulled trough a specific qual process. Whether
you want to pay for that or not is open to debate (which I don't want
to go into). For lots of customers it obviously is a price they want
to pay. (There is a similarity between Open Source Unic-es and 
commercial Unic-es I'd say).

For people doing their own SBB assembly the decision was
obviously not a welcome one. Sjeez, I have my own SBBs with my own
disks assembled myself so I can understand it all too well.

Enough rambling,

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