Well, over the weekend one of our NAS boxes – the NetGear – started throwing SMART errors. Yeah, it was telling me that more and more blocks are going bad and we need to do something about it.

After due consideration (more below) Lori and I decided to replace it with a lower-end enterprise-class NAS.

Now this may sound like odd timing to you, but there’s something I haven’t told you. The NetGear was our tier two because it has a bad channel. It’s been running one disk shy for quite a while, and the problem is with the controller, not the disk – we tried replacing the disk right-off, only to discover that pre-NetGear versions of this box and issues with the first channel on the card. Lose another disk and POOF! No more tier two.

So we’re going to make the Seagate BlackArmor our tier two and place a shiny new Dell PowerVault NX3000 into our network. We picked the lowest end model they had that included CIFs, NFS, and ADS support in one box. Funny thing, neither Lori nor I has touched a PowerVault since we had a prototype in the NWC lab back when they were just starting the line up. Should be fun.

This is a “for us” thing, F5 isn’t subsidizing it in any way, and really shouldn’t be. Our NAS devices hold our stuff – our written works, pictures, PDFs we’ve purchased, even rips of our CD collection. This box is pretty, and we’re stoked, but with this box there is both good news and bad news…

You see, the Dell is a Dell, and it’s an enterprise product, so they don’t have one laying around that they can just ship to us, they have to put the disks in, test, etc. So it’s going to put this series off by another week. The good news is that once the box is here, I can sidetrack writing about configuring it and moving our network around, then we’ll be all set to actually talk about the cool things we hope to achieve with the ARX.

Until then though, I won’t be saying much. Let’s face it, I could play with the ARX for the week and tell you about all the switches I toggled, but you’re not going to use the box to play with, you’re going to put it in and tell it to manage your storage. So until I have the environment set such that I can do the same, it makes no sense to write about stuff that is fluff. In short, I’m not going to blog about stuff that doesn’t matter to you just so I can say I’m blogging.

So I’ll focus on other topics this week, and then you’ll get a flurry of updates when the new device arrives. The only thing I plan to do between now and then is rip down the ADS server (as in shut it off again), and make sure our Seagate plays nice via NFS, so all is set for this box to take the lead. Oh yeah, and back up both NAS boxes, so I can move the Seagate stuff onto the PowerVault, and the Netgear stuff onto the Seagate. So I guess I’ll be doing routine admin stuff, but nothing worthy of a blog unless something goes wrong and I think I can make you smile by blogging about it.

Until then, don’t get NAS-ty, be patient, we’ll be back.

Don.