Post by Dave Froble
Thanks to all who responded. The older system has 18 drives providing nine mirrored volumes, plus another 6 mirrored 'universal' drives proving backup staging space. They are hoping that we can put in an RX-2800 with eight larger SAS drives (which even RAID'ed will add up to much more space) but due to the age and complexity of the software involved we really want to keep the same number of spindles/volumes visible to VMS. If possible without a second controller and more drives in a shelf. If we have to merge more than one or two disks together it will seriously increase the complexity of acceptance testing; everything should be clearly controlled via logicals but a lot of hands wrote a lot of software over 30+ years, so dropping to four large mirrorsets is not going to happen. I know we can do the work, but the time and cost...
We have an RX2660 we use for testing here; it has a P410i with the advanced license and some 1.2TB SAS drives (and four smaller ones). I can make an ADG array with the four large drives in ORCA, but it does not provide any means of 'breaking that down' into smaller volumes to pass to VMS. I tried (once, so maybe missed something) to use MSA$UTIL from the DVD boot of HP VMS V8.4, and it also doesn't seem to have options to break down that large disk (which is already visible to VMS). So if a P410 can do this (is a P410i different in that regard?) I should be able to test on the 2660 and confirm that it can be done on the potential RX-2800.
I'm installing VMS kit on a local disk temporarily so I can see if the MSA$UTIL options are different when booting from a live disk. I've got the appropriate update kits available to install
If SAUPDATE from the UEFI console is also capable of doing the volume setups then I'm going to try to find that kit/download somewhere; HPe moved it all behind paywalls. I should have RX2620 firmware kits from when ours was under support but I doubt I have that for the 2660 (which was a customer letting us have it back when they retired); no idea if we could use one kit for just that one utility on a different box.
I don't know how your system(s) are configured, so this may not be helpful.
We use those "dratted logicals" to define disks. So we can move things
around, just with the logicals.
Are current. However if we wanted to replace both Disk2 and Disk3 with
one larger disk, all we would do is to have both logical names Disk2 and
Disk3 both point to the new larger disk.
There could still be issues. Say the old disks have identical directory
names that are used for different purposes. Or other unknown to me issues.
If you're not using logical names in a like manner, then perhaps your
solutions will be a bit more difficult.
David Froble Tel: 724-529-0450
DFE Ultralights, Inc.
170 Grimplin Road
Vanderbilt, PA 15486
The use of concealed devices can "fix" this too. I have successfully used these to accomplish having multiple "disks" on a single one.
The system was designed with logicals. The devs over the years were supposed to use said logicals, and the last major system change 10 or so years go rooted out the mistakes when the Integrity disks had different names (for which we also used concealed logicals). However we want to avoid going through the effort needed to merge multiple current disks together onto fewer larger ones. Yes, there are overlaps in the directory structures between the drives. Old stuff, moved stuff, archived stuff, and the devs are not at all or barely available for questions.
This is not an issue about overall disk size (other than getting more space, easy since the largest current spindle is 300GB mirrorset). If we 1.5x the size of every current disk (way more than enough given past growth) the seven data drives will still fit the 2.4TB 4 drive ADG that I set up on the test box.
But we really want at least 7 spindles (8 or 9 better) with RAID protection without doing an external shelf and a whole other set of disks. Paritioning at the controller level would do that.
We'll find out if msa$util from installed VMS (as opposed to DVD boot) can do something with the P410i in that regard. I can wipe and rebuild the ADG array for any testing.
And the results are in unless there's super secret MSA$UTIL commands that I don't have docs for. No go. The P410i apparently does not provide any means of generating individual disks that are a subset of a single RAID logical disk. Whether its a single disk or a mirror pair, or a RAID set with multiple disks, only the single unit is provided to VMS.
We're going to look at the second controller and drive shelf to get 8 spindles; that will be enough to get by without major work. Hate losing the optical drive for that but that can be worked around.
Interestingly... the 2660 has a SCSI Card in it for use with a tape library; it is the same card that I understand was spec'd for the RX-2800s. I hooked an external disk cabinet to it. When I boot from the VSI DVD, the disks mount and I can copy to/from them (this is just staging; they cannot stay on the system). When I boot the freshly installed VMS loaded from that DVD, none of the disks in that cabinet will mount; they are visible to VMS but are declared offline requiring operator intervention. I'll get patches and updates installed and do a little more testing.
The p40i has no problem presenting multiple units with MSA$UTIL to OpenVMS.
This example is from a recent colleague's update agenda for a client:
MSA> add unit 2/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=0/size=32GB ! Backup of Live system disk
MSA> add unit 3/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=1/size=8GB ! Copy of VSI VMS v8.4-2L3
MSA> add unit 4/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=2/size=20GB ! USER
MSA> add unit 5/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=3/size=10GB ! BATS
MSA> add unit 6/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=4/size=25GB ! DOCS
MSA> add unit 7/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=5/size=40GB ! DATA_1
MSA> add unit 8/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=6/size=40GB ! DATA_2
MSA> add unit 9/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=7/size=40GB ! INET_1
MSA> add unit 10/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=8/size=20GB ! INET_LOGS
MSA> add unit 11/disk=(3,4,5,6,7,8)/raid=1/part=9/size=150GB ! BACKUP