Discussion:
KZPAC / RAID Array 230 questions
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Alan Frisbie
2020-12-18 01:36:14 UTC
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I recently acquired a DS20 with a KZPAC (RAID Array 230/Plus) SCSI
controller. The firmware "show config" command also reports it as
a Mylex DAC960.

The DS20 QuickSpecs show the KZPAC as a supported option, but says
that 18.2 GB (or greater) drives are not supported. Elsewhere, it
says that RAID sets can only be up to 32 GB.

Does anyone know the reason for these restrictions? The manual for
the Mylex DAC960 says that it supports drives up to 2 TB, although
this might be for a later firmware version.

Oddly, the RAID Array 230/Plus User's Guide (AA-R07GA-TE) makes
no mention of these restrictions. Are they real? Are they a
function of the DS20 firmware or VMS version (QuickSpecs says a
minimum of v7.1-2)?

Were there any later updates that removed these restrictions?

Can someone please enlighten me?

Thanks,
Alan Frisbie
Richard Loken
2020-12-18 05:37:24 UTC
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iI can attest to the fact that a KZPAC will not make a logical unit larger
that 32,767 because I tried to make a 50Gbyte without success many years
ago. I kept shrinking the size until I hit 32,767. Seems to me that
they thought a 16 bit integer would be big enough for that number...

Sort of in step with Bill Gates not being able to imagine anybody needing
any more than 640k of memory back in 1981.

I have an Alphaserver 4100 with a KZPAC and I don't have any disks bigger
than 18G (and I have half a dozen NIB spares to carry me into the future).
--
Richard Loken VE6BSV : "...underneath those tuques we wear,
Athabasca, Alberta Canada : our heads are naked!"
** ***@telus.net ** : - Arthur Black
John H. Reinhardt
2020-12-18 16:00:09 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I recently acquired a DS20 with a KZPAC (RAID Array 230/Plus) SCSI
controller.  The firmware "show config" command also reports it as
a Mylex DAC960.
The DS20 QuickSpecs show the KZPAC as a supported option, but says
that 18.2 GB (or greater) drives are not supported.  Elsewhere, it
says that RAID sets can only be up to 32 GB.
Does anyone know the reason for these restrictions?  The manual for
the Mylex DAC960 says that it supports drives up to 2 TB, although
this might be for a later firmware version.
Oddly, the RAID Array 230/Plus User's Guide (AA-R07GA-TE) makes
no mention of these restrictions.  Are they real?  Are they a
function of the DS20 firmware or VMS version (QuickSpecs says a
minimum of v7.1-2)?
Were there any later updates that removed these restrictions?
Can someone please enlighten me?
Thanks,
Alan Frisbie
Unfortunately the restrictions are real, as Richard says. While I no longer have any KZPAC cards, I did have several in my AlphaServer 1200's and 800's a few years ago. The restrictions are due to the DEC firmware and not the DS20 nor VMS. I can't remember what the latest firmware was to come on the DEC firmware CD, but none that I know of lifted these restrictions.

If possible, I might suggest getting a SmartArray 5300 series. Either a 2-channel 5302 or a 4-channel 5304. They support newer, faster, larger disks and will work with the ones you probably already have in the DS20, though you might have to change cables also as I believe they only have the HD68 internal and the VHDCI external connections.

I'd suggest a Smart Array 6400, but they didn't work in my DS10 because they are 3.3v only and the DS10 had a 5V PCI slot. I believe your DS20 is the same. While they are not listed on the DS20 Quickspecs as compatible, the SA5300 is. Technically it's the SA5300A that is compatible with OpenVMS, but if you download the Alpha Firmware CD you can upgrade the firmware and then it becomes the "A" model.

If you go this route, then when searching you want to make sure you get the cache memory. 128M is the largest I believe. 64M or sometimes 32M are also seen.
If Ebay is acceptable and you are in the US, then this is a good example:
<https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Smart-Array-Controller-Card-5300-128MB-SDRAM-171383-001-COMPAQ-ULTRA3/124194267189?hash=item1cea8e2035:g:Pg8AAOSwV-BfkH3m>

If not in the US then search for something similar.
--
John H. Reinhardt
Ben Lambert
2020-12-20 09:46:24 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I recently acquired a DS20 with a KZPAC (RAID Array 230/Plus) SCSI
controller. The firmware "show config" command also reports it as
a Mylex DAC960.
The DS20 QuickSpecs show the KZPAC as a supported option, but says
that 18.2 GB (or greater) drives are not supported. Elsewhere, it
says that RAID sets can only be up to 32 GB.
Does anyone know the reason for these restrictions? The manual for
the Mylex DAC960 says that it supports drives up to 2 TB, although
this might be for a later firmware version.
Oddly, the RAID Array 230/Plus User's Guide (AA-R07GA-TE) makes
no mention of these restrictions. Are they real? Are they a
function of the DS20 firmware or VMS version (QuickSpecs says a
minimum of v7.1-2)?
Were there any later updates that removed these restrictions?
Can someone please enlighten me?
Thanks,
Alan Frisbie
Unfortunately the restrictions are real, as Richard says. While I no longer have any KZPAC cards, I did have several in my AlphaServer 1200's and 800's a few years ago. The restrictions are due to the DEC firmware and not the DS20 nor VMS. I can't remember what the latest firmware was to come on the DEC firmware CD, but none that I know of lifted these restrictions.
If possible, I might suggest getting a SmartArray 5300 series. Either a 2-channel 5302 or a 4-channel 5304. They support newer, faster, larger disks and will work with the ones you probably already have in the DS20, though you might have to change cables also as I believe they only have the HD68 internal and the VHDCI external connections.
I'd suggest a Smart Array 6400, but they didn't work in my DS10 because they are 3.3v only and the DS10 had a 5V PCI slot. I believe your DS20 is the same. While they are not listed on the DS20 Quickspecs as compatible, the SA5300 is. Technically it's the SA5300A that is compatible with OpenVMS, but if you download the Alpha Firmware CD you can upgrade the firmware and then it becomes the "A" model.
If you go this route, then when searching you want to make sure you get the cache memory. 128M is the largest I believe. 64M or sometimes 32M are also seen.
<https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Smart-Array-Controller-Card-5300-128MB-SDRAM-171383-001-COMPAQ-ULTRA3/124194267189?hash=item1cea8e2035:g:Pg8AAOSwV-BfkH3m>
If not in the US then search for something similar.
--
John H. Reinhardt
Just a note of caution that the DS20 is not listed as a supported configuration for the SA5300A per the SA5300A Release Notes (AV-RT16F-TE)

Supported HP AlphaServer Systems
Smart Array 5300A controllers are supported on the following AlphaServer systems:
• DS10
• DS15
• DS20E EV68, EV67 p2.6
• DS25
• ES40 EV68
• ES45
• GS80, GS160, GS320
• ES47, ES80, GS1280

Also, for the DS20e it specifically lists only Pass 2.6 of the EV67 is supported, although I ran one for 5 years on a DS20e that was only a Pass 2.3 EV67 666MHz with no observed issues.
I've never found any information on what the tweak was at pass 2.6 to guess the background to this stipulation.

Ben.
Stephen Hoffman
2020-12-20 19:58:10 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I recently acquired a DS20 with a KZPAC (RAID Array 230/Plus) SCSI
controller. The firmware "show config" command also reports it as a
Mylex DAC960.
The old Mylex DAC RAID controllers are not among my favorite RAID
controllers, and yes, those old addressing limits are permanent.
Wouldn't ever be my choice for controllers either, both due to the
limits, and due to the "fun" I always had with that series.

As for the Alpha 21264 processors and processor passes... IIRC, Alpha
EV6 (specifically EV6 and not EV67, etc) 500 MHz pass 2.3 didn't play
well with other 500 MHz passes, with a timing bug in the probe
instruction implementation that could cause weirdness when used in
mixed-pass same-MHz configurations, and mixed EV6 passes are thus best
avoided with multi-processor configurations. Mixed-MHz wasn't something
you'd want to do. IIRC, EV68 is all pass 2.6, and all works. And IIRC,
there was an FCO for this.

Some very old reading material...
Post by Alan Frisbie
Variants
Intermixing the KN310-AA (DS20) CPU and the KN310-BA (DS20E) CPU.
The -AA or -BA variants of the KN310 cannot be used to determine
processor compatibility. The actual part number must be used.
DS20 processors with numbers are 54-24758-03 & -05, will work together;
they have the same EV chips in them (No longer orderable).
DS20 and DS20E processors 54-24758-33 & -35 will work together, as they
have the same EV chips in them. These cannot be mixed with -03 and -05
(DS20) or -43 and -45 (DS20 or DS20E).
DS20 and DS20E processors 54-24758-43 & -45 will work together; they
have the same EV chips in them. These cannot be mixed with -03 and -05
(DS20) or -33 and -35 (DS20 or DS20E).
DS20E processors 54-30060 -01, -02, -03, -04 can be mixed together.
System Model Number CPU Description
DS20E 54-24758-33 KN310-BA 500 MHz CPU, EV6 4MB Motorola/IBM Pass 2.5
54-24758-35
DS20E 54-24758-43 KN310-CA 500 MHz CPU, EV67 4MB IBM Pass 2.5 54-24758-45
DS20E 54-30060-01 KN311-BA,BB,BC,BD 667MHz CPU, EV67 8MB IBM/Sony Cache
Pass 2.2.3 54-30060-02
DS20E 54-30060-03 KN311-CA,CB,CC,CD 667MHz CPU, EV67 8MB IBM/Sony Cache
Pass 2.6 54-30060-04
DS20E 54-30482-02 KN312-BB,BC,BD 833MHz CPU, EV68 8MB IBM/Sony Cache
More (old) reading:

same issue on AlphaServer ES40 as with AlphaServer DS20 and DS20E processors:

https://manx-docs.org/collections/antonio/dec/EK-KN610-CL.A01.pdf

And for the Alpha EV6 21264 chip internals and passes and ilk:

https://www.star.bnl.gov/public/daq/HARDWARE/21264_data_sheet.pdf

And if you don't already have it:

https://manx-docs.org/collections/antonio/dec/MDS-2000-01/cd1/ALPHA/AS140SVA.PDF
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Alan Frisbie
2020-12-20 20:36:58 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
Some very old reading material...
...
Thanks for the notes and links; it is very helpful.
I will certainly be dumping the Mylex controller. It just
isn't worth living with those restrictions. I'm also going
to be very picky when I buy a second CPU module.

Alan Frisbie
John Reagan
2020-12-21 01:45:02 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by Alan Frisbie
I recently acquired a DS20 with a KZPAC (RAID Array 230/Plus) SCSI
controller. The firmware "show config" command also reports it as a
Mylex DAC960.
The old Mylex DAC RAID controllers are not among my favorite RAID
controllers, and yes, those old addressing limits are permanent.
Wouldn't ever be my choice for controllers either, both due to the
limits, and due to the "fun" I always had with that series.
As for the Alpha 21264 processors and processor passes... IIRC, Alpha
EV6 (specifically EV6 and not EV67, etc) 500 MHz pass 2.3 didn't play
well with other 500 MHz passes, with a timing bug in the probe
instruction implementation that could cause weirdness when used in
mixed-pass same-MHz configurations, and mixed EV6 passes are thus best
avoided with multi-processor configurations. Mixed-MHz wasn't something
you'd want to do. IIRC, EV68 is all pass 2.6, and all works. And IIRC,
there was an FCO for this.
Some very old reading material...
Post by Alan Frisbie
Variants
Intermixing the KN310-AA (DS20) CPU and the KN310-BA (DS20E) CPU.
The -AA or -BA variants of the KN310 cannot be used to determine
processor compatibility. The actual part number must be used.
DS20 processors with numbers are 54-24758-03 & -05, will work together;
they have the same EV chips in them (No longer orderable).
DS20 and DS20E processors 54-24758-33 & -35 will work together, as they
have the same EV chips in them. These cannot be mixed with -03 and -05
(DS20) or -43 and -45 (DS20 or DS20E).
DS20 and DS20E processors 54-24758-43 & -45 will work together; they
have the same EV chips in them. These cannot be mixed with -03 and -05
(DS20) or -33 and -35 (DS20 or DS20E).
DS20E processors 54-30060 -01, -02, -03, -04 can be mixed together.
System Model Number CPU Description
DS20E 54-24758-33 KN310-BA 500 MHz CPU, EV6 4MB Motorola/IBM Pass 2.5
54-24758-35
DS20E 54-24758-43 KN310-CA 500 MHz CPU, EV67 4MB IBM Pass 2.5 54-24758-45
DS20E 54-30060-01 KN311-BA,BB,BC,BD 667MHz CPU, EV67 8MB IBM/Sony Cache
Pass 2.2.3 54-30060-02
DS20E 54-30060-03 KN311-CA,CB,CC,CD 667MHz CPU, EV67 8MB IBM/Sony Cache
Pass 2.6 54-30060-04
DS20E 54-30482-02 KN312-BB,BC,BD 833MHz CPU, EV68 8MB IBM/Sony Cache
https://manx-docs.org/collections/antonio/dec/EK-KN610-CL.A01.pdf
https://www.star.bnl.gov/public/daq/HARDWARE/21264_data_sheet.pdf
https://manx-docs.org/collections/antonio/dec/MDS-2000-01/cd1/ALPHA/AS140SVA.PDF
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Ah yes, I remember Andy Moskal and I looking at various ES40 CPU boards when we were cutting back on the ZKO3 labs. I had several ES40s in the compiler clusters that had boards he was looking for. We also had magnifying glasses looking at memory DIMMs too looking for particular revs.
Alan Frisbie
2020-12-21 05:01:59 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I recently acquired a DS20 with a KZPAC (RAID Array 230/Plus) SCSI
controller.
As for the Alpha 21264 processors and processor passes...  IIRC, Alpha
EV6 (specifically EV6 and not EV67, etc) 500 MHz pass 2.3 didn't play
well with other 500 MHz passes, with a timing bug in the probe
instruction implementation that could cause weirdness when used in
mixed-pass same-MHz configurations, and mixed EV6 passes are thus best
avoided with multi-processor configurations. Mixed-MHz wasn't something
you'd want to do.  IIRC, EV68 is all pass 2.6, and all works. And IIRC,
there was an FCO for this.
By any chance do you (or anyone else reading this) recall what the story
was with the on-board Adaptec SCSI controller? The two SCSI connectors
are there, and the early Technical Summary describes them. However,
the TS says that only Windows NT supports it at first release. The
Service Manual mentions them but says they are disabled. Later manuals
don't mention them at all.

I assume that there was some bug, but I'm interested in a bit of detail.
Could they not even be used for the RRD47? I remember using the one
on the AlphaServer 1000A with no problems, and since the DS20 came out
later I would have expected that the engineers knew how to get it right.

Thanks,
Alan Frisbie

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