New storage toys and new storage woes

In the last week I’ve gotten some new storage devices, both at work and at home. Unfortunately I’ve experienced problems with both and its not been as fun of a week as I would of liked. The new work storage device is a HP MSA-2312i which is the iSCSI version of their Modular Storage Array line.


The new home storage device is an Iomega ix4-200d 4TB which is a relatively low cost network storage device that supports iSCSI & NFS and much more.


The MSA problems have all been firmware related, basically it kept getting stuck in a firmware upgrade loop, if you own one or plan on buying one I would say don’t upgrade the firmware unless you have a reason to and if you do make sure you schedule downtime. I’ll be sharing some tips for upgrading the firmware on that unit later on.


The Iomega problems are from a flaky hard drive presumably, not long after I plugged the unit in and started configuring it I received the message that drive 3 was missing. After talking to support and rebuilding the RAID group the problem briefly went away and then came right back. They graciously waived the $25 replacement fee (it’s brand new, they better!) and refused to expedite the shipping unless I paid $40 (again, its brand new, you would think they would want to make a new customer happy). Having a flaky drive in a brand new unit doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in storing critical data on the device so I’ll have to see how it goes once the drive is replaced.


So look forward to some upcoming posts on using and configuring both devices. The MSA will be used as part of a Domino virtualization project and I’ll be doing performance testing on it in various configurations. The Iomega I’ll be using with VMware Workstation 7 on my home computer as both iSCSI & NFS datastores.

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    • Jason Langer on February 11, 2010 at 10:34 am


    Sorry to hear about your troubles with your Iomega NAS. I recently purchased one for use in my home ESX lab and I can once you get the issues ironed out I think you will be more then happy with its capabilities.

    For the MSA 2312 you ordered did you purchase the 12 disk or 24 disk version?

  1. We went with the 12 disk LFF model due to the larger capacity and faster RPM drives. The largest SAS disks that can be used in it are 450GB 15K drives. In the 24 disk SFF model the largest 15K SAS disk is 72GB and the largest SAS disk available is a 300GB 10K disk. We also added an 12-disk expansion shelf to the MSA 2312 so we could have a total of 24 drives.

    • Matthew Stringer on February 13, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Came up against the same Firmware update problem on the 2312i chassis this weekend. The loop is caused by a problem with updating the management controller firmware on Controller B, which causes that infinite loop situation.

    To successfully update the firmware I ended up doing the following, using a console connection to Controller B:
    1) Disable Partner Firmware update
    2) Shutdown Controller A
    3) Open ftp session to Controller B, issue a put {firmwarefilename.bin} flash
    4) Wait for successful flash, issue a restart on both Controllers
    5) Issue a show version command to check MC Firmware on both is now the same

  2. yeah that’s what I had to do also, several times, going from R21->R25, R25->R21 and R21->R28, big pain in the rear, they really need to fix that process

    • Joseph Kasal on February 16, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I had the same issue with My Iomega IX2-200 2TB device. I had to return my unit twice to Frys. The original one and the replacement. Finally the 3rd unit had both 1TB drives working.

    My 3rd device had a manufacture date of 10-29-2009. The two that both had a failed harddrive shared the date of 12-23-2009.

    You can check the date before purchasing since the manufacture date is printed near the UPC barcode.

    Just for the sake of sharing, I picked my IX2-200 2 TB up at Frys for $269.00. I’m planning on getting another in the coming months to play with replication and disaster recovery (From a virtualization stand point)

  3. Sounds like they may have had a bad batch of drives from Seagate. I think the manufacture date on mine was pretty recent also. I got mine from Fry’s also who seemed to have the lowest price than anyone for $599.

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