2006-10-09

CompServ - A Rare Breed

Well, while it's true about good help being hard to find, I apparently did find a good vendor. I've been busy on a variety of things for a long time including our bid and selection for the 2006 Tampa Small Business of the Year award, so I haven't posted in a while, but we finally got our new tape library.

May our 1995-model Exabyte Mammoth-1 based EXB-200 rest in peace! It was faithful, hard working, durable, inflexible, unexpandable and REALLY slow.

We selected a Quantum PX-502, a 2-drive, 32-slot, stackable/scalable workhorse that's not overkill now, and can grow with us over time. In that library we are putting (2) Quantum DLT-S4 drives which are 800GB Uncompressed and 1.6TB Compressed @ a 2:1 compression. At our average compression of 5:4 (25%), we'll be putting about 1TB per tape.

The trouble comes in where we hook this bad boy up to the new backup server. See, the PX-502 requires one FC connection for each drive and one for the library itself. With two drives installed, that means we need three FC ports! When we were researching the solution, I asked on two separate occasions of my CompServ account rep. whether we needed more than one PC port on the server. He called TechData's helpdesk who gave him bad info, indicating that I would only need (1) FC port because there was a FC hub or a daisy-chained FC-AL setup in the PX-502. Wrong!

So here I am on hook-it-up dayday with not enough FC ports, which as you probably know are pretty expensive. I called my CompServ rep. and explain the issue and to my surprise, when TechData wouldn't help out with the situation, CompServe stood up and sent me a 2-port HBA to install in my server to fix the situation. How about that, a company that puts their money where their mouth is!

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