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Build your own low-cost testing solution

I would like to build a low cost RDBMS (relational database management system) cluster which utilizes some form of shared storage. As this is for internal testing purposes, I hope to avoid purchasing an expensive NAS or RAID device -- a single hard drive and basic functionality are really the only requirements. Is there something like a SCSI drive enclosure with two SCSI inputs that could be used to connect directly to two servers in a cluster for shared storage?

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This is the sort of thing nobody makes because there is almost no demand for it. So you'll probably have to invent something yourself.

I don't know of a small enclosure that does this but I bet if you look in the back of some trade magazines you'll probably find a relatively small enclosure with dual ports. You'll need to verify that both external SCSI ports can access the single drive. In addition, you might wind up with the need for a small build-it-yourself RAID subsystem and operate it as JBOD with one internal disk. Make sure the disk can be exported as a LUN through both external ports. You should be able to find something relatively inexpensive to test your ideas.

For a real good time, look into doing this with FC loop or FireWire. There are a lot of possible ways to do it, but I have no idea if any of them will actually work.

Best of luck,

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This was first published in November 2003

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