Q

Cannot retrieve data from RAID

Storage expert Greg Schulz offers troubleshooting suggestions for a user whose RAID array can't communicate with four units of PowerMac G5 Quad Core.

I'm an amateur on RAID issues. Therefore, please excuse me for that in advance. We came across a problem recently with our AL 6160FA RAID -- it just can't communicate well with our four units of PowerMac G5 Quad Core. Each unit has its own Apple LSI PCIe FC cards. It's also hooked up to an Emulex 355 switch.

The problem with this is: when we dump something on to the RAID, its fine, but not when we want to retrieve the...

data.

So, it sounds like you have quite a bit going on with your environment, and it's not clear where the problem is or what the problem is. For example, are you doing a verify on write to make sure that the writes are actually completing and are you sure that data is intact? There are many questions that come to mind including: How is your storage configured in terms of RAID levels, number and size of LUNs? How are LUNs mapped to the workstations? And, are you using SAN or NAS?

I would recommend first contacting the provider or systems integrator from where you obtained the system. Ask them to identify that all of the components including hardware, network and software are configured properly and at the applicable revision levels. Also, make sure that all components are in a supported configuration across all of the components. You may run into some finger pointing, where you get a response that nothing is wrong with the network, or nothing is wrong with the server or nothing is wrong with the software.

If your provider is not able to provide any assistance, contact the manufacturers and use their support Web sites for tips on what you should do to troubleshoot your issues.

This was first published in April 2006

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