We want to make a SAN with spare hardware we have in our shop just to use for cluster testing/training. Is there a poor man's way to create a SAN to be used for this purpose?
This is the setup I used to use when I worked with the original NT cluster solutions at Digital Equipment Corp, using HSZ70 SCSI disks and Adaptec SCSI controllers. This was actually a supported configuration from Microsoft for MSCS. This solution may also work with Unix clustering but you should check with your cluster software vendor.For a poor man's SAN you will need a disk shelf that supports Fibre Channel and a single HUB. You can use older LP7000 Emulex adapters in the servers, which support the FC-AL protocol, and should be fairly cheap these days if you can still find them. You can also use two HBAs and two Hubs to test for fault tolerance. The solution should look something like this:
I'd like to thank my friends who gave me these pretty diagrams during my days at Digital. For your solution, you would just need one storage shelf, one HBA per server and one hub.Hope this helps.
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This was first published in September 2003