SAN without a storage system
I had a strange idea some days ago. The new generation of our X- or T-class chassis have bays for 8 disk right now. There must be a good usage for this mass of bays. Think about it. This means you have 320 Disks in your rack. A few seconds later i remembered about a question, somebody asked at the Niagara Presentation Event some years ago in Berlin (must have been 2005): “72 GB per disk, okay … your OS uses 4 Gig at maximum. How can i use the rest? It would be nice, if other systems can use the storage”. I had no answer for it … okay … the standard ones … SMB/NFS. Well … there is a better idea. We have an iSCSI Target in Solaris right now and COMSTAR enables Opensolaris to present FC targets. Okay, now take all this free storage, format it ZFS and create 2G sized emulated Volumes out of it and map each of it with the respective target emulation to the LAN or SAN. Whenever you need some storage, you can pick some of the several volumes you have created from all nodes with the exception of the node you work on. By such a configuration, a rack of servers can easly be it´s own SAN without a real storage subsystem. And you can use all the unused space on all the disks, or use own disks for such a construction with 8 or more bays you have more than enough room. With 128 SPARC Threads on 2 HU or 16 x86 threads on 2 HU there should be enough spare cycles on the CPU as well. Just an idea, but i will think about it the next days.