I'm thinking to buy an IBM DS3200 p/n 1726-21X with sata hard drives attached on a IBM sas hba controller and to configure it as "single server, single path" like IBM says in its configuration examples.

Unfortunately I never had one so I would like to know some details from someone who already has one.

  1. I have some empty hard disk enclosures (p/n 42R4129 the ones used by DS3200): if I fill them with some hdd from other brands, let's say Western Digital, would they be recognized or are there some bios check on serial number?
  2. Does ds3200 support 2TB hdd? IBM says 1TB but I think that's because they do not provide 2TB hdd yet.
  3. How many hard drives can be used? any number between 1 and 12 included?
  4. Do you have some benchmarks on write and read speed?
  5. How does it handle disks? I mean, ds3200 is attached to a sata multilane port and it can be filled with 12 hdd. How are they seen by the controller? like 12 distinct drives or like 4 groups of 3 hdd?
  6. Do you have any screenshot of the administration interface?
  7. Which device handles the raid? The sas hba controller or the DS3200 itself?

thank you!

  1. I'm pretty sure there are BIOS checks on the drives, there are on other, older IBM disk arrays

2 They don't supply 2TB disks for it yet, but they likely will do and it will almost certainly support them

3 Yes, you can put in as many or as few disks, though obviously less than 5-6 it doesn't make much sense to be using it

4 The DS3400 is the identical array with a fibre channel interface, it's benchmarked using SPC-1 and SPC-2 here, the performance will be very similar

5 The server's SAS card sees the RAID controller in the DS3200 rather than the raw disks. The presentation is controlled via the IBM Storage Manager client software which connects over TCP/IP. You can build multiple RAID arrays on the DS3200, which would each appear as single disks to the server.

6 The full configuration guide is available as an IBM Redbook and includes multiple screenshots

7 The DS3200 internal controller handles the RAID

The IBM DS3000 series arrays are pretty good at what they do, they're also pretty dumb compared to most other arrays out there, but they are cheap. It's based on an LSI model, Dell sell an essentially identical MD3000 disk array.

Hope that all helps

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