[W] [US-TN] Dell MD3620F or comparable SFF SAN

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eptesicus

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Jun 25, 2017
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I'm looking for a Dell MD3620F or comparable 24x 2.5" SFF fiber channel SAN for my lab. Ideally something with dual controllers but can live nicely in a 2U form factor with the ability to add additional disk shelves. The MD3620Fs will pop up from time to time on ebay for $800, so looking to stay around there. However, I could spend upwards of $2k for the right hardware, especially on something newer. I don't need HDD/SSDs, but want both controllers and PSUs included, and at least 8GB FC capability.

I'll entertain iSCSI, but am really wanting fiber channel. I know... Why would I do that to myself?
 
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tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
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Why would you do that... You can get into FC for super cheap with just a regular server and HBA... Anyway I think I saw something like this on japanese yahoo auctions for 100-200 usd...
FC is easy and but substantially slower than iscsi.
 
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eptesicus

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Jun 25, 2017
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Why would you do that... You can get into FC for super cheap with just a regular server and HBA... Anyway I think I saw something like this on japanese yahoo auctions for 100-200 usd...
FC is easy and but substantially slower than iscsi.
FC in the lab is more so because I manage the tech for work and need some more exposure to it, but I also have a Dell MX7000 in my lab, so I'm ok with overkill. I suppose if I wanted to, I could roll ESOS, but would rather not use hardware RAID unless it has GUI management like a more traditional SAN.
 
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Dev_Mgr

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Sep 20, 2014
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Keep in mind that Dell MD arrays (like most enterprise (even entry level like the MD)) are locked to only support certified drives. This means they need to have the Dell Enterprise sticker on them, and their Dell part number must be in the MD3-series support matrix. Equivalent retail drives (same manufacturer and model) won't work in this array. The MD32 and 36 support matrix can be found here: https://dl.dell.com/topicspdf/md32xx_md36xx_sm_en-us.pdf.
 
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eptesicus

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Jun 25, 2017
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Keep in mind that Dell MD arrays (like most enterprise (even entry level like the MD)) are locked to only support certified drives. This means they need to have the Dell Enterprise sticker on them, and their Dell part number must be in the MD3-series support matrix. Equivalent retail drives (same manufacturer and model) won't work in this array. The MD32 and 36 support matrix can be found here: https://dl.dell.com/topicspdf/md32xx_md36xx_sm_en-us.pdf.
Thanks, and I'm aware. I have 24x 1.6TB and 9x 1.92TB disks coming in from a decom that are compatible with those arrays.
 
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tinfoil3d

QSFP28
May 11, 2020
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You are aware you can make a FC target with linux targetcli, right? Or you're just looking to learn some dell cli syntax for those arrays?
FC is otherwise somewhat of a dark secret which isn't really covered by anyone on youtube or elsewhere in a friendly way that could be understood by absolute beginner.
 
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eptesicus

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FC is otherwise somewhat of a dark secret which isn't really covered by anyone on youtube or elsewhere in a friendly way that could be understood by absolute beginner.
All the more reason to brush up. :D

We use the protocol for production storage at work and I need to sharpen my skills. I know I could use a Linux box for it. I thought about getting an R740XD or a C240-M5 and doing just that. Or maybe I'll get one of those to run TrueNAS for iSCSI (what I use today) just to dedicate to my VM storage, and get a cheap box for just FC testing and not use it for my lab's VMs. Either way, I'd like to get something that does FC. And really, dual controller for my VMs would be great.
 
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