FrankenSAN – Building a Better Repurposed Openfiler ISCSI Server

The box created in a previous article about repurposing a 1u server as an Openfiler NFS box was getting a few too many packet errors and only one of the two built in NICs were 1Gb so I decided to upgrade. What you are looking at us the culmination of parts from about 3 or 4 different machines to build this little beast.

There is no real order to the pictures. I basically snapped them as I could. The drives consist of the following.

(2) 2 TB drives
(1) 360GB drive
(1) 250GB drive

If you are building your own Openfiler machine, I strongly recommend something that will support hot swappable drives. As this is setup, I can lose one of the 2 TB drives without losing any data though I need to remove the server from the rack to replace the drive. If any of the other drives fail, I lose whatever is on those LUN’s

One other thing to note. After all this, I’m still getting a lot of dropped packets. The problem lies in the built in intel NIC’s. Openfiler does not play nice with them. I still use this machine, just not for anything that could seriously affect the network.

UPDATE: The dropped packets are only on the SAN VLAN and likely related to Advanced Power Management trying to turn off the NIC. Unfortunately, I’m not able to find a setting for this in the BIOS, nor do I know how to set this in the Openfiler Kernel. Here is a link that describes the issue.