Is it wrong for a SAN to wear make-up?

12 05 2007

Thanks for spotting my typo, I’ve had a good chuckle. About the only chuckle this week as this week has been my week on the Operations Bridge and be on-call, where I get the pleasure of sitting in uncomfortable chairs during the day, having to respond to inane flapping and bleeting, and then get woken up in the middle of the night for more flapping. Plus I’ve been in pay negotiations, and to thanks us for all our hard work my employer wants to offer us a pay cut in real terms. Nice. Well, if they want a fight, they’re going to get one. This is a good advertisment for union membership – in parts of our business where there is a high percentage of union members, pay offers are high, and where it’s not, they’re low. Hopefully I’ll be persuading more non-union members to join over the next few weeks, it’s time for their free ride to come to an end if they want to get a decent pay deal.

As you might be able to tell, I have a pretty low opinion of those who won’t join, but are happy to take the benefits that are gained from the subs paid by members, and complain that they haven’t had their pay rise yet. It’s like people who say “I didn’t vote – I couldn’t be bothered” or “it doesn’t make a difference”. Democracy is a priviledge, not a right, and if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. If you don’t like the choice, spoil your ballot paper, express your displeasure. I have a lot of respect for those who’ll do that – it’s democracy in action. People are dying around the world every day in places like Burma, China and Zimbabwe to have what we have.

Now I’ve finished venting, on the SAN side, we’ve worked around the ISL hit for now, though we’ve rigged up another server to try various load tests. I’ve tried the suggestion about changing trunk masters etc., but I still think there’s a problem. The loads across these ISLs are just not balancing, i.e. if I’ve got 100mb throughput, I’d expect to see close to 25mb on each of the four trunks, yet it seems to load mostly onto one connection. Strange. Next week shall see me pulling cables (orange ones 😉 ), adding more, changing trunks and generally hiding away in the server room.

On the plus side, I’ve got Brocade Fabric Manager to play with for the moment, which seems useful, though like any Java app it sucks resource like an Electrolux (for those of you not British or of my generation, there was an ad in the 80s for a hoover that said ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’ – naturally in my youth we would use that as a challenge for the ladies my friends and I would date). Anyhoo, I digress, so returning from the dirt track to the highway next week we’ll also be trying out some tuning of AIX server fibre cards, as we seem to be maxing out the throughput of our new TSM servers prematurely when duplicating LTO3 tapes, and we believe got the TSM settings optimised.

So, thanks for the input. I’m off to bed soon (after the end of the Eurovision Song Contest) as my wife’s away this weekend so I’m looking after the children (5 and 2) on my own, and they’ll be wanting their breakfast bright and early. At least it puts my storage problems into perspective!




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