RHEL 4 + PE 1850 + EMC AX100 PowerPath

Tom Ferony tomf at novia.net
Sun Jul 10 20:52:31 CDT 2005

I'm not sure what Dell recommends, but I know what works, and I believe
this is now certified by EMC.  I happen to work at a very large railroad
that is piloting a EM64T Dell box (running x86_64 RHEL 3) and have had
horrible experiences so far, but we have solved the lack of EMC support
for Linux by using RedHat's GFS on a single node to provide both
failover and round robin load balancing on RHEL 3.  This solution, and
another involving veritas and dmp solution were not offered by Dell and
the funny thing is that Dell sent us the box with 4 fiber channel
adapters installed in the box (although one was faulty, which we had to
troubleshoot) for the purposes of a pilot with a very high volume Oracle
database.  The resolutions and problem determination came after a Dell
support person left the premises, I came back from vacation and had most
of it resolved within two days.

Now if we can get the pilot box to reboot while having the fiber channel
adapters plugged in and not panic when loading the USB drivers, we may
be happier.  

We also had 4 Dell blades as pilots, two died.  One of them melted and a
replacement board was sent in, but it was warped so badly it couldn't
even be installed.  The blades were installed in their own rack in a
brand new data center that is very cool and well ventilated. 

We have 350 UNIX boxes and hundreds of Intel boxes, very few Dell, but
if someone convinces us that Dell can support Linux and can convince us
that the hardware problems we've had were flukes, Dell might have the
whole ball of wax, and we're exploding with growth.
Tom Ferony 
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