questions on tuning PE for linux and SAN on linux..

Michael E Brown michael_e_brown at
Mon Mar 25 10:06:01 CST 2002

There is good news in that SAN 5.0 is supposed to support Linux, and there 
is bad news in that SAN 5.0 is supposed to support Linux. The Dell SAN 
releases are block releases in that support for MS, Novell, Linux, and 
others is all tested and released as a unit. This is a good thing. If 
there is a bug in Linux, the whole release potentially slips to make sure 
Linux ships at the same time (yay!). The bad part is that bugs in other 
parts mean that even if the Linux part is ready, it doesn't ship until 
everything is ready (boo). There are also reasons other than bugs why the 
release may slip.

SAN 5 has been especially difficult. Because Linux is now elevated to 
being fully supported in this release, it has received some very extensive 
testing. Unfortunately, this testing has uncovered many, many, many issues 
with Qlogic driver support (as Matt mentioned). We especially have issues 
shipping software that will corrupt customer data. This explains part of 
the slip. Other things explain the rest :-)

So, this leaves me in the interesting position of trying to explain why
_not_ having linux support is a good thing. :-) We are getting there. EMC
has gotten onboard pretty quickly, and will be rolling out Linux support
across Red Hat's currently shipping product set very soon. If you want to
hook up EMC equipment, you should be able to do so. The Dell PV line
(PV660, etc) is what is currently the sore point.


On Mon, 25 Mar 2002, Domsch, Matt wrote:

> > > Trust me, we wonder about SAN 5.0 every day, just like you. :-)
> > 
> > and you work for dell :-/.  i was hearing how dell is a really flat
> > company - is it now so big you guys in dell don't get told about
> > leading edge stuff either ?
> We know about it, that's not the issue.  Our team isn't directly
> responsible for it, but we are assisting the storage team as best we
> can.  A lot of the issues center around the current QLogic driver not
> being clean enough to be included in the standard kernel - so Dell's
> testing keeps uncovering problems that wouldn't be if it were cleaner.
> Arjan @ Red Hat has been a *huge* help on this recently - hundreds of
> hours spent cleaning up the qla2200/2300 driver, and QLogic is receptive
> to those cleanups - so hopefully the driver will get lots better in the
> coming months.
> Thanks,
> Matt
> --
> Matt Domsch
> Sr. Software Engineer
> Dell Linux Solutions
> Linux on Dell mailing lists @
> #1 US Linux Server provider for 2001!

Michael E. Brown, RHCE, MCSE+I, CNA
Dell Linux Solutions

  If each of us have one object, and we exchange them,
     then each of us still has one object.
  If each of us have one idea,   and we exchange them,
     then each of us now has two ideas.

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