Storage Enclosures

After months of delay, I continued work on setting up a Gateway 840 SCSI to SATA RAID Storage Enclosure. This device is neither a SAN nor a NAS. It is just a box that holds SATA hard drives that is directly attached (DAS) to one or two servers via SCSI.

I knew virtually nothing about storage technologies when working on setting up this enclosure and will post the steps I took so others who know virtually nothing about storage technologies may benefit from it. :-)

Hardware Setup

Setting up this device is actually quite simple. I mounted it in the server rack, plugged in the power cable, connected the SCSI cable from the device to the server, and installed three 40 GB SATA HDDs in the front. Then I powered it up.

The Gateway 840 and Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 automatically found and installed the appropriate driver for the storage enclosure. (Actually, the driver Windows installs is newer than any of the drivers available for download on Gateway’s website.) I then downloaded and installed the StorView software.

StorView is a web-based application developed by Gateway that allows you to communicate with the storage enclosure. After installation, I selected the link from the Programs menu and the web application opened and found the Gateway device instantaneously.

The first course of action I took was to upgrade the controller firmware. I selected the Controller 0 link and a new window popped up. Under the Operations section, I selected the Update Firmware link. I selected the location of the firmware and away it went. It took just a minute for the controller to reset.

After upgrading the firmware, I selected the Create Array link. I selected all three drives, named the array, selected RAID level 0 (these drives aren’t permanent anyway), and left the other settings at their defaults. After applying, the array began to initialize. I let the initialization process complete before continuing.

The next step was to create a Logical Drive, or a LUN. I selected the Create Logical Drive link and another window popped up. I selected the array from the left side of the window, named it, mapped it to 0, and made it available on both channels. Then I hit create.

The next step was to make the logical drive available to Windows. In order to do this, the server needed to be restarted so that the Adaptec SCSI adapter BIOS could locate the LUN. After the restart, the drive was visible in the Device Manager under hard disk drives.

Using the Logical Drive

I opened the Disk Management snap-in by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Manage. Disk Management is beneath the Storage group. A wizard immediately popped up asking to initialize the new drive. I followed through the short wizard. Then, I right-clicked on the disk and selected the option to convert the basic disk to a dynamic disk. (There are many advantages to using dynamic disks over basic disks.) Then, I right-clicked the partition area and created a new partition. I formatted it as NTFS and assigned it a drive letter.

Oooo, I feel accomplished and fuzzy.

Post any questions or comments.

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