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March 27, 2017

HP's storage devices trigger extra 3000 care

TractionWhere can an IT professional ask a question about bringing a 3000 peripheral back to life? The best place to ask is a support company, one that can even supply a replacement device if the aging 3000 iron has gone offlline. The next best place is the 3000 newsgroup and mailing list. The free advice has covered warnings as well as solutions on how to rescue the process of recovery.

The 3000 console shows an ABORTIO detected on device 9. A backup stops at Wesleyan Assurance Society and Jill Turner asks what causes the abort. "The backup logs off. No one has typed a command to do that. What would cause that message to appear?"

Tracy Johnson manages 3000s at TE Connectivity. "Sometimes an error with the mechanism shows up as an abortio. It doesn't have to be a typed command. Hitting the eject button in the middle of an operation would do it.  I have forced the issue myself sometimes: 'Damn, wrong tape! Press eject.' It then shows up as abortio detected."

Hmmm, mechanism error. That amounts to a troubled piece of hardware. Al Nizzardini suggests that the troublesome tape drive get a thorough cleaning, "and have a spare on hand to do a replacement." Good advice, although a manager has to ensure the backup tapes written by one elderly HP drive can be read by another. It's not automatic.

Disk drives have 3000 managers on watch, too. Companies have options beyond device replacement here in 2017.

Lance Mortensen of Beechglen left a message for the 3000 newsgroup readers that summed up the prospects for HP-supplied storage.

The disk drives that  HP 3000s and HP 9000s use are in some cases more than 10 years past the manufacturer's designed lifetime. Most failures are detected during a full backup or at month-end processing, because that is the only time that most or all of the data on the disk is accessed.

He didn't mention quarter-end processing, which will start for a lot of companies this Friday evening. This week would be a good time to check your HP device support coverage.

Beechglen has a disk backup device that it offers for 3000s which includes cloud computing. "You are actually lucky if the drive simply dies," Mortensen said about the failures. "The two worst cases are when no errors are reported by the disk or system, but data is corrupted slowly over time (and now multiple backups are no good); and after a power outage, when multiple drives fail to spin up and two of them are mirrored pairs (think Mirror/iX, VA arrays, and Model 20s)."

Focused support companies that are all-3000 vendors like Pivital Solutions take the guesswork out of backstopping the backup strategies of servers that were built at the start of this century, or even earlier. Even with the adoption of cloud computing as an IT architecture, on-site servers are still a requirement for many enterprises. A hybrid of cloud and onsite is what Terry Floyd of The Support Group recommends.

When a manager cannot recover an MPE/iX server—when first the disk fails, and then the tape drive aborts—the next step could be replacing the entire 3000. Full system replacement won't bring in any 3000 iron built after 2003, though, just different units. The care strategy has different goals for virtualized HP 3000 systems. Managing change is the tradeoff between new-gen iron like the SSD-driven Intel server systems and replacing and cleaning HP's gear.

An MPE/iX system that's in set-and-forget mode can get away with relying on HP's devices. The extra care is something everyone will have to pay for, of course. Nobody's going to forget the day a failed server could not be restored.

 

07:12 PM in Homesteading, User Reports | Permalink

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