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Building a Poor Man's SCSI-Based Cluster Hardware System

Articles and Tips: tip

Bhogilal Hirani
Advanced Technical Training Instructor
Education in Novell UK

01 Nov 2001


Servers - Compaq ML330(PIII 733 MHz) with 512 Mb RAM On board SCSI Controller for SYS and CDROM Adaptec 29160 Controllers for the Shared Storage (adpt160.ham version 14.00 3rd Dec 1999)

Hardware Interrupt setting are as follows:


Controller Type
Slot
Interrupt

Compaq SCSI 2 (Onboard)

3

10

NIC (Onboard)

3

5

Adaptec 29160

1

11

Video Controller

-

7

Advanced Management System

-

15

LPT1

-

Disabled

SCSI adapter settings are as follows:


SCSI Adapter Setting
Node1
Node2
Host adapter SCSI ID

6

7

SCSI parity Checking

Disabled

Disabled

Host Adapter SCSI Termination
LVD/SE connector

Auto

Auto

SE Connector

Auto

Auto

Additional Boot Options
Boot device options

0

0

SCSI Device Configuration
Sync Transfer Rate

10

10

Initiate wide negotiation

YES

YES

Enable Disconnection

YES

YES

Send Start Unit Command

NO

NO

Advanced Options
Reset SCSI Bus at IC /Init

Disabled

Disabled

Display Cntl <A> msg

Enabled

Enabled

Extended Bios Translation

Enabled

Enabled

Verbose/Silent Mode

Verbose

Verbose

Here's the process I used to get everything to work:

  • Power on the Shared Storage first

  • Power on node1 (ID6) and let it boot to DOS

  • Power on Node2 (ID7) and let it boot to DOS and then run SERVER.EXE

  • Run SERVER.EXE on node1

The most importing thing is the reduction of the transfer rate. I found it to be most stable when I reduced it to 10Mbit. At 40 Mbits, I was getting a lot of "SCSI Bus Reset By 3 rd Party" messages with drive deactivation, as well as the bus was also hanging. At 10Mbits, the frequency of the "SCSI Bus Reset By 3 rd Party" messages is much less and more importantly, I have am not experiencing bus hangs or drive deactivations.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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