[rescue] advice on rescuing an e10k

Tom 'spot' Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Fri Dec 1 18:16:27 CST 2006

On Sat, 2006-10-28 at 11:15 -0500, Tom 'spot' Callaway wrote:
> O
> Thanks to everyone who offered input or assistance. Since we're doing
> this on a budget, I think we're going to rent a Ryder truct. They gave
> me a quote for $85.00 a day and $0.20 a mile.
> I'll be sure to send out a post-op report. :)

Here is the post-op report:

After coercing a coworker to help me in the task, we reserved a 24 ft
Ryder automatic straight truck with lift-gate from the local Chicago
Ryder facility. Our plan was to arrive at the Ryder facility around 7 AM
on Thursday. We showed up at 6:30 (they opened at 6), but when they
checked for our truck, it wasn't there.

They offered us a 20 ft truck (a "reefer", or refrigerated truck), which
didn't have a lift-gate. Already behind schedule, we decided to take it.
Unfortunately, we discovered that it was a manual transmission truck,
and neither me nor my friend could drive a stick well enough to make the

Ryder then offered to let us take one of their smaller automatic trucks
to Harvey, IL, which is where our original reserved truck was sitting.
Harvey is about 30 minutes South of Chicago. We drove to Harvey, swapped
out trucks, and set out for Dayton, OH. We didn't think we would make it
in time, but we arrived around 4 PM local time. The previous owners met
us at their dock, and helped us roll the system onto the truck, easy as

Loading the E10000 onto the truck:

Now, I had assumed that Ryder would either have or be willing to sell me
tie downs to secure the E10000, but I was wrong. The fellows at the dock
had one tie down which they let us borrow, and tied it down with a few
pieces of black plastic tie.

Tying the E10000 down:

The old owners wistfully stood beside their E10000 for one last family

Our original plan was to spend the night in Dayton, we found a hotel
that had plenty of space for us to park our giant truck, but before we
left, we drove down the street (less than a mile) to the local WalMart.
While we were grateful for the tie downs that we'd been given, neither
of us were sure they'd hold up for the trip back to Chicago. Also, we
wanted to buy a padlock for the truck (although, I pity the fool who
breaks into a truck and tries to steal an E10000). We parked the truck,
and checked in the back... and sure enough, the tie downs were not going
to do the trick. One of the two black plastic ties had already snapped,
and the other one was so frayed, that we were able to snap it with our
hands. We bought some super strong tie downs, secured it, locked the
trailer, and decided to rethink our original plan.

At this point, we were living Murphy's Law. Most things that could have
gone wrong, had gone wrong. The E10000 was still intact, but we didn't
want to take any more unnecessary risks. We had to get the system back
to Chicago by Friday, and we had to have it off the truck with plenty of
time for my friend to catch his train back home (last train out leaves
at 5:15 PM).

We took a good hard look at the weather at this point. The Midwest US
was expecting a bit of a storm, but the reports were conflicting as to
whether it would be a lot of rain, or a lot of snow. We decided to drive
and get as far towards Chicago as we could. We set our target at
Merrillville, IN (about 30 miles S of Chicago). The nice folks at the
Homewood Suites in Dayton moved our reservation for us, fed us, and gave
us a new set of directions.

We drove through a LOT of rain, and even worse wind but arrived safely
at our Merrillville hotel by 10:30 PM. The next morning, we awoke to
snow falling. We allowed for plenty of time for the roads to clear and
headed out around 10:30 AM. The roads were rather clear, of cars and
snow, surely, the worst was behind us.

The building in Chicago where we were taking the E10000 to did not have
a proper dock like where we had picked it up. (Again, when I reserved
the "dock" for this delivery, it never crossed my mind to make sure they
had an actual dock, as opposed to a short ramp up to a 2 ft high curb.)
Also, we couldn't actually get the truck into the receiving area,
because it was too big.

The dock was actually "under ground", most of the receiving areas in
downtown Chicago are actually on Lower Wacker Dr, so even though it was
snowing as fast as possible above us, we weren't getting snowed on while
we unloaded, because there was a road between us and the snow.


We disassembled the E10000 at this point, taking out anything that could
be removed with hands and a Phillips screwdriver. All of these
components were brought in by hand, while the loyal Chicago union
dockworkers sat back and laughed. Next, we carefully raised the lift
gate and manuevered the chassis out, then looped the tie-downs through
the chassis and to the inside of the truck. We lowered the gate down a
bit, loosened the tie downs a bit, repeat. About 90 minutes later, the
chassis was on the ground. We rolled it down Wacker Drive, and into the
receiving area. From there, it was just a matter of putting it into the
server closet (it barely fit through the door, just had to take the side
panels off).

Here I am, posing with Aurora's E10000, in its new home at Red Hat's
Chicago server closet:

Here is my coworker Eric, without whom I would only have a headache:

And here are all the parts that go in a fully loaded E10000:

We also got an Ultra 5, which used to be the SSP, and will probably be
its SSP again. Unfortunately for us, we didn't get any disks (in the SSP
or with the E10K), but they did give us the disk chassis and all the
brackets (we've got a cache of donated disks, ready for installation).
They also gave us the hardware keys.

So, now, we need to reassemble the E10K and put new disks in it and the
SSP. We're not sure how we're going to get the SSP up and running, but
that's a software problem. :)

Thanks to all who helped us figure out what we needed to get, both
on-list and off-list. Also, a HUGE thanks to the donor, who will remain

Tom "spot" Callaway || Red Hat || Fedora || Aurora || GPG ID: 93054260

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