[rescue] A Vax Question

Erie Patsellis erie at shelbyvilledesign.com
Tue Jul 15 16:33:54 CDT 2008

Steven M Jones wrote:
> alex at lava-net.com wrote:
>> My main question is, what is a good solution for storage on these 
>> machines these days? It currently has 4 RD54s (1 dead) on an RQDX3, 
>> though I wonder if there's something better available at a reasonable 
>> price?
> That depends a great deal on what you consider reasonable. Working 
> RD54s tend to bring high prices on eBay, which might fund your other 
> storage options.
> SCSI disk controllers (some are limited via firmware to tape only) are 
> also expensive, but are probably your most flexible choice.
> ESDI controllers are available, but the availability and remaining 
> service life of drives is an open question.
> DSSI controllers are available, and used drives can still be found. 
> But again, how long will the drives last? They haven't been 
> manufactured for some time. A twist would be to get a KFQSA DSSI 
> controller and something like an HSD05 or HSD10 DSSI-SCSI bridge, you 
> can put the HSD into a BA350 SCSI shelf and use SCSI drives via DSSI. 
> Note that I haven't tried this, though I grabbed some HSDs a while 
> back to try it out someday.
> You _could_ get yourself a KDA50 and hook up an RA-series drive, but 
> consider the impact to your power bill as well as availability of 
> spares, etc.
>> I tried going the NFS root a while back, though I got extremely slow 
>> performance out of the Deqna controler (about 200kb/s transfer).  Is 
>> this normal?
> The DEQNA was not really considered a great performer. That said, if 
> they'd received the appropriate ECOs over the years I found them to be 
> reliable controllers within their limitations.
> The DEQNA was replaced by the DELQA, the best variant of which was 
> supposed to be the DELQA-YM. No recollection of any comparison numbers 
> though.
> --Steve.
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

Going from memory, (and it's been a lot of years), the biggest issue we 
had (DEC-ENO) with the KDA50's was some odd compatibility problem (at 
least when I left in '86 or so) RA80 and 81's would work other might 
work. I know there were several ECL gate array revisions in a very short 
period of time, and it resolved some of the compatibility issues. (don't 
remember if it was a rolling change or an ECO) I havent' seen many RD 
series drives at all lately, worse case, the RD53's were micropolis 
1325, IIRC. At one time, I had a handful of RD54's on an RLL controller, 
1G of storage sure seemed like an endless supply once upon a time.

Been a long while since I've even seen any of the DSSI bits, We had 
numerous HSC50s and 70s fully loaded with every port loaded in our final 
test area. I'm far from a factory labor type person, but that's one job 
(and while Ken was still at the helm) a company that I truly miss.


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