• mystery rackmount kit

    From Don Y@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 10 14:06:02 2022
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over, tomorrow...

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From a a@21:1/5 to Don Y on Sun Jul 10 14:36:06 2022
    On Sunday, 10 July 2022 at 23:06:15 UTC+2, Don Y wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over, tomorrow...
    and what is your price ?

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From John Doe@21:1/5 to a a on Sun Jul 10 22:46:28 2022
    XPost: free.spam

    Google Groups idiot...

    --
    a a <manta103g@gmail.com> wrote:

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    Subject: Re: mystery rackmount kit
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    On Sunday, 10 July 2022 at 23:06:15 UTC+2, Don Y wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over,
    tomorrow...
    and what is your price ?

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Judge Dredd@21:1/5 to Don Y on Sun Jul 10 22:46:29 2022
    XPost: free.spam

    Off-topic troll...

    --
    Don Y <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:

    Path: not-for-mail
    From: Don Y <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid>
    Newsgroups: sci.electronics.design
    Subject: mystery rackmount kit
    Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2022 14:06:02 -0700
    Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
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    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over, tomorrow...

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Edward Hernandez@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 10 22:59:17 2022
    XPost: free.spam

    See also these John Doe troll nym-shift names:

    John Doe <always.look@message.header>
    John <look@post.header>
    Judge Dredd <always.look@post.header>
    "Edward's Mother" <always.see@post.header>
    "Edward's Father" <always.see@post.header>

    John Doe troll claiming it has never nym-shifted on Usenet: http://al.howardknight.net/?ID=165248158300

    In message-id <t6nt3e$7bp$3@dont-email.me> (http://al.howardknight.net/?ID=165357273000) posted Thu, 26 May 2022
    12:50:54 -0000 (UTC) John Doe stated:

    Always Wrong, the utterly foulmouthed group idiot, adding absolutely
    NOTHING but insults to this thread, as usual...

    Yet, since Wed, 5 Jan 2022 04:10:38 -0000 (UTC) John Doe's post ratio to
    USENET (**) has been 71.3% of its posts contributing "nothing except
    insults" to USENET.

    ** Since Wed, 5 Jan 2022 04:10:38 -0000 (UTC) John Doe has posted at
    least 2980 articles to USENET. Of which 176 have been pure insults and
    1950 have been John Doe "troll format" postings.

    The John Doe troll stated the following in message-id <sdhn7c$pkp$4@dont-email.me>:

    The troll doesn't even know how to format a USENET post...

    And the John Doe troll stated the following in message-id <sg3kr7$qt5$1@dont-email.me>:

    The reason Bozo cannot figure out how to get Google to keep from
    breaking its lines in inappropriate places is because Bozo is
    CLUELESS...

    And yet, the clueless John Doe troll has itself posted yet another
    incorrectly formatted USENET posting on Sun, 10 Jul 2022 22:46:28 GMT in message-id <8FIyK.429581$cEE9.171128@usenetxs.com>.

    yco0kz9fyckR

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Edward Hernandez@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 10 22:59:19 2022
    XPost: free.spam

    See also these John Doe troll nym-shift names:

    John Doe <always.look@message.header>
    John <look@post.header>
    Judge Dredd <always.look@post.header>
    "Edward's Mother" <always.see@post.header>
    "Edward's Father" <always.see@post.header>

    John Doe troll claiming it has never nym-shifted on Usenet: http://al.howardknight.net/?ID=165248158300

    John Dope stated the following in message-id
    <svsh05$lbh$5@dont-email.me>
    (http://al.howardknight.net/?ID=164904625100) posted Fri, 4 Mar 2022
    08:01:09 -0000 (UTC):

    Compared to other regulars, Bozo contributes practically nothing
    except insults to this group.

    Yet, since Wed, 5 Jan 2022 04:10:38 -0000 (UTC) John Dope's post ratio
    to USENET (**) has been 71.3% of its posts contributing "nothing except insults" to USENET.

    ** Since Wed, 5 Jan 2022 04:10:38 -0000 (UTC) John Dope has posted at
    least 2980 articles to USENET. Of which 176 have been pure insults and
    1950 have been John Dope "troll format" postings.

    The John Doe troll stated the following in message-id <sdhn7c$pkp$4@dont-email.me>:

    The troll doesn't even know how to format a USENET post...

    And the John Doe troll stated the following in message-id <sg3kr7$qt5$1@dont-email.me>:

    The reason Bozo cannot figure out how to get Google to keep from
    breaking its lines in inappropriate places is because Bozo is
    CLUELESS...

    And yet, the clueless John Doe troll has continued to post incorrectly formatted USENET articles that are devoid of content (latest example on
    Sun, 10 Jul 2022 22:46:29 GMT in message-id <9FIyK.417263$Zth9.55110@usenetxs.com>).

    NOBODY likes the John Doe troll's contentless spam.

    This posting is a public service announcement for any google groups
    readers who happen by to point out that John Dope does not even follow
    the rules it uses to troll other posters.

    nuyGTatLsz1x

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Edward Hernandez@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 10 23:32:48 2022
    XPost: free.spam

    See also these John Doe troll nym-shift names:

    John Doe <always.look@message.header>
    John <look@post.header>
    Judge Dredd <always.look@post.header>
    "Edward's Mother" <always.see@post.header>
    "Edward's Father" <always.see@post.header>

    John Doe troll claiming it has never nym-shifted on Usenet: http://al.howardknight.net/?ID=165248158300

    In message-id <t6nt3e$7bp$3@dont-email.me> (http://al.howardknight.net/?ID=165357273000) posted Thu, 26 May 2022
    12:50:54 -0000 (UTC) Troll Doe stated:

    Always Wrong, the utterly foulmouthed group idiot, adding absolutely
    NOTHING but insults to this thread, as usual...

    Yet, since Wed, 5 Jan 2022 04:10:38 -0000 (UTC) Troll Doe's post ratio
    to USENET (**) has been 71.6% of its posts contributing "nothing except insults" to USENET.

    ** Since Wed, 5 Jan 2022 04:10:38 -0000 (UTC) Troll Doe has posted at
    least 3014 articles to USENET. Of which 176 have been pure insults and
    1983 have been Troll Doe "troll format" postings.

    The John Dope troll stated the following in message-id <sdhn7c$pkp$4@dont-email.me>:

    The troll doesn't even know how to format a USENET post...

    And the John Dope troll stated the following in message-id <sg3kr7$qt5$1@dont-email.me>:

    The reason Bozo cannot figure out how to get Google to keep from
    breaking its lines in inappropriate places is because Bozo is
    CLUELESS...

    And yet, the clueless John Dope troll has continued to post incorrectly formatted USENET articles that are devoid of content (latest example on
    Sun, 10 Jul 2022 23:31:42 -0000 (UTC) in message-id <tafngu$1g414$29@dont-email.me>).

    NOBODY likes the John Doe troll's contentless spam.

    This posting is a public service announcement for any google groups
    readers who happen by to point out that John Dope does not even follow
    the rules it uses to troll other posters.

    CZjahvK7HImV

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Jasen Betts@21:1/5 to Don Y on Tue Jul 12 09:03:10 2022
    On 2022-07-10, Don Y <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over, tomorrow...


    Disk shelves is correct.

    slightly different paint job here:

    https://www.theregister.com/2014/10/01/ddn_dresses_gpfs_up_in_appliance_clothes/


    --
    Jasen.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Jasen Betts on Tue Jul 12 08:07:43 2022
    On 7/12/2022 2:03 AM, Jasen Betts wrote:
    On 2022-07-10, Don Y <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about >> 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone >> recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over,
    tomorrow...


    Disk shelves is correct.

    More or less (I took a look at it, yesterday).

    It's more like a "storage appliance". It has a fair bit of "smarts" instead of a generic JBOD. (this makes it harder for me to make use of it).

    slightly different paint job here:

    https://www.theregister.com/2014/10/01/ddn_dresses_gpfs_up_in_appliance_clothes/

    Thanks! I'll see if I can find a data sheet/product brief/manual.
    But, I suspect it will be hard to work-around its internal smarts.
    And, the top-load design will be problematic as it will have to be
    operated extended on its slides (I'd be wary of the rack tipping).

    I think I'm better off looking for smaller, front-load shelves...
    just using more of them! (e.g. 5*12 instead of 60 at a time)

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Grant Taylor@21:1/5 to Don Y on Tue Jul 12 10:10:38 2022
    On 7/12/22 9:07 AM, Don Y wrote:
    It's more like a "storage appliance". It has a fair bit of "smarts"
    instead of a generic JBOD. (this makes it harder for me to make use
    of it).

    I would wonder if you could host the thing(s) accessing the JBOD on --
    what you call -- the smarts internally instead of the external system
    you're using. Maybe you can or maybe your stack doesn't support the system.



    --
    Grant. . . .
    unix || die

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Grant Taylor@21:1/5 to Don Y on Tue Jul 12 09:41:41 2022
    On 7/10/22 3:06 PM, Don Y wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height
    (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep
    for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    The look like disk shelves, probably with servers built in.

    Link - Datadirect (supermicro) mining server 2 x E5-2665 8 core 2.4ghz
    32gig 2 X 1TB | eBay
    - https://www.ebay.com/itm/255087205980

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Agreed.

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a
    drive over, tomorrow...
    They look interesting. The also look like they would be louder than I
    want at home.



    --
    Grant. . . .
    unix || die

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Grant Taylor on Tue Jul 12 10:28:18 2022
    On 7/12/2022 8:41 AM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/10/22 3:06 PM, Don Y wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>


    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about >> 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone >> recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    The look like disk shelves, probably with servers built in.

    Link - Datadirect (supermicro) mining server 2 x E5-2665 8 core 2.4ghz 32gig 2
    X 1TB | eBay
    - https://www.ebay.com/itm/255087205980

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>


    Agreed.

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over,
    tomorrow...
    They look interesting. The also look like they would be louder than I want at
    home.

    All that spinning rust in a single box is definitely "interesting"! :>

    They aren't intended for my own use (I already have ~10 shelves in my lab
    but never run more than one at a time -- too many BTUs!). Rather, they
    are intended as "appliances" for various groups with which I'm affiliated
    to sanitize/initialize drives, "in bulk".

    E.g., it takes about an hour, per pass, to process a 250GB drive. So, a write followed by verify takes about 2 hours. If it takes ~2 minutes to mount a disk drive in a carrier and install that assembly, then it will take ~2 hours to prepare 60 such drives. At the end of that time, the first drive inserted
    will be completed and need to be removed. Assume 2 more minutes to unmount it and then you're needed to remove drive #2 -- which has now finished two passes.

    [I.e., it would be foolish to prep all of the drives, install ALL of them and then start the appliance; better to let each drive start being processed as
    it is physically available to do so]

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Grant Taylor on Tue Jul 12 10:21:17 2022
    On 7/12/2022 9:10 AM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/12/22 9:07 AM, Don Y wrote:
    It's more like a "storage appliance". It has a fair bit of "smarts" instead >> of a generic JBOD. (this makes it harder for me to make use of it).

    I would wonder if you could host the thing(s) accessing the JBOD on -- what you
    call -- the smarts internally instead of the external system you're using. Maybe you can or maybe your stack doesn't support the system.

    I don't imagine there would be sufficient detail available to let me
    know how things were wired and what was (tediously) cast in firmware.

    I've encountered similar boxes, in the past (e.g., large RAID arrays
    with gigabytes of BBRAM). It's just not worth the effort to get
    the information needed in the *hope* that it might be possible to
    repurpose.

    E.g., I can use 4 (or 5) SAS interfaces to drive 4 15-drive JBODs
    (or 5 12-drive JBODs) and know that I've got a really fat pipe into
    the "array" (of shelves). But, how are the 60 drives wired in *this*
    box?

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Cydrome Leader@21:1/5 to Don Y on Tue Jul 12 19:17:33 2022
    Don Y <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>

    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'm guessing these are more of the same, viewed from the side:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20144.JPG?itok=j9j4CfKm>

    Note the apparent parting in the top cover.

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over, tomorrow...

    nice flip phone photos. Maybe you could try again, in focus and with
    images over 32x24 pixels in size.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Grant Taylor on Tue Jul 12 14:40:05 2022
    On 7/12/2022 8:41 AM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/10/22 3:06 PM, Don Y wrote:
    I'm trying to guess what these may be:

    <https://storefront.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_full_size/public/2022-07/Lot%20138.JPG?itok=8_HLCtXV>


    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about >> 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone >> recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    The look like disk shelves, probably with servers built in.

    Link - Datadirect (supermicro) mining server 2 x E5-2665 8 core 2.4ghz 32gig 2
    X 1TB | eBay
    - https://www.ebay.com/itm/255087205980

    These have 60 drive slots -- 5x6 under each of the openable "flaps" in
    the top of the case.

    The ones that I opened (only the topmost on any pallet as the devices are
    too heavy to easily move aside to examine the units underneath) had a mix
    of 600G, 4T and 6T drives.

    It will be curious to see what they end up selling for as most of the folks
    who frequent the auctions tend to be resellers looking for "deals" that they can leverage. I can't imagine any *business* wanting "used media" for their enterprise. So, the drives have little/no value. And, the appliances (assuming they work and suit your needs) are REALLY heavy/bulky to ship.
    So, any savings in surplus pricing are diminished by the freight costs.

    It's always interesting to see folks climbing through the piles to see
    what may be of interest to THEIR "customers". One guy was busily taking
    notes about items of interest in *each* pallet/lot of interest cuz the
    photos that they post are useless -- unless you happen to recognize something specific, hence the reason for my question, here. (that was how I
    stumbled on my "Personal Reader")

    As it's not a "financial/business issue" for me, I'm much less obsessed
    with details... I take closeups of model numbers that can be researched,
    later (easier than writing down stuff). E.g., there was a fair bit of
    audio and photog kit there that I might buy (or, TRY to buy) and donate
    to local maker house, now that I have more detailed images to research.

    There was another pallet/lot of more traditional (front load) shelves that
    I may pursue. What I really want is an appliance that can mount "bare"
    drives as the labor required to mount a drive to a carrier limits the
    sorts of people who can do the work and the time per drive to do it
    (would YOU want to mount/dismount drives continuously for hours at a time?)

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Grant Taylor@21:1/5 to Don Y on Tue Jul 12 16:08:33 2022
    On 7/12/22 11:28 AM, Don Y wrote:
    All that spinning rust in a single box is definitely "interesting"! :>

    Indeed.

    If it takes ~2 minutes to mount a disk drive in a carrier and install
    that assembly, then it will take ~2 hours to prepare 60 such drives.
    ... Assume 2 more minutes to unmount it and then you're needed to
    remove drive #2 -- which has now finished two passes.

    I would change the paradigm slightly. If I could, as if the interfaces
    worked, and the bandwidth could keep up, I'd use something like multiple
    USB connected SATA (or SAS if such a thing exists) adapter(s) that I'd
    move from raw drive to raw drive as I went through the pile.

    Just my 2¢ worth.



    --
    Grant. . . .
    unix || die

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  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Grant Taylor on Tue Jul 12 15:55:11 2022
    On 7/12/2022 3:08 PM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/12/22 11:28 AM, Don Y wrote:
    All that spinning rust in a single box is definitely "interesting"! :>

    Indeed.

    If it takes ~2 minutes to mount a disk drive in a carrier and install that >> assembly, then it will take ~2 hours to prepare 60 such drives. ... Assume 2
    more minutes to unmount it and then you're needed to remove drive #2 -- which
    has now finished two passes.

    I would change the paradigm slightly. If I could, as if the interfaces worked,
    and the bandwidth could keep up, I'd use something like multiple USB connected
    SATA (or SAS if such a thing exists) adapter(s) that I'd move from raw drive to
    raw drive as I went through the pile.

    Just my 2¢ worth.

    When drives were smaller (~20G), we'd use multiple IDE interrfaces in a single machine. The time required to process a disk was small enough that you could plug all of the drives, power up the appliance and wait for them ALL to finish at roughly the same time.

    As sizes increased (~100G), we moved to external USB (PATA) enclosures so we could be fitting a drive while other drives were being processed. A poor-man's hot plug solution (power up the external drive assembly after the DUT was fitted; plug into USB port).

    SATA drives strained this as the drives were inherently larger and USB2 i/fs tend to max out at ~1GB/s so they are impractical for the larger drives. (We now discard anything smaller than 250GB and that threshold will likely be moving to 500G, RSN). And, USB3 interfaces aren't quite ubiquitous -- nor
    are USB3 external drive "chassis" that can host DUTs.

    And, you have to ensure anything between the drives and the application doesn't interfere with how the application can interact with the drives (e.g., I
    need to be able to deal with the DSO and HPA so any "enclosure services"
    can't lock me out of those mechanisms)

    You need to target 60MB/s per drive as a sustainable data rate. A smallish
    (12 drive) shelf connected via SAS is a reasonably good fit. So, use multiple shelves to get the desired number of concurrent drives "on-line".

    If you abandon the conventional OS design and tailor it (and the drivers) to this specific application (hey, it's an APPLIANCE! :> ), then you can run the i/fs at close to their maximum speed -- offloading everything else to some other box (UI, RDBMS, etc.).

    Commercial products tend to have top-loaded slots into which drives can be "placed" (without needing a carrier) -- sort of like USB disk docks. So,
    these boxes *could* work -- if I printed a "frame" to restrict the slots' openings to conform to the size of the drives.

    But, then you have to deal with drives that aren't 1" high. Or laptop drives. Or...

    [Goal here is to do things for little-to-no-money as these folks don't
    have budgets for this sort of kit]

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  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Don Y on Tue Jul 12 15:57:11 2022
    On 7/12/2022 3:55 PM, Don Y wrote:
    SATA drives strained this as the drives were inherently larger and USB2 i/fs tend to max out at ~1GB/s so they are impractical for the larger drives. (We

    s.GB/s.GB/m.

    now discard anything smaller than 250GB and that threshold will likely be moving to 500G, RSN). And, USB3 interfaces aren't quite ubiquitous -- nor are USB3 external drive "chassis" that can host DUTs.

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  • From Cydrome Leader@21:1/5 to Don Y on Fri Jul 22 00:13:40 2022
    Don Y <blockedofcourse@foo.invalid> wrote:
    On 7/12/2022 9:10 AM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/12/22 9:07 AM, Don Y wrote:
    It's more like a "storage appliance". It has a fair bit of "smarts" instead
    of a generic JBOD. (this makes it harder for me to make use of it).

    I would wonder if you could host the thing(s) accessing the JBOD on -- what you
    call -- the smarts internally instead of the external system you're using. >> Maybe you can or maybe your stack doesn't support the system.

    I don't imagine there would be sufficient detail available to let me
    know how things were wired and what was (tediously) cast in firmware.

    I've encountered similar boxes, in the past (e.g., large RAID arrays
    with gigabytes of BBRAM). It's just not worth the effort to get
    the information needed in the *hope* that it might be possible to
    repurpose.

    Lol, this dusty old clown's mind is blown by gigabytes of RAM.

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  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Don Y on Thu Jul 21 18:42:10 2022
    On 7/10/2022 2:06 PM, Don Y wrote:
    I'd initially thought they might be disk shelves owing to the height (about 4U?) and "bland" front panels. But, they are way too deep for that. Anyone recognize the distinctive red "badge" on the front?

    I'll have to see if there are enough other curiosities to merit a drive over, tomorrow...

    Each was a 60-drive (SAS/SATA) "storage box". Most were filled with a
    mix of 600G, 4TB and 6TB drives (from first-hand experience, these are
    often low PoHr devices being "retired" because some grant funding ran out;
    I've never found a drive in these lots with even a single remapped sector!). Mostly 4KN (which can be annoying in non-array deployments).

    They appear to have sold for an average of ~$60 per unit (~$300/pallet).
    ISTR there were about 15 such boxes.

    But disposing of all that unwanted "surplus" would really be a chore (and I already have gobs of disks and shelf hardware).

    Gotta wonder where it is headed as I can't imagine an enterprise
    running on "used" rust! Though the assemblies may have had some
    inherent value to justify the freight charges required (scrap the drives).

    OTOH, there were enough other interesting goodies to have made the
    trip worthwhile! :> (Gee, I thought I was trying to get RID of stuff?)

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  • From Grant Taylor@21:1/5 to Don Y on Thu Jul 21 22:51:50 2022
    On 7/21/22 7:42 PM, Don Y wrote:
    They appear to have sold for an average of ~$60 per unit
    (~$300/pallet). ISTR there were about 15 such boxes.

    If I was on the correct continent and had an opportunity, I probably
    would have put my hand up for part of a group buy for one or two of the
    units.

    But disposing of all that unwanted "surplus" would really be a chore
    (and I already have gobs of disks and shelf hardware).

    What would you consider to be the surplus?

    Gotta wonder where it is headed as I can't imagine an enterprise
    running on "used" rust! Though the assemblies may have had some
    inherent value to justify the freight charges required (scrap the
    drives).

    I actually see value in the drives. I've seen a LOT of so called
    refurbished drives for sale on many different venues.

    I've consumed used spinning rust for more than two decades in things at
    home.

    I know multiple people that are still running EoL equipment that's 2nd
    or 3rd hand that's fulfilling their needs perfectly fine. I don't think
    you can buy non-used drives for some of that equipment.

    I agree, most enterprises won't find themselves in /this/ particular
    situation. But I would not be surprised if some of the employees of
    said enterprises were using ""refurbished drives for personal things.

    OTOH, there were enough other interesting goodies to have made the trip worthwhile! :> (Gee, I thought I was trying to get RID of stuff?)

    :-)



    --
    Grant. . . .
    unix || die

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Grant Taylor on Thu Jul 21 22:48:07 2022
    On 7/21/2022 9:51 PM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/21/22 7:42 PM, Don Y wrote:
    They appear to have sold for an average of ~$60 per unit (~$300/pallet).
    ISTR there were about 15 such boxes.

    If I was on the correct continent and had an opportunity, I probably would have
    put my hand up for part of a group buy for one or two of the units.

    On such items, its hard for someone (i.e., me) operating in a different "market" (that of an individual buyer vs. a reseller) to sort out a
    proper bid for an item.

    I bought a 5KVA sine wave UPS for $50 -- and that was probably the sole
    bid offered on it! (I sold the depleted batteries from it for $100)

    I bought a Personal Reader (<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zNxsYLuGqw>)
    for $7 and another $7 for the associated scanner -- because no one else
    knew what they were (or if there might be a market for it!)

    Several pen plotters, over the years (each bigger than the previous).

    I have a delightful, high-backed, swivel/rolling chair in my office
    that I paid a whole *dollar* for!

    OTOH, I see pallets of PCs sell for $1000 and wouldn't even consider
    bidding on same -- even if there was a jem sitting on the top of the
    pile! (what the hell would I do with the rest of them??)

    But disposing of all that unwanted "surplus" would really be a chore (and I >> already have gobs of disks and shelf hardware).

    What would you consider to be the surplus?

    My interest was in the chassis -- as the basis for mass disk duplication/erasure appliances. I.e., multipass "wiping" drives
    to ensure their previous contents have been obliterated thereby
    allowing the drives to be reused/redistributed in other devices
    without fear of their original/proprietary content being
    disclosed (to someone with prying eyes).

    I've developed software to automate this task so groups who want to
    (or MUST!) process lots of disks can do so in a short period of time
    with unskilled labor (the machine watches everything that is
    done and oversees the subsequent use/reuse of those drives;
    so, if a drive was defective or not recognized as being wiped,
    it never gets out of the building *and* donors can be reassured
    that *their* drives -- reported by S/N -- were "processed" as
    agreed upon!)

    Gotta wonder where it is headed as I can't imagine an enterprise running on >> "used" rust! Though the assemblies may have had some inherent value to
    justify the freight charges required (scrap the drives).

    I actually see value in the drives. I've seen a LOT of so called refurbished drives for sale on many different venues.

    But I would assume those are targeted to individuals, not businesses.
    Would you want to have your organization's data running on drives
    with no history (nor recourse in the event of failure)?

    I've consumed used spinning rust for more than two decades in things at home.

    I have a couple *hundred* drives pulled from similar shelfs, over the years.
    I have 7 15-drive shelfs along with a pair of 12-drive shelfs in my SAN. And, a little 4 drive enclosure tethered to my VM server (has 8 internal drives).

    Anything smaller than 500GB gets recycled (the space it takes up could better be used by a 1TB or larger drive!)

    So, you're preaching to the choir.

    But, at this point, the drives would just be more clutter, for me (I think
    I have 200-300TB, here). My recent efforts have focused on finding ways
    to "store" things inside other things. E.g., instead of keeping a box
    of spare DVD drives, *install* them in various workstations and discard
    the box; instead of keeping boxes of DRAM, fully populate each machine and discard the excess; etc.

    I know multiple people that are still running EoL equipment that's 2nd or 3rd hand that's fulfilling their needs perfectly fine. I don't think you can buy non-used drives for some of that equipment.

    There is a large retailer, here, who runs his enterprise on Sun kit.
    The guy who runs the IT department is constantly looking for *any*
    Sun kit to handle expanded demands as well as repair/replacements:
    "We're opening a new store..."

    But, the owner has made the decision that the risk incurred from
    hardware failures is exceeded by the cost of trying to migrate
    all of his systems to a "newer" platform...

    ...given that a newer platform will only be "newer" for a short period
    of time!

    [OTOH, he has recently realized that he is *overly* dependant on said
    IT guy to keep his enterprise running!]

    E.g., I keep SCA and FC/AL drives as spares for some of my older kit.
    I even have some 2.5" SCA and SCSI drives for "unusual uses".
    But, if all of them failed (before I had a chance to recover their
    contents), I would be "disappointed"... but not out of business!

    I agree, most enterprises won't find themselves in /this/ particular situation. But I would not be surprised if some of the employees of said enterprises were using ""refurbished drives for personal things.

    Yes. But someone has to show up at the auction to bid on said items.
    IME, most of these folks are resellers trying to pick up <something>
    at a bargain price and flip it to someone else who doesn't have time
    (patience) to scour auction sites.

    I'm an exception in that I see these outings as entertainment; sort
    of like wandering through an (old-fashioned) hardware store exploring
    the various unusual tools and supplies on-hand and pondering their uses.

    This works *to* my advantage as well as *against*:
    - "to" in that I am willing to pay what an "end user" might be
    expected to pay -- likely more than a reseller would like to pay
    as he'd forfeit his expected profit
    - "against" in that I may only be interested in *an* item on a
    pallet and limit my bid to what I would be willing to pay for
    *that* item. A reseller would bid based on the entire contents
    of the pallet!

    The final issue being that my livelihood doesn't rely on the "chance" associated with this "product sourcing scheme"... nor on my ability
    to predict the correct purchase price (i.e., "bid"). If I don't
    win anything, I still got some entertainment out of digging through
    all the piles of kit! (if a reseller doesn't win, he's got to wonder
    what he's going to resell to generate income!)

    [I used to have a few friends who worked at this location who could
    alert me to "goodies" and provide better, targeted photos of items
    in which I'd expressed an interest. But, a different department is
    now handling the auctions -- in a different manner -- so I've lost
    those assets]


    OTOH, there were enough other interesting goodies to have made the trip
    worthwhile! :> (Gee, I thought I was trying to get RID of stuff?)

    :-)

    The *big* problem with getting old is you have the experience, knowledge
    and funds to do the things you dreamed of doing when younger; but, not
    the *time* nor *space* (the latter because its been filled with a lifetime
    of "acquisitions")

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Grant Taylor@21:1/5 to Don Y on Fri Jul 22 13:57:05 2022
    On 7/21/22 11:48 PM, Don Y wrote:
    On such items, its hard for someone (i.e., me) operating in a different "market" (that of an individual buyer vs. a reseller) to sort out a
    proper bid for an item.

    Ya. You sort of need to have some information ahead of time. E.g.
    friends that say I'll pay X for Y count of drives Z size. And trust
    that you can rely on those numbers days / weeks / months later.

    I've developed software to automate this task so groups who want to
    (or MUST!) process lots of disks can do so in a short period of time
    with unskilled labor

    I am curious:

    1) Do you leverage the ATA, et al., command to tell the drive to wipe
    itself at all? Maybe as a first stab (not even a pass)? Or do you
    simply re-write specific things to the drives X number of times?

    2) Do you see people / organizations starting to use encryption to make
    it so that they don't /need/ to wipe the drives? Meaning that they can
    just dispose of the key and avoid wiping the drive?

    But I would assume those are targeted to individuals, not businesses.
    Would you want to have your organization's data running on drives
    with no history (nor recourse in the event of failure)?

    What operational history do you have on brand new drives from the
    manufacturer?

    What recourse do you have on brand new drives that fail under warranty
    from a data point of view?

    I'd think that both are really quite comparable. Effectively no
    historical data about the drive and drive replacement, respectively.
    The biggest difference is the warranty to cover drive replacement and
    the MTBF counters which suggest likely avoidance of failure.

    I do feel like used drives probably avoid infant mortality verses brand
    new drives.

    I have a couple *hundred* drives pulled from similar shelfs, over
    the years. I have 7 15-drive shelfs along with a pair of 12-drive
    shelfs in my SAN. And, a little 4 drive enclosure tethered to my VM
    server (has 8 internal drives).

    Nice.

    Anything smaller than 500GB gets recycled (the space it takes up
    could better be used by a 1TB or larger drive!)

    Fair enough.

    Though, I see some use in drives that are smaller than 514 MB / 1 GB / 2
    GB. Particularly in retro-computing where old systems don't like larger drives. However those are well below your 500 GB marker.

    So, you're preaching to the choir.

    :-)

    But, at this point, the drives would just be more clutter, for me
    (I think I have 200-300TB, here). My recent efforts have focused on
    finding ways to "store" things inside other things. E.g., instead
    of keeping a box of spare DVD drives, *install* them in various
    workstations and discard the box; instead of keeping boxes of DRAM,
    fully populate each machine and discard the excess; etc.

    I can understand and appreciate that.

    But, the owner has made the decision that the risk incurred from
    hardware failures is exceeded by the cost of trying to migrate all
    of his systems to a "newer" platform...

    I question the veracity of the premise of the owner's decision. But
    there are far too few details to actually speculate.

    ...given that a newer platform will only be "newer" for a short period
    of time!

    As (Open)VMS is finding out, migrating from Itanium to x86-64 means that
    the VMs will be able to migrate from generation to generation of x86-64
    hosts. Meaning that the OS image is decoupled from the underlying
    hardware that it's running on.

    Did your 5 year old hypervisor host die? Install the same or current
    version of the hypervisor on a new host, import the VMs, and you're most
    of the way there.

    Conversely waiting on new old stock / etc. to ship / test / look for
    parts, all takes time and is a risk.

    [OTOH, he has recently realized that he is *overly* dependant on said
    IT guy to keep his enterprise running!]

    It sounds like his SPOF might be on the person more than the equipment.
    Does the phrase "Greyhound Buss syndrome" mean anything? -- I hope
    it's not the case. But it is a risk.

    E.g., I keep SCA and FC/AL drives as spares for some of my older kit.
    I even have some 2.5" SCA and SCSI drives for "unusual uses". But, if
    all of them failed (before I had a chance to recover their contents),
    I would be "disappointed"... but not out of business!

    ACK

    Yes. But someone has to show up at the auction to bid on said items.
    IME, most of these folks are resellers trying to pick up <something>
    at a bargain price and flip it to someone else who doesn't have time (patience) to scour auction sites.

    Yep. There is a business niche for such resellers. Especially if the resellers do some testing on the drives / equipment and offer some form
    of warranty. Even if the warranty is a gift card for the venue they
    sell things through.

    I'm an exception in that I see these outings as entertainment; sort of
    like wandering through an (old-fashioned) hardware store exploring the various unusual tools and supplies on-hand and pondering their uses.

    I've done similar in the past. Sadly I've not been in physical
    proximity to such for quite a while.



    --
    Grant. . . .
    unix || die

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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  • From Don Y@21:1/5 to Grant Taylor on Fri Jul 22 14:40:24 2022
    On 7/22/2022 12:57 PM, Grant Taylor wrote:
    On 7/21/22 11:48 PM, Don Y wrote:
    On such items, its hard for someone (i.e., me) operating in a different
    "market" (that of an individual buyer vs. a reseller) to sort out a proper >> bid for an item.

    Ya. You sort of need to have some information ahead of time. E.g. friends that say I'll pay X for Y count of drives Z size. And trust that you can rely
    on those numbers days / weeks / months later.

    Not happening.

    Folks will always *say* "keep your eyes open for XYZ; I'm looking for one". And, when you later phone them to tell them you've put one aside for them,
    they never manage to follow through.

    So, I just tell them "sure", when the request is made. Then, promptly
    forget it. How are they gonna know that I found one and didn't act
    on it?

    I've developed software to automate this task so groups who want to (or
    MUST!) process lots of disks can do so in a short period of time with
    unskilled labor

    I am curious:

    1) Do you leverage the ATA, et al., command to tell the drive to wipe itself at all? Maybe as a first stab (not even a pass)? Or do you simply re-write specific things to the drives X number of times?

    No. There have been reports of drives that don't properly implement that feature.

    Additionally, I want to observe (quantify) the drive's performance to decide
    if it is UNreliable, etc.

    When I first "see" a drive (query make/model/sn/capacity and check against database of "all drives ever encountered"), I make a record of its existence. Remove the HPA and DCO to ensure EVERYTHING is exposed/accessible. Then,
    check the SMART data to see if there may be sectors (that *might* have "user data" stored on them, even though not technically accessible); if so, I
    can't guarantee that everything is overwriteable and mark the drive for physical destruction (this to guard against someone "enterprising" who
    finds a way to reset the grown defect table to go snooping around;
    ditto for the HPA/DCO).

    Then, I begin a series of write/read-verify passes, as determined by the
    donor of said drive. (some corporate entities insist on particular
    overwriting processes -- multiple passes). While I'm making a pass,
    I note the time per operation as a way of infering if the drive is
    having problems internally -- possibly retrying an operation or
    remapping a sector to accommodate it.

    If the operation fails (returns an error), then I note that fact
    and decide if I should abort the process, opting for physical
    destruction, instead.

    At the end of each pass, I recheck the SMART data to see if anything
    noteworthy has changed which might affect my declaration of compliance
    with the specified erasure procedure.

    I then move on to the next pass -- which may be read-verify or write
    something else. I support "all zeroes", "all ones" (oxFF) and "random".
    There are corresponding verify cycles for each (so I can write
    random to fill the platter and then *verify* that everything was "as
    written" -- by reconstitutiong the PRNG from its initial seed)

    I have a custom OS so I don't have the overhead of the traditional block/character device stack; the code sits *in* the drivers almost continuously (just pushing data out to the RDBMS as needed). E.g., there
    are hooks to "write_random()" and "write_zeroes" and "verify_random()"
    instead of just "write()" and "read()", etc.

    If the drive is unsuitable for reuse (too small, too slow, etc)
    then a disposal directive informs the operator what to do with the
    drive when removed from the system.

    Later, when the drive is installed in a refurbished machine, the
    RDBMS is again consulted to verify that the drive *was* completely
    wiped (and NOT marked for physical destruction). If OK, then
    I can write a "machine image" onto the drive (instead of having
    to manually install an OS and set of apps on *each* machine)

    [A delightful side-effect of all this is that we can "service"
    a machine simply by reinitializing its drive image -- "Sorry,
    all of your personal information is lost!"]

    All of this lets me impose policy without requiring the "operator"
    to be diligent.

    The present shift to laptops poses a different set of problems;
    you don't want to bother removing the drives -- because "unskilled" (developmentally disabled) workers will not be able to deal with
    all the little fasteners -- which are often irreplaceable -- and
    more delicate assemblies. So, you let the laptop do the work
    for you; netboot an image that gathers identifying information
    from the laptop (and disk), wipes the drive, tests the hardware
    (and display/keyboard -- the biggest problem areas) and reinstalls
    a new image.

    But, this takes up a shitload more space than a bunch of rack-mounted
    disk shelfs! And, the drives tend to be slower so the "machine
    throughput" (number of machines refurbished per unit time) drops
    significantly.

    2) Do you see people / organizations starting to use encryption to make it so
    that they don't /need/ to wipe the drives? Meaning that they can just dispose
    of the key and avoid wiping the drive?

    No. I suspect this is a support problem for our corporate donors; keeping track of keys for thousands of seats. Individual donors (a small portion
    of machines, compared to the corporate donors) may or may not have used encryption, depending on their level of "novelty" (sort of like folks using RAID for its novelty -- until they see the true costs!)

    But I would assume those are targeted to individuals, not businesses. Would >> you want to have your organization's data running on drives with no history >> (nor recourse in the event of failure)?

    What operational history do you have on brand new drives from the manufacturer?

    The implication that there has been *no* wear.

    What recourse do you have on brand new drives that fail under warranty from a data point of view?

    Businesses typically impose policies regarding how data is protected -- backups, redundant arrays, etc. They likely want expediency in recovering
    data and wouldn't rely on a manufacturer's service to do that for them.

    OTOH, they can get the drives replaced AND have leverage over the
    manufacturer in future purchases.

    By contrast, *I* have policies and procedures to safeguard *my* data...
    even if stored on "used" drives. But, I have no recourse with the
    "supplier" as to complaints about high failure rates, etc.

    I'd think that both are really quite comparable. Effectively no historical data about the drive and drive replacement, respectively. The biggest difference is the warranty to cover drive replacement and the MTBF counters which suggest likely avoidance of failure.

    I do feel like used drives probably avoid infant mortality verses brand new drives.

    The drives I've rescued (and that we've refurbished) either work or
    don't. Failures are often spindle motor or head load assy.

    The actual media seems to be pretty durable as we don't see many
    sector remapping events.

    OTOH, corporate donations likely have only 10-20K PoHrs owing to
    how frequently they "repurchase everything". And, a "consumer"
    probably even less wear -- aside from physical abuse.

    I have a couple *hundred* drives pulled from similar shelfs, over the years. >> I have 7 15-drive shelfs along with a pair of 12-drive shelfs in my SAN.
    And, a little 4 drive enclosure tethered to my VM server (has 8 internal
    drives).

    Nice.

    Easier than maintaining different machines for different project/purposes.
    When done with a project, image the entire machine and move it into a
    VMDK -- prior to "building" a new configuration for the next project.

    Anything smaller than 500GB gets recycled (the space it takes up could better
    be used by a 1TB or larger drive!)

    Fair enough.

    Though, I see some use in drives that are smaller than 514 MB / 1 GB / 2 GB. Particularly in retro-computing where old systems don't like larger drives. However those are well below your 500 GB marker.

    I have a small number of VERY small PATA drives. E.g., my Portable 386
    has a 300MB drive hacked into it (the BIOS doesn't support that particular drive type but I rewrote the BIOS ROMs to accommodate it)

    So, you're preaching to the choir.

    :-)

    But, at this point, the drives would just be more clutter, for me (I think I >> have 200-300TB, here). My recent efforts have focused on finding ways to
    "store" things inside other things. E.g., instead of keeping a box of spare >> DVD drives, *install* them in various workstations and discard the box;
    instead of keeping boxes of DRAM, fully populate each machine and discard the
    excess; etc.

    I can understand and appreciate that.

    It's easy to forget how much "stuff" one has accumulated. E.g., I probably have 40 pounds of RAM (sorted by physical type, technology, size, etc.).
    The quantity acts as a deterrent to sorting through it to decide what
    to keep! <frown>

    Ditto SCSI/SAS HBAs, RAID cards, NICs, GPUs, etc. Easier to just *add* to existing boxes of parts than it is to sit down and make sense of it all!

    But, the owner has made the decision that the risk incurred from hardware
    failures is exceeded by the cost of trying to migrate all of his systems to a
    "newer" platform...

    I question the veracity of the premise of the owner's decision. But there are
    far too few details to actually speculate.

    ...given that a newer platform will only be "newer" for a short period of time!

    As (Open)VMS is finding out, migrating from Itanium to x86-64 means that the VMs will be able to migrate from generation to generation of x86-64 hosts. Meaning that the OS image is decoupled from the underlying hardware that it's running on.

    Did your 5 year old hypervisor host die? Install the same or current version of the hypervisor on a new host, import the VMs, and you're most of the way there.

    Exactly.

    Did your 5 year old *PC* die? Good luck finding a replacement that will
    use the same drivers, etc. (assuming you're stuck in the Windows world)

    Conversely waiting on new old stock / etc. to ship / test / look for parts, all
    takes time and is a risk.

    [OTOH, he has recently realized that he is *overly* dependant on said IT guy >> to keep his enterprise running!]

    It sounds like his SPOF might be on the person more than the equipment. Does the phrase "Greyhound Buss syndrome" mean anything? -- I hope it's not the case. But it is a risk.

    He's brought on additional staff to address that "liability". But, still spends scant little on IT (i.e., TWO people, now, instead of just the one!)

    E.g., I keep SCA and FC/AL drives as spares for some of my older kit. I even >> have some 2.5" SCA and SCSI drives for "unusual uses". But, if all of them >> failed (before I had a chance to recover their contents), I would be
    "disappointed"... but not out of business!

    ACK

    Yes. But someone has to show up at the auction to bid on said items. IME, >> most of these folks are resellers trying to pick up <something> at a bargain >> price and flip it to someone else who doesn't have time (patience) to scour >> auction sites.

    Yep. There is a business niche for such resellers. Especially if the resellers do some testing on the drives / equipment and offer some form of warranty. Even if the warranty is a gift card for the venue they sell things through.

    And, often the prices they charge well exceed what said kit sold for "new". But, folks reliant on it will pay whatever they have to!

    I'm an exception in that I see these outings as entertainment; sort of like >> wandering through an (old-fashioned) hardware store exploring the various
    unusual tools and supplies on-hand and pondering their uses.

    I've done similar in the past. Sadly I've not been in physical proximity to such for quite a while.

    There are lots of opportunities for similar "recreations", here.

    Several different organizations are involved in "recycling" kit
    so what you encounter can vary based on the donors each attracts.

    The University (host of said auction) tends to have lots of
    experimental stuff so it's a good mental exercise to ponder
    the purpose of a random pile of "junk" (corporate donors
    tend to just produce more-of-the-same workstation stuff
    with a bit of server-side kit mixed in). Retail donors
    (storefronts) obviously use yet another class of kit.

    I was temped by a "monitor wall" some time ago -- five "rows"
    of three side-by-side monitors (15 total). But, figured it
    was impractical (the lowest monitor was very close to floor
    level).

    Still, it gets your imagination churning contemplating what
    it *was* used for and what you *could* use it for!

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