Monday, January 5, 2009

OpenSolaris Workstation Step 1

I didn't manage to get out of Tiger Direct while spending less than $150. I could have if I hadn't wanted mirrored hard drives. I asked for 250 GB hard drives for $50. They only had 1. For 2 matched 250 GB drives it would have cost $55 each, but... there was a 500 GB drive on sale for only $10 more. So given the choice between 250 GB for $55 or 500 GB for $65 it seemed simple to me. Then came the memory. It is very expensive to buy 1 memory module. The 2 GB of memory I wanted was $100, but... a two pack was only $55. Again an easy decision. Throw in SATA cables and it totaled $220. Almost 50% more than I planned to spend but I got 100% more capacity than I expected.

Unfortunately OpenSolaris doesn't have a device driver for the SATA controller on the motherboard. So if I mirror the drives via the BIOS they disappear. Leaving them alone in the BIOS works just fine and I have a TB of disk. If I had bought a single drive instead of the pair I could have stayed within the budget and wouldn't have lost anything. Time to learn if ZFS makes it easy to mirror the disk via software instead of hardware as I had planned.

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