vSphere upgrade saga: Upgrading the storage on your Iomega ix2-200

Still got a little room up top Credit: flickr/burlap

While technically not part of my vCloud environment, I use an Iomega ix2-200 as my tertiary storage for ISOs used within my vCloud environment. I also use an 8TB iSCSI server that also acts as my RHEV server. I will be upgrading this later as well with a 10G network card and the latest RHEV. However, this is about my Iomega ix2-200.

In effect, my ISO store had grown so large that the SMB fileserver was exhausted so I moved it all to the ix2, which exhausted its disk storage as well. In effect, 1TB is just not enough for everything I have.

Since I like the mirrored drives in the ix2, I chose to get 3TB ones as a massive upgrade. This 3x upgrade seemed to be feasible as Iomega sold 3TB drives for the ix2-200. Unfortunately, they are no longer available. This implied I could go to the store and get some, which I did. Some people like Seagate, some do not; I am on the fence. I have had Western Digital and Seagate both fail on me. They are commodity drives after all. If I want enterprise class storage, I use my FC SAN. However, for ISOs and other items I also store on blu-ray, the ix2-200 works just fine. A little slow, but still works and saves me space on my primary storage.

There are several very good documents on upgrading the storage on your ix2-200 that you can follow. Some of them say to remove the disks and mount them into your windows or Linux machine to fix partition issues. Thankfully, I did not need to do that, as all I use these days is a Mac Book Pro or my iPad. I would have needed to get an eSata to USB device. I used the following sites as reference on how to proceed. It took a bit of searching but here they are:

1. Upgrading IOmega ix2-200 to bigger hard drives 2. Turbocharge your ix2-200 with SSD 3. Upgrading Iomega ix2-200 to Cloud Edition

Each of these sites provided the help I need. However, the first thing I did was enable support mode (by going to http://ip-of-ix2/support.html) and enabling SSH. This way I could see what was happening.

Next I followed most of the steps from article #1 above and replaced my hard drives one at a time to ensure the boot volume was properly migrated. However, this lead to several issues:

  • The 2.7TB were not accessible even after resetting drive protection mechanisms, both from the v2.x interface and the command line.

  • Removal of the partition forces a new partition, once more only 2TB in size but no way to configure drive protection.

  • Following article #2 above did not help much (tip: only follow #2 if you feel very comfortable in Linux and specifically LVM commands).

  • v2 of the firmware for an ix2-200 only supports 2TB partitions.

So, I decided to upgrade the firmware of the ix2-200 to that listed in article #3 above. This worked as described using the firmware available on that page. However, I used article #2's instructions to wipe the hard drives of ALL partitions while they were in the Iomega ix2, saving me the need to remove them. It took two tries (as described in article #3 above), but my ix2-200 is happily rebuilding with a full 2.7TBs of disk space.

I went one step further and upgraded to v3.2.6 of the firmware via the software updates screens.

Now to copy everything back to the ix2 with more space than I had before. This is a vast improvement and will allow me to free up some primary SAN storage for other things, like building out my vCloud environment.

But before I do that, I need to finish cleaning up the environment.

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