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StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Primer - Accessories - Barcode Reader & Remote Ethernet Mgmt card

Ender-1
Occasional Advisor

StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Primer - Accessories - Barcode Reader & Remote Ethernet Mgmt card

OK, my company just got done purchasing an HP StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Ultrium 960 (LTO3). After spending some time with this unit, I picked it apart to figure a couple of things out soup-to-nuts.

We were led to believe by our vendor that these units had a barcode reader and that they had a remote management unit (RMU) that allowed for ethernet connectivity. The barcode reader is important because we do tape rotation GFS, and the ethernet management is important because it will (hopefully?) allow us to interact with the tape unit as if we were there.

A not so nice little fact about this unit is that you cannot control it using LTT as if you were at the front panel, despite this functionality with other autoloaders. So if you really needed to load/unload a tape remotely or perform certain functions with this autoloader, you are otherwise stuck going there in person.

I must say I am surprised that when I call in to HP to ask about this unit there is surprisingly little information on it, no options available, and they all but said they consider this to be the low end "crap" unit of their product line.

Well, I did a whole lot of digging and wanted to discuss this and perhaps save someone the hassle I just went through.

OK, so this autoloader is NOT made by HP. No surprise there.. It's actually manufactured by BDT http://www.bdt.de/eng/index.php The autoloader is always the same and then the vendor simply slaps in whatever drive they want. It is marketed by many other manufacturers, including:

Quantum: http://www.quantum.com/Products/Autoloaders/FastStor2/Index.aspx

Tandberg: http://www.tandberg.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=173&sid=1&Itemid=245&pdbl=1&a=8

Even IOMEGA! http://www.iomega.com/direct/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=21365191&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=27324929&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=26890319&bmUID=1164255860420


Alright, well here is the interesting bit. Most of these other vendors will fit the unit with both a barcode reader and a RMU. But HP does not. If you call and ask they will tell you these options do not exist. Well if you look on the back of the unit you'll notice several removable panels. The game is afoot!

Well, I did a bit more digging because my hunch was that this OEM device WOULD support these options, HP simply didn't sell them. I believe that HP chooses not to sell these options either to entice users to upgrade to a more expensive autoloader or because they are marketing it to an audience they feel doesn't need it.. hell maybe it's not profitable, who knows?

Well I found that other vendors DO sell the barcode reader and the ethernet management interface. :) So a little hope is there.

This was bolstered by the fact that I hooked up the RS232 serial connection to COM1 of my server and was able to console in. There IS functionality for both barcode and ethernet! Now we are getting somewhere.

I am in the process of ordering these parts but I maintain it IS possible to do this and I bet at least a few of you out there are thinking or hoping for the same thing.

So here is what I know:

If you look in the HP manual, they don't mention the removable panels at all. Try looking in IOMEGA's manual, it shows where the panels are and how to install both the barcode reader and the ethernet mgmt card: http://download.iomega.com/english/manuals/english/rev-al-1000-manual-en.pdf


BARCODE READER PART SOURCING

Barcode reader is from Quantum, for their LTO autoloader. IOMEGA does sell this too but they have a special REV format so I don't know if barcode is the same, tho I suspect it is. Nevertheless I would play it safe and get Quantum's since it is meant for LTO autoloader.

PART # STUD1600, there is another installation manual for this part here: http://downloads.quantum.com/faststor/omFs2BarcodeReaderManual.pdf


REMOTE MANAGEMENT UNIT (RMU) ETHERNET PART SOURCING

The only vendor I could find that sold this as a separate option was IOMEGA. It usually comes standard and as such it was HARD to find!

Part # 33135 http://www.iomega.com/direct/products/detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=21365199&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=20569663&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=26890319&bmUID=1164256435292

The installation instructions are in the IOMEGA manual above.



HOW TO CONSOLE INTO YOUR AUTOLOADER:

Get a serial cable and connect from autoloader to serial port. Go to Hyperterminal, set for appropriate COM port (usually COM1) and settings are 38400 / 8 / N / 1 / N Once you connect, hit Enter a couple times you should see prompt TSMON>

There are several functions you can do here, mostly status.. but DEFINITELY useful if you are working remotely. There is a LOGIN function for admin functions. Username/password is admin/secure Be careful what you do here... but notice that there are allusions to both barcode and ethernet functionality:

Here is a readout from the STATUS function on my autoloader:

Loader Information:
-------------------
HW Revision : 02 Upgrade Personality : 02.01.02
Firmware Revision : 1.50 Firmware Build date : 05-25-2006
Firmware Checksum : CE98 Bootcode Revision : 0.11
Vendor ID : P Product ID : 1x8 autoloader
Serial Number :
Reserved by : Nobody
BCR enabled : No BCR functional : No
( NOTE: BCR = BAR CODE READER!!! )
Connection : LUN
Loader mode : Automatic, RND
IEEE Identifier :
( NOTE: HERE IS THE MAC ADDRESS IF RMU IS INSTALLED)
Number of Powerups : 3 Operation Time : 25h02min
Cycle Count : 75 Number of Upgrades : 0
Board Temperature : 31.9 Inventory valid : Yes

Drive Information:
...
(cut for brevity)



So what does all this mean? According to the documentation, once you install these options and turn the autoloader back on, it should sense the presence of these options and enable them automatically... and if it doesn't you can just console in and enable it anyway!! Pretty cool.

Sorry for the freakin book here, hope this helps someone!!! Keep in mind that this is a proof of concept and I have NOT tested this information. I hope to have these options in my hand next week and I will report back to confirm it works.

As far as I am concerned, shame on HP for not offering these options! At least not all of the vendors are so short sighted when it comes to offering an upgrade path for their devices :) I have nothing but respect for HP and they ARE our corporate standard, but sometimes...
4 REPLIES
Karl Ridenour
Occasional Visitor

Re: StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Primer - Accessories - Barcode Reader & Remote Ethernet Mgmt card

This is great info. Please post when you get
the BCR and RMU installed. I have several VS80's that really need an uplift.
THX,
KR
hdjong
Occasional Visitor

Re: StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Primer - Accessories - Barcode Reader & Remote Ethernet Mgmt card

Great research!. I have the same problem (disappointment) I bought the HP Storageworks 1/8 448 autoloader few months ago and thought the baracode reader was included or was optional. Now I am even more disappointment because HP introduced the (almost) the same autoloader second generation autoloader. 1U in height and barcoder reader standard included for the same price!


Have anybody tested the Iomega barcode reader option on the HP Storageworks 1/8?

Re: StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Primer - Accessories - Barcode Reader & Remote Ethernet Mgmt card

Have your efforts met with success on the bar code reader??


Thanks,


George
Davey Johnstone
Occasional Visitor

Re: StorageWorks 1/8 Autoloader Primer - Accessories - Barcode Reader & Remote Ethernet Mgmt card

Has anyone successfully tried this? Please let me know!

Thanks