We own a Sun StorageTek 6140 Array that’s fully populated with 4 Gbps fibre channel drives and I must say that I consider it a thing of beauty. It’s fast and has been incredibly reliable. The advances in storage technology represented by JBODs combined with ZFS as embodied in Sun Open Storage mean we’d probably evaluate other options if we were buying today, but we’ve never regretted our choice.
Two days ago one of the FC drives in the 6140 failed. How do I know this? Well, first I received an email from the array to tell me that performance was degraded, and the same email had gone directly to Sun who called me to inform me of the problem and begin a resolution. The drive was part of a RAID-5 array, so there was no loss of service, and as we have a hot spare the 6140 had quietly brought it into service and rebuilt the array. A new disk is in the post and I’ll replace it on Monday.
I know I shouldn’t be impressed, as this is just what’s supposed to happen, but I am. Some bad experiences a while back with some HP kit left us feeling very nervous about drive reliability in general, so it’s pleasing that some things just work (even when they don’t).