SUMMARY: RAID and SPARCstorage MultiPack

From: Rasana Atreya (
Date: Tue Feb 04 1997 - 16:35:05 CST

My original question:

> Please forgive me for my ignorance. All my documentation says that the
> various RAID implementations may be set up on SPARCstorage Arrays, but no one
> talks about SPARCstorage MultiPack.
> Solaris 2.5.1
> UltraSPARC Enterprise
> Solstice Disk Suite 4.0
> My multipack is:
> c0t9d0 (sd8) is a "SUN4.2G" 4.0 GB disk drive
> c0t10d0 (sd9) is a "SUN4.2G" 4.0 GB disk drive
> c0t11d0 (sd10) is a "SUN4.2G" 4.0 GB disk drive
> c0t12d0 (sd11) is a "SUN4.2G" 4.0 GB disk drive
> c0t13d0 (sd12) is a "SUN4.2G" 4.0 GB disk drive
> c0t14d0 (sd13) is a "SUN4.2G" 4.0 GB disk drive
> I did not find anything in the archives either.
> My questions:
> - Can I use SPARCstorage MultiPack as RAID5 with Solstice Disk Suite 4.0
> software?
> - Is Online Disk Suite 4.0 the same as Solstice Disk Suite 4.0?
> I do have a lot of papers (and I've read of of them). I need something more
> practical. Any pointers will be appreciated.

Basically, the answer was "yes" to both questions. RAID may be set up on any
kinds of disks.

Thanks to:

"Matthew Stier" <Matthew.Stier@MCI.Com> (Mark A. Baldwin)
"Trevor Paquette" <>
bf566z9@is000913.BELL-ATL.COM (Kuldell) (Vasu Srisanan)
Liu.Xu@PRC.Sun.COM (Liu Xu - Sun Service (GZ)) (Ray Trzaska) (Jeff Wasilko)
Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services <>
Lance Nakata <lance@Internex.NET> (Fletcher B. Cocquyt) (Carlos R. Guevara - Sun Managers Account)

And a special thanks to: "Trevor Paquette" <> for going back
and forth 6-7 times with me, explaining things in great detail till I finally
had RAID5 + 1 hot spare set up.

Detailed answers follow.


From: "Trevor Paquette" <>

Yes, Solstice disk suite and ODS are the same thing. ODS was renamed to SDS
to conform to the "Solstice" family naming convention.

To set up a raid 5 device in SDS:


d0 -r c1t0d0s0 c1t2d0s0 c1t4d0s0

d0: RAID
    State: Initializing
    Initializing in progress: 27% done
    Interlace: 32 blocks
    Size: 1226736 blocks
Original device:
    Size: 1227072 blocks
        Device Start Block Dbase Sate Hot Spare
        c1t0d0s0 1338 No Initializing
        c1t2d0s0 1338 No Initializing
        c1t4d0s0 330 No Initializing


d0 -r c1t0d0s0 c1t2d0s0 c1t4d0s0 -i 32k

d0: RAID
    State: Initializing
    Initializing in progress: 4% done
    Interlace: 64 blocks
    Size: 1225728 blocks
Original device:
    Size: 1226368 blocks
        Device Start Block Dbase Sate Hot Spare
        c1t0d0s0 1338 No Initializing
        c1t2d0s0 1338 No Initializing
        c1t4d0s0 330 No Initializing

From: (Carlos R. Guevara - Sun Managers Account)

To answer your question in a nutshell (in detail below) you can use the
SPARCstorage multi-pack, or any combination of disks (even external and
as RAID devices when in conjunction with the appropiate software.

Solstice Disk Suite 4.0 can provide RAID 0, 0+1, 1, 5 for a series of
even configuring hot spares!

Online Disk Suite is the name used before SUN got into the bandwagon
of making all their software seem like a SUITE of modules to handle
system administration and monitoring. Solstice is the name they came
up with to GROUP together all this packages so that they seem like one
set of things (solstice sunnet manager, solstice disksuite, solstice backup
- formerly
known as networker, solstice internet mail server, etc.)
Basically SOLSTICE DISK SUITE is the new name for OnLine Disk Suite,
altough I don't think I've seen version 4.0 ever referenced as OnLine Disk
it was much more common before that (versions 3.X, 2.X etc.)

From: (Fletcher B. Cocquyt)

Yes, of course you can use any or all of those disks in the
Multipack to a RAID5 metadisk. I have a Multipack with
9 x 2.1 Gb disks running RAID5 DiskSuite 4.0

NOTE: You will lose one drive's worth of effective storage
(eg with 6x4.2Gb you will get < 5x4.2Gb = 21Gb effective storage)
That's why its always better to go with more smaller drives than
fewer the 12 disk multipack is upgradable to 4.2Gb
disks now (total capacity doubles to 12x4.2 = 50Gb!)

> - Is Online Disk Suite 4.0 the same as Solstice Disk Suite 4.0?
Yes, ODS is the old name...

From: Lance Nakata <lance@Internex.NET>

SDS 4.0 allows you to do RAID levels 0, 1, 0+1, and 5 on the MultiPack.

Yes, they're the same.

Note that the MultiPack has no built-in cache, so its performance isn't
going to be as good as a StorageArray. However, it will get the job
done at a reasonable cost if you don't need that level of performance.

From: Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services <>

Yes, you can even set up a RAID that consists of multipack disks, SSA
disks and standaloner disks. The multipack makes a very nice cheap
small storage array.

It was Online Disksuite 1.0, Online Disksuite 2.0, Solstice Disksuite
3.0 and Solstice Disksuite 4.0. Officially there is no product called
Online Disksuite 4.0, although coloquially the Online and Solstice
Disksuite names are interchangeable.

The Disksuite Answerbook explains how to set up the various types of
metadevices, there is nothing hardware specific, as long as a disk can
be addressed as /dev/dsk/something then you can make it part of a

From: (Ray Trzaska)

there is a proviso though. in this configuration all the RAID checksums etc are done
in software, and there is a large performance penalty in doing this - io waits as the
full stripe is written, and full stripe reads to do the calculations, and cpu overhead
on the calculations.

If performance is not critical then this is a reasonable solution. For better performance
use RAID in hardware/firmware ( clarion, dec-storageworks, SUN's RSM2000 ), or
mirroring/striping with your existing set ( RAID 0+1 ).

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