What now about the Promise VTrak m500i? Final news.

So I was asked why I would accept another test, after all the unsuccessful tests and support calls. The point is that I wanted to give Promise a second chance because they contacted us on their own talking about concerns they have that we do have some problems with their Promise VTrak m500i.

After all we got our hands on a disclaimer-less firmware update which solved at least our 3 Terabyte problem: We could not create a 3 Terabyte RAID volume. It just did not sync. 2 Terabyte was the maximum volume size.

This bug is fixed. The other ones not. Like the complete crash of the m500i when you try to enable DHCP on the management network interface…

Promise M-Class | Logical Drive 0 Info and Settings

LdId : 0 ArrayId : 0
OperationalStatus : OK NumOfUsedPD : 14
NumOfAxles : 1 RAID Level : RAID5
Stripe : 64KB Sector : 512Bytes
Capacity : 2.94TB PhysicalCapacity : 3.17TB
SYNCed : Yes WWN : 22a6-0001-5501-c7bf
SerialNo : 114163942163624924927000000000000

Alias : raid_3TB
ReadPolicy : ReadAhead
WritePolicy : WriteBack

Hurray! 2.94 Terabyte!!

Promise M-Class | Controller 1 Basic Information

Alias :
Vendor : VTRAK-MB
Model : VTRAK
OperationalStatus : OK
PowerOnTime : 3 hours

CacheUsagePercent : 0% DirtyCachePercent : 0%
CmdProtocol : SCSI-2 WWN : 2000-0001-5500-2027
PartNumber : P29000020000036 S/N : M06G05715100016
Revision : 3 ManufactureDate : Jul 23, 2005
BootLoaderVersion : 1.05.0000.00 BootLoaderBldDate : Jun 17, 2005
FirmwareVersion : 2.00.0000.00 FirmwareBuildDate : Oct 3, 2005
SoftwareVersion : 2.00.0000.00 SoftwareBuildDate : Oct 3, 2005

We actually discovered some software limitations…for example the H2bench which I used for the benchmarks:

H2bench — by Harald Bögeholz & Lars Bremer / c’t Magazin für Computertechnik
Version 3.6/Win32, Copyright (C) 2002 Heise Zeitschriften Verlag GmbH & Co. KG
Dutch translation by F&L Technical Publications B.V.
*** drive too large.

And interestingly there are some limitations in Windows. After I connected the iSCSI device and initialised the drive:

I had two partitions…automatically created. Because the maximum size of partitions on a MBR-Volume is 2 Terabyte.:

“Because partition tables on master boot record (MBR) disks only support partition sizes up to 2 terabytes, you must use dynamic volumes to create NTFS volumes over 2 terabytes. Windows XP Professional manages dynamic volumes in a special database instead of in the partition table, so dynamic volumes are not subject to the 2-terabyte physical limit imposed by the partition table. Therefore, dynamic NTFS volumes can be as large as the maximum volume size supported by NTFS. Itanium-based computers that use GUID partition table (GPT) disks also support NTFS volumes larger than 2 terabytes.”

So I just had to convert it:

and there it is:

   3086914 MB Speicherplatz auf dem Datenträger insgesamt.
307200 KB in 2 Dateien
4 KB in 9 Indizes
0 KB in fehlerhaften Sektoren
162455 KB vom System benutzt
65536 KB von der Protokolldatei belegt
3086456 MB auf dem Datenträger verfügbar.

4096 Bytes in jeder Zuordnungseinheit
790250239 Zuordnungseinheiten auf dem Datenträger insgesamt
790132825 Zuordnungseinheiten auf dem Datenträger verfügbar

Since there are some problems with the machine left and I am testing it right now you can expect some more news on that subject…

Source 1: Promise Disclaimer Trouble
Source 2: Size Limits in NTFS/Windows

  1. #1 by David Barnett on March 25, 2006 - 00:20

    Not a comment but a question. Would you recommend the M500i?
    I’m considering it for my office but am concerned it might be buggy from the few posts I’ve seen.

    Thanks for any feedback.

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