The SUN SunFire V100 uses legacy Parallel ATA (PATA) – UltraATA 100 – hard drive controllers. A base configuration V100 has one included hard drive (generally 40GB or 80GB) with a removable “drive cage”. A second drive can be installed but will require the addition of a second drive cage. Otherwise there is no where to place the second drive.
Confusingly, the single drive configuration puts the only hard drive on the same cable as the CD-ROM device. This can be confusing – especially when installing a new hard drive to replace the original. Today most hard drives ship with their jumpers set to “Cable Select” as this works 99% of the time. However, in the case of the V100, you will need to manually set the hard drive to “Master” as the CD-ROM is already set to “Slave”. They are backwards on the cable.
If a second hard drive is installed it can be set to either “Cable Select” or “Master” as it will be the only device on the cable. “Master” is the recommended setting as it protects against unknown issues and is more reliable.
Also confusing is, if you look on the server itself, that the primary controller is the one with no hard drive attached natively (IDE 0) and the native hard drive and the CD-ROM attach to the secondary controller (IDE 1). This isn’t an issue but can be confusing when working from the console.
The biggest surprise to many people when adding hard drives to the SunFire V100 is that the V100 has an IDE Controller limitation of 28bit logical block addressing or LBA which means that the IDE controlling is physically limited to 137GB per device. (Technically this makes the device not a true ATA-6 or UltraATA 100 device but truly an ATA-2 device!) To support larger devices a 48bit LBA is required.
I have put in some serious effort into finding a workaround for the 28 bit LBA issue but have no managed to find one. This issue is limited to a very small number of SUN UltraSPARC machines and therefore does appear to have been addressed in Solaris. Perhaps now with the advent of OpenSolaris someone will decide to tackle this problem and write a reliable 48 bit LBA overlay but it appears unlikely. If anyone knows of a workaround for this issue, please comment and let us know.
Possibly the best option is to use 160GB drives as these are inexpensive and only barely overkill as just 23GB will be unusable. Might I recommend the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 UltraATA100 7200rpm 160GB with 8MB Cache? You can get it quite inexpensively from NewEgg. The 7200.10 is the final generation of the Barracuda drives to include support for PATA connections. The 7200.10 increases performance and reliability over the 7200.9 series by moving to Seagate’s new perpendicular write technology which is very appropriate when installing it into a server of this class.
Check out my SunFire V100 page for everything you ever wanted to know about the SunFire V100 but were afraid to ask.