Moving the SAN

The Queensland State Government's Department of Housing donated a EMC Symmetrix 3930 14TB SAN to the Museum. This device was the size of three normal racks joined side by side, and weighed about 1.6 tonnes. Moving from the Fujitsu data centre in Mary Street Brisbane to St Lucia proved to be an interesting challenge!

The SAN contains 297 50GB SCSI disks, has its own internal UPS and requires two 3-phase power feeds.

When purchased three years earlier, the SAN had been valued at over $2M. It was written off when donated.

Rear view of the SAN with cabinet doors open. One-quarter of the disk drives on the left, and the interfaces and power supplies in the middle. There is another rack of disk drives on the right. The setup is repeated on the other side.

Centre and Right racks. Each one of those disks is a 50GB SCSI.

Scott Sinclair inspects the controller cards on the front .

Two 3-phase power cables are needed for the SAN.

Scott contemplates: Can we get the thing out of this door?

The Blue Door is the correct way out! There's a nice floor between here and there for this 1.6-tonne beast.

The cabinet doors lock with a simple allen key.

We have to go down this ramp. But the Fujitsu engineer warns that the ramp is not strong, and will not support the weight of the SAN! Now we find out that steel plates were placed over this ramp when the device was originally wheeled in.

Inspecting the elevator - will it fit, and is the elevator rated for this load?

We've got it down in the loading bay - Alan Wills is stuck behind it!

Yet another problem has arisen, and Scott checks out a solution. Note the bandage around his right hand, from the elevator door that wouldn't stop closing.

In order to get the SAN down to a weight that was considered safe for the data centre ramp, we had to remove all 297 disk drives, and then replace them once the SAN was on to stronger floors.

Finally, in the truck. After we told the driver (in the flouro orange shirt) that this SAN had originally cost over $2M, he then refused to touch it or do anything to help us.

Now for the fun bit. The SAN is too wide to fit through the doorway at UQ; we need to remove the room door, and take the side panels off the SAN in order to get it inside. So we need to document where all the connectors go, and the easiest way is to take photos of everything.

Some of the rows of disks.

The whole SAN is managed by this built-in laptop.

Down the corridor… Notice the SAN cabinet panels against the wall.

… and around the corner…

… then into the room!

Lots of people (thankfully!) were willing to help.

But we still has to shuffle back and forwards a few times.

Brute strength always comes in handy!

With a final HEAVE! The SAN goes into its new home.

Congratulations on a job well done by Tae-sun and Anton.

Alan thanks various deities that this job is finally over. Without the doors, the internal layout of the SAN is visible.

Go to top