The two Adaptec 39160 SCSI cards came in at last, so I had a chance to
play around with the Promise VTrak 15100 last night...though only for
a couple hours, and without much luck. I could create a test array on
the VTrak (I've got four drives in there now for playing with), but I
was unable to get the FreeBSD box to see it. I played around with
camcontrol devlist and
camcontrol rescan for a while, but no
For fun I tried booting Knoppix 3.6 and had the same result: the box found the SCSI card, but not the array the Promise firmware said was there. Possibly important datapoint: the Adaptec BIOS found the Promise at Channel B, ID 1, but said it was not a hard drive. Hm. I'm putting this down to ignorance and inexperience right now; this is the first time I've played with external drive arrays, SCSI hard drives, and FreeBSD/Linux. I may need to resort to reading the instructions from Promise (though they're pretty thin...).
I got a look at the network wiring plans for labs for our new place (have I mentioned that work is moving in June?). Sweet: three labs, 70-odd drops, managed switch in each and 2 x Cat6 from each to the server room. The offices won't be nearly so wired, which is a shame, but at least there's this.
I also had a chance to look into Asterisk. Right now we're desperately short on voxmail (less than half the staff has it) and have just run out of places to hook up more handsets. The phone equipment we have belongs to the other company on the floor (they used to have the whole floor, but kind of imploded); this means that we're reluctant to put many into upgrading something we don't own, but the move is an excellent chance to start fresh.
Unfortunately, I don't think Asterisk going to work out for us. Asterisk looks great -- from what I understand, and that's maybe half of what I read -- but we've bought a crapload of Meridian/Norstar handsets, and it looks like they speak their own special, non-Asterisk compatible protocol. ('Course, all this is just from half an hour's reading...) The simplest thing to do is plunk down for a Meridian/Norstar compatible...thing to do voicemail and such. PBX, I guess. There are ways around this. Some people put Asterisk between their Norstar PBX and the Central Office, and do some magic to make that work. Trouble is, we don't have a PBX right now -- just the handsets.
Another option is to sell the handsets (at least one company has offered to buy whatever we want to sell) and buy VOIP phones, or just buy a bunch of adapters that turn our current phones into regular analog phones. This would require hiring some kind of consultant or contractor, though; I don't know nearly enough about this to try doing this on my own. It would be one thing to try it at home (hm...no, after the PVR), but I just don't have the chops to try it at work. Anyone know an Asterisk/VOIP guy in Vancouver? -- Actually, I think I know one guy who might do this sort of thing; I should give him a call.
Managed to clear a bunch of stuff off my todo list today -- ordered $500 worth of patch cables, PO for more software licenses (ugh), RMA for some wrong stuff I ordered, yadda blah -- but that's the easy stuff; I've still got network upgrades, the VTrak, we're running out of Unix machines (o the irony, as we gradually shift to a Windows shop), two big software upgrades to install, and maybe ten new people being hired over the next month or two. I've reminded my boss that I still need help. If anyone out there is strong on Windows but still can do Unix, and you're in/near Vancouver, BC, let me know; I need a fellow sysadmin who can take a problem from either side of the fence.