Connecting an Apple Xserve RAID to Microsoft Windows 2003
The Apple Xserve RAID is an inexpensive way to add approximately 2 TB of RAID 5-protected storage to your Windows boxes. Microsoft Windows 2003 comes with all the drivers and software you will need to connect and use the array with the Apple Fibre Channel PCI card.
Apple provides support for the Xserve RAID under Mac OS X, as well as hardware support for the device. If you choose to use the Xserve RAID on unsupported OSes you should make sure you are comfortable supporting it yourself. You will also probably want a Mac around to configure the array, as the software only ships for Mac OS X.
- Buy an Apple Xserve RAID. :-) Get the Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card, which is actually an LSI fibre channel card with no GBICs in it.
- Install the Apple Fibre Channel PCI Card in your host. You cannot disable the BIOS on this card, so make sure that your boot order is correct afterwards. On my test system I had to invert my SCSI card and the LSI card in the PCI slots so that the SCSI was seen first. This is standard PC operation, so if you are a Windows/Linux/*BSD user you are probably used to it already.
- Configure the Xserve RAID, allocating storage to the host.
- Configure the storage in Windows' Computer Management.
As you can see, this process is not hard at all. Have fun!