How to test and check a HP StoreWorks Ultrium tape drive

  With used tape drives falling in price they are now finding their ways into the hands of more home storage enthusiasts; one should be wary about purchasing a tape drive in unknown condition, though, as there’s a good chance that it may be faulty or require servicing. One way to check the status of the tape drive for HP units is their Library and Tape Tools software – currently available from here:  
http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/ltt/
  To run a test, open L&TT and click on the Test tab:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-01 Insert a tape into the drive that is blank (or has data you don’t mind being over-written), click on Options:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-02   Click (or double click) on Allow Overwrite and change it to True, then click OK. You will be returned to the previous screen. Click “Start Test”.   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-03 What you don’t really want to see is a pop-up a couple of minutes later like this:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-04 Time to look at the Test/Utility Results tab:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-05 From here we can expand the Analysis Results to see what has happened:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-08   Another possible result is an incomplete test:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-06 This can sometimes happen because the drive needs cleaning – if you open the Analysis Results you will see a request for cleaning if this is the case:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-07 Hopefully, though, you get a passed test with no issues such as these! To get a detailed report of the drive status we can use the Report Viewer – click on the Support tab at the top, then Refresh Device Data, then View Support Ticket. You should see a report with expandable headings which provides a great deal of information, e.g.:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-09 There is a wealth of information here, covering both the drive and the tape inside. Worth checking over for any anomalies if you have just received a new drive!

How to update the firmware of a HP tape drive – StorageWorks Ultrium 448

  The quickest and easiest way of updating the firmware is through HP’s Library and Tape Tools – at the time of writing it is available here:  
http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/ltt/
  Click on the “Link to free download” link to acquire the software. Assuming you have the correct drivers for your setup (SCSI/SAS/etc card), the tape drive is connected and powered on you will be able to detect it using LTT. Click on “Firmware” at the top:   hp-firmware-01 Now click “Get Files From Web”, then select your tape drive/firmware and click Download:   hp-firmware-02   Once it has download, exit that screen and click on Firmware again:   hp-firmware-03 You should be looking at the Update Firmware tab by default, if not select it and you should see the above screen. To update the firmware now (once checking that all of the numbers look as they should!) click Start Update. You will see the following warning message:   hp-firmware-04   After that, you should see:   hp-firmware-05 We find that the Time Remaining is usually reasonably pessimistic and that it generally finishes early. Once the update is complete you will get the following popup:   hp-firmware-06   Once LTT comes back to life, your update should be completed and you can check it through the Health tab, which should pop up the Report Viewer:   hp-firmware-07 There’s plenty of info in there so it’s well worth checking to see how much life is remaining on the drive.   Done!

HP ProCurve 2510-24 Power Consumption

  We measured the ProCurve 2510-24’s power usage:  
Idle: 11.9W Peak: 14.8W
  This was measured on a 240V power circuit with a handful of devices attached (5). The peak wattage was measured during power-on and idle was steady around 11.9W. We would expect power usage to increase as you add more bandwidth-heavy devices; however, now that many of these switches are falling into the hands of home enthusiasts for connecting things like low-bandwidth computers, printers, Raspberry Pis and the like it should stay quite a low figure even with more devices connected.   So, how much does it cost to run? Assuming the minimum power draw is 12W and that electricity costs ~$0.30/KWhr:  
Weekly:  2.016KWhr; $0.60 Monthly: 8.064KWhr; $2.42 Annually: 104.832KWhr; $31.45
  All up it’s not a particularly expensive device to keep running. If you don’t need gigabit speeds this switch can be an excellent choice for getting a large number of devices onto the same network – 100Mbit is more than enough for browsing, light file sharing and streaming, printing, 100Mbit devices like Raspberry Pis and more.

HP Procurve 1410-16G (J9560A) Teardown

  Well, admittedly there isn’t much tear in this teardown as it’s only a handful of screws to take the casing off. However! If you were curious as to what went into your ProCurve (or were just curious about what is inside switches in general) here you go!   hp-1410-16g-021   Screws coming out of the rear…   hp-1410-16g-022   The other side…   hp-1410-16g-023   Also some screws in the middle.   hp-1410-16g-013   Voila! Hello switch internals.   hp-1410-16g-024   There’s really some room to spare in there.   hp-1410-16g-016   A closer look at the circuit board…   hp-1410-16g-017   A detail shot of one of the four quad transformer modules (it’s an FPE chip LG72508DF-E) – you can find the specifications of that chip at:   http://www.fpe.com.cn/pdf/PDF/100-1000-8.pdf   More component detail:   hp-1410-16g-015   hp-1410-16g-014   There’s not a great deal more to look at – we couldn’t pull the heatsinks off this particular board, sadly, so we didn’t get any shots of what was underneath.   hp-1410-16g-01   Hope you enjoyed this very brief look at the internals of a modern switch!

HP ProCurve 1410-16G (J9560A) review

  If you’re in the market for a gigabit switch the HP Procurve line has probably come up in your searches. The 1410-16G is a 16-port gigabit switch, unmanaged, that is also fanless and comes with rack-mounting equipment. Oh, and it’s under $100 AU. With a lifetime warranty. That’s a lot of boxes ticked right there.   hp-1410-16g-02   If you’re used to HP’s 24/48-port rackmount switches the 1410-16G will probably seem quite compact. Meausuring approx. 21 x 11.2 x 4.5cm and weighing ~650gm, it’s certainly not hard to stash away out of sight if needed. The metal chassis helps both with durability and also heat dissipation – and it doesn’t hurt the feeling of quality, either. Jumping straight into the important parts – a closeup of the ports on the front:   hp-1410-16g-05   Nothing out of the ordinary here – two sets of 8 ports, cable clips facing outward as they should be. To the left there’s the indicator lights:   hp-1410-16g-010   Pretty self-explanatory there – and the LEDs are quite appropriately bright, easy to see but not lighting up the entire room. Flipping the unit around to look at the back:   hp-1410-16g-026   Pretty bare back there. A closeup of the main point of interest: hp-1410-16g-018   hp-1410-16g-027   Flipping the unit around to look at the (identical) sides, there’s once again not a great deal to see. Ventilation holes and mounting points for the rack ears. Speaking of rack ears:   hp-1410-16g-012 They come with all necessary screws and mounting gear. A nice touch – for a lot of home enthusiasts who have a rack 16 gigabit ports may suffice, and this will save a shelf/custom mounting brackets. There’s also wall-mounting hardware supplied:   hp-1410-16g-011   …and some nice self-adhesive rubbised feet:   hp-1410-16g-06   The external power brick is reasonably small with a standard 2-pin figure-eight cable going into it:   hp-1410-16g-07   A closeup of the printed info for anyone who cares:   hp-1410-16g-08   The unit is silent as you would expect from a fanless unit, and we couldn’t hear any audible hissing/other noises coming from the power brick. In use it’s extremely power efficient, pulling an average of 8W from the wall in use with 14W peak during power-on. It also doesn’t get appreciably hot during use.   As far as performance goes, putting this switch between an iperf client and server showed a steady 945Mbit/s throughput – an excellent result. We weren’t able to test it in a situation where we pumped 16 or 32 gigabits/second through it, which should be where this switch really shines. If our experience with other Procurve switches is anything to go by, this one should be able to deal with very long periods of uptime without issue. We tested this one for three weeks with constant use and it remained trouble-free.   hp-1410-16g-04   Given the price point – at or below $100 delivered – the features of this switch make for a compelling product for anyone looking for an unmanaged gigabit switch with 16 ports. Well worth considering.