Logging into a Falcon RAID shelf.

21 July 2011

Publically posted for future reference by sysadmins everywhere.

Regarding the Falcon RAID shelf, model ESA16G1B-0030 (3U high, sixteen SATA drive bays, hardware RAID, SCSI interface, two crappy serial ports (headphone jacks? really? you folks took this whole binary thing way too literally!), Ethernet jack, flip-out ears on the front with a rudimentary control panel on the left-hand side) from RAID, Inc. I just inherited one of these at work with no documentation, warranty, or support for it whatsoever. Consequently, I've spent most of a week trying to figure out how to set the damned thing up. Also, I haven't been able to find any documentation for this unit online anywhere. Here's how I managed to configure the bloody thing:

First, ignore the serial ports on the back. In theory, they're supposed to be configured for 38,4000 bps 8/n/1 and no flow control out of the box, but I had no success getting them to respond.

Flip open the left-hand ear on the front of the panel (the one with the LCD display and pressbuttons). Hold down the ENTER button for two seconds to kick the unit into management mode. Press the down button six (6) times until you see the line for configuration parameters, then press ENTER. Hit ENTER again to select the communication parameters option.

Hit the down button once, you should see the line "LAN IP". Press ENTER. The display will show something like L0[SMC91C113]. Hit ENTER twice. Hit the down button once, then hit ENTER.

Use the up and down buttons to pick digits of the IP address you want to give the Ethernet interface on the back of the RAID shelf. Hit the ENTER button to lock in each digit. If you mess up you'll have to start over again because there is no way to backspace (at least, that I can find). Use the same process to set the default gateway if you need to. The default netmask seems to be, but you can probably change that if you need to (note: after fighting with this thing all week I'm not about to go messing around with it again so soon after getting it working). After each entry you set, the RAID shelf will reboot itself so you'll have to be patient.

After you get an IP address set on the Ethernet interface on the back, plug it into your local network switch. For the sake of argument, I'm going to say that the shelf is configured for

You will then be able to SSH into the unit from another box on your LAN: ssh admin@ When prompted for a password, just hit the enter key on your keyboard (no password). You'll be prompted for the kind of text-based user interface you want. I went with VT-100 but you can choose ANSI if you like. You can probably set a password on the configuration interface (and remove it using the config menus through the LCD panel if you're patient) but I haven't tried yet.

From there, you should be able to figure out how to configure your RAID. I started by blowing everything away and starting over from scratch.

Remember to disconnect your RAID unit from the LAN if you haven't set a password so no one can log in and go poking around!