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Mainframe project news

This is going to be a short update to share some good developments in the project.

First of all: the mainframe has cleared customs and has been received by the datacenter. Customs caused a bit of a headache as eBay lists the sale price as the "Buy it now" price even if an agreement was put in place. This is usually fine as they values do not diverge a lot but in this case it was $300,000 vs $12,000 which would mean a significant difference in taxes to be paid. Thankfully the customs department listened to my arguments and they agreed that the accepted offer is what I should be taxed on. I must say that I am very pleased in the help UPS provided me with here, I assumed all logistics companies had gone sour but UPS redeemed themselves in my eyes with this delivery.

Mainframe being delivered
Mainframe being unloaded in the Swiss Alps at datacenterlight. Photo by Ungleich.

The next issue was that the datacenter told me they discovered the mainframe would not fit the elevator they had to take for the spot they had planned for. They are still processing alternatives, but I am not too worried about that - there is plenty of space so it just a question of time.

I have also started a project to create a software defined Fibre Channel SAN with FICON support. I call it Fikonfarm (Translates to "Fig farm" in Swedish) and it is available on Github. I am also writing protocol Golang marshaling / unmarshaling for Fibre Channel here. I am still working out the details but I am considering having it act as a SAN switch that is able to link FCoE and FCIP with external devices at first and maybe raw FC from classic Qlogic HBAs in the future if somebody steps up to help. I purchased some Brocade 7800 that I hope can be used to link both my mainframe with other mainframes out in the world, but also to my emulated SAN network.

SAN block diagram
How the initial SAN will likely look like

Finally, the power cables have been professionally assembled by an electrician now. We have to guess which phases are used for which PSU but fingers crossed we got it right. Worst case should be that nothing happens and then we need to start to start opening connectors up, but hopefully it will not come to that.

This weekend I plan to boot the support equipment like the DS6800 and figure out what state they all are in, I am pretty excited about that :-).


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