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repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

Here is my scenerio, I hope someone can help.

 

I recently purchased some ds4243 shelves filled with 2tb sata drives.  They have the standard iom3 modules.  I would like to simply use them in a DAS setup at home.  I have a rack and an IBM X3550 M4 server running windows server 2016.   I would like to know if I can run these units directly to my server without the use of a netapp controller.  If so, what kind of hba/sas/qsfp card can/should I use for my server? Can I install something like this ( NetApp X2065A-R6 HBA SAS 4-PORT Copper 3/6 GB QSFP PCIe 111-00341+B0) and use the standard qsfp cables or can I use an some other sas hba type card and get a qsfp to mini sas conversion cable or some other configuration I am not listing here?

I want to run these utilizing max space with no parity so I am thinking raid 0 config.   Any help would be much appreciated as I would like to get the proper card ordered asap as the equipment is on its way. 

 

Thank you.

 

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

[ Edited ]

It's (obviously?) not something we support or test, but Linux kernel has drivers for the X2065A-R6 card as a PMC PM8001 SAS controller, and will see the drives as normal 512byte sector SAS devices. I would suggest that approach.

 

While the shelves are "standard" SAS SBB ("storage bay bridge") units, trying a different SAS card/cables adds another point of failure.

 

Good luck!

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

Great thank you.  Yes, of course I know this wouldn't be something officially tested I just thought someone in the community may have had some experience that could pertain to what I am trying to do.  I found a cheap mezzanine card that my server supports with qsfp so if I can't utilize it I will go the route you suggested. (trying to use Windows before Linux)

 

Thanks again I really appreciate having this information.

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

I've done it before (outside of NetApp) - but I used the X2065 card and Linux. I know some people who are using DS2246's as JBODs in production on ESX.

 

The SATA drives were fine - the SAS drives in the same shelf needed to be reformatted with Linux to change from 520 to 512 byte sectors.

 

Good luck!

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

Thanks Alex.  Thankfully my enclosures are full of sata drives so that isn't going to be a hassle. Im currently trying to use a mellanox infiniband card which i have had no problems being recognized by my machine and windows. I have it direct connect to the jbod but I am just not getting any communication.  My previous experience was with hp enclosures/sas and I didnt have any problems.  I feel like Im just missing something but no idea at this point since infiniband is a different tech. Im wonderin if I should just get an sas card and get a qsfp to sas conversion cable.  

 

 

Thanks again for the reply.

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

DS4243 has SAS interface, not IB.

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

Yeah.. where did infinband come from?? Maybe just get the NetApp SAS card and use it. You can find them cheaply on eBay.

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

[ Edited ]

I went with the infiniband card because of the qsfp cables that come with the shelf and i saw that one of the netapp controllers supported infiniband and it also supported the ds4243. Apparently that was a mistake.  I didnt go with the netapp card right away because of worrying about compatibility issues with my server and that my server that I ended up with is 2u and wasnt sure it would fit (Two PCIe 3.0 slots: one PCIe 3.0 x16 low profile and one x8 half length, full height) the netapp card looks to be full height, full length but I cant tell for certain. Normal external sas cards use sas 8088 connectors and the cables i got with the netapp shelves are qsfp.  Since i was buying a card either way, i thought i would go with a card that already had qsfp connectors and was compatible with the server i would be getting so i wouldnt have to buy a qsfp to sas 8088 cable.  Am I missing something with the connection aspect of this?  Please excuse my novice thoughts I am a little outside my realm atm but got a great deal on netapp enclosures full of drives which is why im trying to make them work.

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

QSFP is used for a number of different purposes - IB, Ethernet(4x10GB) and SAS - all are different - it doesn't define a logical connection. It's like RJ45. Usually it's Ethernet - sometimes its serial.

 

I understand your comment on "standard" SAS cables - we have elected not to in this instance. Our newer systems use miniSAS-HD (SFF-8644), but that wasn't the choice when this card and our SAS shelves were initially released. 

 

So - as before, I suggest you will need to purchase our X2065 card to use this shelf - sorry!

Re: repurpose ds4243 as DAS/jbod

No apologies necessary! I really appreciate the advice.  There is one cheap on ebay I will pickup its just going to take a while to get here which is ultimately costing me money.  I was thinking I could maybe pick up an sas hba card locally but if thats not going to do it then ill just get the other one ordered. Thanks again.