We have new E5560 and DE6600 trays (aka shelves aka enclosures) which initially will be partially populated with drives. What rules or recommendations are there in the order in which the drives should be installed? The documentation states that the front row going left to right of each of the 5 drawers in a tray must be populated (so slots 1, 4, 7 & 10 of each drawer) in order to maintain proper airflow, but what about after that? I heard that the top drawer also has to be fully populated, but I can't find that requirement mentioned anywhere in the documentation. For symmetry and to maximize drawer loss protection, my preference would be to continue populating one slot in each drawer at a time, continuing from top to bottom, left to right, front to back. In other words, after the front row of each drawer is populated, the next drive would then go in slot 2 of drawer 1, then next after that in slot 2 of drawer 2, and on down to slot 2 of drawer 5, then continuing with slot 5 of drawer 1, slot 5 of drawer 2, and so on, where the slot numbering of the drawers is:
For the record (because I think you have figured this out by now) the first 20 drives go in the front. After that, we don't care. In fact you could mix them up after you install them. E-Series drives are not location specific, and the DE6600 shelf provides equal access for all drives. So other than airflow, it just doesn't matter.