2017-05-26 03:29 PM
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.
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2017-05-28 11:51 PM - edited 2017-05-28 11:52 PM
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.
2017-05-29 06:21 PM
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.
2017-05-30 10:47 PM
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.
2017-05-31 08:52 PM
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.
2017-06-01 12:58 AM - edited 2017-06-01 01:17 AM
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.
2017-06-01 01:18 AM
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!
2017-06-01 01:31 AM
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.