Building a JBOD with a Supermicro Chassis

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tgotr

New Member
Apr 3, 2024
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I bought a SuperMicro 12bay 2U chassis to transplant my Unraid server into, but since buying that, I've upgraded the server and it won't fit anymore. Plus I dunno about putting a 105+W CPU into a 2U chassis plus a power hungry graphics card, so I have it in a 4U chassis.

I still have the 2U chassis and I want to make it into a JBOD. It has the BPN-SAS2-826EL1 back plane, so it takes SFF 8087 connectors. So I need a way to run the 8087 to an HBA with 8088 connectors.

In my cursory research, this is what I've found.

8087-8088 adapter

I figure I can use that to get the hard disk connections outside of the chassis and then I use an HBA compatible with unraid in my main machine. I'm finding conflicting info on the HBA. What do I need?
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
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- something to convert the internal ports to external (could be a passive adapter like your link or an active adapter like an expander add on card like the adaptec one that has external ports)
- the correct cables (one end has connectors for the jbod side and one end has the hba/controller side, you have to lookup what your hba has, what your jbod will have and buy the correct cable)
 

tgotr

New Member
Apr 3, 2024
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- something to convert the internal ports to external (could be a passive adapter like your link or an active adapter like an expander add on card like the adaptec one that has external ports)
- the correct cables (one end has connectors for the jbod side and one end has the hba/controller side, you have to lookup what your hba has, what your jbod will have and buy the correct cable)
What's a good HBA that works with Unraid out of the box with external 8088 ports?
 

nexox

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May 3, 2023
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Any HBA with SFF-8088 ports is going to be quite old, you'll want to get a 12G HBA which uses SFF-8644 ports and then a cable with ends that match the ports. I don't know what unraid compatibility is like, but the LSI 3008 chip is usually a safe bet, the main part number in this case would be 9300-8e.

If you plan to run SATA drives in the 2U then you will need to mind the 1 meter cable length limit, which includes every wire, adapter, and PCB trace from the HBA to the HDD, and it's easy to use that length up - you can add a SAS expander to your 2U (Supermicro expander backplanes are pretty cheap and generally fit easily even in older cases.)

Note also that a 105W CPU in a 2U is trivial if you have a cooler designed for a 2U chassis, though a full size GPU would be tricky to fit.
 

tgotr

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Apr 3, 2024
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I have the set up in a 4U chassis and it gets quite toasty in the summer. Moving the drives out into their own JBOD will help with heat in the 4U case but the SSDs will get toasty still.

As for the card

something like this?

Aparently, with this back plane, I don't need to use both SFF-8087 connectors, would using both cause issues?
 

nexox

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May 3, 2023
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That card looks fine, though there are cheaper options, if you use an expander backplane you only need one cable, two shouldn't cause any issues but unless it's a SAS3 backplane then I don't believe you'll get extra bandwidth from a second cable, you will just be able to tolerate a broken or unplugged cable, which is pretty unlikely.

If the 4U was getting warm that's probably an issue with airflow, perhaps you need a duct or different fans, SAS HBAs will run warm too if they don't get some airflow.
 

tgotr

New Member
Apr 3, 2024
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That card looks fine, though there are cheaper options, if you use an expander backplane you only need one cable, two shouldn't cause any issues but unless it's a SAS3 backplane then I don't believe you'll get extra bandwidth from a second cable, you will just be able to tolerate a broken or unplugged cable, which is pretty unlikely.

If the 4U was getting warm that's probably an issue with airflow, perhaps you need a duct or different fans, SAS HBAs will run warm too if they don't get some airflow.
I think the hard drives are contributing to the 4U getting hot, they are right in front of the fans and I don't feel much air going past them.
 

nexox

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2023
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Unless you got a cheesy 4U chassis then fixing the airflow with drives installed is probably going to be cheaper, possibly easier, definitely smaller and more energy efficient.
 

tgotr

New Member
Apr 3, 2024
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Unless you got a cheesy 4U chassis then fixing the airflow with drives installed is probably going to be cheaper, possibly easier, definitely smaller and more energy efficient.
Only way to fix it is to use less drives.
 

nexox

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May 3, 2023
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If you say so, but I've run plenty of 4U systems full of drives without any cooling issues, they're loud sometimes, but they're designed to run loaded with disks and high TDP CPUs.
 

tgotr

New Member
Apr 3, 2024
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The case is jank, there is no place to put in high CFM fans, so it's running with case fans, and it's not enough. I've been wanting to get out of this case for a while.
 
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