Converting an HP DL380e Gen8 14xLFF Server to a Disk Shelf

tulljt

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Jan 13, 2021
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Most PSU adapters have a way of setting how the board powers on and I have mine set to always on, which allows it to come back on after a power failure and eliminates the need for a power switch. Just remember to make sure the adapter has something on the bottom to prevent it from grounding to the chassis.
 

jtaj

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Jul 13, 2021
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how do you guys deal with the fan noise? we got a 360 gen 9 and a 380 gen 9 and boy they're loud.
 

steeltony

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Jan 30, 2021
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I've tried my dl380e Gen8 Cage with HC550 18tb...it works.

but another problem i got here is speed is kinda limited to 600m/s for 6 hc320 running @r5....wierd speed
 

rodanny

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Oct 20, 2021
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Hi all. Long time reader/viewer, first time poster. I wasn't sure which subforum to post this in, but this one seemed most appropriate; apologies if it'd fit better elsewhere.

My current homelab project is attempting to convert an HP DL380e Gen8 14xLFF storage server into a disk shelf. I want to power its drive backplanes using a consumer ATX power supply and run a couple of ~1m SFF-8087 cables from the DL380e's backplane to an HBA card in my main server (a Dell R730). So far, I've made some progress, but I'm interested in getting feedback/input from anyone who's tried something similar (or, ideally, the same thing...).

The server has two drive cages: a 12xLFF front drive cage with the 647407-001 backplane + SAS expander (available in the DL380e and DL380p Gen8 storage models), and a 2xLFF rear drive cage.

The backplane for the front drive cage has two 8-pin power inputs, which are physically keyed like an 8-pin EPS12V connector, and the backplane for the rear drive cage has one 6-pin power connector, which is physically keyed like a PCIe power connector. I probed each of the power connectors and got the following readings (behold, my MS Paint skills):

View attachment 15097

View attachment 15098

I used a Molex to 6-pin PCIe power adapter and modified its pins to match the 12v, 5v, and ground pins of the rear drive cage power connector above (my assumption is the 3.3v input isn't required), and then connected a SFF-8087 to 4xSATA breakout cable to the two SATA data connections on the back of the rear drive cage and plugged the SFF-8087 connector into an HBA (an HP H220/LSI 9207-8i) in a Windows machine, just to check if it would work at all. To my great surprise, when i powered it on, no magic smoke escaped anything. The drives were detected and working in the Windows PC.

I'm currently waiting on a couple of extension cables which should arrive later in the week, so I can try to power the front drive cage's backplane.

So, I'm just wondering if anyone else has done anything similar, or if anyone has any input or feedback on what I'm trying to do.

Thanks.

edit to add: I should've clarified that my final intention is to control the drives in a virtualised FreeNAS installation using PCIe passthrough to pass the LSI HBA to FreeNAS.

Hello,
sorry for my poor English...
i have HP hp DL380p gen8 with 12 LFF.
I have independent 3 cage with 8 hdd for 2,5 inch......total 24 from SFF server hp DL380p gen8. All cage have independent backplane with 2 SAS connector.....
How can connect to my server in parallel with all 12 hdd LFF 3,5 inch?
Can connect without additional Raid Controller?
I want make a NAS with all hdd....12+24 = 36 HDD

You say:
"The server has two drive cages: a 12xLFF front drive cage with the 647407-001 backplane + SAS expander (available in the DL380e and DL380p Gen8 storage models), and a 2xLFF rear drive cage."
Tell me can make a picture wiht "SAS Expander"?
Best,
DAnny
 

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audiophonicz

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Jan 11, 2021
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Hello,
sorry for my poor English...
i have HP hp DL380p gen8 with 12 LFF.
I have independent 3 cage with 8 hdd for 2,5 inch......total 24 from SFF server hp DL380p gen8. All cage have independent backplane with 2 SAS connector.....
How can connect to my server in parallel with all 12 hdd LFF 3,5 inch?
Can connect without additional Raid Controller?
I want make a NAS with all hdd....12+24 = 36 HDD
the SAS expander only works for the 12 ports on the 12LFF backplane. the 8 hdd backplanes do not have an integrated SAS expander chip. you will only get 4 hdd per port on those, so need to hook both up. 1 SAS for 12LFF, 2 SAS each for 8 hdd cages, thats 7 SAS cables. I have not yet seen a single RAID/HBA card with more than 4 SAS ports.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but you will not be able to hook them all up on a single RAID/HBA card without an independent SAS expander. (Like the HPE SA-410 which is only 3Gbps. Document Display | HPE Support Center )
 

rodanny

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Oct 20, 2021
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so i think need use multiple raid controller or maybe if find HP P840 or P830?
What solution have?
 

UhClem

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Jun 26, 2012
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so i think need use multiple raid controller or maybe if find HP P840 or P830?
What solution have?
The HP P822 might do the trick. It has 2 (internal) sff-8087 & 4 (external) sff-8088, and is PCIe x8 gen3. Inexpensive: us$30-40
 

rodanny

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Oct 20, 2021
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sorry...mea culpa....read from other site not hp....

Interface PCI-e SAS/SATA RAID ache
Maximum bandwidth* 8 GiB/s (in each direction)
14.4GiB/s (in each direction)

2 GB/s Notes PCI-e 3.0 (8 lanes at 8 GT/s) SAS-2 (24 physical links at 6 Gb/s) DDR3-1600 MHz SDRAM (64-bit data and 8bit ECC)



 

UhClem

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Jun 26, 2012
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Glad you found that "path to TRUE enlightenment".
Earlier, you asked:
Tell me can make a picture with "SAS Expander"?
See below (or look at your own 12xLFF backplane); see that chip (under heatsink) in the center? I'm pretty sure that's a SAS Expander chip, which enables you to connect 12 (ie 3x4) drives to a single SAS port on your HBA (or you can dual-link for higher bandwidth). SAS expander technology is very cool, auto-sensing input vs output, and it should be possible to use that 2nd SAS port on your 12xLFF backplane as an output (instead of a 2nd input for dual-link) to, for example, one of the SAS ports on one of your 8xSFF backplanes; or to a 2nd 12xLFF backplane. [Keep in mind that "expansion" increases connectivity, but the initial source bandwidth is shared (on-demand, as needed).] This frees up the 2nd SAS port on your HBA ...
LFF-12.jpg
 

rodanny

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Oct 20, 2021
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tell me if have more raid controler is possible make a raid configuration on multiple card simultaneous?
12 hdd from first LFF 420i controler and 16 hdd sff Cage conected to an hp h240 or maybe hp p822?
And create a big matrix raid 50 with all hdd
 

UhClem

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Jun 26, 2012
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I don't know much about HW RAID (but I doubt two controllers can conspire). I would expect a (single) P822 [alone] could work well; the two internal ports connecting (dual-link) to the (12x) LFF, and each (of 4) external port connected to one (of the 4) SFF ports. But, I'm just "guessing".
 

rodanny

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Oct 20, 2021
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yes i know.... i understand...but P822 is a viable solution ?
or maybe find other controller?
 

UhClem

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Jun 26, 2012
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but P822 is a viable solution ?
Yes, it should definitely work (e.g., for RAID50) w/12xLFF + 4x(SFFx4). And, IF the 2nd port on your 12xLFF backplane can be used as an output, then the P822 should work w/12xLFF + 6x(SFFx4) by connecting one (P822) internal port (single-link) to one port on 12xLFF, 2nd P822 internal port to SFFx4 #1[**], 4 (P822) external ports to SFFx4 #2-5, and 2nd port of 12xLFF to SFFx4 #6[**].
[**] using something like Dual_SFF-8087_to_SFF-8088_Adapter to get these 2 internals "outside".
or maybe find other controller?
I doubt that there is a better solution for what you've spec'd.
 
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fatmeat

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Nov 5, 2021
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Hi, I was thinking the same thing then I found this thread. I bought a DL380e G8 disk cage and want to connect my existing DL360 G9 at onboard SAS port through mini sas 8087 on disk backplane just for fun. But the power cable and supply was annoying me as I'm not able to find suitable power supply and cable to power the backplane, I had hstns-pc40 comes with dl360 G9 and found adapter link below, but they're just all standard ATX 6pin/8pin, how come it can connect to backplane 2x 8pin custom by HP? Guys, what should I do

 
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audiophonicz

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Jan 11, 2021
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Hi Guys, sorry I missed your discussion :)

I don't know much about HW RAID (but I doubt two controllers can conspire). I would expect a (single) P822 [alone] could work well; the two internal ports connecting (dual-link) to the (12x) LFF, and each (of 4) external port connected to one (of the 4) SFF ports. But, I'm just "guessing".
You are absolutely correct sir. is called MultiPath. and the 3rd SFF port is to connect the rear dual 2.5" cage to the RAID card via passing thru the expander. Split RAID card connections would be handled at the controller level, like the physical switch on a Dell MD1200 that tells the EMMs to give 6 slots to one RAID card and 6 to the other.

/ok, but what card is more better?
P822 vs H240?
If I had to pick one, Id use the H240
1.) a quick read stated the P822 has its own internal expander, double stacking expanders is less than optimal.
2.) the H240 look to be 12Gb SAS cards, which are kinda overkill considering this is a 6Gb backplane and the expander halves that to 3.
3.) both cards are HP proprietary and not advised to use in anything thats not a HPE system as theyre super picky
4.) P822 is RAID, H240 is a HBA. For use in stuff like TrueNAS, Unraid, ZFS you want JBOD.

personally I think any LSI card with a SAS2008 or SAS2308 would be a better choice (except the 9207-8e)

The H240 lacks the connections to do what you specified.
Teeechnically he could get a SFF-8087 to SFF-8088 PCI converter bracket 2 Ports Sff-8087 to Sff-8088 Adapter With Full PCI Slot Profile Mounting Bracket for sale online | eBay

Hi, I was thinking the same thing then I found this thread. I bought a DL380e G8 disk cage and want to connect my existing DL360 G9 at onboard SAS port through mini sas 8087 on disk backplane just for fun. But the power cable and supply was annoying me as I'm not able to find suitable power supply and cable to power the backplane, I had hstns-pc40 comes with dl360 G9 and found adapter link below, but they're just all standard ATX 6pin/8pin, how come it can connect to backplane 2x 8pin custom by HP? Guys, what should I do
There is literally a big photo pinout of the 8pin PCIe style connectors in the first post of this thread. Pins 2 and 6 are swapped from regular PCIe 8pin connectors. EPS-12v 8pin connectors are backwards from PCIe 8pin.

That said, assuming your "existing DL360 G9" already has a drive cage in that youre using: I hope youre not trying to connect the G8 shelf to the G9's power with an 8pin cable somehow passed thru the chassis, nor are you connecting the G9 backplane directly to the G8 backplane. One is 12G SAS, the other 6G, and not only mixing them but throwing an expander into the mix probably wont work well for you. Unless youre trying to install a G8 backplane INSIDE of the G9, keep them separate devices.
 
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fatmeat

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Nov 5, 2021
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There is literally a big photo pinout of the 8pin PCIe style connectors in the first post of this thread. Pins 2 and 6 are swapped from regular PCIe 8pin connectors. EPS-12v 8pin connectors are backwards from PCIe 8pin.

That said, assuming your "existing DL360 G9" already has a drive cage in that youre using: I hope youre not trying to connect the G8 shelf to the G9's power with an 8pin cable somehow passed thru the chassis, nor are you connecting the G9 backplane directly to the G8 backplane. One is 12G SAS, the other 6G, and not only mixing them but throwing an expander into the mix probably wont work well for you. Unless youre trying to install a G8 backplane INSIDE of the G9, keep them separate devices.
Hello, thanks for the reply, my intention was using dl380e g8 disk cage as a external disk enclosure for existing dl360 g9, connecting the mini sas sff 8087 cable from dl380e g8 disk backplane to dl360 g9 onboard sata controller ports as picture shown, then powering the disk cage through g9's redundant power supply hstns-pc40.

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