Hitachi DF-F800-RKAK AMS-2000 enclosures

J Hart

Active Member
Apr 23, 2015
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Just wanted to share my experience with these JBODs. They seem to be popping up on eBay for time to time and the prices tend to be pretty low, I'm guessing mostly because there isn't any info out there about them. I know that I was worried these would have some firmware shenanigans which would prevent them being used with commodity hardware. I was pleasantly surprised that these seem to work perfectly with a regular LSI 9201-16e HBA without an issue.

These are 3U 15 drive 3.5" SAS/SATA enclosures with dual controllers and dual power supplies. The controllers are PMC Sierra SXP 24x3G SAS expanders. The one I bought had SATA drives installed. These came with SAS-SATA interposers.

Things I tried out on these:
  • They communicate fine with something other than a Hitachi AMS Base Unit.
  • SAS drives worked fine. These worked no matter if the drives were Hitachi AMS drives or other brands like Seagate, WD or other non-AMS Hitachi.
  • SATA drives work fine with or without the interposer. Both ways I got connections at 3G.
  • Cascading the with another non-Hitachi branded JBOD (Dell MD1000) worked just fine.

Things that don't work and other weird things:
  • They have slightly unusual SFF-8088 connectors with some extra little metal pins on the long side of the connector. The IN and OUT connectors have these offset differently. Luckily the generic SFF-8088 cables I had on hand fit just fine(Monoprice and some I bought from Aliexpress).
  • The enclosure has lights all over the place for drive status(power, activity, error) and enclosure status(power, connectivity). These don't work. They must depend on the base unit or maybe mine is just broken in some way.
  • The size of these isn't exactly 3U. The bezel is 3U and is larger than the enclosure. If you have your bezel on and set the enclosure down it will break it. I think this is because the rails for this enclosure go around the side and under the bottom.

Bottom line: These are just straight JBODs and are fine if you can tolerate 3G speeds. They are also quite inexpensive. And from discussions with the people who are selling these, the AMS 2000 series is approaching EOL, so expect them to be cheap and plentiful.
 
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J Hart

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Apr 23, 2015
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I'm just using it as DAS to my FreeNAS box and then having that serve files over NFS to a small computing cluster.

I haven't tried using them in an active/active configuration. They did work fine as active/failover when I gave that a shot.
 

J Hart

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Apr 23, 2015
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I popped in a 4TB Hitachi drive and it had no issues going through the interposer, and expander to my LSI 9201-16e card. It was correctly detected as being 4TB within FreeNAS, although at 3Gbps since the expanders only go up to that speed. I'm guessing it would work the same without the interposer. I was just seeing if the interposer might be a problem.
 

gjaltemba

New Member
Sep 8, 2016
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The unit sold on ebay states (The expansion array also supports SATA with a different tray). How can I tell if the tray is for sata?

Will this work with a couple of LSI 9200-8e?
 

pgh5278

Active Member
Oct 25, 2012
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Australia
Just wanted to share my experience with these JBODs. They seem to be popping up on eBay for time to time and the prices tend to be pretty low, I'm guessing mostly because there isn't any info out there about them. I know that I was worried these would have some firmware shenanigans which would prevent them being used with commodity hardware. I was pleasantly surprised that these seem to work perfectly with a regular LSI 9201-16e HBA without an issue.

These are 3U 15 drive 3.5" SAS/SATA enclosures with dual controllers and dual power supplies. The controllers are PMC Sierra SXP 24x3G SAS expanders. The one I bought had SATA drives installed. These came with SAS-SATA interposers.

Things I tried out on these:
  • They communicate fine with something other than a Hitachi AMS Base Unit.
  • SAS drives worked fine. These worked no matter if the drives were Hitachi AMS drives or other brands like Seagate, WD or other non-AMS Hitachi.
  • SATA drives work fine with or without the interposer. Both ways I got connections at 3G.
  • Cascading the with another non-Hitachi branded JBOD (Dell MD1000) worked just fine.

Things that don't work and other weird things:
  • They have slightly unusual SFF-8088 connectors with some extra little metal pins on the long side of the connector. The IN and OUT connectors have these offset differently. Luckily the generic SFF-8088 cables I had on hand fit just fine(Monoprice and some I bought from Aliexpress).
  • The enclosure has lights all over the place for drive status(power, activity, error) and enclosure status(power, connectivity). These don't work. They must depend on the base unit or maybe mine is just broken in some way.
  • The size of these isn't exactly 3U. The bezel is 3U and is larger than the enclosure. If you have your bezel on and set the enclosure down it will break it. I think this is because the rails for this enclosure go around the side and under the bottom.

Bottom line: These are just straight JBODs and are fine if you can tolerate 3G speeds. They are also quite inexpensive. And from discussions with the people who are selling these, the AMS 2000 series is approaching EOL, so expect them to be cheap and plentiful.
Hello, how is the noise form PS and Fans in this.. Thanks
 

J Hart

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Apr 23, 2015
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Since some people have been asking about these recently I thought I'd share my experience further on.

Noise compared to the MD1000 is less, I can't be sure of how much less because they are mounted in racks and I think the servers are most likely louder. They are similar to a 2U or 3U server at idle. I've never heard the fans spin up, but they will probably if the temperature goes up enough. I can't be sure of drive compatibility but what I do know is that every drive I have tried SAS or SATA was passed through fine. I tried some 4TB Seagate SATA drives and they were ok in there so there shouldn't be any problem with drives over 2TB. The SATA drives in mine came with interposers. The controllers will allow you to access the SATA drives without interposers just fine, but I would expect that active/active will not work and failover might not work. I have a bunch of SATA 7K2000 Hitachi drives in it and they will failover without a problem, but I have put some consumer drives in there for the hell of it and they dropped out when there was a failover.

I have been running mine for almost 2 years and I haven't had any problems in that time. The only negative I'd say is the slightly weird size which isn't exactly 3U high(its like 2.8) and the indicator lights don't work. The size is annoying as faceplates are bigger and actually 3U high. If you stack them without the rails they will break the faceplates. Beyond that they have worked well for me.
 
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brendantay

Member
Aug 12, 2015
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Are you still using this enclosure J Hart?
Just picked one up loaded with 2TB drives for a little over 200AUD, was just for the disks, but if the chassis is good I might put it aside and use it later when I need more space!
 

J Hart

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Apr 23, 2015
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Are you still using this enclosure J Hart?
Just picked one up loaded with 2TB drives for a little over 200AUD, was just for the disks, but if the chassis is good I might put it aside and use it later when I need more space!
Yep I still have two of these enclosures set up and working fine. They have never given me any problems other than the couple of issues I pointed out before (the status lights don't work and the size is slightly smaller than 3U).

Not sure how they would handle newer drives as I haven't tried anything beyond 4TB, but I suppose if they go beyond 2TB there shouldn't be any issues.
 

brendantay

Member
Aug 12, 2015
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Australia
Yep I still have two of these enclosures set up and working fine. They have never given me any problems other than the couple of issues I pointed out before (the status lights don't work and the size is slightly smaller than 3U).

Not sure how they would handle newer drives as I haven't tried anything beyond 4TB, but I suppose if they go beyond 2TB there shouldn't be any issues.
Wicked, thanks for that! Yeah I'd only go 4tb disks anyway I'd say so if its a limitation I'm not too phased :)
 

J Hart

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Apr 23, 2015
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I have it set up with an LSI9208-16e type card. I haven't tried it with many other cards, so it is possible they might have tied it to a specific chipset and I just got lucky.
 

Dave Corder

Active Member
Dec 21, 2015
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Can anyone else comment on the noise of this unit?

Has anyone tried 8 TB drives in this unit?
 

ldperron

New Member
Nov 12, 2018
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I have a couple of AMS enclosures here, and I can't get them to work properly. The HBA (lsi) does communicate with with the drives, but they never spin up.
Almost every commands to the drive replies with "Logical unit not ready, notify (enable spinup) required".

Do you have a special firmware/driver for your HBA? Have you done anything speciala with the enclosure?

Thanks
 

BeTeP

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2019
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This is an old thread. But maybe someone would still find this useful.

Hitachi AMS2000 is pretty dated. Its enclosures use PMC-Sierra SXP 3Gbps SAS expanders without any upgrade options available. So I would not recommend getting these anymore. But back in the day I actually preferred Hitachis over many other brands because of the superb build quality and relatively low noise. I have used both standard 15-bay DF-F800-RKAK (now decommissioned) and high density 48-bay DF-F800-RKAKX (still in use as a 2-tier backup).

I use it with HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 SATA drives - they never gave me any problems. I used them both ways - with interposers and plugged-in directly.

I have a couple of AMS enclosures here, and I can't get them to work properly. The HBA (lsi) does communicate with with the drives, but they never spin up.
Almost every commands to the drive replies with "Logical unit not ready, notify (enable spinup) required".
The only drive (out of those I tried) which I remember behaving like that was the NL-SAS version of the same HGST Ultrastar 7K4000. It was also the only SAS drive I ever tested with the platform. Fortunately I only had a few of them and I just moved them to another system where they worked just fine.
 

threiner

New Member
Nov 24, 2020
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I use this Unit as JBOD with unraid on a Dell SAS Controller and it works very well, i have up to 8TB SATA drives in it.
 

J Hart

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Apr 23, 2015
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@threiner
Please do not do the most frustrating thing somebody cold do in a thread!! By saying Dell it cold be one of dozens ? Does it really take so mich effort to just say which model Dell SAS Controller you are using ?
I don't know about which Dell controllers might work. I've used LSI 9201 and LSI9208 controllers with these without a problem. I also used some Dell controller before but don't know the model number off the top of my head. It is the one that shipped with systems using the MD1000.