Intel NVMe/SAS3 2U Disk Enclosure w/ Oculink interface + SuperMicro AOC-SLG3-4E2P

zack$

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Aug 16, 2018
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Been searching for a manual on the A2U8X25S3PHS but closest I get is the
Intel S2600WF product family config doc where it's listed but no specs on the caddies.

I figure they must be 2.5 caddies but can they fit a 15mm thick drive??
 

Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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Here's what the HGST drive looks like in the caddy. There's not a whole lot of room left, but it fits.

IMG_20181201_212607.jpg IMG_20181201_212545.jpg
 

Kingmer

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Nov 19, 2017
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Update: the AXXP3SWX08080 (card), A2U8PSWCXCXK1 (cables), and A2U8X25S3PHS (drive bay) are installed. I have one Intel P4510 (4T) and one Samsung PM961 (256G, M.2) in a cheap M2 adapter. They both show up just fine in Windows 10, with no special work needed. The P4510 benchmarks in CrystalDiskMark 6.0.1 at 2,923 MB/s reading and 2,889 MB/s writing. The Samsung gets 3,263 MB/s reading and 743 MB/s writing. Running both tests concurrently gives me 2,760+3,196 reading and 2,911+663 writing.

The drive activity LEDs blink on both drives when they're being accessed, but when the drives are idle the Intel LED stays on and the Samsung LED stays off.

Windows 10 doesn't recognize hot-plugged drives. That's not surprising. I suspect that Linux would, and Windows server might.

I didn't test SAS/SATA drives. They should be easier to get right than NVMe.


By cheap m2 adapter, do you mean like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-2-5-...sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543761246&sr=8-3&keywords

These arn't limited in speed?
 

Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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That one is a SATA device, it's only useful if you have M.2 SATA SSDs, which are kinda rare (and pointless) these days.

I'm using this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HR0PKJQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It simply adapts a x4 PCIe M.2 slot to a x4 PCIe U.2/SFF-8639 connector, in a form factor that will work in a hot-swap sled. It shouldn't have a performance impact, although PCIe signal integrity may be an issue at some point.
 
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Kingmer

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That one is a SATA device, it's only useful if you have M.2 SATA SSDs, which are kinda rare (and pointless) these days.

I'm using this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HR0PKJQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It simply adapts a x4 PCIe M.2 slot to a x4 PCIe U.2/SFF-8639 connector, in a form factor that will work in a hot-swap sled. It shouldn't have a performance impact, although PCIe signal integrity may be an issue at some point.

Oph i see the difference, but do they come cheaper?
 

Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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Maybe? I spent a while reading reviews on Amazon of various M.2 to U.2 adapters; there were a lot of 1-star reviews that boiled down to "I couldn't get the SATA cable to stay attached" or "it didn't fit right into my laptop." Basically people who bought the wrong device and couldn't get it to work for their purpose. After ignoring those, a fair number of devices seemed to have power problems with high-current devices, especially Samsung Pro SSDs. After sorting through those, this one seemed to have the best mix of reviews, price, and shipping speed for my needs on the day that I bought it, but I only bought one of them. I certainly didn't do any sort of exhaustive survey, and I only looked at Amazon Prime.
 

azev

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Jan 18, 2013
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Does anyone know if there's a way to mount the A2U8X25S3PHS on a regular pc case with 2x 5.25" bay available ??
I plan to get this for my desktop, so I can run a few U2 NVME drive that I have, but I am concerned that there's no way to secure the drive bay in my case (HAF932 Advanced). I would appreciate it if someone who owned one of these can take a picture from the side angle, I am curious to see whether I can use some powerful double tape or hot glue to secure it.
 

T_Minus

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Does anyone know if there's a way to mount the A2U8X25S3PHS on a regular pc case with 2x 5.25" bay available ??
I plan to get this for my desktop, so I can run a few U2 NVME drive that I have, but I am concerned that there's no way to secure the drive bay in my case (HAF932 Advanced). I would appreciate it if someone who owned one of these can take a picture from the side angle, I am curious to see whether I can use some powerful double tape or hot glue to secure it.
I think it would depend on the 5.25" setup in your specific case.

I personally have had to fold tabs (metal) to fit things in some desktop cases.
 
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nthu9280

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Does anyone know if there's a way to mount the A2U8X25S3PHS on a regular pc case with 2x 5.25" bay available ??
I plan to get this for my desktop, so I can run a few U2 NVME drive that I have, but I am concerned that there's no way to secure the drive bay in my case (HAF932 Advanced). I would appreciate it if someone who owned one of these can take a picture from the side angle, I am curious to see whether I can use some powerful double tape or hot glue to secure it.
Did you check the pictures on the first post? Not sure if that answers your question. These are created for 2U Intel servers to be secured on the top and bottom of the carrier. OP used them on HP Z840 which has a latch for securing modules in the 5.25 bays.

The other option would be to source AUP8X25S3NVDK which are meant for Intel P4000 Pedestal chassis. I'd assume they would have option to secure on the sides. If you look at the specs, they both use the same backplane.
 
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Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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Does anyone know if there's a way to mount the A2U8X25S3PHS on a regular pc case with 2x 5.25" bay available ??
I plan to get this for my desktop, so I can run a few U2 NVME drive that I have, but I am concerned that there's no way to secure the drive bay in my case (HAF932 Advanced). I would appreciate it if someone who owned one of these can take a picture from the side angle, I am curious to see whether I can use some powerful double tape or hot glue to secure it.
The A2U8X25S3PHS is the right height for 2x 5.25 bays, but (as mentioned) has no screw holes on the side and is 4mm narrower than expected. You could probably shim 2mm on each side and use some tape to hold it if you're not picky.

The AUP8X25S3NVDK that is mentioned *looks* like it has screw holes on the side, but I don't know if they'd line up with anything. Also, the NVDK appears to be taller than the PHS, so it'll take up more than 2 drive bays.

My case is weird; drives all need mounting brackets, and the brackets screw into the front of the case (sort of like 2-post rack for mounting servers, where the brackets are the rack ears). Here's a picture of the PHS with the brackets I built (including brass hot-set screw threads):
IMG_20181130_215753.jpg

It'd be pretty easy to remove the plastic block that's there for front-mounting, and then either (a) add holes for ~2mm long screw or (b) add a springy plastic tab that'll poke out into optical drive screw holes.
 

NaCl

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Dec 15, 2018
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Greetings,

I picked up the Intel pci switch (AXXP3SWX08080) and was wondering about where the driver was sourced? I'm using an MSI MEG Creation x399 w/a 2990WX and win10 pro. The card is showing up as a driver-less memory controller. Windows claims to not be able to locate a driver on its own and I've looked all over and can't seem to locate one either. Even tried Intel's less-than-friendly dl center for an R2000WF family to see if I could find a suitable discrete driver there; no joy.

Any assistance would be grand.

Thanks!
 

Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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Greetings,

I picked up the Intel pci switch (AXXP3SWX08080) and was wondering about where the driver was sourced? I'm using an MSI MEG Creation x399 w/a 2990WX and win10 pro. The card is showing up as a driver-less memory controller. Windows claims to not be able to locate a driver on its own and I've looked all over and can't seem to locate one either. Even tried Intel's less-than-friendly dl center for an R2000WF family to see if I could find a suitable discrete driver there; no joy.

Any assistance would be grand.

Thanks!
I never installed a driver. I should check and see if it's still griping about a missing one or not. Since the card is really just a PLX PCIe bridge (which shouldn't need a driver) and the drives are PCIe devices, there shouldn't really be anything that *needs* drivers, although perhaps one could help to deal with port->bay mapping.
 

Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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What chassis' would these easily install into?
Well, Intel's 2U server chassis would be easiest. After that, most desktop chassis that will take double-height 5.25 devices shouldn't be *too* bad, but you'll have to improvise some sort of mounting system. They're exactly the same height and 4mm narrower than 2 optical drives stacked. Like I said above, double-sided tape and 2mm shims would probably work fine, especially if you have something underneath to support the weight a bit.

Chassis that have shelves/ledges between every 5.25 bay are going to need some Dremel work.
 

NaCl

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Dec 15, 2018
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I never installed a driver. I should check and see if it's still griping about a missing one or not. Since the card is really just a PLX PCIe bridge (which shouldn't need a driver) and the drives are PCIe devices, there shouldn't really be anything that *needs* drivers, although perhaps one could help to deal with port->bay mapping.
That was my initial expectation but when it didn't work as expected, self-doubt crept in.

Operating back on the no driver required idea, I am still unable to see any of my NVMe devices. The bay I'm attempting to use is the icydoc NVMe 4 bay widget. I have two, nothing from same/different 960 or 970 Pro devices in u.2 sleds 2 different manufacturers (one was linked earlier in this thread (red pcb a bit naked), the other is fully enclosed aluminum black powder coated) works.

I have:
oculink -> sff8643 minSAS HD cables.
oculink -> sff8639 cables.

No joy from any of the above even direct 8639 to either sled.

SSDs themselves _do_ work just fine in the motherboard m.2 slots and in an ASUS hypercard.

I also have a Broadcom 9405W-16i which requires sff9402 (refclk) wiring of the sff8643 miniSAS HD cable. My initial set of cables were _NOT_ of the new hotness. I now have part no. rhs36-2583 from microsatacables which they claim to be of the new hotness. And they also provide no joy. I'm wondering if the icydoc units are just plain still born pieces of trash. Every port in 2 units being bad seems problematic. Nor does it seem probable that the design could work at all w/out being plumbed to expect the 9402 wiring variant of the 8643 connector.

On boot, the legacy bios init of the Broadcom board does not detect any devices beyond itself and a virtualses device. In Linux, this gets enumerated as the first entry in /proc/scsi/scsi. But no nvme devices show up.

I'm just about ready to beat everything w/a hammer, burn it all in effigy, and send the ashes back to each vendor w/notes telling them to die in a fire. This should.not.be.this.hard.

Other than, apparently wasting stupid sums of $$$ at the moment, I don't see the error(s) in my process.

Any ideas? Has anyone gotten the icydoc cages to work? I was going to call them later on this morning for clarity on their wiring expectation. Beyond that I'm out of ideas. Well outside microsatacables not being truthful regarding their claimed adherence to the sff9402 wiring spec anyway.

Thoughts?
 
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zack$

Active Member
Aug 16, 2018
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After some inspiration from the thread and insight from @Scott Laird, I decided to take the plunge.

I got the A2U8X25S3PHS to fit in my 4U Chenbro RM42300 with little extra effort: just expanded some of the bottom screw openings in the drive cage and it mounted firmly using two 3.5" hdd mounting screws on either side. Notably, the mounting points on the enclosure are shallow and I found that screwing the 3.5" hdd mounting screws all the way in ended up inhibiting the first and last caddies so much so that they were "locked" in.

Seems I could have gotten a better fit by mounting at the top of the drive cage by just drilling some holes through the drive cage to accommodate the five mounting points. However, plan A worked and the enclosure is secure so no more messing about.

Can also confirm that its a tad bit narrower than a regular 2U bay and noticeably shorter (in my 4U case).

Closing thoughts on mounting, which seems to be the main concern, is that with a little ingenuity, this enclosure can fit in most cases. For the adventurous, i'm pretty sure you can mount the enclosure on the side by simply drilling holes and affixing some type of nut to fasten screws into.

Plans are to populate with 8x micron s630dc (800gb) HBA passthrough to freenas and, when there is better support for nvme, switch out the sas3 for nvme.

The above average heat signature of the s630dc, which only became known after forum members started receiving them, has me a bit worried about putting 8 of them in one enclosure. However, the A2U8X25S3PHS appears well vented at the back...but only time will tell whether the enclosure together with case fans will be able to sufficiently cool these bad boys down. Should have the s630dcs soon.

Given that the enclosure does sata/sas/nvme, this one is definitely a keeper and can be used strategically for your growing need of storage.
 

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Scott Laird

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Aug 30, 2014
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That was my initial expectation but when it didn't work as expected, self-doubt crept in.

Operating back on the no driver required idea, I am still unable to see any of my NVMe devices. The bay I'm attempting to use is the icydoc NVMe 4 bay widget. I have two, nothing from same/different 960 or 970 Pro devices in u.2 sleds 2 different manufacturers (one was linked earlier in this thread (red pcb a bit naked), the other is fully enclosed aluminum black powder coated) works.

I have:
oculink -> sff8643 minSAS HD cables.
oculink -> sff8639 cables.

No joy from any of the above even direct 8639 to either sled.

SSDs themselves _do_ work just fine in the motherboard m.2 slots and in an ASUS hypercard.

I also have a Broadcom 9405W-16i which requires sff9402 (refclk) wiring of the sff8643 miniSAS HD cable. My initial set of cables were _NOT_ of the new hotness. I now have part no. rhs36-2583 from microsatacables which they claim to be of the new hotness. And they also provide no joy. I'm wondering if the icydoc units are just plain still born pieces of trash. Every port in 2 units being bad seems problematic. Nor does it seem probable that the design could work at all w/out being plumbed to expect the 9402 wiring variant of the 8643 connector.

On boot, the legacy bios init of the Broadcom board does not detect any devices beyond itself and a virtualses device. In Linux, this gets enumerated as the first entry in /proc/scsi/scsi. But no nvme devices show up.

I'm just about ready to beat everything w/a hammer, burn it all in effigy, and send the ashes back to each vendor w/notes telling them to die in a fire. This should.not.be.this.hard.

Other than, apparently wasting stupid sums of $$$ at the moment, I don't see the error(s) in my process.

Any ideas? Has anyone gotten the icydoc cages to work? I was going to call them later on this morning for clarity on their wiring expectation. Beyond that I'm out of ideas. Well outside microsatacables not being truthful regarding their claimed adherence to the sff9402 wiring spec anyway.

Thoughts?
Yuck. At the very least, I never had any issues with NVMe devices showing up in my BIOS, which obviously doesn't require any extra drivers. This sounds like a cable problem to me, but I'd expect the oculink->8639
cable to work fine. I've seen some suggestions that oculink->8643 cables are directional, but that wouldn't make any sense for a 8639 cable. I mean, it's not like you're going to have the other end of 8639 on a card and try to wire it to oculink on an enclosure, right? Also, there's no other use for an oculink to 8639 cable that I can think of, so I'd expect them all be wired right for NVMe use.

Do you have a link to 8639 cable that you're using? Maybe I could give it a try here and see if it works with any of my devices.