Recommendations for 16i card for ESXi

Xoid

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Nov 14, 2018
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Hey, I'm looking for a card to put in my Intel R2312WTTYS to make use of all 12x 3.5" bays and 2x 2.5" bays for use with ESXi. My goal is to consolidate as much as possible into this one box, compute & storage. Ideally I'd be looking for a single 16i card instead of two 8i cards to turn all 12 3.5" bays into a single RAID5 or RAID6 volume.

The LSI 9260-16i seems to be pretty widely available and reasonably affordable, but I'm wondering if anyone has any other suggestions, or maybe some opinions on this card.

I've got a mix of 12x 2TB drives I intend to put in here. The capacity is enough for me, but I'm wondering if anyone foresees any issues mixing these drive models:
Dell Branded HGST HUA723020ALA640
Dell Branded WD WD2000FYYX-18RS1B0
Dell Branded Seagate 9YZ168-036

My budget would be around $400 CAD, what's the best bang for buck card I can get?
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Why not get an expander & 8i card - should be sufficient for spinners.
Not sure what the intel 6g expanders go for but m1015/dell H200/310 etc go for 50 bucks
 

Xoid

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Nov 14, 2018
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I was hoping to keep things as simple as possible and conserve expansion slots, but that's definitely an option. What pair of cards do you think would be a good choice? To be honest, my experience with RAID cards is very limited so I'm trying to gather as much info as I can
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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Ah right, you look for a raid card, so scratch the ones I mentioned mentioned.
Any particular reason not to take the compatible intel cards/expander that go with the chassis?
 

gregsachs

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Aug 14, 2018
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Do you have one of the internal RMS raid modules? That would get you 4 or 8 ports of SAS, the backplane may also be expander based...
 

Xoid

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Nov 14, 2018
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Any particular reason not to take the compatible intel cards/expander that go with the chassis?
Do you have one of the internal RMS raid modules? That would get you 4 or 8 ports of SAS, the backplane may also be expander based...
The Integrated RAID card could definitely work too, all I have now is 2x mini-SAS on the motherboard. I'd still need expander card, but it would save me a PCI-E slot. The backplane doesn't have any kind of expander

"The 12 x drive backplane includes three multi-port mini-SAS cable connectors, each providing SGPIO and I/O signals for four SAS/SATA drives on the backplane. Cables can be routed from matching connectors on the server board, add-in SAS/SATA RAID cards, or an optionally installed SAS expander card"

Intel provided a location to add in a separate SAS expander for the 16x2.5" front bay models, but there isn't one for the 12x3.5" model, any SAS expander will have to use an expansion slot.

Now that leaves me trying to pick an Integrated RAID card and expander though. The RMS25CB080 seems to be a good option: 8 internal ports, 6Gb/s, 1G RAM, supported in ESXi 6.7. The price seems to vary widely on eBay for some reason
 
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gregsachs

Active Member
Aug 14, 2018
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The Integrated RAID card could definitely work too, all I have now is 2x mini-SAS on the motherboard. I'd still need expander card, but it would save me a PCI-E slot. The backplane doesn't have any kind of expander

"The 12 x drive backplane includes three multi-port mini-SAS cable connectors, each providing SGPIO and I/O signals for four SAS/SATA drives on the backplane. Cables can be routed from matching connectors on the server board, add-in SAS/SATA RAID cards, or an optionally installed SAS expander card"

Intel provided a location to add in a separate SAS expander for the 16x2.5" front bay models, but there isn't one for the 12x3.5" model, any SAS expander will have to use an expansion slot.

Now that leaves me trying to pick an Integrated RAID card and expander though. The RMS25CB080 seems to be a good option: 8 internal ports, 6Gb/s, 1G RAM, supported in ESXi 6.7. The price seems to vary widely on eBay for some reason
I have a s2600gz with the cb080, works well. I think there is at least one listing for ~$42 with the BBU module; I actually have a spare as it was easier to get the bbu that way than any other.
It isn't clear if the cb080 works with your motherboard, or I would have suggested. You can also get one of the raid key modules for the MB, and keep all your pci slots free, I think...
(Or do a combo of the cb080 and a 4i4e card, allow for external expansion. I'm not sure what esxi supports, though, I'm running h-v 2016)
 

Xoid

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Nov 14, 2018
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The RAID5 key enables RAID5 for the SW ESRT2 controller. I can already accomplish RAID5 with the onboard SW RSTe controller, but ESXi requires hardware RAID.

The CB080 is listed in the compatible products section for the S2600WTT, so I think I'll try to pick one of those up and do some more looking for a good SAS expander, thanks!