Request for help: Retrofit test server for 2.5" NVMe PCIe SSDs

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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Hi everyone,

By Monday I will have seven 2.5" NVMe drives sitting in the lab (3 are already here) and four of them are of the same type.

What I am trying to do is get a lab setup in place to test at least 4 drives at once (12GB/s RAID 0 maybe?)

Here is the problem: I need to add at least 4x SFF-8639 drive connectors to the test rig.

I have seen a few single drive adapters such as: High Speed Serial Cables, Adapters and Accessories from Serial Cables

Which would work, but I want them sooner, and frankly I do not think getting power and data across a chassis should cost $1200-2400 for four drives.

If anyone has ideas for a solution, it would be a huge help to STH!

Thanks,
Patrick
 

dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,478
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San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
Hi everyone,

By Monday I will have seven 2.5" NVMe drives sitting in the lab (3 are already here) and four of them are of the same type.

What I am trying to do is get a lab setup in place to test at least 4 drives at once (12GB/s RAID 0 maybe?)

Here is the problem: I need to add at least 4x SFF-8639 drive connectors to the test rig.

I have seen a few single drive adapters such as: High Speed Serial Cables, Adapters and Accessories from Serial Cables

Which would work, but I want them sooner, and frankly I do not think getting power and data across a chassis should cost $1200-2400 for four drives.

If anyone has ideas for a solution, it would be a huge help to STH!

Thanks,
Patrick
Now that's my idea of a fun review. I look forward to the day when NVMe is the standard for server disks.

I rather think that you'll end up with a Supermicro 1028U-TR4T as your NVMe test platform.
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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Now that's my idea of a fun review. I look forward to the day when NVMe is the standard for server disks.

I rather think that you'll end up with a Supermicro 1028U-TR4T as your NVMe test platform.
SM does have 2U platforms with 4x NVMe slots. I only had 1 drive when I had the system though (Tom's IT Pro).

I now need to recreate for myself :-/
 

Biren78

Active Member
Jan 16, 2013
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Now that's my idea of a fun review. I look forward to the day when NVMe is the standard for server disks.
Yes. I have never seen anyone do this and can't find it on Google. I want NVMe in my SC743 SQ but that's impossible to get from what I've seen. I wouldn't mind opening it up to do the install, but that's a lot less work than going to a new system. It's cheaper for me to get NVMe drives in the local system than to try just getting the networking up for having 100GbE.
 

OBasel

Active Member
Dec 28, 2010
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I'd want to know too. If I'm able to split x16 or x8 then I can get more pcie ssds than with slot based ones.
 

Dk3

Member
Jan 10, 2014
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SG
Patrick, which NVMe Pcie ssd will you highly recommend? I will like to get it for my R730xd as dell price are crazy.
 

Biren78

Active Member
Jan 16, 2013
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@Patrick that system looks sick. I've been reading about NVMe all day. I wonder if the Intel 750 series is going to be as expensive as the P3600 and if they're actually going to be on sale.
 

MiniKnight

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2012
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NYC
The best MacGyver option seems to be the four-drive x16 Dell kit for $460:
PowerEdge R720 R820 PCIe Bridge Adapter for Express Flash PCIe SSDS | eBay

A barebones chassis for 4 NVMe is around $1,800, which isn't bad, but a bit steep for just playing around.
I had linked that one above. It doesn't have the backplane for the 2.5" drives. Only PCIe slots, cable and card. No backplane.

@Patrick - you could also try getting 2 of these backplanes: Supermicro BPN SAS3 116A N2 Backplane Support 8x2 5" SAS3 HDD 2x2 5" PCIe Nvme | eBay (230 ea) plus 2 AOC cards ($150 ea) + 4 cables ($40 ea):

$460 backplanes
$300 aoc
$160 cables

That's only $920. Cheaper than a server but a whole lot harder to use.
 
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T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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Waiting to here back about cheaper backplanes btw... I'll let you guys know.
 
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T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
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Totally forgot I had posted in this thread when I started the other about AOC-SLG3-2E4R which I guess didn't trigger this one with the "R" at the end.

The seller never got back to me :(
 

Chuntzu

Active Member
Jun 30, 2013
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Not sure what the difference is between the AOC-SLG3-2E4R and the AOC-SLG3-2E4? Other than about $100. Does anyone happen to know the difference?
 

Chuntzu

Active Member
Jun 30, 2013
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I was looking at that one a little while back since I have and Intel SAS jbod I could just swap the cages out and use in that chassis. Though the aoc seems to be a 16x to 4-4x pcie card. The board I'm trying to work with has 10 pcie 8x slots so was trying to get 8x - 2-4x aoc. That and the Intel 750 2.5" already comes with the sff8643 to sff8639 cable so no need for a backplane (was pretty pumped when I read that, since I was trying to source these cables 8-9 months ago and couldn't find them)
 

zer0gravity

Active Member
Feb 15, 2013
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Any update on NVMe backplanes/HBA cards? I'm looking to get a VSAN setup and would love to figure out a way to hook up 4x drives on the cheap.