What are my options for SAS2 Expansion?

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by Sera, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Sera

    Sera New Member

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    What I've got:
    -SuperMicro X9DRi-LN4F+
    -SuperMicro CSE826 Chassis
    -SuperMicro BPN-SAS-826A (with a BPN-SAS2-826EL1 on it's way)
    -

    I am new to home servers, so please bare with me.

    The X9DRi model motherboard only has one onboard SAS connector, and it's SAS1, I would like to be able to use all 12 of the drive bays on my chassis with the newer SAS2 backplane that should be arriving soon (as I also have a few 4TB drives that are unsupported with SAS1).

    What PCIe 3 HBA would I need to get to connect that backplane to my motherboard and reap that SAS2 goodness?

    Am I misguided in looking towards this in the first place?

    If you need further information to help me please let me know!

    TYIA
     
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  2. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    First question is do you want hardware raid (useful if running VMware ESX) or prefer software raid and plan to run ZFS or mdadm for raid ? (Also options like snapraid/unraid or windows storage spaces or even NTFS volume groups)

    That will determine the best HBA option.
     
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  3. Sera

    Sera New Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply! I plan to run the Xen Hypervisor with ZFS on dom0, passing through volumes to domU's
     
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  4. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Ok so then you want a straight HBA. Something like a SAS 3008 would be what I would look for...
    IBM M1215’s were cheap a while back but maybe somebody else with recent knowledge on the best deals can jump in here.
     
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  5. Sera

    Sera New Member

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    Thanks, that's got me looking down the right path at least, any deal suggestions would be great on top of the list I can work through on the pinned thread!
     
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  6. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    If you plan on using mostly 3.5 HDDs, SAS2 HBAs such as Dell H310 (LSI 2008 based) or HP H220 (LSI 2308 based) are sufficient.

    My preference would be to stay with your current direct attached BPN-SAS826A as it can support even SAS3 speeds if you were to use couple of SAS3 SSDs in future. With SAS2 expander BPN, you are limiting to SAS2 speeds. Again that will not be an issue if you are primarily using 3.5 spinners.

    IBM/Lenovo M1215 or N2215 (SAS3008 based) can come up for sale from time to time for $75 or less but typically are about $90-110. There are SFF8643 - SFF-8087 cables to connect SAS3008 12gbps controllers to SAS2 backplane.

    If you wanted get started with lower initial cost, you can simply get one SAS2 HBA ($35) to connect 8 drives they can be (SAS or SATA) get a 4xSATA to 8087 (reverse breakout cable) to connect 4 SATA ports on the MB to one 8087. Those 4 can only be SATA.

    These are great chassis with many parts interchangeable between: 826,825,216, 836 etc. If this is a home-lab setup, stock fans are noisy. search the forums here for other fan options on reducing the noise. I own couple of 216 chassis I couldn't quiet these to my liking.
     
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  7. Sera

    Sera New Member

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    Am I interpreting this correctly in reading this as the BPN-SAS-826A is SAS version agnostic? If so why does it so frequently appear at a fraction of the cost of the BPN-SAS2-826EL1?
    Very true hahaha, I've found the noise quite manageable so far just benching it and testing out software on it, but that will likely change under load :)
     
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  8. markarr

    markarr Active Member

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    The 826A/B or TQ do not have a sas expander onboard, it is a passive backplane. With the sas ports being a 1:1 in the TQ backplane and the A/B backplanes are consolidated into sas connectors so you get 4 drive connections with one cable, as a sas cable without an expander can support 4 drives. So in theory the passive backplanes can support higher speeds but they are not rated for them.
     
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  9. Sera

    Sera New Member

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    Ohhh! I had not known this, I guess the best move here would be to first get a HBA card to test the waters and replace the backplane later if necessary and move from there.

    This has likely saved me a good chunk of change :D
     
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  10. _alex

    _alex Active Member

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    LSI 9207 8i is probably what you want. 2308 Chip on pcie3, i have a couple of them in Service with the sas2 expander backplanes, these are fast enough for 4x ssd + a bunch of spinners in a 826. for a Premium plus upgrade path to sas3 go for the 9300 / 3008, but you will only benefit with sas3 ssd on the A-Backplane or a sas3-expander backplane.

    With the A-backplane you can wire-up 2x 4 ports to the hba and 4x sata via reverse-breakout.
     
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