What is actually supplied in a SuperMicro chasis?

Mikhail

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Feb 15, 2017
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All of my server builds have been on those cheapo Norco 24 cases.

I need to rebuild one of these machines that keeps disappearing HDs. Also touching the case seems to disconnect the drives. This is no fun. The proposal is to use about $1.5k to get a new chassis and cables.

Do SuperMicro cases come with the backplane? How do I get my Adaptec 8805 connected to it?

For example,
SC846E16-R1200B | 4U | Chassis | Products | Super Micro Computer, Inc.
SUPERMICRO CSE-846E16-R1200B Black 4U Rackmount Server Case - Newegg.com

Is the "Standard Parts List" whats in the box? Also comments on if this case is a good value are also appreciated!
 
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T_Minus

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Buy one on ebay "Supermicro 846" will yield the results should be more than 50% off those new prices.

They have different backplanes, they come with them.
 

Mikhail

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Okay, what does that connect to?

For example would one use one of those SFF-8643 to SFF-8087 SAS connectors?
 

ntldr

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Jul 7, 2018
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Personally I wouldn't buy a new Supermicro for price reasons. Used ones are fairly available much cheaper (around similar prices to (new) Norco equivalents here). In general the SC846 is fairly massive and really well built.

And yes, they come with a backplane. For the SC846 you have a vast selection of different backplanes.

There are:
- BPN-SAS-846TQ (24 Sata Ports at the back. Really simple, just a cabling mess)
- BPN-SAS-846A (6 SFF 8087 connectors. Each hooks up 4 drives. This is similar to the Norco backplanes, just with one large one instead of 6)
- BPN-SAS?-846EL1 (Expander. You can run everything via 1 connector with a secondary for failover. Also has support for hooking up JBODs)
- BPN-SAS?-846EL2 (Expander. Similar to EL1, just with a second expander)

The expander backplanes are available in three variants: SAS, SAS2 and SAS3. The SAS variant does not support disks > 2TB, which is often an issue. Other than that they obviously vary in speed. For your Adaptec 8805 you need cables which have SFF-8643 on one end and either (depending on chosen backplane):
- 4 SATA Ports (TQ Backplane)
- 1 SFF-8087 Port (A Backplane, BPN-SAS1/BPN-SAS2 expanders)
- 1 SFF-8643 Port (BPN-SAS3 expander)

To figure out the backplane via the model number you can simply use the code:
SC846E16-R1200B -> SC846 with EL1 6GBit/s Expander and a 1200W PSU. So this is going to be the BPN-SAS2-846EL1 backplane.
SC846BE1C-R1K28B -> SC846 with EL1 12GBit/s Expander (C) and a 1280W PSU. -> BPN-SAS3-846EL1.
SC846BA-R920B -> SC846 with A backplane and a 920W PSU -> BPN-SAS-846A.

However on ebay I'd be careful with sellers who do not mention the backplane variant as they can easily be swapped around. On the other hand you can also buy a cheap one and retrofit a new backplane a bit cheaper.
 
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shanester

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May 18, 2011
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Are there SM SAS2 direct attached backplanes (to support HDD >2TB)
Or will the BPN-SAS-846A support HDD >2TB using M1015 in IT mode?

I have an 8 year old Norco 4220 that is at full capacity. Running OmniOS/Napp-IT (AIO) with HGST 2TB drive & m1015 HBAs & SM mb.
I wish to build a similar box with a SM chasis/mb and DA backplane using 8TB HDD with HBAs in IT mode.
 

ntldr

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Jul 7, 2018
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There are no SAS2/SAS3 direct attach backplanes. As there is no SAS chip between drive and controller (or external expander) they don't need to support anything special. The direct attach backplanes are very similar to a 8087 -> 4x SATA breakout cable, just with a bunch of additional monitoring.

The BPN-SAS-846A and BPN-SAS-846TQ work fine with >2TB drives.
 

Aestr

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Oct 22, 2014
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Are there SM SAS2 direct attached backplanes (to support HDD >2TB)
Or will the BPN-SAS-846A support HDD >2TB using M1015 in IT mode?
The A backplane as well as the TQ will work fine. Because there is no expander the backplane doesn't know or care about the size of the drive.

If buying used it's always best to check for a picture of the backplane including the model number and if there isn't one verify with the seller. Many times sellers get the model incorrect because it mostly matches what they have, and while you can get a refund or otherwise sort it out you may as well save yourself the hassle.