Is there a way to add external drive bays to an internal Dell SAS controller?
Let's say I previously had I big 5U PE2900 server with 8 3.5" SAS drives, but it dies, and all I have available to replace it are 2U PE2950 servers without enough bays for the 8-drive array.
Is there a supported way to add an external SAS drive enclosure, that connects to the internal SAS RAID in the 2U server, to add more SAS drive bays to it? Apparently this is all trivial for SAS to support with bus expanders, etc.
But I don't see how it could possibly work, since most Dell servers don't have External SAS SFF-8888 connectors included as standard on the back of the server.
Apparently it is not possible to have a drive array that spans the internal drive bays plus also an external Dell drive enclosure?
No, there isn't a way to connect external drives to the internal controller. However, you can use a Perc 6/e that has only the external connections that will enable a connection to an external array. Here is a link I found for the controller: http://www.impactcomputers.com/j155f.html
Though in theory any decent SAS JBOD should work, I'd suggest to check Ebay for an MD1000. This will definitely work with the PERC6E that Geoff mentioned, and you can then also use Dell's Open Manage Server Administrator to manage, monitor and configure/reconfigure the raid if/when needed.
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