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Dell R410 & R710 - JBOD controller from dedicated RAID slot

Greetings –

I am trying to update my home lab so I can run ESXI on one machine and FreeNAS Corral on the other. This is to support local backup and for learning / fun. I decided to go down the old Dell servers on Ebay path and purchased an R410 (4 x 3.5” drives) and R710 (6 x 3.5” drives) with lots of ECC memory and Xeon X56xx processors. For drives I am running Dell SAS drives in one server and WD Red SATA drives in the other.

It seems the flaw in my plans may be the PERC 6 RAID controller in both machines. For now I am running all the drives configured as single drive 0 raid. So far that seems to work fine, but there are people issuing dire warnings that this is doomed to failure and my data is living on borrowed time.

To solve this concern the best choice seems to be to install a H200 raid controller in the FreeNAS machine as it will support JBOD. Both machines have hot swap drive bays which seems to have been a stumbling block for others. Both of these machines have a special data slot on the motherboard for RAID controllers. I know that I will have to change cables as well, but as long as I can use the special slot, I have a set of cables that will work with the H200.

The last challenge is that I am confused about which H200 controller I should purchase> The integrated H200 (pn X905N / MCRJM) seems not to be my solution as it does not seem to have connection points for the SAS cables that run up to the drive backplane. I assume this model if for a different configuration than my machines as this is how the drives are connected currently. I see other H200 cards (pn 3J8FW / H215J) that have the appropriate connectors, but I am not certain if they will operate when installed in the special RAID controller slot. Due to cable length I need the controller to work from this slot and not the normal PCI slots.

Does anyone here know if the H200 cards (pn 3J8FW / H215J) will work from the dedicated RAID slot of one or both machines?

Thanks in advance

3 Replies
theflash1932
Diamond

RE: Dell R410 & R710 - JBOD controller from dedicated RAID slot

It seems the flaw in my plans may be the PERC 6 RAID controller in both machines. For now I am running all the drives configured as single drive 0 raid. So far that seems to work fine, but there are people issuing dire warnings that this is doomed to failure and my data is living on borrowed time.

I'd say the WD Red is a bigger flaw than the controller itself. A single-disk RAID 0 is no more "doomed to failure" or prone to error than a standalone disk in a server with a non-RAID controller. RAID 0 with MULTIPLE DISKS is dangerous, because not only are you doubling the risk of data loss (or tripling, etc., depending on the number of disks) merely running RAID 0, but you also become much more susceptible to read/write errors.

Both machines have hot swap drive bays which seems to have been a stumbling block for others.

I don't understand why this would be a stumbling block for anyone.

I believe both are designed to take the "integrated" version of the cards, but if you get the "adapter" version, it cannot go in the integrated storage slot - that slot will require the "integrated" controller. If I remember right, the R410 has a built in connector for the drives and the controller in the storage slot. (The storage slot will only take the SAS 6 (modular) controller.)

0 Kudos

Re: Dell R410 & R710 - JBOD controller from dedicated RAID slot

Richard, could you update your situation with running JBOD on older Poweredge servers?  We have some R710's that are great machines, and I want to run Storage Spaces.  However, as you found, the PERC 6 controller will not present the drives to the OS without putting the drives in a RAID first.  Would really appreciate what you found out, and which controller you went with.  

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spartan77
Copper

Re: Dell R410 & R710 - JBOD controller from dedicated RAID slot

I would also like to know if the h200 worked on the r710 as I am facing the same issue. thanks

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