Recently we acquired a Dell PowerEdge R720XD with 12 sata disk drives. It has quickly come to our attention that the Perc h710mini is not capable of hba/passthrough mode which is what we require.
On the forums I have seen people recommending the SAS 9207-8i to overcome this.
I don't have much experience with HBAs and after looking at the white page for the SAS 9207-8i im a little confused as to whether this will work for my application.
On the white page for SAS 9207-8i it says "The SAS 9207-8i has two (x4) internal mini-SAS connectors (SFF8087)". To me this seems to indicate that only 4 drives can be connected to each of the two internal ports. However on the R720XD the backplane is split into two sets of 6 drives.
No activity related to this thread so I'll just provide an update here as I'm about to move forward with my purchase.
For some reason there is little documentation on the on the particular back plane I have in this R720XD which is a 12x3.5". Most of the info out there is related to 8x3.5 or 24x2.5.
In any case it appears that the SFF-8087 mini sas standard is 4 lane (4 device) regardless of where it is used. It appears though that the back plane must operate as an expander which will permit 6 drives to be funnelled through a 4 lane SFF-8087.
I'm going to grab a 9207-8i and the required cables (two (2) SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 90 degree right angle).
It will be a few days before I get them in hand but I will update this thread with my results in case there are any other inexperienced users with similar questions.