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T110 and PERC 6/i

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I purchased a T110 and now need to add a hardware RAID controller for VMware that supports the following features:
RAID 10
4 internal SATA drives (3Gb/s is ok)
battery back up

The PERC 6/i controller meets these requirements but the following web page indicates that using a PERC 6/i with the T110 is "not supported".
http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/products/pvaul/topics/en/us/raid_controller?c=us&l=en&cs=555
(11G internal storage tab)

Since the PERC 6/i is a PCI-e x8 card and since the T110 has two x8 slots, I think it should work.  Can anyone here confirm that this card is working fine in their T110 or that some specific feature does not work in this server?

Thanks!

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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I just hooked everything up and it works fine. I do want to find a fan to actively cool the Perc 6 heatsink. It's getting pretty hot and from what I read it's really meant to be actively cooled.

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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BOB70123,

Have you been able to get anywhere with this? I seem to be in the same boat as you. I'm also looking at this same configuration but can't be confident this card, or any other, will work with the t110 from what I've read.

- Jason

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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The only way to know if it will work is to try it.  It may not be "supported" for a reason, so Dell did not put it on the compatibility chart.  If you are able to use a PERC 6/i in a T110, it would not change the card's basic functionality (RAID levels supported, BBU, etc.).  There is a possibility that it will work just fine, but the T110 may simply lack the hardware resources to support the PERC.  It only supports the SAS 6/iR, which would give you up to two RAID 1 arrays.

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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Jason,

No, I still have not yet found ANY card that meets all my requirements and has passed compatibility testing with the T110.  Dell supports two hardware RAID controllers in the T110: the SAS 6/iR and the PERC H600 in the T110.  Unfortunately, neither card supports both RAID 10 and BBU (for write-back cache).

 

TheFlash,

Several Dell techs did not even recognize that there are two different products with similar sounding names: the PERC 6/i controller and the 6/i Integrated controller.  However, I finally found one guy who DID seem to know what he was talking about.  He advised that I would never be able to get my key question answered: "Why did engineering decline to include the PERC 6/i in the compatibility matrix for the T110?"

He said that while there are no guarantees on unsupported equipment, he could not find any reason why the PERC 6/i would NOT work in the T110.  That's not a very strong endorsement.

You said, "T110 may simply lack the hardware resources to support the PERC."  What resources do you mean?  The chipset?

Bob

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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I've seen comments from people saying they've been able to get the PERC 6/i working in these but I've also seen many comments on why this shouldn't  or won't work. Given all of this and possible outcomes, I think I'm prepared to roll the dice and see what happens.

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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Many do not realize (shamefully for Dell Support) there is an Integrated version and an Adapter version.  They are, for all intents and purposes, the same card, but they do have different firmware - tweaked for the systems they are designed for (for example, the Integrated version in a 2950 and Adapter for the 2900).

Yes, I was talking about restrictions of the chipset and the BIOS together.  The T110 is a very basic machine, and it may have limits to how it addresses hardware (interrupts, mapping, etc.), I/O capability, etc.  Take processors ... just because a processor fits the slot doesn't mean it will work ... only certain processors are supported in a given server because there just isn't enough space to put supporting code for every processor that fits the slot.  It is a basic machine, and accordingly, it makes sense it would only support a basic controller and other basic hardware.

For whatever reason - convenience or technical - Dell decided they could not stand behind the performance/reliability of a PERC in the T110.  Were you hoping/expecting the technician to "endorse" using an unsupported card in your server, against the apparent recommendation of Dell hardware engineers that it not be used?  That tech is probably right - you will likely never see an explanation for why it is not supported, and as it is not, you are on your own in trying it.

Just offering this as a possibility as to why it is not "supported".  Obviously, some people have stated it works for them and the use and configuration they are running, and only time will tell if it will be stable under additional circumstances.

 

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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Jajogega,

What is your time frame for purchase?  If this month, I'd appreciate you're posting your results to this thread.  I'm still considering other options including Adaptec and LSI controllers.

Thanks!

Bob

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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Were you hoping/expecting the technician to "endorse" using an unsupported card in your server, against the apparent recommendation of Dell hardware engineers that it not be used?  That tech is probably right - you will likely never see an explanation for why it is not supported, and as it is not, you are on your own in trying it.

No, I only expect a Tier 1 tech to be familiar with his company's products (or to escalate to Tier 2) and to get accurate answers to a customer's questions.  I personally believe that it's reasonable to expect a technical explanation for why a popular controller failed compatibility testing with a new server.

 

Obviously, some people have stated it works for them and the use and configuration they are running, and only time will tell if it will be stable under additional circumstances.

Thanks.  I spent a couple of hours looking for this but have not yet found a first person account of the PERC 6/i working in a T110.  Apparently, this has been proven.

I have one more question: after browsing the Dell web site I found around a dozen different models of the PERC 6/i including four that are not the "integrated" variety.  Can you (or anyone else) offer any information on the differences between models or if it makes any difference which one I buy for the T110?

Bob

 

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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My server has shipped but I won't be able to get my hands on it until the end of the month. Everything else is sitting here waiting to get connected. I actually tried my perc 6 in a T100 laying around and it saw it just fine so I think that's promising.

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Re: T110 and PERC 6/i

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Thanks! 

After reading that others have gotten this to work (in spite of Dell's statement that it is "not supported"), I ordered a PERC 6/i (modular) controller yesterday from ebay.  Hopefully I can get this controller to stand up in the PCI slot.  If not, perhaps I'll be able to attach a bracket without destroying the card.

You probably already know that a connecting cable (SFF-8484 to 4 SATA connectors) and battery (Dell part number U8735) usually need to be ordered separately.  I should have all the parts in 14 business days and will update this thread after I can confirm that everything is working.

Bob

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