nach00
1 Copper

Dell T30 RAID options

Looking to configure my T30 for RAID. Ideally, I would like to create one big array for all my hard drives.

I know that the T30 supports only a maximum of 6 hard drives. I didn't know this before I started, but I've modified the case and hardware to fit the following:

(8) 3.5" 8TB hard drives

Graphics card

850W PSU

128GB NVME M.2 hard drive (for OS)

I downgraded my BIOS to 1.0 in order to enable the NVME slot.

I also have a 4-port RAID controller and a 2-port RAID controller/PCI SATA expansion card.

Originally, I had 4 hard drives connected to the mother board via SATA, 4 hard drives connected to the 4-port RAID card. The system would not detect all of my hard drives, only 6.

I assumed that the NVME slot did not count as one of the hard drives because I tried removing the NVME, and the BIOS detected the same number of hard drives. Not sure if I was doing it correctly.

So, I removed 2 of the hard drives, thinking that I could run 6 hard drives + 1 NVME slot and everything will work. Now, I switched to my 2-port RAID card.

Now, the RAID card detects only 1 of the hard drives. File Explorer detects 4 hard drives. Now I've come to a conclusion that the NVME slot really does occupy one of the 6 hard drive spots.

So I removed another hard drive. This one from the 2-port RAID card. Now, my RAID card is only connected to one hard drive.

I pull up File Explorer, and now all the connected hard drives are detected. I have (5) 8TB hard drives and 1 NVME (running Server 2019).

At this moment, I'm a little down because part of my whole project was to be able to fit more hard drives into the tiny T30.

So, I go to Storage Pool setting in order to create my array. Only 4 of my hard drives are detected! 1 from the RAID card and 3 from the motherboard. I can see this because one says Adapter 1, and three say Adapter 0. 

After troubleshooting some more, I've come to realize that I won't be able to create this giant array anyway, because all the hard drives need to be connected to the same source. Either all connected to the motherboard, or all connected to the RAID card. At this point, if I can only have 4 hard drives combined into one array, it's defeated the whole purpose of my project. Any suggestions on what I can do? This is my first server so I thought the T30 would be a good entry level unit. Looking back, maybe I should have spent a little more on more features.

Someone suggested a different RAID card, maybe one with SAS and SATA port cable extensions? Though, I highly doubt that this will work, since there is a hard maximum of 6 hard drives on the T30.

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4 Replies
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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Dell T30 RAID options

Hello

With the amount of unsupported changes that you have made to the system, this is more of a white box than a T30.

The m.2 slot is not intended for use on the T30. If you find a way to enable and use the slot it will use PCIe lanes. This can cause issues with any hardware that uses PCIe lanes since these lanes being in use by the m.2 is not taken into consideration. So, if you encounter issues with any device using PCIe lanes being non-functional or partially functional I suggest disconnecting the m.2 device to see if it resolves the issue.

http://www.dell.com/support/

Thanks

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

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nach00
1 Copper

Re: Dell T30 RAID options

Thanks for your response.

So, NVMe M.2 slot does not occupy one of the 6 hard drive maximums?

Meaning, I can connect 6 hard drives, plus the NVMe, if I am not worried about my PCIe slot or using it?

Thanks

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Dell T30 RAID options

How the system functions with the M.2 slot in use is unknown since it is not supposed to be enabled on this system. There may be enough PCIe lanes that populating the M.2 slot has no affect. If there are not enough PCIe lanes then the lanes will be taken from somewhere. I don't know what will happen since this is an unsupported configuration.

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

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dalisman
1 Nickel

Re: Dell T30 RAID options

hello can someone make it clear if I buy ASUS HYPER M.2 X16 CARD and istall there m.2 samsung ssd , that will work and will be possible to start msserver 2016 from m.2 drive or ubuntu server ?