Having read various conflicting reports from different people and different places about what the H700 with 12.10.7-0001 firmware supports in terms of 512e / 4Kn drives I'd like a definitive answer before purchasing a new set of disks (HGST HE10/HE12 SAS) to setup a home lab / virtual server. Some say 4Kn is supported, others only 512e. I'd prefer to buy 4Kn drives if possible but don't want to spend the money only to find they don't work with this setup.
ST4000NM0014 4TB 4Kn - doesn't work (sees 465.25GB)
ST6000NM0034 6TB 512e - works
ST6000NM0004 6TB 4Kn - works
ST10000VN004 10TB 512e - works
ST8000NM0065 8TB 4Kn - works
ST8000NM0075 8TB 512e - does't work
HUH721212AL4200 12TB 4Kn - works
As you can see from the drive list there is some conflicting information out there and I'd like to make sense of it and make an informed purchasing decision.
The PERC9s were the first to support 4Kn(H730, H330, H830, etc). I haven't seen anything to suggest earlier cards like the H700 or H710 support 4Kn.
I tried to find information about someone claiming that ST6000NM0004 works on the H700. I was able to find a wordpress article of someone stating that the Seagate ST6000NM0004 4Kn drive works on an H700 in one of our workstations. A lot of the information on that page was redacted, and there is a disclaimer that the information provided was incorrect. The information you found about that drive being supported on older controllers may be bad tribal knowledge based on that article.
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer
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I found two sources which appear to support 4Kn support on the H700 ...
which appears to suggest that the HGST 12TB 4Kn SAS drive works.
and also this test report from Supermicro for the LSI-2108 (the chip used in the H700) which also includes the ST6000NM0004 on the supported list
The LSI-2108 supports 64-bit logical drive addressing so I don't know if 4Kn support is simply a firmware issue ?
I agree that the PERC9 / gen 13 controllers were the first to officially support 4Kn but that's not to say that no previous generations would perhaps ?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this additional information.
My experience is that they will sometimes sneak undocumented changes into firmware updates. One reason it would remain undocumented is because it is a feature they are unwilling to support. Dell hasn't (and won't) tested/validated any 4kn drives on the H700 in an R710, so 4kn is not supported. The fact it may work anyway leaves you right back where you started when you decided to buy a non-certified drive - you are completely on your own. On your own to test to see if it works, and on your own to troubleshoot issues when they arise. There would also be no guarantee that it won't break with some future update … since they didn't document it and test and validate that it works, nobody can blame them if it becomes necessary at some point to limit the functionality in the event it is needed to stabilize the hardware for configurations they DO support.
Just for fairness too … on H740, 4kn is supported, but that just means the technology is tested and sound, not that any old 4kn drive will work on it. There still would be no guarantee that a non-certified drive would work.
Agreed, I'm on my own here considering a configuration that isn't Dell certified and trying to use modern drives with old hardware but I'm looking for some reassurance from someone else that has tried the H700 with 4Kn drives that what I'd like to do can work before I go and spend ££££.