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BKGraves
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Dell Powervault 4000 question

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Hello,

I recently started a new system admin position and have also taken over the backup responsiblities.  I don't have any documentation on the set up of these devices or why they were set up in the manner they are and was hoping someone out there might be able to provide me with some insight regarding this setup and/or identify how to improve it.

Our company uses a Dell PowerEdge 2950 in conjunction with two Dell Powervault TL 4000's.  

It appears the server (PE 2950) has 2 dual port external SAS HBA cards that connect to the Powervaults for a total of 4 SAS ports on the server. 

Each powervault has 4 drives, however only the top two drives on each powervault are connected.  My guess is that this was done to allow for simultaneous backup to each Powervault for backup jobs due to the need to have a local tape backup on site and an offsite tape backup. However it doesn't seem like an efficent use of either powervault since only 2 of the 4 drives are available to be used.

Does anyone have any idea if the PowerEdge 2950 can support additional HBA's cards?  (I'm not hopeful but wondered)

Additionally, does Dell have a server that could be configured with 4 External dual port HBA cards to allow me access to all 4 drives on each Powervault (8 total)  Just curious, I'm not a backup/storage expert so trying to learn what I can to make better use of our equipment if possible. 

Thanks for any help you can provide regarding this,

BKGraves

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Re: Dell Powervault 4000 question

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Hello BKGraves,

Ok so with having LTO4 drives then the card that is used is a SAS5/E.  That is a full height & full width card.  As I have checked on all of our servers and the max that can be put into the server is 2 cards.  Now with that being said there are 2 other options that can be done.

1. You can get the iSCSI bridge for the TL4000 and you can connect the other 2 drives to the bridge and that will allow you to use iSCSI to use the other 2 drives.  Now there is an issue with going iSCSI as the bridge max speed is 1GB.  & you have to have open ports on your iSCSI switch

2. You can go fibre.  Most of our newer servers can support up to 5 fibre HBA’s.  The only down side is that as you currently have SAS drives you would have purchase FC drives.  

Let us know if you have any other questions.

DELL-Sam L
Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

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Re: Dell Powervault 4000 question

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Hello BKGraves,

The max amount of SAS cards that the PE2950 can support is 2. Now as for a server that can take 4 HBA cards to answer that I need to know what type of tape drives you have (example LTO4 or LTO5) as the type of HBA card maters in getting you the correct answer to that question.

Please reply back as soon as you can so that we can assist you.  

DELL-Sam L
Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

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BKGraves
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Re: Dell Powervault 4000 question

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Sam,

Thank you for your quick response!

Ahh I see, well I guess that's the reason why I've only got two in it then! 🙂  Thanks for the info regarding the PE2950.

I believe we are currently using LTO4.

Thank you,

BKGraves

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Moderator
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Re: Dell Powervault 4000 question

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Hello BKGraves,

Ok so with having LTO4 drives then the card that is used is a SAS5/E.  That is a full height & full width card.  As I have checked on all of our servers and the max that can be put into the server is 2 cards.  Now with that being said there are 2 other options that can be done.

1. You can get the iSCSI bridge for the TL4000 and you can connect the other 2 drives to the bridge and that will allow you to use iSCSI to use the other 2 drives.  Now there is an issue with going iSCSI as the bridge max speed is 1GB.  & you have to have open ports on your iSCSI switch

2. You can go fibre.  Most of our newer servers can support up to 5 fibre HBA’s.  The only down side is that as you currently have SAS drives you would have purchase FC drives.  

Let us know if you have any other questions.

DELL-Sam L
Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
Download the Dell Quick Resource Locator app today to access PowerEdge support content on your mobile device! (iOS, Android, Windows)

BKGraves
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Re: Dell Powervault 4000 question

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Dell-Sam L,

Thanks for the input, sounds like fibre would be the way to go if we want to make this work.  I appreciate the information and your quick response to my question.

Sincerely,

Richard Graves

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