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perc4 / perc3 hard drive compatibility

Posted on 2003-12-04
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I have a Dell 6650 w/ PERC3/DC (ultra 320 SCSI), and am considering buying a Dell 2650 w/ PERC4/DI (ultra 320 SCSI) as a backup server.

My question is:
If I want the (hot swappable) hard drives between both machines to be interchangeable (for simplicity of ordering spare parts, etc.), do I need to worry about which PERC is being used?  i.e. does PERC 3 or 4 have anything to do with which hard drives can be installed into the machine?

(Sorry if this is a lame-o question - I'm actually more of a software guy - but somehow I'm the guy in change of this project!)
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Question by:rrogersiii
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chicagoan earned 63 total points
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The drive sleds (used in the hot swap bays) may be different but the drives themselves are standard off the shelf items.
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by:Duncan Meyers
Duncan Meyers earned 62 total points
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rrogersiii,

The drive sleds are the same, so the discs are interchangeable between servers *except* for the following caveat:

The PERC 4/Di is an on-board RAID controller made by Adaptec.
The PERC 3/DC is a PCI card made by AMI/LSI. You can take the discs (full set) from the Adaptec and the AMI/LSI controller will see them - but don't try it the other way! If you do, say bye-bye to your data.

So if you are thinking of a cold-standby setup - you will need to specify AMI/LSI RAID controllers (PERC 3/DC) in both servers.

If you just want to have a single spare disc - no problems, both arrays will quite happily use the same discs to rebuild to. You do need to be aware that the PERC 4/Di will not rebuild automatically to a disc that has data on it. You need to format the used disc via Array Manager (you may be able to force a rebuild with the newer revisions of firmware - check the docs).

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by:Duncan Meyers
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Oops! Forgot the niceities:

Hope this helps,
Duncan
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