splitting the back plane on a Dell PowerVault 210S

Posted on 2006-04-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a Dell PowerVault 210s.  I added 3 x 36.4 drives to it.  There are two SCSI ports on the PowerVault chasis.  One of the SCSI ports is plugged into a Dell 2500 with a Perc/DC controller.  The other port is plugged into a HP ML350 raid controller.  The HP is using a 5300 raid controller.  The server plugged into the second SCSI port cannot see the 3 new drives.  Should I be able to split the backplane of a PowerValt 210s between two servers?  Or, should I only split the backplane using one server?
Question by:gopher_49
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Expert Comment

ID: 16414687
If you configure split bus configuration on your 210s scsi enclosure, you will see only a half of drives. Its by design. In split bus you will see only seven of fourteen drives from any port.
Port A will see first half of drives, Port B will see second half.
You can configure split bus configuration, but please read in what slots of enclosure your drives should be inserted to be visible from specific port. Splitting bus may also impact RAID controller, because scsi target ids of your drives will be changed.

Author Comment

ID: 16417533
I have the backplane of the PowerVault split between two different servers.  Port B doesn't see any of the drives.  The drives are currently inserted next to each other.  Should I move the 3 x additional drive I just added to the other side of the PowerVault?

Author Comment

ID: 16417559
The Dell Perc 3/DC sees the 3 additional drives instead of the HP controller.  The HP controller is plugged into port B.  
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Author Comment

ID: 16420562

Can I hot swap drives while plugged into a HP SmartArray 5300?  Dell's manual says hot swapping only works on Dell Perc controllers...
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Expert Comment

ID: 16422916
I'm not a master of Dell or HP equipmenent. I know generic  SCSI enclosure architectures.
So answers about hot-plug is better to see in manuals (they should be supplied with ebclosure on CD)

Go here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/stor-sys/hendrx12/en/index.htm#Service
and download 'installation and service manual', unpack this exe file and open: C:\Dell\docs\it\5454dc53.pdf

Remember, you should shutdown enclosure before turning on 'split bus' mode

You will find there which drives are visible for each port in split-bus configurtion. Also you will find scsi target ids of each drive.
There are also pictures of drives and numebration.

Here is a text from manual (for your enclosure type):

PowerVault 21xS
SCSI IDs Controlled Through Cable

Dual-bus split backplane operation with two cables attached:

A        0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
B       8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13

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Assisted Solution

Nopius earned 500 total points
ID: 16422930
P.S. target id is not a drive number, so look to picture first...

Also you will find more interesting importent notes about your enclosure there:

'NOTE: For the PowerVault 2xxS to power on, the PowerVault 2xxS must be
attached to a host adapter and the host server must be powered on.'

Accepted Solution

Dell100 earned 500 total points
ID: 16424715
The Powervault 210S has two Ports to allow you to use a Split backplane config, thus give you duplexing ability with disks. Supported configs

The SCSI backplane supports two different configurations.

The first configuration is a 1x8 (PV20xS) or 1x12 (PV21xS) drive backplane, meaning that all drives are connected as one continuous bus.

An alternative configuration is a 2x4 (PV20xS) or 2x6 (PV21xS) split backplane, where the backplane is split into 2 buses with 4 or 6 drives on each bus.
This 2x4/2x6 split backplane configuration is used to support duplexing where two identical SCSI controllers are connected to the PV 2xxS. This is an important feature for data protection, as it allows users to have have two identical sets of data by mirroring the drives and the controllers and cables.
One of the innovative features in the PV 2xxS family is that the backplane configuration is automatic, with no switches or buttons to set. The back of the PV2xxS has two SCSI connectors labeled channel A and B. If a cable is connected to channel A only, the backplane is automatically set as a 1x8 (PV20xS) or a 1x12 (PV21xS) configuration. If cables are connected to both channels A and B, then the backplane is automatically set as a split backplane configuration. The number of external SCSI connectors is dependent on the number of Enclosure Modules installed. Two external SCSI connectors indicates that two Enclosure Modules are installed.

Author Comment

ID: 16454981
great.  All of this information allowed me to resolve my issue.

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