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What is the maxium capacity HDD for Poweredge 2400

Posted on 2006-06-27
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Greetings,

I was wondering if I can take out the SCSI drives and replacing them with bigger ones in the Dell Poweredge 2400?

currently there are six (6) 9 Gig hotswappable SCSI drives .. can i go out and get the biggest SCSI drive and put them in the caddy?

Any one know if there are limitations?

thanks

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Question by:kinji5
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16993651
SCSI is a standard and ANY SCSI drive should work, it will just run at the lower SCSI speeds.
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by:Zabulon777
ID: 16993994
It depends on what type of SCSI you are running... Ultra Wide, Ultra-2 LVD, etc... once you find out what SCSI controller type you have then you can buy the appropriate drive size... and I would highly recommend at least 10,000 if nto 15,000 RPM drives.

You may need to update the BIOS/FIRMWARE of your server and SCSI controllers if you get the largest size available
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16994027
Zabulon777,

Why do you say it depends on the type of SCSI?  I've not worked on a Dell server running SCSI for a couple years now but we NEVER encountered a problem with ANY size drive connecting to a SCSI controller, regardless of size.  I've connected 144 GB drives to Adaptec 2910 and 29320 controllers with no problem whatsoever and I've connected 73 GB drives to PERC2 and 3 controllers never needing to update firmware (though not a bad idea to do so).

SCSI is a standard that falls back to the highest common denominator.
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by:kinji5
ID: 16995045
Greetings,

Thanks for the feed backs thus far, I have some more info:

Poweredge server is using Adaptec 39160 Ultra160 SCSI Controller i believe that is a perc2

Would there be a bios limitation on how big the drive can be? i know there are 300GB scsi drives would this work? I've called dell but they only carry 120GB or 130GB drives for this model. and the parts guy didnt know
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16995275
Adaptec 39160 and PERC2 are different controllers - PERC2 controllers have maximum throughput of 80MB/Sec.  The Adaptec 39160 is NOT a RAID controller, it's just a dual channel SCSI controller (I have one in my system right now).

There is no such thing as SCSI 120GB or 130 GB drives.  SCSI drives come in sizes:
9, 18, 36, 73, 146, 181, and 300 GB (MAYBE another step between 146 and 300 and MAYBE larger than 300, but there is definitely no 120 or 130 GB models.

SCSI BIOS handles the drives and has LONG been able to support drives over 128 GB.
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by:kinji5
ID: 16995306
ah.. i see. thanks for the clarification leew.  Would that mean i can buy 300GB drives and replaces all the existing ones .. reformat..and configure with raid 5... install win 2k3 and the server and see 1.4+ TB of drive space?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16995328
Yes, that should be fine.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16995379
But if you're going to upgrade to 5x300GB SCSI drives which will have U320 speeds, you really should consider getting a PERC4 DC that can better support those speeds.  Note: the SCSI bus is 320 - so each channel has 320 MB of total bandwidth.  When you have multiple drives on one channel you divide the bus by the number of drives - a PERC2 at 80 MB/sec will result in about 16MB/Sec (potentially) to each drive.  It's probably not that cut and dry and RAID problably lessens that kind of impact on performance, but it is still there.

The PERC4 should handle 320 throughput - divide by 5 and get 64MB/sec throughput to each drive.
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by:kinji5
ID: 16995441
hmm.. would you consider this a feasible upgrade? or put that money into a new server instead? This server is running dual P3 700 cpu.. and i would like to make it a file server.. also that would mean upgrading the NIC to Gigabit cards..
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Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 16995577
All this depends on your needs.  as a file server dual 700 MHz CPUs should be more than sufficient in most cases.  *I* would upgrade it to gigabit unless it's only lightly used for MS Office type documents.  But GbE won't help you if your switch(es) don't support it.

Any new server you buy is going to cost you the money on the hard drives any way and the money for a new RAID controller.  There is an issue of warranty, but these systems are common enough you could buy one cheap off ebay as a spare.

If you have 6x9GB drives (54 usable GB of space), and you've outgrown that, why go from .05TB to 1.5TB - that's a HUGE jump - do you really expect your data to grow THAT much that quickly?  Buying 6x36GB drives will be MUCH cheaper and quadruple your space.  Or 6x73 GB drives.

Unless you are repurposing the server and it's not CURRENTLY a file server but you intend to make it one.  In which case, I fall back on my earlier point - any new server still requires the money be spent on the disks and controller.
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by:kinji5
ID: 16996260
Thank you very much for the input,

We really didn't have a File Server before, everything was kept at the client computers.. if you take a look a the post http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21898221.html , i was asking about storage arrays.. in the end we decided just to go with another server for the client backup / storage.. but i will still have some money left if i were to buy a server.  our budget is $6,0000.00 including client backup software...veritas or retrospect.  so i was to use the money left to upgrade this older server we have and use it as a Sharing server. while the new one will be used mainly for backups.

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