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What is the max capabilities of the FastTrak sx4100?

Posted on 2008-06-15
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In my home file server I have a single Promise FastTrak SX4100 configured with 4 WDRE 400Gb drives in a Promise SuperSwap 4100 enclosure. The drives are configures Raid 5 for about 1.2Tb of space. I am running out of space and don't want to spend a lot for new raid controllers etc. I found another SX4100 online for a great price and it says "duel controller support in one system". My documentation in very unclear about this feature (poorly written). My documentation also says it only supports up to 400Gb drives, my documentation is a few years old. I notice the updated HDD compatibility list from Promise.com http://www.promise.com/upload/Support/Compatibility/1_SS1600_SS4600+SX4100%20SATAHDD%20Compatiility%20List%20V1.0.pdf lists a few 500GB drives and even one 750Gb drive.

So my simple question is how far can I upgrade once I receive the second controller and how? Ideally I'd like to know if I can really pair two cards to make one array and if so how then whats the largest drives I can use in it.
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Question by:charles_dilger
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by:KevinSHI
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Hi Charles

Fisrt of all,  if you are using a a Promise SuperSwap 4100 enclosure you only have 4 bay so you cant add more drive to that configuration even if you buy a new controller card.

Secondly, the link you provided to the compatiility chart is for a Promise FastTrak SX4100  controler used with a Promise SuperSwap 1600/4600 array. This is not the same array you already have.

From what i understand you already have ordered this controller. Also i understand you value storage over performance.. This is why i recommend you to also order a SuperSwap 4600 so you can use the 750 GB hard drive in it.

To answer your question about "duel controller support in one system" i think it refer to using 2 card in the same system but for diffrent array.

Hope this help
Kevin
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by:charles_dilger
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Ok so your saying that the enclosure determins what size drives you can use rather than the controller card? I kind of thought the enclude wouldn't affect drive size, just number of drives etc. and there is a daisey chain port on both the 4100 and 4600 enclusures so you can connect them each other. I wan't sure if with two card i should connect one to each card or both to one (using the daisey chain cable etc.) i did order the new card but havent received it yet i got it from an auction site an am waiting. Can you please try to clear up some of these details for me?
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KevinSHI earned 500 total points
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I think its a combination of both the enclosure and the controller that determine the type of drive available..

For example if you have the fastest and biggest Controller available but only a slow crappy and old enclosure you cant get the full capacity of you controller right?.

I gave promise a qucik phone call and they told me that the biggest possible drive for your config would be 400 gb

now you can get 2 different aray ( 1 sx4100 + 1 superswap 4100) + (1 sx4100 + 1 superswap 4100)
If your board and power supply can support it.

Or you gould get a better controler( sx4800 i think) and daisy chain your 2 superswap together.
In any way the biggest drive you can get is a 400 gb.

So if you want to put 750 gb drive in there you have to go with SuperSwap 4600

Hope this clear you up.
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