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switching server from SCSI to SATA hard drives

Posted on 2011-02-14
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I have some older servers with SCSI hard drives. The computing power of the servers is still good but SCSI hard drives have become alot more expensive than SATA. These servers are a poweredge 2650 and 1750. What do I need to buy to be able to run SATA drives in these servers? I'm assuming a PCI-X SATA controller, but what else?
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Question by:knfitz
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I'm fairly certain the backplanes of these systems were never designed to support SATA drives.  You MIGHT be able to mount one or two in some spot (don't have one handy to check), but in general, you're not going to be able to do it.  Considering the age of these systems, whether they are hardware spec capable isn't that important to me, I'd retire them or use them as is for MINIMAL tasks since they are more likely to fail sooner than later.
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by:knfitz
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so i would need a new backplane? Is that the part the drives plug into?
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by:IT-Monkey-Dave
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As leew said you don't have any option to just replace all the SCSIs to SATAs due to the design of the drive backplanes.  You could of course throw in a RAID controller with an external SATA-based drive array.  Internally though, you're probably stuck with SCSI.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Yes, that's the part that the drives plug into, but I'm 99% certain the 1750 doesn't have one that supports SATA, and I'm 99.99% certain the 2650 doesn't either.
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by:IT-Monkey-Dave
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Yeah, you'd need a new SATA backplane designed specifically for that system.  Such a backplane may not exist.  You'd also need a SATA RAID controller.
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by:knfitz
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I understand. Does anyone know of an inexpensive solution for an external SATA drive array and Raid controller?
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by:IT-Monkey-Dave
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I've had excellent luck with Areca RAID controllers and their external SATA RAID enclosures.  They're reasonably priced and seem very reliable.  There are of course lots of other choices.
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
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A few years back I put in a small 4 drive enclosure at a client using a Multi-lane SATA cable and RAID controller.  Worked fine for me... the IT guy they later hired to do most things in house has been a different story... but I'm not sure it's not just him.

http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/mst4.asp
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by:PowerEdgeTech
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Not here for points, just to confirm what leew already has said ... there is no conversion possible for the 1750/2650 to a SATA backplane.  These long precede the widespread use of SATA/SAS in an enterprise environment.

If you can, go with an LSI controller, as they historically have a much better chance of working in your 2650 than some of the other controller brands.
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by:dlethe
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Are you comparing desktop SATA disks?  You need to use enterprise class, which costs much more money, and have much worse performance, especially when it comes to the type of I/O models common to servers .. multiple streams and IOPs-oriented.

So friendly advice, before you even think of going SATA, you better at least look at enterprise class disk pricing, and then also look at I/Os per second in the specs, NOT throughput numbers.  Make sure you are comparing more than cost/GB.
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by:knfitz
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I'm setting up a network for 20 end users. Do you think using desktop SATA will make any difference with that? I can understand if I had alot of users that were going to be hitting these servers.
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