Dell PowerEdge 2950 using 2 TB 3.5" SATA drives

gopher_49
gopher_49 used Ask the Experts™
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I'm wanting to purchase a PowerEdge 2950 and place 4 x 2 TB drives into it's chasis.  As I understand I can place 4 x 3.5" SATA's in it's chassis.  Now, when reading the specs on this it seems that it can only handle up to 750 GB's per drive.  Now, when this documents was created I don't think 2 TB's where even in the market.  So, the question is if the controller can handle 4 x 2 TB drives.  If not, which Dell controller can I plan into it's chassis will allow this?
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PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
"When this documents was created I don't think 2 TB's where even in the market."

That's exactly why it only says 750, and Dell never updates their docs.

If you have a PERC 6, then 2TB drives work just fine.

Author

Commented:
It's a Perc 5.  Should I give it a shot or just be safe and purchaes a Perc 6 controller?
IT Consultant
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Sorry for calling out the PERC 6 and creating confusion ... the PERC 5 should be no different.
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DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Also make sure you understand the limits of firmware and operating systems when it comes to LUNs > 2.09TB.   I.e., you wont be able to boot a logical device > 2.09TB, so don't make mistake of building one giant RAID5 and then partitioning it.

Author

Commented:
I plan to boot to a USB memory stick.  It will be booting VMware ESXi v4.1.  The raid 6 or 5 array with spare will be for a datastore mounted in VMWare's environment using 512KB block size.  
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Doesn't ESXi have a 2TB limit per LUN as well?  If so, you would need to break them up into RAID 1's or create "slices" across the disks (multiple RAID arrays across the same set of disks).  I would recommend the former, although the disk cost is higher.

Author

Commented:
Can I create logical disks across existing arrays on the controller?  I really need the ability to have 3 TB's within this one chassis.

Author

Commented:
Can I create logical disks across existing arrays on the controller?  I really need the ability to have 3 TB's within this one chassis.

Author

Commented:
From what I've read the limitation at this level is the size of virtual drives allocated to the VM's and not the actual LUN that ESXi will use.  I'll open up a different ticket for the LUN size.
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Sorry ... my wife dared me to disconnect for the weekend :)

That may be ... not clear on the ESXi stuff :)  But you can create multiple arrays across the disks - when configuring the Virtual Disk, just specify the size of the array - it will support up to like 16 or 32 VD's.

Good luck.

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