troubleshooting Question

Hard Drive Shortage affecting drives I can get for my server

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X-spookFlag for Canada asked on
StorageServer HardwareDell
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I have a Dell t710 Power Edge that we use as a VMware ESXi server at a customer site and I went with a Raid 5 hot swap environment using 5 x 300G, SAS6, 10K, 2.5, SEAGATE.. as the drives for this system.  5 drives in total.  System has been GREAT!  Knocking on wood as we speak.  We lost a single drive at bank 0 early on but with hot swap and a spare the system performed perfectly with a swap of a drive and away we went.

I am now running out of storage on this system due to groath of VM machines on the system etc. I have plenty of room to add like 12 or more drives with the way this chassis is setup.  But when I went to Dell my rep tells me that they will not sell me a hard drive due to the shortage everyone is experiencing.  OK!  not so happy. :-(  He proceeds to tell me that Support has a limited amount of drives even if one were to fail AND I could buy a whole new system and get drives that way.   Now I am mad when he tells me that.!!!

I have some other suppliers I can get SAS drives through.  But they are HP or IBM......  For instance IBM 300GB SAS 2.5IN SFF 15K RPM 6GBPS Hot Swap Hard Drive.  

My concern is that this unit
a.  will not have the same connectors etc.  No problem regarding RAILS for the drives as I have plenty of those.
b.  I could void some sort of warranty with Dell regarding the server RAID controller if I go with a NON Dell drive.
c.  Some sort of incompatibility/grumpyness from the controller or firmware therefore affecting my other drives already in use and causing huge catastrophic problems.

My rep has not been so helpful at Dell, and experiance in the past I hesitate to contact support as if they get wind of what I am thinking of doing that will cause issue with the warranty I just extended for 3 years.  Don't need that.

The hard drive issue looks to go into 2013 for the industry.

I have thought of going to a ISCSI external type of storage unit and therefore bypassing the issue alltogether, but then again I bought this server with ample room and expansion in mind and should not have to spend additional money on yet another device.

Thoughts or recommendations welcomed.!

Thanks
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