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Connecting a SAS tape drive to a Dell Server

Posted on 2013-05-10
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Morning Guys,

I've had a new Dell R415 Server delivered but cannot connect our external SAS tape drive.

I confirmed the spec had  free PCIe slot before ordering for the controller card i already have for the tape, but it turns out the RAID card the server uses fills it. Thank Dell......

Its a PERC H200 RAID controller with 2 x 8087 ports, one of which is being used for the 4 hard drives (RAID 10). I've tried connecting the tape directly using  8088 to 4x sata cable but nothing shows up in he card utility or in windows device manger.

The spec says the card supports non raid but I can find any config for the other port so I'm guessing it's one or the other and not both?

Dell have been useless saying I need to return the server for larger chassis model to get an extra PCIe slot, and loose 35-45% of what we have spent in doing so,

Seems insane to me when all I want ideally is a low profile PCIe SAS card that will run the RAID 10 and have an external port for my tape drive.

Any ideas or can someone recommend a card to purchase?
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Question by:valleybhoy
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PowerEdgeTech earned 500 total points
ID: 39155885
"I confirmed the spec had  free PCIe slot before ordering for the controller card i already have for the tape, but it turns out the RAID card the server uses fills it. Thank Dell"

How did you "confirm" this?  According to the docs, only the SAS 6/iR and the S300 controllers can use the proprietary "storage" slot, so if you configured it with an H200, your remaining/available slot would be used.  So, you could get a SAS 6/iR controller to run two RAID 1's or an S300 (Windows OS's only) to run a software RAID 10, then use whatever controller you want in the available PCIe slot.

From the docs for the H200 controller:
ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_ser_stor_net/esuprt_dell_adapters/poweredge-rc-h200_User's%20Guide_en-us.pdf

Support for LT03 060, LT04, and LT05 tape drives

However, this may limit your "external" options with the H200:

The card also enables support for internal tape drives in PowerEdge systems only.

And this is probably the nail in the coffin for your existing configuration:

NOTE: Ensure that you do not connect a hard disk and tape drive to the same PERC H200 card.

Option 1:  Run 2xRAID 1 on a SAS 6/iR (does not support RAID 10) in the storage slot, then your controller in the PCIe slot.

Option 2:  Run existing RAID 10 on H200 in current PCIe slot, then get a SAS 6/iR (modular) to put into the storage slot for your tape drive (also non-RAID and IS supported in the storage slot).  The tape drive will need to connect to the integrated SFF-8087 SAS connector on the riser.

Option 3:  Get a server with more a more flexible PCIe arrangement.
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by:valleybhoy
ID: 39157904
Superb thanks, will try option B.
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