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Will this work... 4TB Drives on PERC 6/iR controller and VMware ESXi 5.1 update 1

Posted on 2013-06-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Here's what I have already:
I am running VMware ESXi 5.1 update 1
I have a PERC 6/iR raid controller in a Dell PowerEdge R410

Can I successfully add a 4TB drive to this system and have it fully recognized by raid controller and VMware?  Here are several potential drives I am looking at:

Any recommendations on these particular drives would be helpful too if you have an opinion.  I'm doing web hosting.
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Question by:matt1237
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 150 total points
ID: 39264937
No.  The PERC 6/I supports a max of 2TB physical disks (and is a 3Gbps controller).  The H700 is supported in the R410 and WILL support larger than 2TB drives (and is also a 6Gbps controller).
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by:dlethe
ID: 39264980
Actually you can support a SAS drive > 2TB on that controller, but you can only do that in JBOD mode, and you would not be able to boot of those disks even if you did

Those disks can be reprogrammed as 2TB drives and then they would work with the RAID controller enabled .. but it would cost half your capacity.

So best to go with another controller that fully supports those disks in RAID mode.
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by:matt1237
ID: 39265009
So would this 2tb drive work? It's 6Gb/s, but would it still connect to my current controller at 3Gb/ s?
http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?itemNumber=N82E16822236522
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by:dlethe
ID: 39265021
That drive is totally unacceptable, not because it is 6Gb but because the firmware isn't compatible.  Get yourself a 2TB SAS or SATA seagate constellation family drive.  SAS is preferred.
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by:matt1237
ID: 39265872
It is critical I have the right drive because I'm driving to a data enter for a scheduled upgrade. So just to make final sure, will this one work then???

http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?itemNumber=N82E16822178295
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dlethe earned 350 total points
ID: 39265900
That is an excellent choice.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39266096
"Actually you can support a SAS drive > 2TB on that controller, but you can only do that in JBOD mode, and you would not be able to boot of those disks even if you did"

The PERC 6/i does not support JBOD/non-RAID.  I think you might be thinking of the SAS 6/iR, which does support (not officially) >2TB drives in non-RAID/unconfigured mode.
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39266137
Yes, the PERC6/i does support JBOD.  I know that for a fact because I have a PERC6 in my T7400 system configured with 2 SATA disks in JBOD, and 2 SAS disks in hardware RAID1.

I am running windows 7 on it, using the native software RAID1 as the boot drive, and the hardware RAID1 is sliced up into Solaris & Centos LINUX volumes. At times I have also hooked up a 3TB SAS drive in JBOD.

I assure you that it is fully transparent, true non-RAID JBOD.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39266248
"fully transparent, true non-RAID JBOD"

From Dell, stock and unmodified (because I'm sure you could) PERC 6/i (not a SAS 6/iR)?

Forgive me if I don't believe it? :)
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39266326
PowerEdgeTech - I stand corrected. Thank you.  I have the SAS6/iR, not the PERC 6/i on my T7400.  

But the controller chip is the same. The 2TB limit is still a limit within the chip for SATA disks only.   I checked the programmers guide for the controller family and saw that while it is possible to do true JBOD on the PERC 6/i, the bit you have to flip to enable this is likely turned off by the Dell firmware.

I don't have a true PERC 6 with dell firmware here, so I can't use my developer's kit to confirm whether or not this is possible.

Port #0. Scsi Port 3       RAID SAS1068E B3    MPT 105   Firmware (0.25.47)   IOC 0
x86 BIOS image's version is MPTBIOS-6.22.03.00 (2008.08.06)
Seg/Bus/Dev/Fun    Board Name       Board Assembly   Board Tracer
 0   5   0   0     SAS6IR                                            
SAS1068E's links are 3.0 G, 3.0 G, down, down, off, off, off, off

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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39266356
I appreciate the insight.  You're saying then that >2TB SAS disks will work on a PERC 6, in RAID mode? or just in the SAS 6's non-RAID mode and that >2TB SATA won't work?
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