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poweredge 2950 perc6/i type of drives

Quick question.  I an looking at setting up a freenas server at work for backups then making it replicate offsite.  What I want to know is what type of drives can I use with the perc6/i,  can I just put a sata drive in a tray and plug it in or do i need an adapter plate?  Can they be any type of sata or do they have to be dell branded?  Can you mix both sata and sas drives in the same machine?

Don't know if this matters but they are going to be 2.5"  drives.

Thanks
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fasse
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fasse
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
"What I want to know is what type of drives can I use with the perc6/i,  can I just put a sata drive in a tray and plug it in or do i need an adapter plate?"

No adapter is necessary.  The 2950 has a SAS backplane, which will take SAS or SATA drives.

"Can they be any type of sata or do they have to be dell branded?"

They can be any type - non-Dell drives are not locked out, BUT you may have issues with non Dell-certified drives.  If non-Dell, they should be enterprise-class drives (like the RE4's); don't use cheap/consumer/desktop/laptop drives - you will surely have no end of issues with them.  SSD protocols are supported on the PERC 6, but pay attention to the above (nearly all non-certified SSD's will display as "offline" even when online in the controller/backplane).

"Can you mix both sata and sas drives in the same machine?"

Yes, you can have SAS and SATA in the same machine, but NOT in the same array.  For example, you cannot configure a RAID 1 with a 320GB SATA drive and a 300GB SAS drive, nor can you mix SSD with HDD (SAS or SATA).
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fasseAuthor Commented:
Ok just what I was looking for.  I was wanting to use the western digital red drives that they claim are designed for nas systems.  Do you think these would be ok.  Is there a list of dell certified drives that can be used.

Thanks
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Even though you are setting this server up to act like a NAS, remember it is still a server - getting "NAS" drives will not help it be a better NAS.  Western Digital has not certified the Reds for ANY Dell controllers (ONLY for various third-party NAS devices), but they have certified the RE4's on the PERC controllers, meaning they should work within most people's expectations/scenarios.  (Remember this is WD testing/certifying, not Dell).  If it were me, I would use the RE4's.

I don't have a comprehensive "list" of Dell-certified drives, but they will be marketed/sold towards Dell servers - they will be manufactured by companies like Seagate, but will be co-branded with a Dell logo and part number.  If you want help finding one, let me know what drive specs you are after.
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fasseAuthor Commented:
Does it matter what sata version they are i, ii, iii?  I was hoping to find something in the 2.5" that would work because we could put more drives in the server than using a 3.5" server rack.  I guess not a big problem since I would raid 10, 4 drives then have 2 global spares.  I am just looking for speed but redundancy.  After this last week of losing a drive in each one of our servers that neither one have a global spare it makes me nervous to fill all the bays and then i have to be aware when the first one fails so we can get it changed out right away.  

thanks
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The PERC is a 3Gbps controller, so SATAIII/SAS2 drives will be limited to 3Gbps speeds, but all should work on the controller.  Don't mix different SATA/SAS generations in a single RAID array/virtual disk though.
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fasseAuthor Commented:
What is the difference between the perc6/i and the perc5/i when it comes to sata drives.  We have a server with perc5 and are looking at purchasing another one with a perc six that would be faster processors.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
There is very little difference between them ... the PERC 6 added support for SSD's and supports RAID 6 and 60.
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