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Dell PowerEdge T320 multiple RAID cards

Posted on 2014-11-04
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Is it possible to have multiple RAID cards in a Dell PowerEdge T320?

We have a T320 with 8 hotswap bays. Currently there's 2x300GB drives (RAID1) and 4x4TB drives (RAID5) all SAS drives in the hotswap bays running off a Perc h810. I want to move the 2x300GB drives out of the hotswap bay and into the two free 5.25" bays so that we can add and extra 4x4TB drive in the hotswap bays.

I'm thinking of getting an addtiional Perc h310 or similar.

I know the current RAID card won't cope with 10 drives but can I just add another PCIe RAID card? Dell seems to say no but then they say there's no room in a T320 for 10 drives. However, they are talking out of their nether regions here as there's 2 huge 5.25" bays free for extra drives so now I don't know if the Dell rep is just quoting off a sheet or there really is a technical reason why a 2 RAID card setup won't work.

I know Dell don't like recommending anything other than tested configurations so is this a definite "it won't work" or is it just a configuration they won't support?

It'll be running Windows 2012 as a storage server.
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Question by:Dale303
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4 Comments
 
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by:Rahul Misra
Rahul Misra earned 200 total points
ID: 40423403
I checked the specification of the T320 at the following link.
http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/pedge/t320_spec_sheet.pdf
From the spec sheet "the T320 delivers balanced performance and built-in room for growth. Capacity for up to eight
3.5-inch or sixteen 2.5-inch hard drives.
I dont see a reason why you cant install another raid controller.
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Stampel earned 300 total points
ID: 40423474
Before we get further, doing  RAID5 on 4x 4TB drives is pure madness :)
I have seen many cases where you will loose a single of this big disk, will replace it immediately and will never be able to rebuild, because another disk would fail maybe because high sollicitation during RAID5 / SATA error count ..
I would strongly suggest you would use RAID6 if sensitive data.

That being said, if you find enough room by using the 5.25" bays you could build your configuration but ...
I doubt that the default power supply will be able to deliver enough power for 10 drives ! I think that is why Dell limited to 8x3.5'' or 16x2.5''. 2.5" are using far less power.

Wish you luck anyway.
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Author Comment

by:Dale303
ID: 40430732
The PSU's (plural) are 750W. I think that's plenty. 10x10W = 100W and that's being generous. I take your point about RAID 5. Even more reason to get those 300GB drive out of the Hotswap bays.
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Author Comment

by:Dale303
ID: 40467541
Okay. It all works.

On top of the h310 and SAS cables, I needed to source some 5.25" bay -> 3.5" HDD brackets and a SATA power splitter as the T320 only had one spare but other than that a dead easy job.

I've no idea why Dell were so insistent it couldn't be done.
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