Connecting MD1220 storage to R630 and R430 servers

We want to purchase DELL MD 1220 storage to be connected to 2 servers as mentioned above. We were told that this might not work and but another person informed us that it will work and we only need sas controller for it to work. We want to hear from others also before we take the risk of purchasing it. If it is going to work, what exactly do we need to make it work?
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All you need is a SAS RAID or JBOD controller that has drivers for your O/S
AtourayAuthor Commented:
The diskarray will be connected to R630 and R430. What kind of SAS 6gb controller should I purchase that can fit in the R630 and R430 servers. Any recommendations?
The dell site lists several that are supported ...

Each of your two computers will see all of the disks, so unless you have a SAS switch you need to go host-based software RAID and use a JBOD.    This means both computers see all the disks.  If a computer goes down (and if using the same O/S), you could mount a logical RAID device on the surviving computer.

The enclosure is 6Gbit, but you could use the 12Gbit SAS JBOD controller to future proof yourself.
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
When you were told that it WILL NOT work then they are more correct than wrong.

It all depends on what's running on the two servers.  If the two servers are unaware of each other and are not  collaborating on shared storage THEN it will not work.  You can not just attach two independent servers to a SAS array and expect each to know what the other is doing.  

One server could easily destroy the data that the other server is using or has just stored on disk.
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
As always some DETAILS would be useful.

What are the two servers going to be running?
How the disks going to be accessed? CIFS Shares? VMWare datastore? NFS Mount? ISCSI?
AtourayAuthor Commented:
We planing to store VHDs on the storage and some back up data. We are configuring a high availability VMs. If one fails the other will pick up. This is what we planning to use the disk array for.
then you need to use an external enclosure that has a built-in RAID controller.   Dell has a version of this enclosure with a RAID .   It presents virtual (RAID) drives to the host(s).   It, of course, costs a lot more  money, but is the tool for the job.
AtourayAuthor Commented:
I will still need to purchase another RAID controller even though the disk array will come with a RAID controller? I am lost. What will be the function of this RAID controller? Can you please give a more detail explanation. I am very new to this technology.

Thank you
Is this the JBOD or raid version of the enclosure. I am traveling and can't look it up.   You need the RAID Enclosure with the JBOD HBA
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Looking at the model in question I "Think" that the correct answer is that it is ONLY supported by a single host.
A quick 2 minute call to your local Dell representative will give you the definitive answer but I am pretty sure that that will be the case.
AtourayAuthor Commented:
The model can take two host. You have the option to purchase one with only 1 host or 2
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
BUT can it support a DUAL host config for ALL disks presented as a single entity? My understanding was that when configured with a dual host config that this system presented Disks 1-12 to one and 13-24 to the other.  Did I miss something?
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
OK, once more from the top...

Can you explain EXACTLY what you are configuring and HOW you intend to access the DAS?

Is it your intention to create a Hyper-V cluster on the two servers and then use the DAS to present CIFS shares for use by the cluster?

Just saying "We will store some VHDs on it..."  Tells us very little.

Be specific and give details.
the dual host thing means that you have 2 external host connections/controllers . you can NOT share the same LUN.  period.   Only one host may mount a lun at any time or you get corruption.
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Thank you dlethe, that explained what I was saying better than I did! :P
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
You want to setup a two node cluster using JBOD SAS enclosure and non-RAID HBAs? Here's how,

Note though I'm not an expert in MS Storage Spaces, let alone Clustered Storage Spaces. It's cheaper on hardware than the traditional RAID based storage boxes since no expensive controllers in the SAN or in the servers, software handles the disk redundancy and Microsoft clustering handles the fact that two or more servers are connected to the same JBOD.

Is it two hosts accessing the same disks? Nope, dlethe is right there they can't access the disks at the same time, it's a failover cluster. You can create VHD files on it for virtual machines and hosts can share the volume that storage spaces creates, see the schematic at There's probably a step-by-step for a two node version somewhere, those 3 fileserver nodes could be just two rather than three and they could also run the Hyper-V virtual machines.

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AtourayAuthor Commented:
1 host will be accessing the disk array at any moment in time. we will be having 2 servers but one of them will be in active and will only be active if the first one fails. The shared disks is mainly for easily accessibility of the VHDs. If server 1 fails, server 2 will automatically pick up and point to the same storage. @andyalder, I am going through the first link and it seems to be similar to what we want but we will have to use JBOD on the disk array. I will keep you posted once I finish the article and video whether this is exactly what we want to achieve but so far it seems to be on track.

andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Here's another example,

It's not that different from shared SCSI bus failover cluster that you could make with NT4 last century.
AtourayAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys for your assistance. I went through your recommendations and definitely your approach seems doable. Unfortunately due to short deadline my supervisor wants us to purchase a disk array that will be easier to install and requires a short time to install.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Can't say I blame him, then you can use VMware if you don't like Hyper-V.

There is another low cost option, a Virtual iSCSI SAN such as StarWind, LeftHand or the one VMware make; these run as VMs and turn local storage into iSCSI targets with the disks in one server mirrored to the disks in the other for high availability. (The VMware one won't run under Hyper-V obviously but the other two run under either).
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