I have an Intel pedestal server chassis with the standard 6 bay hard drive cage. I recently acquired an AXX6DR3GEXP hot-swap 6 drive cage with an Adaptec ASR-3405/128MB Raid card.
I would like to replace the standard cage with the hot-swap cage and need help with the installation. I plan to install FreeBSD on this server and do not need a dedicated RAID controller but would like the ability to install both SAS and SATA drives. The hot-swap cage was removed from a dead server with the same hardware configuration (motherboard, PSU, case, etc.).
Besides install/connection help, I would also like to verify if this drive setup is possible? Also, do I need the RAID card to make this work?
Here is my system:
Raid Card> Adaptec ASR-3405/128MB
My chassis is SC5299DP. The motherboard has 6 SATA connections but does not appear to have any SAS ports. I couldn't find any other part numbers on the board besides the S5000XVN/XSL one. Therefore I believe its the S5000XSLSATA or S5000XSLSATAR.
Is the Adaptec ASR-3405/128MB RAID/SAS card considered a SAS controller (came with the backplane expander)? Like I mentioned in my initial post, I plan to use ZFS and therefore don't really need hardware RAID. I know some of the FreeNAS folks are using the IBM M1015 RIAD cards and crossflashing them. Do I need something like this instead of the ASR-3405?
An aside question: Since the main server box came with the basic 6 bay SATA cage with no SAS drives. Would it be more advantageous to use this setup than the backplane expander cage? I do realize the expander would use the 2 SAS ports to split the I/O across all drives versus the SATA cage which is a one-to-one direct connection to the motherboard.
My main reason for trying to setup the expander is the option to run both SATA and SAS drives as well as the easy assess to the the drives via the hotswap cages.
As you said, the advantage of using a SAS controller and backplane is that you can run both SATA and SAS drives. However, please take note that it's not recommended to mix SATA and SAS drives in the same cage.
If you're looking for a SAS controller that works on the board, I suggest you check the http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-022650.htm Tested hardware list first.
Since I have only 2 small (500 Gig) SAS drives and several 4TB SATA drives I will just go with all SATA drives if I use the expander. Another forum mentioned that my system with the expander would be an energy hog. Does anyone have any experience with this? Would I be better off just using the original base drive cage with no backplane for simplicity and energy conservation or is the backplane interface an advantage over just plugging my drives directly into the main motherboard?
Advantage of the expander backplane is:
1. You can connect 6 drives to 2 SAS ports. Meaning it gives you possibility to connect more drives to the rest of the SAS ports.
2. Hot-swap capability. Meaning you can replace a failed drive without shutting down the system.