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STurc
New Contributor I
2,366 Views

Need clarification on SATA/OCuLink cabling for R1000WF

Is it possible to plug both SATA/SAS cable from motherboard and OCuLink cables to the same coordinating slots (that is for 8-drive 2.5" backplane I connect SATA/SATA0-3 connector and PCIe SSD # 0,1,2,3 - Fig.36 from TPS R1000WF) so that I could plug SATA or NVMe to the same slot and backplane will route signals to SATA or OCuLink cable automagically (or by BIOS setting). I saw a "steering resistors" on fig. 3 "Server board architecture" in Technical Product Specification for R1000WF platform which imply that this scenario is possible?

Link to TPS https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000023750/server-products/server-boards.htm... Technical Specifications for the Intel® Server Board and Intel®...

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20 Replies
idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Thank for contacting Intel Technical Support.

 

 

We will check on the setup that you are proposing and get back in contact with you as soon as we have an update.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

STurc
New Contributor I
117 Views

I have another variant of my question: consider previously mentioned 8-drive 2.5" backplane, it has "SATA/SAS 0-3" connector which by definition connects all of slots 0-3 to SATA/SAS controller. And 5.3 from TPS says that SATA/NVMe drives can be populated in any order (with more restrictions when VROC is used) so that I could plug a SATA drive to slot 0 and a NVMe drive to slot 2 with PCIe SSD# 2 OCuLInk cable to motherboard. So with this setup slot 2 is connected both to SATA controller via "SATA/SAS 0-3" and to OCuLink port on motherboard. So there has to be a way for this setup to work...?

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Are you attempting to use all different storage technologies and put them together in a same RAID array?

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel
STurc
New Contributor I
117 Views

No, I have no intentions to use any RAID in the first place. (And yes, I do know that mixing drives with different performance characteristics, not to mention mixing different technologies like SATA and MVNe, in the same RAID array is a recipe for disaster)

All I want is a flexibility to put SATA/NVMe drives into a server without openning it up and buying OCuLink or SAS cables every time I decide to upgrade storage capacity. I do have a specific setup in mind: I want to connect SATA0-3 and SATA4-7 connectors from motherboard to SATA/SAS0-3 and SATA/SAS4-7 on the backplane plus I connect 4 OCuLink cables from PCIe_SSD0..3 on motherboard to "PCIe SSD # 4..7" on the backplane. So that I could start with SATA drives in slots 0 .. 3, and when it will be feasible I will buy a NMVe drive/s and will put it into slot 4, etc. ... or if needed I will continue stuffing my server with SATA drives.

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

We would like to see if we can simulate your intended setup. Would you please tell us what motherboard model you have and also what is the model of your chassis?

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

STurc
New Contributor I
117 Views

The quest was about Intel Server System R1208WFTYS - I don't know what motherboard is in there, TPS for R1000WF suggests that it is S2600WFT.

I don't have this system at hand, I'm only planning to buy one.

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

We will do some further research on our end to see if that set up can be made possible and get back in contact with you soon.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

We have found some information that might be useful for you:

 

There are basically two different scenarios that change the rules:
  1. Using the PCIe Source # 1 – Onboard PCIe OCuLinks:
NVMe drive management routes connector pairs 0,1 and 2,3 and cannot mix NVMe and SAS/SATA drives within a pair.

 

If NVMe drives are populated and OCuLinks enables in 0 and 1 connector pair only, ports 2,3,4,5,6,and 7 will remain SAS/SATA.

 

 

2. Using the PCIe Source # 2 – PCIe Switch Add-in Card:

 

NVMe drive management routes Drive Connector Set 4,5,6,and 7 and mixing NVMe and SAS/SATA drives within the driver set is not supported.

 

 

 

These rules will apply only for Intel® Virtual RAID on CPU (Intel® VROC). Thus, without VROC, NVMes can be connected to the server board as stand-alone drives in any enabled OCuLink without disabling any other SAS/SATA ports.

 

 

 

For more information, refer to the following sources:

 

a. See the complete 2.8 section ["Intel® Virtual RAID on CPU (Intel® VROC)"] of the https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000024289/server-products.html System Integration and Service Guide for Intel® Server System R1000WF Product Family.

 

b. Section 4.4 ["R1208WFxxx SAS / SATA / NVMe Data Cable Guide"] of the https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000024083/server-products/server-boards.htm... Configuration Guide for the Intel® Server Board S2600WF Product Family.

 

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

STurc
New Contributor I
117 Views

You miss the point of my question. So, once again, assume ports 0-3 on the backplane are connected to a SATA capable controller (since there is a single connector from the backplane which connects all of 4 ports to a controller) and PCIe # 0 connector from the backplane is connected to the PCIe OCuLink # 0 on motherboard.

I assume a NVMe drive will work in the slot 0. But the question was about a SATA drive in the slot 0! Will it work or not? Do I have to disable somehow an OCuLink connector # 0 on the motherboard in BIOS? Or do I have to unplug an OCuLink cable from the PCIe # 0 connector on the backplane? Or there is an auto-detection of drive type (SATA vs NVMe) so it will just work?

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Unfurtonately this has taken longer than we initially thought it would. We are still working on your case and running some tests. As soon as we have more information we will get back in contact with you.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

I wanted to inform you that we are still working on your case and as soon as we have an answer for your inquiry we will be contacting you back. We appreciate your patience.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel
idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Thank you very much for your patience. Please refer to https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/server-products/server-boards/S2600WF_Conf... https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/server-products/server-boards/S2600WF_Conf... on page 62. There is an indication that the ports that are capable of recognizing NVMe drives can be connected only on backplane ports 4 to 7. Therefore, backplane port 0c can not be used to connect an NVMe drive.

 

If you are using NVMe drives you also need to put it on a RAID array to be able to use it. We tested enabling RSTe and the drive was visible whether it was NVMe or sata drives however, NVMe DRIVE WAS NOT SHOWING UNTIL we went to the BIOS control section.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Did my last post provide any light to your question? Let me know if you need anything else.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

STurc
New Contributor I
117 Views

1. The link you provided currently refers to "Intel® Server S2600WF Product Family Configuration Guide" rev1.4 - January 2018. And the page 62 is titled "4.6 2U 12 x 3.5 – R2312WFxxx SAS / SATA / NVMe Data Cable Guide" - it has nothing to do with R1000WF which is a 1U platform.

2. TPS for Intel® Server Chassis R1000WF Family as of rev 1.2 clearly states that all of the 8 ports of 2.5" backplane are capable of NVMe drives (page 59)

3. Same TPS for R1000Wf. There is no indication of a RAID being the requirement for NMVe drives - where did you find that?

Will you please re-read my question again (comment # 9 26.05.2018)?

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

We ran tests on the S2600WF board since that is the one that would come with R1000WF. I am not sure if there is written documentation about RAID being a requirement for NVMe drives to work however, that is the information we handled and was confirmed during lab, being that the configuration change necessary in case of switching from one disk kind to another.

 

 

In regards to the exact layout and setup of the ports in R1000WF's backplane I will have to check if there is a possible way for us to run that test since we do not have that server system available here. I hope this at least helped you have better view of how it would be switching from one disk technology to another with that board for now.

 

 

I will stay in contact in regards to the backplane port layout.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel
idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

I just wanted to let you know that you can always make use of http://serverconfigurator.intel.com serverconfigurator.intel.com for a list of tested hardware to integrate with a server system.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel
idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Were you able to try the server configuration tool? Let us know if you need anything else.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

STurc
New Contributor I
117 Views

Hello!

Server configurator tool is useless and irrelevant. It confirms that a specific SATA drive and a specific NVMe drive is supported by this platform (R1208WFTYS) - so what? It doesn't tell me whether I can plug a SATA drive to a backplane slot which is connected both to SATA controller and PCI controller. Do I really have to begin explaining all this again? I quote:

So, once again, assume ports 0-3 on the backplane are connected to a SATA capable controller (since there is a single connector from the backplane which connects all of 4 ports to a controller) and PCIe # 0 connector from the backplane is connected to the PCIe OCuLink # 0 on motherboard.

I assume a NVMe drive will work in the slot 0. But the question was about a SATA drive in the slot 0! Will it work or not? Do I have to disable somehow an OCuLink connector # 0 on the motherboard in BIOS? Or do I have to unplug an OCuLink cable from the PCIe # 0 connector on the backplane? Or there is an auto-detection of drive type (SATA vs NVMe) so it will just work?

I didn't find an answer in your previous replies. Or am I missing something?

idata
Community Manager
117 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

Based on the information and the tests on my end you would be able to get SATA discs detected automatically but NVMe drives would require RAID. Unfortunately, I cannot currently point you to a specific document stating the above.

 

I am getting other people involved with your inquiry to attempt to find an answer that may satisfy your question and will follow up with you as soon as possible.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

idata
Community Manager
8 Views

Hello SergeiTurchanov,

 

 

I am writing you again to let you know that testing interchangeability of SATA and NVMe drives on the same port of a backplane and using R1000WF as motherboard gives as a result the scenario explained on my last communication. If you have further questions please let us know.

 

 

Thank you,

 

 

Franklin S._Intel

 

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