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BPN-SAS2-836EL1 Backplane

melloa

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May 22, 2016
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I'm trying to consolidate two of my servers in an all-in one, running FreeNAS as a VM on ESXi.

I have a X9DR3-LN4F+ laying around and a CSE-836BE16-R920B with a BPN-SAS2-836EL1 backplane. This chassis came with two cables: CBL-00129-01-A-R (breaks in four sata ports - connected to the 2.5 HDDs bays under the PSUs) and CBL-00117-01-A-R (connected to the back plane).

Searching Supermicro for the CBL-00117, I get the 2.5 hotswap rear bays; Searching google, it sends me to a different cable (CBL-0281L-01).

Looking at the manual I see:

Code:
Connector
7. Primaray SAS connector: PRI_J1
8. Primary SAS connector: PRI_J2
9. Primary SAS connector: PRI_J3


Also:

Code:
SAS2-836EL1 backplanes have a single-port expander that accesses all hard drives
and supports cascading.


With that I assume that the CBL-00117 is a 16 ports cable (?).

Looking at LSI 16i and 16e HBAs, I couldn't find one HBA with a single connector. Either they have four external or four internal.

Question(s):

- Is there a single port HBA that could be used with above configuration? Speed is not important as this will be a back-up server, so lower cost is a plus.
- Is there a cable I can use two LSI 8 ports to connect to that back plane?
- What other back plane options do I have for that chassis, that would support a two HBA configuration?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

jgreco

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Please head on over to the SAS primer.


CBL-0117L is a SAS1 four-lane cable. The Primer will explain what an expander is and how 4 lanes can support 12, 16, 24, 96, etc., drives.
 

melloa

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May 22, 2016
Messages
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Thanks @jgreco

If I understood, I can use the SAS expander to link one controller to more disks than 2 SFF-8087 ports would natively provide, so can one LSI 9211-8i, connected to it, control all 16 drives or I'm completely lost?
 

jgreco

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You actually only need four lanes. The older connector for SAS1 is what you're looking at there on the CBL-0117L cable, it's just a bigger uglier older fatter connector that is used for attaching four lanes.
 

melloa

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May 22, 2016
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You actually only need four lanes. The older connector for SAS1 is what you're looking at there on the CBL-0117L cable, it's just a bigger uglier older fatter connector that is used for attaching four lanes.

Before I see smoking coming out of that server, can I connect a LSI 9211-8i, using one SFF-8087 to it?
 

jgreco

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Yup. But you'll need the correct cable to go from SFF-8484 (your backplane) to SFF-8087 (HBA). Oh look. We were just talking about CBL-0117L. :smile:
 

melloa

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May 22, 2016
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Hi @jgreco

SFF-8484 (your backplane)

I've looked the expander and it doesn't have anything like a SFF-8484:

SFF-8484_straight_connector.jpg


The cable it came with the chassis, has a connector, that I think, it is a SFF-8087 - cable below with both ends.

SAS cable.jpg


The one on the top was connected to the expander and that the one I think it is a SFF-8087.

The expander has three connectors like that, as described in previous post:

Connector 7. Primaray SAS connector: PRI_J1
8. Primary SAS connector: PRI_J2
9. Primary SAS connector: PRI_J3

1577055134181.png


Maybe configure like below with one HBA and two SFF-8087 cables?

1577055363502.png
 
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
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For that backplane use an SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable, single cable does it, you only have one expander if it's the EL1 model, you can still connect two cables for dual link, but unlikely to make much difference with FreeNAS, unless you use SSDs.
 

melloa

Wizard
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May 22, 2016
Messages
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For that backplane use an SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable, single cable does it, you only have one expander if it's the EL1 model, you can still connect two cables for dual link, but unlikely to make much difference with FreeNAS, unless you use SSDs.

Non-SSDs, so one cable it is, Thanks.
 

jgreco

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I suppose I should have looked back at the original post rather than getting sidetracked by the CBL-0117L thing. My bad.
 

melloa

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I suppose I should have looked back at the original post rather than getting sidetracked by the CBL-0117L thing. My bad.

The point is that you were trying to help. In the process I've learned lots of new things, as this is the first time I'm installing an expander. I do appreciate yours and everyones' help :)
 

jgreco

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The point is that you were trying to help.

I used to help better, often taking ridiculous amounts of time to compose detailed replies, but it seems like I'm always short on time these days.
 

melloa

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May 22, 2016
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I used to help better, often taking ridiculous amounts of time to compose detailed replies, but it seems like I'm always short on time these days.

You and me both. It took me two days to get here:

20191223_154355.jpg
 
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