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Do I Need A SAS Controller To Run FreeNAS?

Newfoundland.Republic

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
648
You only have
  • 2x SATA 3.0 ports (6Gbps)
  • 4x SATA 2.0 ports (3Gbps)
on the board. You will need a HBA. LSI is usually recommended; should be flashed to IT mode (e.g., no hardware RAID). If you have space for the boot drives outside of the hot swap bays, I'd pick up a couple of Kingston AS400s 120 GB drives (you don't need that much space) for about $25/each (a good USB drive would run about the same) and run them off the 6Gbps ports. It would likely more reliable than USB in my opinion.
 

NAS777

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
24
Thank you so much for the reply!

I have some room on the inside of the case where I could mount a couple of SSDs but that wouldnt be part of the backplane.
Do you recommend an LSI card that would run the backplane and have ports for the 2 SSDs? Is the ram sufficient enough or should I move to 64gb? Thanks again for your help.
 

Newfoundland.Republic

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Jul 2, 2019
Messages
648
I just checked and the X9DRT-HF that is in that chassis has 5 x SATA 2.0 ports (3Gb/s) and 2 x SATA 3.0 ports (6Gb/s). So you should be good there. You might need some longish SATA and power cables, though.

With respect to the LSI card, the IBM ServeRaid M1015 is a good card that can be flashed to IT mode. There are others that have LSI chipsets. That card supports 8 drives so you could potentially use two of the SAS cable breakouts for the SSDs if that is the way you want to go. I'm not sure on how this would work for the cable between the backplane versus the SATA SSD connectors, though. Maybe someone has an idea if that would work.
 

Newfoundland.Republic

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
648
I just check the manual for that server and it seems quite "tight". You might have to go with the USB boot drivies. If that is the case, it seems that based upon the forums that you should stick to USB2. And, of course, use good quality USB drives.
 

NAS777

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
24
I just checked and the X9DRT-HF that is in that chassis has 5 x SATA 2.0 ports (3Gb/s) and 2 x SATA 3.0 ports (6Gb/s). So you should be good there. You might need some longish SATA and power cables, though.
So do I still need the LSI card? The backplane requires 2 sata inputs (to run the 6 drive bays) There is no way to manually connect each individual drive separate via the back plane
 

HoneyBadger

Mushroom! Mushroom!
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
3,214
Can you please show a picture or model number for the backplane? I highly doubt that it is using SATA port multiplication, and what you actually have are two SAS SFF-8087 ports. You may even have one of the "SuperStorage" series that is designed for HA storage, and each "server node" has the potential to see all twelve drives from a single SAS port.
 

blanchet

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
338
According to the SuperMicro documentation, the chassis contains:

SATA/SAS Backplane
  • Two (2) HD backplanes (BPN-ADPX9-6SATA-O-P)
  • One (1) SAS Backplane for 12 3.5" HDD (BPN-SAS-827HD)
  • Twelve (12) hot-swap 3.5" HDD trays (MCP-220-00075-0B)
  • Four (4) 21-cm SATA cables (CBL-0473L)
Your server is a 2U2N system. Each node can see only 6 disks.
I think that you need not an additional LSI SAS controller.
 

NAS777

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
24
Can you please show a picture or model number for the backplane? I highly doubt that it is using SATA port multiplication, and what you actually have are two SAS SFF-8087 ports. You may even have one of the "SuperStorage" series that is designed for HA storage, and each "server node" has the potential to see all twelve drives from a single SAS port.
this is the backplane model number
20191203_093150.jpg


this is where the 2 sata cables plug in
20191203_093302.jpg
 

HoneyBadger

Mushroom! Mushroom!
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
3,214
In your SATA cable picture, where do the "left side" of the cables connect to? The right is your motherboard but they appear to be attached to some manner of daughtercard on the left.

I think you will need a SAS HBA based on the backplane model though.
 

HoneyBadger

Mushroom! Mushroom!
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
3,214
Reading the manual, that looks like it's a proprietary SuperMicro card that provides four SATA ports - in addition to the two cables from the motherboard at the back, that's a total of six. The blade-style attachment is designed to allow you to swap the node in and out without being concerned with unplugging internal cabling first.

You should be good to go with what you have, and all six bays will be accessible.
 
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