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SAS Expanders, QNAP Hardware will it TrueNAS? Is this crazy talk? HELP!!


Feb 17, 2022
OK so I am still trying to figure out the build of my first TrueNAS server and I have a strange mix of hardware and am trying to figure out what to do. First, here is the primary server:
CPU: 4x Intel Xeon E7-4850 V2 12 Core 2.3Ghz ( 48 Total Cores)
RAID Controller QTY 1x AOC-S3008L-L8E HBA Controller IT Mode
Power Supplies: 4x 1620W Power supply PWS-1K62P-1R Platinum
**8x Memory Board X10QBI-MEM1 Rev 1.01 SYS-8048B-TRFT (12 slots per board)
Supermicro 4U 24x 3.5" Drive Bays 1 Nodes
Server Chassis/ Case: SYS-8048B-TRFT
Motherboard: X10QBI Ver 1.01
Backplane: Upgrade to BPN-SAS3-846EL1 24-port 4U SAS3 12Gbps single-expander backplane, support up to 24x 3.5-inch SAS3/SATA3 HDD/SSD)
PCI-Expansions slots: 8x PCI-E 3.0 slots w/ 96 memory slots
(4x PCI-E 3.0 x16 and 4x PCI-E 3.0 x8)
*1x AOM-X10QBI-A Add-on Module support 1x VGA, Dual 10GBase-T ports X540
* Integrated IPMI 2.0 Management

In this will be 24 12TB SED FIPS 140-2 spinners to meet some encryption regulations we have. But I also have an oddly large number (over 70) of 400GB enterprise SSD that I'd like to make use of as well. My first thought was to get 3 24 or 25 bay SFF servers like Dell R720xd or HP DL380P and use the SSD in those (making basically 4 TrueNAS servers in the rack - NOT ideal but I can get some fast SSD storage this way).

Then I thought maybe I could use one of those "SAS Expander" units that are all over the place and just daisy chain the SSD off the Supermicro. However, mostly they are all 6G SAS - the 12G ones are super pricey. I've never done this so I am not sure what is needed in the Supermicro to interface these JBOD units but also if I do that, does it slow the Supermicro down to 6G also? That *MIGHT* not matter since it is spinners in the SM BUT I'd hate to slow my SSD down to 6G but this might have to be the choice for economics.

But wait! I am coming from the QNAP world and I actually have 3 12G QNAP SAS Expanders in my rack right now not being used. Has anybody ever used one of these on a TrueNAS? If that would work, I could keep 12G AND not have to go buy anything else AND keep my setup to 1 server. I have no idea if this is even feasible and, if so, what else I'd need to get. Does anybody have any thoughts or ideas on this? All advice is welcome and thanks!!


P.S. The 6G SAS expanders I'm talking about are like a Dell Compellent SC220 or a NetApp NAJ-1001 or a Dell PowerVault MD1220. The QNAP unit I am talking about is the QNAP REXP-1620U-RP seen here: