[Linux-PowerEdge] cheapest solution support 3tb drive dell 2950

Dan The Man dan at sunsaturn.com
Wed Apr 16 16:17:23 CDT 2014

> Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:40:45 +0000 (UTC)
> From: Chris Good <chris at g2.nu>
> Subject: Re: [Linux-PowerEdge] cheapest solution support 3tb drive
> 	dell 2950
> To: linux-poweredge at dell.com
> Message-ID: <slrnlks9fd.i2r.chris at littlered.g2.nu>
> Dan The Man wrote:
>> What is cheapest solution support 3tb drive? This is just a cheap home
>> fileserver solution, just to run ZFS passthrough. So I am thinking using
>> ebay and getting something like the LSI lsi 9240-8i, or perc 310 cards be
>> the cheapest. Thinking those have to be plugged into back pci riser card,
>> then I would need some kind of SFF cable convertor of at least 2.5 feet,
>> to run from back riser to the front drive plane.
> In theory you just need the correct SFF-8087 cable to go between the riser and
> the card and you're good.  We've done that sort of thing on some 2950s
> where we neded better SATA-SSD support than the PERC could provide so we split
> the backplane with the PERC doing bays 0-3 and a simple HBA looking after bays
> 4-7.
> We recently were looking to do something with 4TB drives and by the time we'd
> priced things up, looked at the hassle factor and thought some more about
> future headroom we canned it.  Instead we bought an ASROCK motherboard that
> had IPMI support and put it in a no-name 16-bay chassis along with a pile
> of 4TB WD40EZRX drives hooked up to Adaptec HBAs.
> We spent quite some time evaluating various combinations of LVM, MD-RAID,
> XFS, ext4, btrfs but all had showstopping problems that showed up in testing.
> Eventually we settled on ZFS and haven't looked back since.  The only real
> annoyance is that we have to lock the kernel to the 2.6 version that everything
> has been compiled up for but that is only a relatively minor annoyance.
> Chris

I hear you Chris, although cost being an issue, was simpler to purchase 
up for a couple hundred dollars some 2950's and toss 32gb of ram in it, 
then deal with supporting 3TB drives, at least till 6TB drives fall to 
$200 or less.

I decided on LSI MegaRAID 9240-8i, will toss that in back riser, then run 
2 SFF-8087 to SFF-8084 to front bay plane, that was most minimal cost I 
could find. Just like you, I only needed a passthrough card for ZFS, so that 
should do the trick. I am actually doing this to 2 servers, so 9240-8i's 
for $100 each, and the cables cost me $10 each. Main reason I decided to 
replace my other systems with 2950's, mostly is just for the 32gb+ of 
memory support, my current motherboards in those systems only support 8gb, 
and you need at least 1gb for terrabyte of ZFS space. So now with dell 
2950's sitting right beside me, I am going to have to find a way to quiet 
those jet engine fans abit to make it tolerable lol.

Myself I run latest centos as host, then use KVM virtualization to install 
FreeBSD 10, I then passthrough all disks to FreeBSD guest to do the ZFS 
raid. I find FreeBSD alot more reliable with ZFS, and on FreeBSD 10, root 
can also be installed ZFS, so minute you login to guest it is a complete 
ZFS system, which is nice.


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