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noleman1010

DrivePool and Scanner in a separate box connected with SAS cables

Question

Been using DrivePool and Scanner for about 2 years now in a big tower which holds 14 drives, all of them in one big pool.

I'm getting close to filling these and thinking about going to another tower using an  LSI 9201-16e SAS HBA in IT Mode to connect to another cabinet housing additional drives. Does anyone have any experience with this configuration using DrivePool and Scanner?

It would look something like this:

 LSI 9201-16e --->  External Mini SAS 26pin (SFF-8088) Male to Mini SAS 26 (SFF-8088) cable --->  Dual Ports Mini SAS SFF-8088 To SAS 36Pin SFF-8087 PCBA Female Adapter  ---> SAS 36Pin (SFF-8087) Male to 4 SATA 7Pin female Cable --->  SATA drive

I'm not too concerned about the configuration working by itself but wonder about how DrivePool and Scanner will see those drives over the SAS connection. Can I just add them to the big pool I have in the main cabinet? Will Scanner work as well over that SAS connection?

Thanks for any comments or suggestions.

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I haven't done this personally, but there shouldn't be any issues with doing this, from what I can tell. 

Well, the only issue may be power.  Most power supplies need to be "jumped" to turn on, if they aren't connected to a motherboard. 

You may want to get something like this: https://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-cse-ptjbod-cb1-jbod-power-board-diy-jbod-chassis-made-easy/

Or get a "dumb jumper" (like what you'd test water cooling loops with). 

 

And yes, it should see the drives.  I use a SAS controller, and have used it in a few different configs, without issue. 

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Thanks for the reply. Good to know I shouldn't have any problems.

Yes, I looked at the Supermicro JBOD board but was going to see if an old motherboard with no CPU or memory might work to turn it on and off. Otherwise I'll have to get one of those JBOD boards. 

Ken

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You could always just jump the pins in the MB connector of the PSU as well.  Used to do that back in the old days for testing different PSUs and for running out-of-box components.  If it's a standard ATX MB connector there are a lot of guides on the web how to do it easily with just a piece of wire and taping it on.  No cost involved.  I think that's what Christopher meant by a dumb jumper.  ;) 

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20 hours ago, Jaga said:

You could always just jump the pins in the MB connector of the PSU as well.  Used to do that back in the old days for testing different PSUs and for running out-of-box components.  If it's a standard ATX MB connector there are a lot of guides on the web how to do it easily with just a piece of wire and taping it on.  No cost involved.  I think that's what Christopher meant by a dumb jumper.  ;) 

Specifically, I meant something like this:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAAXT5M10254

Which is MUCH less "hacky" or risk prone.   

But yes, accomplishes the same thing.  And for $7, or so...

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I used this adapter cable for years & never had a problem. Before I bought my server case I had a regular old case. I had (3) 4 in 3 hot swap cages next to the server. I ran the sata cables out the back of my old case. I had a power supply sitting on the shelf by the cages which powered them.

The cool thing was that I ran the power cables that usually go to the motherboard inside of the case from the second power supply. I had a adapter that would plug into the motherboard and the main power supply that the computer would plug into. The adapter had a couple of wires coming from it to a female connection. You would plug your second power supply into it. 

What would happen is that when you turn on your main computer the second power supply would come on. That way your computer will see all of your hard drives at once. Of course when you turned off your server both of the power supplies would turn off.

Here is a link to that adapter. Let me know what you think.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA85V3DG9612

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Thanks to everyone for their help.

Finally got a all the parts and pieces and have them working in a "field trial configuration".

Now I am concerned about the shutdown sequence when I go to a production installation.

Do I turn off the power to the external server that only houses the HDDs connected with the SAS cable first and then the server where the actual motherboard and DrivePool is running or  the other way around or does it matter?

I guess I'm concerned about "disconnecting" the HDDs in the external box and having some kind of data corruption. 

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks, Ken

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You should turn both systems off first, ideally.

Otherwise, you can set the disk as "offline" in disk management.  That closes all handles to the disk, and prevents anything from accessing them.  You can then safely "hot pull" the drive (eg, pull it while plugged in), in theory. 

 

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