Rackable System 3U 16 drives chassis SAS2 upgrade

Joined
Aug 23, 2013
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I upgraded this to SAS2 today with an Intel RES2SV240 SAS2 expander.

First, cut off the 12V power cables from the PSU to the expander 2x2 connector, and use the twist cap connector to connect to the 4pin molex cable I have around from dead PSU. Twist cap is quick and convenient.
IMG_8890_zps8619d998.jpg


How it looks like with all 6 ports plugged in. 4 ports connected to 16 drives, the other two ports connected to the 9266-8i.
IMG_8891_zpseefe27bd.jpg


Will be using the internal to external bracket to do the job.
IMG_8892_zps3e220dd5.jpg


Connecting the internal 8087 end to the 9266-8i.
IMG_8893_zps263a25bc.jpg


The expander chip can get quite warm. Added a fan to it.
IMG_8894_zpsdc72d199.jpg


It's gonna sit in the metal chassis, used an antistatic bag to insulate it. Of course, cut a hole open for the fan.
IMG_8895_zpse82aa8a6.jpg


Here's the external bracket. I'm going to fit it in the front of the Rackable chassis at the location where the LCD upgrade module would've gone. Bent out the PCI bracket tab and drilled two small holes to mount to the front chassis bracket.
IMG_8896_zpsd6bf7bf4.jpg


This is how it looks like mounted.
IMG_8897_zpsed817ed9.jpg


The front bracket again, from inside the chassis.
IMG_8903_zps33f341ae.jpg


Overall view.
IMG_8898_zpsd7edd3b4.jpg


Front of the chassis accommodates two 8088 external cables in the bracket. With the front bracket installed, the top cover fully closes and it looks just like how it was before the upgrade.
IMG_8899_zps814660e0.jpg


The inside of the chassis. Not the cleanest view, but it does the job. I added a mylar sheet to insulate the back of the backplanes from the expander, even though it's already inside the antistatic bag.
IMG_8900_zpsc71b6009.jpg



*update*
Found more mylar sheets to use. Using them to insulate the expander card and chassis/backplane instead of the antistatic bag.
IMG_8916_zps6c7cb8ef.jpg

IMG_8915_zpsb70b0996.jpg
 
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JeffBlair

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Jul 13, 2009
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333
Got to say, nice job man. I've been thinking about modding mine to have a mini-ITX board in there. Too bad we can't hook up a Pi to it.
 

dandragonrage

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Yikes. You can't use anti-static bags like that. They are semi-conductive and can fuck with (or destroy) your electronics. Figure out a different solution for that board.
 
Joined
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Yikes. You can't use anti-static bags like that. They are semi-conductive and can fuck with (or destroy) your electronics. Figure out a different solution for that board.

I found more mylar sheets so I'll be using them to replace the antistatic bag.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
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Twist-on joiners are asking for a big FAIL, please solder and heat-shrink.

What would be the reason for that? Your house is probably wired with twist caps, too. As long as the connection is tight and secure, I don't see why twist caps are going to cause FAIL.
 
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dandragonrage

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I found more mylar sheets so I'll be using them to replace the antistatic bag.

Is it specifically meant for use with electronics? Mylar can conduct a ton of static. I know they use mylar sheets as electrical insulators for thermal applications in electronics sometimes though I am not sure if those have a special composition to deal with it. I do know that at least some mylar is not good to use around sensitive electronics. See: http://www.eevblog.com/2012/02/25/eevblog-247-anti-static-bag-myth-revisted/
 
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Lost-Benji

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What would be the reason for that? Your house is probably wired with twist caps, too. As long as the connection is tight and secure, I don't see why twist caps are going to cause FAIL.

That would be a rather foolish assumption on your part. They are actually banned for household wiring here in Aus and for good reason. Even auto-electricians will cringe at them.

Twist caps are for lazy people.
 

danswartz

2[H]4U
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Feb 25, 2011
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Care to share those 'good reasons' from your deep fount of knowledge? It's really annoying when people pontificate this way without any explained basis. Household wiring needs to handle much higher voltage and current than a JBOD chassis. Not saying you're wrong, but waltzing in here and dropping content free declarations and insults doesn't help your credibility.
 

dandragonrage

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Care to share those 'good reasons' from your deep fount of knowledge? It's really annoying when people pontificate this way without any explained basis. Household wiring needs to handle much higher voltage and current than a JBOD chassis. Not saying you're wrong, but waltzing in here and dropping content free declarations and insults doesn't help your credibility.

Yeah, seriously.

I have no idea about Australia but almost every house in the US is wired with twisty caps (and I've done electrical myself; I also work on audio gear, cars (not just audio), etc.) and they work just fine when used properly. They shouldn't be counted on to make a seal (they do not) and should not be used in many places such as under the hood of a car (where vibration and corrosion could VERY easily compromise them) but used correctly in a covered junction box for household wiring? Perfectly fine. Used in this machine? Should be fine if properly tightened and not disturbed. I have used the smaller twisty caps for car stereo installations in the past (before I had a decent-sized collection of crimp connectors handy) and they were perfectly fine there too. And personally I run electrical tape around them to make sure other stray wires don't poke their way in there and cause a short, just to be sure.

And how many of those houses just randomly catch fire (as opposed to being some idiot leaving the oven on or something)? Almost none.
 
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Joined
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Messages
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Is it specifically meant for use with electronics? Mylar can conduct a ton of static. I know they use mylar thermal insulators in electronics sometimes though I am not sure if those have a special composition to deal with it. I do know that at least some mylar is not good to use around sensitive electronics. See: http://www.eevblog.com/2012/02/25/eevblog-247-anti-static-bag-myth-revisted/

Yes, it's meant for electronics. I use it mostly to prevent it from touching any of the metal parts inside the chassis, but it does avoid static as well.
 

danswartz

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I also LOL'ed when I saw they are illegal for house wiring in Australia. Like we're supposed to be impressed by that or something? Do you know what a vampire tap is (context being water pipes)? I live in Massachusetts. They are illegal by code here, but are okay pretty much everywhere else in the States. So I guess the other 49 states have ignorant fools who wrote their plumbing code, and only Mass got it right. Yeah...
 

patrickdk

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I have seen so many wirenut issues here in the usa.

Luckily most all of them have been inside a metal box, so damage was minimal, and fixing it was simple. So many have come loose over time and started sparking and over heating.

Personally I use wirebugs whenever possible, and on outlets and switchs I always screw them down. I will say though, I normally dealt with 240/480 volts and 100+ amps. I hated to see those bug blue wire nuts on things.
 

dandragonrage

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I have seen so many wirenut issues here in the usa.

Luckily most all of them have been inside a metal box, so damage was minimal, and fixing it was simple. So many have come loose over time and started sparking and over heating.

They are not perfect. Solder joints can fail (or be done poorly from the start e.g. a cold solder joint). Other connectors can fail. I think the biggest issues with wire nuts is that people don't twist them enough and they don't test them enough. When I use these things I get them nice and tight and I put a pretty good amount of force when I test them (by trying to pull individual wires out) and then I twist them a little more after testing them to make sure the test itself didn't loosen things. As mentioned previously I also use electrical tape around them which is mostly to prevent stray wires from adding themselves into the mix, but it does add a small amount of protection to the cap staying in place.

Personally I use wirebugs whenever possible, and on outlets and switchs I always screw them down. I will say though, I normally dealt with 240/480 volts and 100+ amps. I hated to see those bug blue wire nuts on things.

I also agree that the bigger the current, the less appropriate wire nuts are. I have used those big blue guys on a few occasions, but I definitely try a lot harder to avoid them. (I will also say that I am certified in electronics, not electrical, but I've done a LOT more electrical than pretty much any non-electrician. Basically the only thing I won't/haven't do/done is the initial install or upgrade the service/box itself, because I know I don't understand the safety implications of such a job well enough to undertake it.)

I think wire nuts start to get ridiculous past about 8awg, around the 40A area. 8awg itself is already pushing it. For 10awg however I am totally comfortable with wire nuts in many cases. What I don't like is putting a whole bunch of wires in one wirenut. I've seen some people put up to about 5 wires into one, but I try quite hard not to go past 3 (and most cases it's just two). I feel that a wire nut with 4-5 wires in it will be MUCH more likely to fail, and is probably not an intelligent decision in general.

Whether it's wire nuts or any other tool/hardware, they have to be used correctly. It's possible to cause fires with wire bugs, too, though they are definitely less likely to just "randomly" come apart.
 
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For the OP:

Do you have any kind of throughput numbers? Is the backplane in the SE3016 actually supporting the 6Gb throughput (i.e. did you just move the bottleneck from the original expander to the backplane, or are you seeing 6Gb speeds from the drives?)
 

brutalizer

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Yeah, would be interesting to know if there is any performance difference.

If you have 3gbit SATA disks, then you will not get higher performance. You need 6gbit SATA disks. As I have understood it.
 

patrickdk

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Well, there where two issues, with the origional expander.

First was it is 3g instead of 6g, and you would need 6g disks also, to overcome this limit.

But also, as several people have tested, it seems to not be possible to get >1200MB/sec though the expander, even if you duallink it. So the other question would be, even at 3g speeds, does the duallinking work better with the intel expander, and let you go faster than 1200MB/sec or not.
 

brutalizer

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Holey Moley! So... the intel expander might be capped at 1200MB/sec? Even if you switched the expander in the case to Intel, it might not get faster?
 

patrickdk

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Reading failure there?

The origional expander in this unit is limited to around 1200MB/sec.

The intel, I'm not sure.
 

DataMine

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Feb 8, 2012
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I have to ask, Why do this mod? I have several of these units and I have modified them to be much quieter, but I never bothered with the port multiplier (other than a new heatsink+thermal paste+fan mod) What is the performance gain over the the OEM hardware vs the cost put into the unit. I constantly get about 400-500 MBps with mine set in 8 2 disk zfs mirror setups, and around 350-400 MBps when setup in a 11 disk zfs zraid3 setup with Sata 2/3 drives, connected to an LSI SAS2008 (one miniSAS multi-lane cable per box) I can not see sinking about $250-300 (if you have an exact cost or parts source please tell me) into a unit that functions well as it is (minus the noise) without a decent gain in performance, also what application is this used for, is for video editing? I use mine for file server storage so performance is not really needed over 200 MBps (multiple bonded nic)
 

G4VEL

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Mar 25, 2014
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I for one would like to know more about this mod. The SGI Rackable 16 bay seems to be the cheapest way to get rackmountable JBOD, but being limited to 3 Gbps is cramping my style. Is a parts list available OP?
 

groove

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ZFS + SGI3016 + SATA - safe to use in 2014 ?

Don't mean to start a debate, but I would like to use this SGI Rackable with a bunch of SATA disks I have lying around and create a ZFS pool (using illumos). I've read quite a few forum posts that state it's a toxic combination. But most of those posts seem to be back from 2010 ~ 2011. A lot changes in 3-4 years. Hence my question - is it safe enough to be used in a home lab situation ? I do keep a back of my pools on external drives that I rotate out regularly. But I hate to loose my pools repeatedly and would like to know if it's 'safe' for home use. Yes it might still be risky in a 'data center' type of situation and would go with SAS drives for production use.

Would really appreciate feedback with anyone with experience using SATA disks with this enclosure and running ZFS on it !

Thanks in advance.
Groove
 
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I for one would like to know more about this mod. The SGI Rackable 16 bay seems to be the cheapest way to get rackmountable JBOD, but being limited to 3 Gbps is cramping my style. Is a parts list available OP?

Got the Intel expander RES2SV240NC new from eBay for $165. Replaced the case fans with Rosewill RFA-80-K for $5/ea. Had the 8087-8088 CBL-0168L cable laying around (maybe $45?). The original 3016 was around $170. So, for around $350 I get a 3U short-depth SAS2 JBOD, why not? By using the Intel expander I get better drive support (SAS2/SATA3 models) and I get general support from Intel as well, rather than an EOL SGI product.
 

Aesma

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I've never seen those wirenut things here in France, I looked them up and apparently they're banned in the EU, so that's not surprising.

To answer groove's question, I've been using an SE3016 (modded only for less noise) with SATA drives, 2TB ones from 2011-2012, various brands, various speeds, an M1015, an AMD setup with ECC RAM, and OpenIndiana+napp-it since last June, without trouble. Many start-ups and shut-downs as I don't let it run H24. I use a single RAIDZ3 vdev of 19 drives (3 are inside the server).

I would be interested in a PSU mod to put a gold/platinum and standard ATX PSU in the enclosure.
 
Joined
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Messages
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I've never seen those wirenut things here in France, I looked them up and apparently they're banned in the EU, so that's not surprising.

To answer groove's question, I've been using an SE3016 (modded only for less noise) with SATA drives, 2TB ones from 2011-2012, various brands, various speeds, an M1015, an AMD setup with ECC RAM, and OpenIndiana+napp-it since last June, without trouble. Many start-ups and shut-downs as I don't let it run H24. I use a single RAIDZ3 vdev of 19 drives (3 are inside the server).

I would be interested in a PSU mod to put a gold/platinum and standard ATX PSU in the enclosure.

The PSU looks to be using standard ATX pin out, but it's using a female connector. I think you can swap a new PSU in with a female to female adapter (if there is one), or rewire your own connectors.
 

IAPro

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Oct 4, 2012
Messages
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ZFS + SGI3016 + SATA - safe to use in 2014 ?

Don't mean to start a debate, but I would like to use this SGI Rackable with a bunch of SATA disks I have lying around and create a ZFS pool (using illumos). I've read quite a few forum posts that state it's a toxic combination. But most of those posts seem to be back from 2010 ~ 2011. A lot changes in 3-4 years. Hence my question - is it safe enough to be used in a home lab situation ? I do keep a back of my pools on external drives that I rotate out regularly. But I hate to loose my pools repeatedly and would like to know if it's 'safe' for home use. Yes it might still be risky in a 'data center' type of situation and would go with SAS drives for production use.

Would really appreciate feedback with anyone with experience using SATA disks with this enclosure and running ZFS on it !

Thanks in advance.
Groove

This is anecdotal evidence only, but I'm running one SE3016 with 12x 2TB drives, a mixture of HGST Ultrastar, Deskstar and the newer Toshiba version of the Deskstars, in RAIDZ3. The other SE3016 has 10 Fujitsu MBA3300RCs in what amounts to ZFS RAID10 (5 mirror zvols in one pool). Until recently I had the other slots filled with 1TB Deskstars, 8 of which were my older RAIDZ2 pool that I was copying over to the new RAIDZ3 pool. Both enclosures are connected to my single M1115 (yes M1115, not M1015) flashed to LSI IT mode, each with a 8088->8087 cable. M1115 is on a Supermicro X7SBE board with C2Q running FreeBSD 9.2.

Many, many scrubs of 10+TB on the RAIDZ3 and 500+GB on the RAID10 sets. What's more, copying 5+TB of data from the old pool to the new pool and then verifying with diff and/or rsync with the -c switch never once showed a mismatch. I've tested this heavily as I read the exact same things you did. This config is coming up on 6 months of use and I'd say it's as close to trustworthy as an affordable SOHO solution gets.
 

tmsmith124

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Jul 24, 2012
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I seem to be having a little issue with my SE3016 not recognizing drives when they are installed. On the front plate of the SE3016, I see the drive receives power but never gets the blue link light. Has anyone seen this before? Is my SE 3016 going bad? Does this with different hard drives. Also it seems to be random with the bays.
Thanks!
 
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cantalup

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Feb 8, 2012
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758
I realize this thread is old, but I just got around to setting up my Omnistor se3016.
A few thoughts: Remember that these HDDs only use three screws (one in the middle
on the left side and two on the right side.
After installing an Intel RES2SV240 inside my chassis, it shows 6Gbps as negotiated speed in MSM for all 6Gbps drives. It also shows its SAS2 compliant, so throughput with this Intel SAS expander should max out @ 2400, not 1200. The back-planes on the 3016 are independently wired and pass through - there is no expander chip limiting speed in them. I will test at some point and post results. You can see a couple of low rez pictures here: http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/PHubb1/slideshow/

As I wrote in my post in another 3016 thread
Omnistor 3016 mod
by the time I was finished modding this disk chassis (and $$ spent), I could've bought a better built Super-Micro SC846E16-R1200B chassis on Ebay for about the same money. The SM has 4 more (20) HDD bays and a built-in 6Gbps back-plane. BUT the SM chassis is full size, quite a bit heavier, and very LOUD - you have to change out 5 case fans and two PS fans to wrestle it away from jet plane level noise. My 3016 sits quietly on the floor next to my work station. My SM SC846E16-R1200B is in my server closet (and is still too loud), so I'm going to have to eventually change out those fans as well. The SM chassis will accept an EATX server main-board, so a future upgrade to a full server is possible.
The half rack size of the 3016 was a big plus for my circumstances, the SM would not fit in the space next to my work station. I'm using both chassis satisfactorily, albeit for different purposes and in different settings. I suppose if I had to choose just one, I would go with the SM model and immediately mod the fans, but both of these boxes are working and serving me well.

this is Not!, just a bit loud compared with my 3016 modded with 120mm fans.
I have 2x 846 SAS2 backplate expander without do modification on supermicro case with motheboards from ts140 deals (was cheaper to buy ts140 and transplant the motherboard to SM case)
pick SAS2 model, which has all PWM fans and has Gold or Platinum PSU that has PWM fan.
I have 2 846 with gold 1200W PSU, and 1 826 with platinum 501W.
if you still unhappy with fan noise, buy a pwm fan controller and, you are done.

yap, Supermicro is not short-depth case.

if you are talking on old supermicro case, yap very loud!,
 
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eduncan911

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Mar 4, 2012
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This is a great thread... I am one of those guys who spends weeks/months researching and reading - but frankly, I am at the end of that time for this project (switching to a rackable chassis for my 16 HDDs).

@cantalup: I myself have figured out that by buying the Supermicro SAS2 backplanes, and then the older 24bay chassis is the way to go as well. For around $330 (plus shipping), it's a completely setup. Yank out the PSUs, install an old 1200W ATX I have laying around, etc.

I already have a SAS2 backplane for the SC846E1 chassis'. I am currently wheeling and dealing with multiple eBay suppliers on the best "stripped down" version and cost. Hopefully I can get it for $120 with a little shipping. The backplane was $150 shipped. So overall that's about $300 total.

This was the route I was going, until I found out about these SGI SE3016 units a few hours ago. WHOA. Dammit, now more reading...

I am highly interested in these SE3016 units for two main reasons:

- MUCH LIGHTER WEIGHT!
- Short-depth, for a wall-mount rack unit! (the SC846 units are not short-depth)

I am getting old(er) and to carry these up and down into a crawlspace in the basement would be much easier than a Supermicro 4U server chassis + MB + HDDs.

But, I MUST have the following or this stops now:

- 6 Gbps

I have a collection of parts that I can use, so my costs are kept down:

- 2x IBM M1015s, already flashed to LSI IT firmware
- Several LGA1366 mobos and Core i7 950s and 980Xs

I mention the mobo/specs as I am currently using Plex and have seen issues with the Core i7 950s not being powerful enough. The 980X is getting the job done now.

Theoretically, from reading other threads, it sounds like I can just do this:

* bypass the SE3016 internal Expander card
* Connect each SFF-8087 on my IBM M1015 directly to each backplane on the SE3016.

That's a direct 1:1 per port on controller card, to each SATA device. (each SFF-8087 cable is 4 ports)

Then I should I have 6Gbps to each drive, have RAID ability, etc.

So, that means I need a way to mount these standard ATX mobos + CPU in a chassis - outside of the SE2016 units. That means an extra cost of a cheap 2U short-depth rack chassis, 2U PSU, etc. Also that means a number of SFF-8088 -> SFF-8087 kind of cables and adapters. That can add up quick.

Thoughts?
 

cantalup

Gawd
Joined
Feb 8, 2012
Messages
758
This is a great thread... I am one of those guys who spends weeks/months researching and reading - but frankly, I am at the end of that time for this project (switching to a rackable chassis for my 16 HDDs).

@cantalup: I myself have figured out that by buying the Supermicro SAS2 backplanes, and then the older 24bay chassis is the way to go as well. For around $330 (plus shipping), it's a completely setup. Yank out the PSUs, install an old 1200W ATX I have laying around, etc.

I already have a SAS2 backplane for the SC846E1 chassis'. I am currently wheeling and dealing with multiple eBay suppliers on the best "stripped down" version and cost. Hopefully I can get it for $120 with a little shipping. The backplane was $150 shipped. So overall that's about $300 total.

This was the route I was going, until I found out about these SGI SE3016 units a few hours ago. WHOA. Dammit, now more reading...

I am highly interested in these SE3016 units for two main reasons:

- MUCH LIGHTER WEIGHT!
- Short-depth, for a wall-mount rack unit! (the SC846 units are not short-depth)

I am getting old(er) and to carry these up and down into a crawlspace in the basement would be much easier than a Supermicro 4U server chassis + MB + HDDs.

But, I MUST have the following or this stops now:

- 6 Gbps

I have a collection of parts that I can use, so my costs are kept down:

- 2x IBM M1015s, already flashed to LSI IT firmware
- Several LGA1366 mobos and Core i7 950s and 980Xs

I mention the mobo/specs as I am currently using Plex and have seen issues with the Core i7 950s not being powerful enough. The 980X is getting the job done now.

Theoretically, from reading other threads, it sounds like I can just do this:

* bypass the SE3016 internal Expander card
* Connect each SFF-8087 on my IBM M1015 directly to each backplane on the SE3016.

That's a direct 1:1 per port on controller card, to each SATA device. (each SFF-8087 cable is 4 ports)

Then I should I have 6Gbps to each drive, have RAID ability, etc.

So, that means I need a way to mount these standard ATX mobos + CPU in a chassis - outside of the SE2016 units. That means an extra cost of a cheap 2U short-depth rack chassis, 2U PSU, etc. Also that means a number of SFF-8088 -> SFF-8087 kind of cables and adapters. That can add up quick.

Thoughts?
my suggestion:
846 is the lowest price :D and built likes a tank..


if you have no ready parts to mod se3016... you have to spend more $$ than getting 846..
I look up on ebay, 846 with sas2 expander backplane is very low compared with early last year.
btw... best offer is the best to lower much $$$.


if you has space constraint, modding se306 is the best solution, which takes time for tinkering and testing..

24 ports intel sas expander can be bought in $60-$100 on ebay,,

good luck on your decision!,
 

eduncan911

n00b
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
14
my suggestion:
846 is the lowest price :D and built likes a tank..


if you have no ready parts to mod se3016... you have to spend more $$ than getting 846..
I look up on ebay, 846 with sas2 expander backplane is very low compared with early last year.
btw... best offer is the best to lower much $$$.


if you has space constraint, modding se306 is the best solution, which takes time for tinkering and testing..

24 ports intel sas expander can be bought in $60-$100 on ebay,,

good luck on your decision!,

Thanks! Humm. I've been trolling eBay for about a month now, looking for SC846 chassis' that have SAS2 (SC846E16 and SC846E26 to be exact). None of the barebones can be found for cheaper than $500.

Now, the SAS1 3Gbps versions (SC846E1, no "6" on the end which means they are not 6Gbps but only 3Gbps) can be had for $180 and a bit less. I already have a SAS2 6Gbps backplane ready to drop into these Supermicro 24bay cases - so it's a no brainer to get the cheaper SAS1 chassis.

But as I mentioned to, and to comment on the Tank - it's as heavy as a tank! I'm getting too old to maneuver that beast by myself.

I don't have a wall-mount rack, yet. Would love to get to that point some day but I won't be able to with the Tank. I can if I go with the SE306.

I don't need an Expander - I already have my M1015 cards (they are 6Gbps) so there's no additional cost there.

Just, cables and adapters is all I'd need + 2U or 3U chassis for the Core i7 980X mobo/cpu to power that.
 

MarkL

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
202
...

But as I mentioned to, and to comment on the Tank - it's as heavy as a tank! I'm getting too old to maneuver that beast by myself.
...


You really shouldn't be having to move this thing.. I don't think the weight should be a factor.

It should be a case of getting it working, then bring it up and install it upstairs. You should remove all the drives while moving it anyway - and that will cut down the weight by a lot. You could take the PSU out as well to save move weight.

I have one of the SE3016 at home in my basement, but I work with Supermicro gear at work and I love the SMC stuff.

I would 100% go for a SMC system over the SE3016.
 

eduncan911

n00b
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
14
You know, I forgot that simplest of things... "Remove the drives [and PSU]." Doh.

Yeah, I think that would keep it maneuverable. Thanks!
 
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