HBA advice for Dell r710/HP dl380 G7, connecting to a Dell SC200

To start off I would like to state that I am very new to the “enterprise” hardware game so I may ask something stupid. I have been a linux admin as my primary job for years but I have never worked in a data center.

I recently got a really good deal on a Dell SC200 enclosure (https://goo.gl/3rFJd8) but both of my servers are not able to use it due to the lack of external connections. I would rather hook it up to the HP since it uses less power but I am not sure if there would be a compatibility issue so the Dell would be fine if It comes down to it.

If everything works out this system would be simply a dedicated ZFS NAS for my home and its largest tasks would be running Plex (2 streams max) or storing VM snapshots, and I think the L5630 processor in the HP is up to the task.

I have been looking into the 9200-8e and 9207-8e but I am having issues locating any data on compatibility with my servers or the SC200 unit itself. To be quite honest I am unable to find any really solid information on the SC200, there seems to be no manual and I have seem conflicting reports on its max drive size some say 4TB or some say up to 6TB. If anyone can provide me with this information or let me know of any other things I may run into along the way it would be really awesome.

I would like to spend less than $150 on cards and cables if I can but if I go a bit over it’s not the end of the world.

This is also a post on /r/homelab so sorry if you saw it twice.

Hi jswazy! Just found you’re post here (looking for some info for the sc200 as well) and like yourself, i’m also looking to hook a sc200 to a r710. I just took a hard guess and ordered a 9207-8e and cables for around 150$ on ebay, so as soon As I receive the card and test it, i’ll let you know and maybe give a little bit more knowledge to internet about the sc200 :wink:

Oh man that’s awesome! Good luck to you. I am really hoping to use the HP server that I have but using the r710 is certainly not out of the question. I do wonder why the info is so lacking. Maybe between the two of us we can provide some good docs since they do seem to come up on ebay often for a good price so they seem like a really good solution.

What size drives are you going to be able to test it with?

Maybe IT’s don’t want to lose their jobs so they keep the infos for themselves :laughing: . Right now i got 2x 4tb WDRed ( ill get more when needed) . For what i know, 4tb is the max the sc200 can take per slot, up to 48 tb. 9207-e might be compatible with your HP. https://www.broadcom.com/products/storage/host-bus-adapters/sas-9207-8e#specifications

The thing I am worried about is not straight compatibility. The thing I have seen is that non “hp approved” pci cards will work normally however they will make all the system fans blast to 100% no matter what the real temps are. I have also seen issues with non HP branded disks. I will never buy an hp server again after learning the nightmare of compatibility they seem to be. Even hp branded cards that are not “approved” for your specific generation of server will cause this issue even when they technically function with no issues outside of that.

I really hope I can stick 6TB drives in mine but if I can only use 4TB then so be it. I think it’s odd that this would not be controlled by the control and the enclosure itself would cause this limit but as I am learning with all server hardware, compatibility is just not as good as it is with desktop hardware.

@Djavis So hopefully will have an update soon on my end. I have a hp sc08e installed in my server flashed to IT mode with the latest firmware. I have a couple of drives on the way of differing sizes so I hope to have tests of some kind done by next weekend. I hope I can gather enough data to write something up on this disk shelf since it is plentiful and seem to be relatively inexpensive. Really crossing my fingers on 6TB drive support (although my wallet is fearing it).

Finally! I’ve received my sff-8088 cables this monday and been able to try out the 9207-8e on a r710… and it worked! :yum: there is no bios or direct settings of any sort, it just work with esxi 6.5 u1. It detected some info like sc200 enclosure and my 2 4tb drives are listed with my internal raid. Havent had time to play with it yet, just wanted to give a little update. Got a ton to learn aswell to build this rig the right way.

Oh and the sc200 is noisy as hell! I might mod it with some noctua fans…

Don’t do this.

Unless the fans are locked at 100%, then make sure you have the latest firmware for you r710.

There’s a reason the fans are that loud, because of the confined space. No other fans have the throughput needed to properly cool the components.

I have mine hooked up the the HP dl380 G7 with a sc08e HBA and its not louder than anything else in my rack. I am waiting on some more drives before I do more testing.

Dell, like many of the enterprise hardware manufacturers like to keep the same name for their hardware through multiple revisions and upgrades.

For example the Dell 2950 server had 3 major revisions, but maintained the same chassis and “model number.”

The SC200 may have had multiple revisions. It’s also possible that the cards that were released when the SC200 came out, 4TB drives may have been the top end.

That being said, if your controller can handle it, it’s very likely that you could put a 6TB drive in there.

So I was finally able to test a few larger disks in the system.

I tested 6TB, 5TB and 8TB disks and they did not register correctly at least not in freenas. They were all cheap toshiba drives so that could be a factor but for now I am going to say there is no support for disks over 4TB. I will be sure to update this post in the future if I am ever able to test with other larger drives.