[Help] Connecting Disk shelf to Controller

Inspired by the video of L1 making a huge NAS, I decided to do the same.

I purchased:

  • Netapp DS4243 Disk Shelf
  • Dell Poweredge R410

I want to use the Dell as the controller. I did some reading in the manuals for setting up this type of storage, and so far it looks like I will need to connect using a SAS HBA cable to the Dell (which doesn't have one), and an ethernet port to use ACP.

The dell is only 1U, so I only have 1 PCI slot to work with. Could someone help me out with finding a proper card to use?

I do have a concern with how the documentation says that all cabling needs to be done in a multi-path configuration, and that what I was to do I would believe it to be single path since I'm not chaining anything else to the disk shelf. Am I wrong in thinking that it will work? If I just wire them in a multi-path configuration but only have one?

Here is an example of how it says to configure cabling on their site (with one of their controllers).

TLDR; need help picking out a SAS HBA card and general questions about configuration with a disk shelf.

I am not a storage guy, but using one controller should work. Might show an error light on the storage unit though.
Found this about the r410 and its compatible SAS HBA cards.
Looks like the system only uses half-height cards and it depends on the raid controller already installed.

I am sure some other people on here can chime in better on the storage unit.

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well sas host bus adapters might be expensive; and since you can i recommend getting one with 2x minisas SFF8088

(cheapest i could find)

(more expensive)

(i recommend lsi since they have wide support by ibm, hp, dell, intel.)

but double check if thats what your sas plugs are.


thanks for the replies guys :)

That disk shelf has an QSFP port for its sas interface,

if you're going to use freenas this controller will work: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NETAPP-PMC-SIERRA-PM8003-SCC-Quad-Port-Network-Controller-111-00341/182282561385?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

ive only had luck getting it to work in free nas on my r610

and here are some cables that will work

ive had luck getting it working seeing all the disks in freenas using only the first port on the top controller of the shelf. it works im not sure the speed thats what im trying to work on but it at least works.

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thanks for the help. This was actually the last piece I needed to connect the shelf to my HBA.

Did you get this setup? What issues did you run into? How’s the performance? What OS are you running?

Hey thanks for reading. I’ll try to answer your questions fully.

Yes, still have it, but I upgraded in fact to the PE r710, slapped two X5680’s (6c/12t) in there and stole 16GB of ram from the r410. Way more powerful for what I’m using it for.

I have other plans for the r410 but it is currently not in use.

  1. Not having enough money was one of them; I cant afford buying 24 HDD of reasonable storage capacity sizes.

  2. Noise from the fans. They must’ve been going bad.

  3. Getting MSSQL set up in a jail was difficult and I couldn’t do it.

The performance was not bad. Even with 2.2 GHz clock speed the unit was able to fully saturate 1000baseT connection (when used with 4x 15k RPM SAS drives). Note it wouldn’t be perfect all the time, with occasional dips but otherwise it pretty banging for a SOHO storage server.

I was running the last FreeNAS 11-Stable train, but I realized that I basically what I wanted to do was use it for more than a storage server, and I wound up running lots of VM’s. So I instead decided to install CentOS 7 since that’s what most of my VM’s were anyway.


In the end I decided to just stick with my r710, running Gitlab, for my projects. It’s quite fun to use it for development.
I ended up having to not use hard drives for the new server, because it was cheaper to get a 500GB SSD (Samsung 850 Pro), than to get 4 15K RPM SAS drives and it performs much better. The only I lose is the redundancy.


I should post an update with how I installed gitlab and got it configured and hardened.

Thanks for the reply! Haven’t checked the forums lately, but this was a nice surprise to see such a detailed reply. :grinning:

No problem! :slight_smile: