How to hook up a disk shelf to a HP Proliant Dl360e server? *First server, I'm new, go easy lol*

Hi all, looking to add more storage to my server that’s full of 4 internal drives.

It’s an HP Proliant DL360e 1u with 4 hard drive bays.

I’m interested in getting a disk shelf (Edit : Any recommendations? Does it need to be an HP disk shelf?). How do I hook it up to an HP Proliant Dl360e G8 server? Do I just need to get a SAS host bust adapter, and hook it up to the disk shelf with external SAS cables?

Does the SAS host bus adapter need to be an HP branded one, or are most PCI ones compatible with an HP DL360e G8?

When the sas cable is connected to the two servers, should I get the same raid controller for the disk shelf? Do raid controllers typically come with a disk shelf?

Any advice is greatly appreciated, please keep the wording/terms as simple as possible. I just built my first server and I’m not very knowledgeable.

No, you don’t need to stay with HPE, the only advantage would be if this is going into production and you have an active maintenance agreement.

You can use a SAS disk shelf for DAS type connection, or an iSCSI / FC shelf for a SAN type connection.

A DAS (direct attached storage) shelf will have no controller (s), it will have backplane connections. Usually an in and out, sometimes two of each.

A SAN (storage area network) shelf will have one or two controllers, and several network interfaces.

An older empty DAS shelf will be the most inexpensive.

Awesome. Would a NetApp DS2246 do the trick? I see them on eBay at a good price. Unless there’s better options.
Now, do I use a host bus adapter with whatever in and out ports I need and connect it to the SAS, DAS, or SAN?
Can RAID somehow still be configured with DAS? Is there any redudancy? Does the HBA control the RAID or something or how does that work?

Also, do you have any recommendations on RAM? RAM for servers seems much more confusing than a regular computer. I want to buy RAM and expand it to my current stuff.
This is my ram !


Look at the HPE D2700 enclosure, should be under $200 empty, with power supplies. You’ll need a HBA or RAID card on the server with external connectors to talk to the drives… from there, it’s the same process as configuring the drives in the server itself.

I see plenty of Dell SAS enclosures too in the $150-200 price range.

The NetApp you mentioned looks viable too, I mean, they all have the same function. I don’t have experience with that brand directly.

If you plan to use SAS drives, many are dual port, and will benefit from a controller that supports that feature (with two external connections). If you use SATA drives, they’re all single port so it doesn’t matter.

I think server ram is simpler than desktop, at least when it comes to ECC. Servers want registered buffered dimms, and they tolerate mixing rams from different batches, instead of buying it all at the same time as a “kit” like desktops require. The thing to watch out for is dimm ranks. Single, dual, quad… you’ll want to consult the spec sheet for your system to see what sizes and what ranks are recommended for your desired configuration.

In your picture, you have a dual rank (2R) ddr3 dimm, 8gb, registered ecc ram, 10600 mhz. I see those on ebay for $15-20 each, pretty cheap for 8 gig sticks!

Thanks for all of the info,
Now, I have a B120i On-Board Raid Controller in my HP server.
Should I get an HBA to connect to the drives? I typically see a HBA have 2 ports. How does it talk to 24+ drives in an enclosure?

Sorry for all of these questions, this will be a lot of money and just wanna make sure i’m doing it right.

Okay, so looking at photos I think I can understand this part.
I see that there is connectors on the back of the enclosure for the SAS cables.
I assume the controllers handle the drives thru there.
And if I have a raid controller in my server with an HBA, I can configure raid?
I see a total of 4 connectors on the back. I assume one is in, one is out, one is in, one is out.
So that’s why there is 2 ports on the majority of HBAs?
Should I get an HBA? I don’t think I can hook up to my raid controller cause it’s built into my server (i assume)

Dell Compellent SC220

If you want to manage the drives with hardware raid, you’ll need a raid controller with external SAS connectors. If you want to use a more modern solution like ZFS or Windows Storage Spaces, then a non raid HBA is what you want (sometimes called IT mode.)

To connect to the Dell enclosure in your picture you would use each of the IN ports. If you were connecting multiple enclosures together, you would daisy chain in to out on each one, and then connect the hba to the top and bottom of the stack, if that makes sense.

Usually the controller talks to the backplane in the enclosure, and special chips coordinate the IO for the drives. This way you can have 100+ drives connected to the bus, without running out of addresses.

Ah! I understand the other ports for daisy chaining now.

So if I have a built in raid controller, I assume I can use another? Should I get a SAS Raid Controller? I think I’m getting the jist of things now.
Or do I find a HBA that has one built in (if that’s a thing)

Thanks so much for your help thus far.

Edit :
When you state modern solution like ZFS/Windows Storage Spaces, how can a non raid HBA offer redundancy?
I’m using ESXI as my host if that is any help.

Using VMware, you’ll want to use a hardware raid controller. ZFS and WSS provided redundancy the same way as hardware raid, by using parity data. The difference is in the features offered and more flexibility in layouts. Neither are options under VMware so that’s a moot point.

For cards, since you have a HP server, take a look at the HP P400. There is a ton of options, and only minor differences between them. Double check the VMWare hardware compatibility database to be safe.

Ah makes sense!

I see the HP P400, now I don’t see an external SAS port so does this go into the disk shelf?

I guess it’s the p400 series, 411, 412, etc. You’ll have to look around for one with at least two external connectors.

Here is a p800 series with four external connectors and 1gb of cache

Awesome! I’m getting the hang of it.
So raid controller in server, sas cables plug into raid controller, and plug into disk shelf.
controllers on disk shelf handle all the data going from one port to the backplane, yada yada

Edit :
Will these need to be connected? For example, it says ‘backplane’ but I already have the backplate wire hooked up in my server

You don’t need to use the internal connectors. I would leave the battery backup board connected so the cache ram stays enabled.

Have fun!

thank you so much for your help, I really, really, really appreciate it

You’re most welcome! Happy to help.

Are battery backup boards included in the raid card?

You’d have to ask the seller, I have no idea.

I’d get one with a supercapacitor instead of a battery. If it comes with a battery, the battery is likely ruined and should be replaced.

would you mind providing me a link that’ll be compatible with the HP Smart Array P812 ?

actually, i see on the card it says “HP Smart Array P812 PCI-e SAS RAID Controller with 1GB 587224-001 & Capacitor

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