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I've read here that I can't mix SAS and SATA2 drives on the same controller - is that really true? I understand I shouldn't mix on the same channel, but the same card!?

For example, when I plug my 6-drive backplane (IBM x3650-7979) via SFF-8087 cable connector into an Adaptec 2405. Spinning 2 SAS drives (Ch.1), and 4 SATA2 drives (Ch.2+3) - Would it work?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes. This works fine and is not an uncommon arrangement. You may want to look into using nearline or midline SAS drives instead of SATA for future installations, though. These days, there are fewer reasons to use SATA disks given the high-capacity SAS options available.

See: SAS or SATA for 3 TB drives?

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Just a short follow up: the Adaptec is a "4 channel" raid card, that means 4 raid channels (as I assumed above), right. It can handle these 6 disks, can it? – isync Feb 17 '12 at 2:15
The Adaptec is a 4-port card (4-lane SAS SFF-8088 connector). It can only accommodate 4 disks. You can use a SAS expander or a server/enclosure with a SAS expander to connect more disks. But as is, you're limited to 4 disks. – ewwhite Feb 17 '12 at 2:18
Thanks! Your answer indicates that the built-in backplane IBM 44W3110 (or similar) then works as an expander, as the connector seems to be the 4-lane one, and the build-in raid card ServeRaid 8k-l I'm replacing doesn't seem as capable as the newer Adaptec 2405. -- Does that make sense? – isync Feb 17 '12 at 12:33
I don't know the difference between the controllers. How many ports/drive slots does the server have available? How many connectors are on the backplane? – ewwhite Feb 17 '12 at 12:37
I think I've researched it myself. There's only one SFF x4 connector, but the backplane is sometimes also referred to by IBM as an Expander etc., has a CPU and stuff, and seems to act as an Expander. These systems have 6 disk slots... So thanks, ewwhite. – isync Feb 17 '12 at 14:24

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