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(Sorry if this is off-topic - technically this is a home workstation setting, but is regarding mostly-server technology.)

I have a GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI motherboard and four ST3000DM001 drives, and the IRST manager isn't letting me put the drives in a RAID (it lists them, but the option to select the C600-series controller is simply grayed out).

Have I done a mistake? Do I need SAS drives to RAID them on the SAS controller?

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Generally you do not need SAS drives for RAID on a SAS controller. HW RAID should work just fine with SATA drives. Software RAID will work fine. (No direct experience with that motherboard or chipset though. So it could be the odd duck in the pond). –  Hennes Dec 8 '12 at 17:42
    
There are differences in the reliability of fault handling with SAS vs SATA drives in RAID arrays. There are ample threads on serverfault already about that topic.... –  rackandboneman Dec 10 '12 at 7:36

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Apparently, it's possible to just create the RAID array on a different controller (e.g. SATA) and plug the drives into the SAS controller's SATA ports. The array will be recognized. I can only explain the inability to create a RAID array on the SAS ports as an IRST bug.

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