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I'm struggling to find any documentation on this, I know the Dell PowerEdge 2950 supports both SAS and SATA drives but I'm not sure if I need to anything to swap them over, do I need new caddies for example. Can I just swap the drives?

Many thanks

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Just a side note that Dell has changed the PERC firmware on all gen-11 servers (R710, R510, etc...) to only allow drives purchased through Dell. I guess they really want that 500% markup they charge on SATA drives. – ITGuy24 Mar 4 '10 at 17:23
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As a general rule, wherever you have SAS drives you can use SATA. There are exceptions, but they're more commonly in SAN type setups.

The Dell caddies are easy to swap over between SAS and SATA I've done so many times, although on 1950's.

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Yes... you can just swap them.

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Is the interface the same on sas and sata? thanks – Steve Lee Aug 7 '09 at 14:01
Yes, the physical drive interface is the same. – brad.lane Aug 7 '09 at 15:09

I had the same question a few weeks ago. The Dell support person I talked to claimed you could not just swap the drives, but had no explanation for the fact that there was not a separate part number for a SAS backplane.

My own research on the PERC part, the backplane, and the SATA/SAS specs would seem to indicate that they are completely interchangable.

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Our 2950 came with SATA drives but each drive had a little adapter on the back to switch it from SATA to SAS.. so the server actually thinks it has SAS drives attached, not SATA.

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