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I know you can't mix SATA and SAS in the same RAID configuration, but is it possible to mount a SATA drive on the same RAID controller as its own logical drive?

If not, what do I need in order to mount a single SATA drive on a computer with a set of SAS drives in RAID?


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If in doubt, read the controller docs. If it's not in the docs consult the manufacturer. Why guess? – John Gardeniers Dec 23 '09 at 2:59
John. I spent weeks trying to get an intelligent answer from Dell on this issue with a Poweredge 2900 recently and they couldn't answer the question with any clarity or authority to save their life or their company from bankruptcy. To add to the fun they weren't willing to sell me trays with a SATA drive in them all they want to do is push more SAS drives. – pplrppl Dec 23 '09 at 14:11
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As long as your controller supports it, there's no reason why you can't set up two logical drives (1 SAS, 1 SATA). If it doesn't support it for some reason, buy a cheap SATA controller and throw it into the machine.

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When Dell gave up on answering the question they sent me to and I called someone there to ask what the issues were with mixing trays.

There are trays with interposers and trays without. His answer was that my Poweredge 2900 had two banks of 4 hot swap drives (8 total hot swap drives). If I used all 4 drives in a bank as SATA I didn't need trays with interposers. If I mixed SATA and SAS in a bank of 4 I needed trays with interposers.

I haven't tested this yet but I have a spare 2900 for testing so I plan to do so in early 2010 when I have the time to do it.

I realize this "answer" presents more issues than it solves. I debated just tossing it in a comment but if the interposer issue is significant I think someone should mention it in an answer. I'm more than happy to delete mine if someone with firsthand experience would like to edit/create an answer that discusses this with certainty.

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My PE2900 all SATA drives, works just fine with or without the interposer connectors. But I have the PERC 6/i. One day I will rebuild it with all SAS drives.

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at least with dell's poweredge 5/6 [ which is based on quite popular LSI chip also used by HP and Lenovo ] you can use sas and sata drives on the same controller as long as they do not make single logical drive.

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Just to clarify, there's nothing to stop you running SATA and SAS in the same RAID logical drive if it's implemented in software, whether the OS is Windows, Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc - they don't care about the disk hardware type just the size, though it'd be a bit pointless to do so.

A lot of hardware RAID controllers support having 2 logical drives, one made up of SAS drives and one of SATA drives. It's fairly common because a typical server setup might consist of 2 small SAS drives in a RAID1 partition handling the OS, log files, etc, and 4-5 SATA drives in a RAID5 partition handling file serving.

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I have a dell 2900 as well and this may shed some light on the topic.

My unit came with 2 - 250GB sata drives with the interposers supporting the OS in a riad giveing 500 GB. I called Dell and asked if the dell part number: A1622060 would work with my system and they told me yes. This is a SAS drive. I purchased 4 of these for raid 10 as a data partition. i mounted them in the proper trays and inserted them in the lower bank. When i powered up the perc 5/i controller told me that 3 of the 4 had FAILURES!!!. The origional two drive work just fine. i then went and purchased 2 - 1TB SATA drives with no interposers and pluged them in and was up and running. I will now go and buy 2 more for may riad configuration. When i called dell they just had no clue on the issue. I wonder if the drives were just bad, considering 1 mounted fine.

I was told but please confirm anyone if possible that the interposer just makes the drive a 2 channel for better file access, but there is still a 3 Gs maximum. please shead light on this if you can.

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