Is it possible to configure a Dell T710 with a PERC H200 RAID controller and 8x 15k 2.5" HDDs and then add 4x X25-E SSDs, purchased separately, when the system is setup, and not sacrifice performance by mixing the SSDs and HDDs?

Or is it better to buy an LSI #9260-4i RAID controller just for the SSDs? In this case, the SSDs would not be able to be connected to the backplane and not hot-pluggable, but would be cabled to the 9260-4i.

The configuration will be System Drive: 4x X25-E in RAID 10 (C:) volume DataDrive1: 4x HDDs in RAID 10 (D:) volume DataDrive2: 4x HDDs in RAID 10 (E:) volume

The Dell documentation says that when SAS and SATA (SSD) are mixed, only two SAS drives can use used and they must be in slots 0 and 1. Yet, the Dell configuration web page does not give an error message when you select 2 SSDs and 8 SAS HDDs.


The H200 can present at most 2 logical drives (virtual disks) so your plan for 3 RAID groups wont fly with the H200 controller alone. You could configure the SSD's in one RAID 10 group, and the 8 SAS HDD's in the other but that wont deliver isolation between the IO on the two data drives.

Which document are you referring to that states that the SAS drives must be in slots 0 and 1 for mixed SAS\SSD setups? The H200 user guide doesn't mention that restriction, the only restrictions that are mentioned are that all drives in a RAID group must be either all SSDs or HDDs and either all SAS or all SATA.

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  • Thank for the answer, and for pointing out the limit of 2 logical drives for the H200. About the placement of SAS drives i slots 0 and 1, that applies to the 3.5" backplane, but not to the 2.5" one. The link on this is:support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/peT710/en/HOM/PDF/…, page 89. – sejong Jun 4 '10 at 20:51
  • The PERC H700 has a maximum of 64 virtual disks, but I think it currently won't accept 3rd party drives, such as the Intel X25-E I plan to use. – sejong Jun 4 '10 at 21:00
  • The H700 is a much more capable controller across the board and a much better match for RAID 10 on SSD's. The issue about support for non Dell certified drives is a big deal and has been discussed here before, Dell said they would be releasing a firmware update to remove this restriction but it hasn't been released yet ( en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/906/p/19324790/… ) – Helvick Jun 4 '10 at 21:23
  • What about buying the server with the integrated H200, disabling it, buying the LSI retail equivalent (9260-8i?), and using the cables that come with the server to connect the LSI card to the backplane? – sejong Jun 4 '10 at 21:48
  • I can't say for certain that there wouldn't be any issues but it should work. Dell wont support the storage system anymore but I'm assuming that's not an issue for you. If it was me I'd like to see it tested before buying all the kit. – Helvick Jun 4 '10 at 22:01

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