I'm wondering if it's possible to access the Dell PERC H800A from an Intel server (not a Dell server), for performing the initial configuration of an MD1200 storage enclosure? I've not worked with an MD1200 enclosure before, but it seems as though the disks on the enclosure need to be configured via the PERC card first, as you would a normal RAID array.
Some research I've drawn from:
From what I've read, it seems like accessing the configuration for our MD1200 will be easiest done via the BIOS - but I'm open to using OMSA, if it's possible, as well.
After some tinkering, we decided to move the PERC card to another PCI-e slot on the Intel server, this has caused the card to be recognised in the BIOS. I'm not sure what the issue was, as we originally used the correctly sized PCI-e slot for the card -- I think maybe a 4x slot.
Moving it to one of the two larger slots (either 8x or 16x) seems to have fixed the issue.
I'm not sure if this is bandwidth related or what, since I would have thought that if the card has a particular size, then the standard bandwidth for that slot size should be fine. After reading JimNim's update, it must be slot priority.
We're still having an issue with a conflict between the PERC card and the on-board Intel RAID we're using, but that's causing a separate issue when booting windows. The card is now fundamentally accessible from the BIOS level.
After some consideration, I'm going to mark JimNim's answer as accepted, since it hinted towards slot priority (and as of a later update actually includes suggestions for exactly what we did to get the card recognised anyway).
The host machine is running Windows 2012 Standard (not R2).
To clarify, I don't actually care about creating a RAID array from the volumes. In fact, I'd prefer not to do RAID. This may have been a mis-communication from Dell as I think they initially assumed I would want RAID capability. They basically told me I needed the PERC H800 if I wanted to attach the enclosure to a non-Dell host (or at least that's how it sounded at the time). It sounds like Dell's SAS 6/E card may have worked just fine for me.
Any advice on where to obtain the H800 drivers for Windows 2012? (Or equivalent LSI drivers?) I can only find Windows 2008 R2 64-bit PERC drivers so far.
I've looked in the BIOS previously regarding PCI-e settings, and there was no signs of slot priority that I recall. Also, this is the first expansion card we've added to the server - so regardless of any slot priority, I'd think it would allow at least one card without modification.
At the OS level, we couldn't find any initial indication that the OS has detected the card (device manager seems empty and event viewer didn't have any relevant entries). Something may have been missed, so we're planning to dig into things remotely today.
We have an existing Intel server with 24TB worth of storage for backups. We've encountered a need to be able to expand that storage and wanted to stick with the existing Intel server for ease of transition, and so that we'll only need to manage the storage from a single server.
At this point we have mostly Dell servers, and the MD1200 seemed to be a cost-effective way of adding some directly-attached storage. Dell assured us that since the PERC card is just PCE-e, as long as we have the sufficient PCI-e slot it would be compatible.
Fast-forward to today, and there's no signs of the PERC card, or our storage, in either the BIOS or the OS, as far as we can tell.
And I'm at a loss as to where to turn next, aside from perhaps installing the PERC card into a Dell server.