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I've recently come into possession of an Arcvault 24, a combination tape libary/LTO4 tape drive unit. It connects via a U320 SCSI link using HD68 wiring.

The server that this library will be connected to is a HP DL160 G6. This device does not have any SCSI connectors, so I think I need to pick up a SCSI card of some kind.

The server has PCI-E x8, x16, and PCI-X slots.

Problem is, I have no idea what to buy given the options available. I say this, because prices are all over the place on outfits like eBay, with interface cards matching the description of being U320 and having the right connectors both for the board and the device cable varying in price anywhere from $8 to $200.

So the main questions are:

  • I'm assuming these are radically different devices given the radically different prices, but as a newbie, what am I looking for and why are the prices so variable?

  • Can I just buy any random SCSI card that is U320/PCI-X and expect it to connect to my library?

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    $8 sounds about right. U320 is ancient stuff at this point. The higher prices are for people who don't know any better. – Michael Hampton Aug 7 '15 at 20:23
  • Ultra 320...ugh. If it's more than $50 it better come with mother of pearl inlay and hand-crafted gold leaf artwork. Also, did U320 support auto-termination of the SCSI bus? If not, he'll need a terminator to cap it off, unless he has a cable with a single connection on it. – Avery Payne Aug 11 '15 at 16:47
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I'm assuming these are radically different devices given the radically different prices, but as a newbie, what am I looking for and why are the prices so variable?

Prices are always variable. Part of that is the regular stuff: Sstill in originally package, or working but without any documentation or driver CD, etc etc.

However old fashioned parallel SCSI is somewhat old. That means that you can either pay though the nose for a 'rare, old item', or get something nobody uses anymore for dump prices.

Having written that: Any U320 PCI-X or PCE-e card should do. Even the slower ones should have no problem keeping up with a tape. So check what else you are planning to put in the server:

If you never intend to put an other card in there, go for a PCI-e based hostadaptor. It is most likely to be useful in a future machine.

Can I just buy any random SCSI card that is U320/PCI-X and expect it to connect to my library?

Almost, yes.

No need to a fast card. No need for it to have a bootable BIOS. Any basic working card should do.

What you do want to check though is if the server has any quirks. Some 'A-brand servers' are very well tested with limited hardware and either do not play well with random 3rd party hardware or it results into warranty problems.

For that reason I would use the card which ewhite mentioned. (For a home setup I would buy a the cheapest card I could find instead).

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HP ProLiant DL160 G6 QuickSpecs

Buy an HP SC11XE adapter: 412911-B21

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    Geeez... why bother? – ewwhite Aug 8 '15 at 1:08

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