We recently bought a PowerVault MD3420 and I sent Dell the specs of the server I was going to use to connect it to.

They sent me a card made by LSI instead of a PERC card for controlling the RAID from our R720.

When I opened up the R720, it plugged into the PCI slot snugly. After booting the server it said it new PCI configuration detected, will reboot after power optimization.

After the reboot, nothing comes up to tell me to configure the RAID. On the PERC cards in some of the other servers, it usually says press ctrl + R to configure RAID, but nothing of that sort comes up. I looked all around the BIOS to see if I was missing something but I can only conclude that our R720 is not recognizing this RAID card. Can anyone help me verify that this is indeed the problem?


  • The card Dell shipped you isn't a RAID controller card, it's a Host Bus Adapter card (HBA). The RAID controller(s) is/are in the storage unit itself. You'd serve yourself well to read the Dell documentation for the storage array to learn about what it is, it's components, how to cable it and your servers and how to configure it. – joeqwerty Jun 14 '16 at 1:50
  • Our other PERC cards configured the raid on the server. But I see what you are saying. – jwillis0720 Jun 14 '16 at 7:18
  • Right, but this isn't a PERC RAID card, it's a HBA card. The RAID controllers are in the storage unit. You'll configure the RAID settings using the Dell MDSM software (Modular Disk Storage Manager), which you'll need to install on the server or on a management server. – joeqwerty Jun 14 '16 at 11:18

PERC cards are for local RAID. This isn't local.

RAID config for your SAN is done via a Dell utility from the server, not from BIOS on the server utilizing the SAN. The LSI card is a host bus adapter, allowing the host (server) to talk to the SAN (storage) via external SAS connections.

I suspect the LSI card is already working properly, but check device manager on the server to verify that drivers are already installed. If not, download the right driver here.

Remember, the SAN takes care of RAID config and pretty much everything else in terms of storage config for this kind of setup. Storage is completely seperate from the host(s) utilizing the SAN.

  • Thank you! Our other enclosures were Powervault 1220s and we received PERC H800 cards and configured the RAID on the server, in the BIOS. Would you consider that a local RAID even though it's an attached storage? – jwillis0720 Jun 14 '16 at 7:21
  • Yes, Powervault 1220 is a DAS - that stands for Direct Attached Storage. Although it probably looks very much like your new MD3420 they are in fact quite different. – Tedwin Jun 14 '16 at 15:20
  • Can you configure through the adapter or do I need to configure through an ethernet connection connected to the mgmt port? – jwillis0720 Jun 16 '16 at 5:47

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