Currently we have a "homemade" ESXi server that has been put in a Supermicro SC842i-500B chassis; this is obviously suboptimal, given that we do have a RAID 10 setup (6 SATA disks, with a MegaRAID SAS 9240-8i RAID controller) but the chassis does not support hot-swappable disks.
Finally, we got a more suitable case (Supermicro SC825TQ-R740LPB), which takes less space, should have a better air flow and, most importantly, has hot-swappable disk support.
Currently the disks are connected directly to the RAID controller through two SFF-8087 → 4xSATA cables; the new case introduces an extra layer - the backplane.
Given that I have no experience with SAS, server-grade hardware and backplanes, I have some doubts:
- other backplanes I read about seem to connect to the RAID card directly through a single cable; here however the backplane has just 8 separate SAS ports and the controller has only 2 SFF-8087 ports; is it correct to use the split-cables we are already using, although they are supposedly SFF-8087 to SATA1?
- what does having a backplane between the controller and the disks imply? Do I need to reconfigure something in the controller, or it should work "as if nothing happened" (given that I connect the same disks to the bays corresponding to the old connectors)?
- the backplane has two I2C connectors and two sideband connectors, while the RAID controller doesn't seem to have anything like that, so I suppose that the controller and the backplane cannot communicate sideband data; should I be worried?
Edit ok, from what I gathered the sideband connector should come out from the SFF-8087 split cable, I'll check if the one we are currently using already has it and I didn't notice or if we have to buy another one; the other questions stand, however.
- Although, searching "SFF-8087 to 4 x SAS" yields only "SFF-8087 to 4 x SATA" results.