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I've slightly messed up with the purchase of a 2nd hand server (Dell R710) and need a little assistance.

I had (wrongly) assumed that the server had RAID controller but it hasn't, so I need some help with the bits that I have got and what I need to buy to get where I want.

I want to connect 2x SATA 3.5" drives.

The server has no RAID card and the 4x3.5" backplane for the drives is a UL94V-0 unit. It is labelled SAS_A, so I'm not sure if I can use it for SATA drives.

There is no cable from this backplane, presumably because there is no RAID card installed for it to connect to.

Would I be correct in assuming that I could go ahead and purchase an H700 RAID controller card (with the data cables) and this would achieve what I need?

Is there a problem that the backplane is labelled SAS? I understand that this will be OK, but what about the connector on the UL94V, will this be OK to connect to the H700 directly for use with SATA drives? Or do I need to look at replacing the backplane also?

Any help at this stage would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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So a few things:

  • The motherboard may have enough SATA connectors onboard for you to connect the drives directly and use software RAID
  • The missing cable to the backplane is what connects to the RAID card. If you buy the compatible PERC Hxxx card, you can just insert it in the slot, and connect it to the backplane
  • The backplane almost certainly is backwards-compatible with SATA, in my experience with Dell Servers and RAID setups. Dell themselves sell SATA drives as a cheaper option to SAS disks. However you can't combine them into a Virtual disk with SAS disks. R710 Spec Sheet

Dell R710 Technical Guidebook: https://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/pedge/en/server-poweredge-r710-tech-guidebook.pdf

EDIT: Check the post here, you should be able to connect a SAS backplane cable from that backplane to the motherboard, and then use the onboard controller to manage the disks.

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    Thank you for your reply. The motherboard does in fact have two SATA connectors, though I didn't see where I could immediately take the power from (power for the drives). Looks like I'll buy the H700 RAID card as I didn't really want to use software RAID. Lesson learned, read the spec of what you are buying! Thanks for the reply. – omega1 Oct 5 '18 at 14:49
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    @omega1 Oh sorry, you may also be able to connect the backplane to the motherboard directly and use the SATA drives with software RAID that way as well. – zymhan Oct 5 '18 at 15:49

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