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Mountain View, CA

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to batsona

Re: Motherboard layout for HP DL360 G6...

The SATA-to-eSATA "adapter bracket" you've linked you should try to avoid if at all possible. I cannot tell you how many times on the FreeBSD mailing lists users would show up with strange hardware issues pertaining to their disks (usually seeing ATA CRC errors or timeouts) only to find out they were using these adapters; removal of the adapter and use of a an actual eSATA controller solved their issues. The adapters are often cheap and shoddily made -- what you can't see is what's hidden by the hard black plastic. Cheap wire or bad soldering jobs will cause issues.

It's important to understand that though the SATA PHY and underlying ATA storage protocol doesn't change between eSATA and SATA, there are physical characteristics which are required by eSATA which an adapter like the one you linked cannot provide. The differences are explained on Wikipedia.

What you should consider, which will also allow you to keep using your DVD/CD drive, is an actual eSATA PCI, PCI-X, or PCIe card. Which bus type you get depends on what kind of riser card you have installed in the HP DL360 G6. See Pages 38/39/40 of the maintenance PDF aguen See Profile linked for details.

These cards are quite inexpensive -- you don't have to break the bank. A standard consumer-grade card would be just fine and cost you maybe US$50 tops. When it comes to purchasing one of these cards, you need to be aware of two things:

* Most of these cards use Silicon Image chipsets, which are okay except for two specific models which contain silicon-level bugs: the 3112 and the 3512. Please avoid both of these like the plague (especially the 3112), as they contain silicon-level bugs,
* I've seen a couple HBAs on the market using JMicron chips. Try to avoid these if possible (issues there mainly pertain to shoddy drivers, not hardware problems). I tend to avoid VIA chips for the exact same reasons (over a decade of experience dealing with either silicon-level bugs or driver bugs has made me boycott them; yes even their USB and Firewire chips),
* Some card manufacturers are known not to disclose/show the model of SATA controller used; do not risk buying a "mystery controller",
* Whatever card you get needs to have driver support in your OS. Before buying the card, look at the manufacturers website first to see if they offer drivers for what you need.

For a consumer-grade manufacturer of cards which discloses the manufacturer and model of chip used, Rosewill cards are known to be acceptable and affordable.

Some of these do use the chipsets I stated should be avoided (particularly the PCI cards). So if I had to give you recommendations, it would be these, all of which are PCIe:

PCIe x1: Rosewill RC-225 (Marvell 88SE9128, SATA600, supports low-height chassis)
PCIe x1: Rosewill RC-223 (Silicon Image 3132, SATA300, supports low-height chassis, RAID if needed)
PCIe x1: Rosewill RC-219 (Silicon Image 3132, SATA300, supports low-height chassis)
PCIe x1: Rosewill RC-213 (Silicon Image 3132, SATA300, supports low-height chassis, RAID if needed)
PCIe x1: Rosewill RC-214 (Silicon Image 3132, SATA300, supports low-height chassis)
PCIe x4: Rosewill RC-218 (Marvell 88SX7042, SATA300, supports low-height chassis)

Not sure what the real difference is between the RC-213 vs. RC-223, and the RC-213 vs. RC-219. My guess is what features are enabled in the firmware.

I might also be able to recommend the RC-226 (uses the same chip as the RC-225), except the product info page claims low-height chassis support yet the photos show no such bracket.

I determined the chip used by the RC-225 by visual inspection (zooming/adjusting contrast) of the product PCB, as well as looking at the provided driver package.

You can probably find all of these products on NewEgg, Amazon, or any other consumer vendor.

Finally, as a UNIX SA and someone who did co-location for almost 20 years (owned my own hardware), given that you have server-grade hardware, don't "ghetto-ise" your systems by using things like those SATA-to-eSATA adapters. Do the Right Thing(tm): get an actual HBA.

HTH, good luck.
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.