You've done the correct step. You can take the chassis lid off, while it's running, and see that there's no hard drive mount for that sixth slot.
The midplane is the piece that lies horizontal. The backplane is where the drives plug in. There's a pretty clear picture on http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-025698.htm
Thanks Dan, an opportune moment arose early this morning to look inside, and I also found that document you linked to before looking, so i knew what I was looking for. Hard disk and 6th Drive kit ordered this morning, installation next week.
Slightly different question, but related to the same hardware.
I have installed the sixth drive kit and the relevant connector etc, we have a passive midplane, and (now) six SATA drives.
I am now trying to ascertain what Hardware RAID options I have with this box. From the documentation I have found we are using Software RAID, and I would like to move to a proper hardware card. Now that doesnt appear to be an option with the current midplane, is the best way forward a swap to an active midplane, and the subsequent purchase of the hardware RAID key, memory and battery? Or am I better sticking a hardware RAID card (LSI, Adaptec) into a PCI slot and recabling?
I am not bothered about the O/S that is currently running, and will obviously whip the VM`s to safe storage, so I dont mind losing all data to get the best config.
Can someone point me in the right direction?
I like the active midplane / RAID activation key / memory combination myself (you don't need to buy a battery for it). It's going to give you the same performance as an add-in RAID card, but leave your PCIe slots free.
Where do I find what RAID chip they use on the built in option?
Many thanks for your continued help.
OK, one more question (hopefully).
Looking at that the hardware RAID built into the server is SAS only. I have a SATA Backplane and 6 SATA drives. So I guess that makes things more complicated?
A backplane, midplane, RAID key and 6 SAS drives are starting to add up the cost/hassle compared to an equivilant add-in RAID card.
Am I thinking correctly?
Yes, you are thinking correctly. As with anything, there's a trade-off. More expensive option keeps your PCIe slot free. Less expensive option uses the PCIe slot.
In your case, since you're doing SATA, I'd go with the less expensive option, assuming you have a free expansion slot.