8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2009 10:25 AM by Dan_O

    S5000PAL hard disk upgrade


      I have a server that I need to get some idea of pricing for upgrading its disk subsystem. It is an S5000PAL, in the SR2500 chassis. I am not that familiar with Intel stuff that hasnt been OEM`d by HP or Dell to be honest.


      I can get physical access to the server, and open it up, but it obviously needs to be off, and its the companies Line of Business VM server, so not that easy to organise.


      So, it has 5 drives currently (with 2 x RAID1`s and a spare disk), and I would like to add in a sixth, and having taken off the blanking plate, I can see nothing behind it, now without downing the box and taking a good root around, can you tell me if there is a way to work out if it has the hot swap midplane, and I need to add the sixth drive interface card, or what the other options are?


      Sorry for the vague question, obviously if it is a case of "turn it off, open it up and dont be so lazy" then just say it!


      Apologies if this has been double posted, it was not my intention, but my other post seems to have disappeared.

        • 1. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

          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

          • 2. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

            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.


            Thank you.

            • 3. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

              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?

              • 4. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

                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.

                • 5. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

                  Where do I find what RAID chip they use on the built in option?


                  Many thanks for your continued help.

                  • 6. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

                    It's in the chassis TPS, rather than the board TPS.  Check http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-022641.htm , SR2500 Chassis TPS, page 49ish.

                    • 7. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

                      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?

                      • 8. Re: S5000PAL hard disk upgrade

                        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.