General Questions

Hello everybody,

I want to order a HL 15 but still have a few questions beforehand.

  1. How does the backplane work? What connector does the back plane have? And do I have multiple cables to connect my mainboard with? I don’t have any SATA or SAS ports on my mainboard only 3x MCIO ports which currently connect my 12 SATA drives. Would the be possible with the default scope of delivery or do I need an adapter?

  2. When the HL 15 is rack mounted, is it possible to just open the part case for the drives in order to replace a hard disk? If not, can I open the whole lid ?

  3. Also, maybe off-topic - can anyone give information about the health of the drives? Does the vertical standing affect the lifespan of drives?

  1. The backplane has four SFF-8643 connectors. When you order the HL15 chassis w/ or w/o PSU, you are given the option to select from seven different cable sets that are different combinations of SAS/SATA connectors on one end (for different mobos or HBAs) and SFF-8643 on the other for the backplane. For example, on the “other end” sets of 7-pin SATA, SFF-8087, SFF-8643, SFF-8654 etc. One set of these data cables (A through G) is included in the purchase price. The last time I looked, however, I don’t think they have MCIO-to-SFF-8643 cables as an option. You will need some cables something like this I think;

But there is also 38-pin MCIO, not 74-pin. I was having trouble digging up an SFF-8643 cable for that. I would contact before placing your order and explain your situation. They may be able to either spcial source the appropriate cables for you (as the 45Drives side has NVME servers), or give you a credit on the price for not including a cable set. You aren’t the first person to post here about MCIO, there have been two or three others.

  1. Like many other servers the whole top comes off. On the enterprise 45Drives units there are separate covers for the drive chamber and the motherboard chamber, but on the HL15 it is one piece of metal. You unscrew a couple of thumbscrews on the front, push the top back about half an inch, and it lifts up and off.

  2. Google seems to say, no. For example. In my experience the vertical positioning allows more airflow and keeps the drives cooler than when they are crammed in horizontal bays, since those bays usually have metal shelves and caddies restricting airflow. Drives these days are fully sealed with a light gas such as helium, so gravity isn’t really a factor in performance or wear assuming you are operating your HL15 on Earth and not, say, on Jupiter or while accelerating in a rocket car on the salt flats.

1 Like