I’m new to buying the HL15 and I am wondering what would be the best cable set to include with the chassis? I plan to fill all the bays with sas drives. Also what controller card is best for this as well if my motherboard will not have all the controllers. Please let me know. Thanks.
You need to be a bit more specific about your requirements. Are you looking at the full build with the X11SPH motherboard, or will you BYOM? Spinning disks or SSDs? 6gbps SAS or 12gbps SAS? Does “best” mean fastest or something else? Is budget a factor?
Assuming you are BYOM, the most generic answer would probably be to go with the "Set A
(4x) SFF 8643 → SFF 8643 [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Mini-SAS-HD]" and get a LSI-93xx-16i HBA with SFF 8643 connectors.
But you could get an 8i HBA and a SAS expander card instead. Or, you could go with an LSI 92xx series with SFF-8087 ports and get "Set C
(4x) SFF 8643 → SFF 8087 [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Mini-SAS]" and save some money especially if you have spinning disks. The 12gbps isn’t something spinning disks can sustain for anything but short bursts of cached data.
If you are getting the full build, it will come with "Set B
(2x) SFF 8643 → SFF 8643 [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Mini-SAS-HD]
(2x) SFF 8643 → SFF 8087 [Mini-SAS-HD (Backplane) to Mini-SAS]"
and you can repurpose the two SFF-8087 cables to go to an HBA with SFF-8087 ports that supports SAS.
You should also be aware of this thread if you are dealing with 12gbps SAS;
the gist of which there seems to be sporadic issues with some of the SFF-8643->SFF-8643 cables provided by 45Drives with drives operating at 12gbps. They never really identified a root cause, so it may only have affected certain builds or a specific batch of cables. But, it is something to be aware exists in case you start chasing the same gremlins.
Yes I will be building my own with all spinning disks. I would like to know what’s the fastest route?
Then with the very limited info you’ve provided, I’d say go with an LSI 9300-16i and the “Set A” cables. Others may have a different suggestion.
Since I’m not going with the pre-build and going to build up myself, what do I need to know to make sure I can get all the drives connected. Connection type, HBA type Motherboard connections etc….
Again, minimal details of your use case make detailed answers difficult. Most desktop motherboards just come with SATA connections. But there are some workstation and server motherboards, like the one in the HL15 full build, that do have a SAS HBA controller on the motherboard. We don’t know what else your build is supposed to do (does it need a GPU? Does it need 10gig ethernet? How much RAM? What OS or storage software will you run?) that also affect the motherboard selection.
So, given that all we know is that what is desired is a build that can access 15 12gbs SAS drives, then “to be sure”;
- Select an ATX form factor motherboard. It doesn’t matter about most of the other features of the board, SATA ports etc. because you haven’t provided any requirements for that. The board can’t be larger than ATX because eATX as a general rule won’t physically fit in the HL15. If the only PCIe card it’s going to have is the HBA, then you could use an miniITX or microATX board. It should support whatever PCIe version your HBA is.
- Select an HBA that is flashed with “IT Mode” firmware, not a RAID controller. Look for one that says it supports SAS 12gbps. In general, those are going to be ones with SFF-8643 connectors, but it is possible with SFF-8087 connectors. Each SFF-8643 or SFF-8087 connection carries the data for four drives, and the HL15 backplane has four SFF-8643 connectors (four times four equals 16; one SAS channel is unused and essentially unavailable). So, you need a total of four of those connectors on your HBA(s) and/or expander. The simplest, as I said above is to go with a “-16i” card which will have four connectors, but you could get two “-8i” cards which would have two of the four-channel connectors each. A 9300-16i is the simplest low-information “to be sure” choice. Newer cards like the 94xx, 95xx and 96xx series won’t get you any additional SAS speed, will run hotter and will typically cost more. 92xx series aren’t all going to support 12gbps, so they aren’t a “to be sure” choice.
- We already know the HL15 backplane supports plugging in SAS drives. I think these are called SFF-8482 connectors, but they are so common I’m not sure anyone uses that designation much when talking about the SAS drive itself. I think any modern spinning SAS drive is going to have that type of connector. I think if you were going to use NVME SSD drives there would be a different connector in the mix, but you spec’d spinning disks.