Question How to plug Enterprise SAS SSD into Server - Onboard Broadcom 2208

Aug 4, 2021
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I just got a new 2.5" SAS SSD and I want to use it as my boot drive. My server has the onboard Broadcom 2208. I assumed it is part of the backplane, but I don't know.

My server is a Supermicro X9DRW-7TPF with onboard Broadcom 2208 SAS2 RAID.

I got a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter and screwed it into my HDD caddy and of course, it does not line up with the plug: it is in the middle, and does not reach all the way to the back. I didn't expect it would. I also have another SATA SSD drive underneath, so that two drives will be in this 3.5" drive bay.

So I assume I need a cable to attach the SAS drive to the backplane.

My datacenter admin suggests to use an SAS to SATA cable to plug it to the motherboard. I know for a fact that that won't work, and anyway I would never reduce SAS speeds down to SATA speeds anyway even if it were possible, which it's not.

The question is how do I plug this SAS SSD into my server, and where is the Broadcom 2208 located? It's not an external PCI adapter, and anyway my server can't boot from PCI so that wouldn't be a solution anyway.

Basically, I thought that I should get a cable to plug the SAS drive into the backplane. Would that be correct? What kind of cable? What kind of plug is on the backplane that the SAS drive can plug into?

I haven't done this before so I don't know how even an SAS drive plugs to a motherboard. I don't know how the Broadcom 2208 looks or works or plugs (is it built into the backplane? Or are there other ports on the motherboard? Etc), and I don't know for sure how to connect an SAS drive, and I don't know how the SAS plugs on the motherboard or backplane look.

Can you help me fill in some blanks?
 
Aug 4, 2021
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Ok, so if my support rep was correct, when I sent him a picture of my motherboard (SATA ports are on the left), he pointed that on the right side, there are two SAS ports. He said the Broadcom 2208 chip is on the motherboard. He suggested I could plug the SAS drive directly to the motherboard and bypass the backplane - the only challenge is what to use for power. So, I pointed out there is an open Molex plug that is unused over by the battery. He said yeah I could get a breakout cable to plug into Molex for the power and the mini SAS (sff 8087 probably) on the motherboard for the data. And it should work.

What do you think?

Here's a closeup of the open molex plug, and a closeup of the SAS ports on my motherboard:

SAS ports (x2):


Open Molex plug:
 

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