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HPE ML350 Gen10 with both LFF and SFF - is it possible?

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Occasional Collector

HPE ML350 Gen10 with both LFF and SFF - is it possible?

I'm thinking about buying an ML350 Gen10 server (877621-421). It's an 8x SFF model with Xeon Silver 4110 processor and 16GB RAM. I was wondering if it's possible to additionally build in the 4xLFF HDD cage kit (874566-B21). That would physically give me 4xLFF + 8xSFF hot-swap drives. I understand this model comes standard with the HPE Smart Array P408i-p Gen10, to which I can connect 8 drives. I'm assuming the controller has 2x miniSAS connectors. I could wire one of those to the 4xLFF cage, and one to the 4x SFF cage. That would mean I lose connectivity to 4 of the 8 SFF drives, but that's no problem for me. I could install upto 4xLFF drives and 4xSFF drives simultaneously.

Does anyone know if this is possible? The quickspecs only talks about a 4x4x4 LFF or a 8x8x8 SFF configuration - never about a mix of SFF and LFF.

Extra info - in case you need more information:
I want to go this route because I want the Silver 4110 processor, and the systems that come with the 4xLFF cage only come with the Bronze processor. I'm not able to customise this with my local reseller.
Also, I preferably need both SFF and LFF: LFF for my storage drives, and SFF for my OS SSD's.

- This server is to replace our existing server: Superm***o; 2x XEON 5160 processors; 2x WD Black 7k2 2TB SATA in hw RAID1 (no cache) gives me 2TB of total storage which is almost full now. Current performance is good enough for us. (Most storage consists of Word documents, pictures and the like...)
- It's tasks will be VMware with fileserver (Linux, ~50 SMB users), firewall (pfSense) and digital signage (Linux/Xibo).
- New storage capacity needs to be about 8TB, hence I'm looking at 4x SAS or SATA drives, 7k2 LFF 4TB in hw RAID10 (2GB cache) (833928-B21).
- Becaus this type of storage might be rather slow (?), I'm planning to install the OSses on 2x SSD 240GB in RAID1 (P04556-B21).
- We are a non-profit, so cost is an big issue for us. 8TB of storage in 10k SAS or SSD is not affordable for us. Also 2.5" is out, because I think they are too expensive for the amount of storage that I need and my budget.

I'm also open to consider other options, but I do need 8TB of storage, a good enough processor, 16GB of RAM and my budget is ~4000 Euro. And please remember my actual/initial question is whether I can mix LFF and SFF drive cages in the ML350 Gen10.

Thank you so much for your help!

Occasional Advisor

Re: HPE ML350 Gen10 with both LFF and SFF - is it possible?



It is possible to mix SFF and LFF Cages in ML350 Gen10

Please look at the below link for ML350 Gen10 quickspecs ( Page 5) Last point under chassis types





I am a HPE Employee
Jimmy Vance

Re: HPE ML350 Gen10 with both LFF and SFF - is it possible?

It sounds feasible to do what you are asking.  There isn't a supported configuration tested in this fashion. Tested solutions are ether all SFF, or all LFF drives.  The units I have access to are early pre-production and don't have any drive cages, so I can't see what the cable connections look like on the backplanes between the two.  Also, splitting backplane cables between controllers isn't something that is tested, but it will work.   

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Occasional Collector

Re: HPE ML350 Gen10 with both LFF and SFF - is it possible?

Very helpful, thank you. This information was added in the newest quickspecs V13 on 2 April 2019. Great timing!