Time to replace the original internal Dell PERC 6/IR RAID card with a Non-RAID SAS HBA. This is important since NexentaStor takes care of all RAID functionality and requires direct access to the drives. In theory it is possible to use the PERC with NexentaStor by creating 6 Single-Drive Raid-0 Arrays but the setup is not ideal.
Luckily, I have a few Dell SAS 6/ir cards, so I’ve replaced the Dell PERC with the SAS HBA. It’s a quick, direct replacement as the headers are in the exact same location even though this SAS 6ir came from a Dell PowerEdge 2950 which sits at the front of the server on top of the drive bays.
Unfortunately, on boot-up with the Dell SAS6/IR card installed I was greeted with this message on the screen.
“Invalid PCIe Card found in the Internal Storage slot!” “System halted!”
Well that can’t be right. According to the Dell web site, the SAS 6/IR card is compatible with the R710 series servers.
I decided to flash both the server and the HBA with the latest version of the Firmware/BIOS. Flashing the HBA solved the issue and the system booted fine. But it’s important to know that only the Internal versions of the SAS 6/IR can be flashed with compatible firmware.