Upgrade from SAS 6/ir to PERC 6/i


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Upgrade from SAS 6/ir to PERC 6/i

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Is it possible to upgrade from a SAS 6/ir integrated card to a PERC 6/i card without losing anything in a Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 environment?

Driver version on the SAS 6/ir is

Or is there anyway to force wite cache to be on? The whole server is on a battery back-up which I think would suffice.

Thank you


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  • I think the answer to your specific situation and question is "no".  While the PERC 6 does support migration from SAS 6 controllers, apparently it will not successfully boot if migrating a Windows system, so migrating a data volume/array is the only way it makes sense on a Windows system.  I don't know exactly what the problem would be - if it is something that can be repaired or if it simply will not work. 

    Compatibility With Virtual Disks Created on SAS 6/iR Controllers
    Virtual disks created on the SAS 6/iR family of controllers can be migrated to PERC 6 and CERC 6/i. However, only virtual disks with boot volumes of the following Linux operating systems successfully boot after migration:

    Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 4
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
    SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 10 (64-bit)

    NOTE: The migration of virtual disks with Microsoft® Windows® operating systems is not supported. 
    CAUTION: Before migrating virtual disks, back up your data and ensure the firmware of both controllers is the latest revision. Also ensure you use the SAS 6 firmware version or newer.


  • One thing that might work is the following (dependent on your server model and the available PCIe slots):

    - add the PERC6i  to the server (leaving the SAS6iR card in the system and the drives connected to it)

    - boot into Windows and let Windows install the appropriate driver

    - shut down


    In theory you can now move the drives over to the PERC6i adapter and boot Windows as Windows will now have the appropriate PERC drivers already installed.

    Member since 2003

  • Thanks for the recommendation. After some more thorough searching through forums I found a Dell SAS Raid Manager tool that allowed me to Enable Disk Cache and that so far has made a huge difference. Not sure why whoever bought this server in the first place didn't go with the PERC 6 but atleast this is a decent fix for now.

  • Hey..  Do tell......


    I need this fix.    This controller write speed has been the bane of my existance.



    John S.

  • Dang,,,,,    I think I just realized I can't use this tool as it only runs under windows?   I am running Vmare on these hosts.

  • I feel your pain and I hope that you can find a fix for yours.


    I found a linux version of the SSM which can be found here http://support.euro.dell.com/support/downloads/format.aspx?c=uk&l=en&s=gen&deviceid=9745&libid=36&releaseid=R165253&vercnt=1&formatcnt=0&SystemID=LATITUDE%20PRECISION%20390&servicetag=&os=LIN4&osl=en&catid=-1&dateid=-1&typeid=-1&formatid=-1&impid=-1&checkFormat=true    (not sure why but I could only find these files on the euro support site)


    the windows is here: http://support.euro.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=uk&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R163453&SystemID=LATITUDE%20PRECISION%20390&servicetag=&os=WW1&osl=en&deviceid=9745&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=3&catid=&impid=&formatcnt=0&libid=36&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&fileid=219513

    There are also multiple versions of it listed here: http://ftp.dell.com/sysman/ (look for SSM)


    I was also looking into being able to do it via the OpenManage from Dell but since this worked I didn't need to go that far.

  • Thanks a million plus if this works for me.    I am going to Vmotion my VM's off and try it.     So...   Do you have to do this after reboots?  Or you set it once and it works from then on as long as the controller doesn't get replaced.   if the latter,  I guess I could just boot a real linux version from USB or CDrom and do it.

  • I haven't had a chance to reboot and check because our ts server is used 24/7 but I've planned for a reboot at 3 am tomorrow morning and will post whether it is still on but my guess is that it would only be reset if the controller or disks were replaced.


    Glad I could help.

  • So I actually installed this on my ESX Vsphere host.   It installed,  it stated it was able to start the services.


    Now what?  How do I actually turn on the cache?   Sample command line please?    or is there some sort of use interface with the SSM?

  • If you installed the Windows version there is a GUI which runs on Java and will let you see both the logical and physical drives. When you look under the phyiscal drives there should be an option which will let you Enable the disk cache policy.


    I'm not sure how to do it from the linux versions if thats what you used, but I'm sure there is some documentation that would explain on how to do it.


    And after restarting the setting stuck and it has been a major improvement. (No more complaining users)

  • Hmmm...    It would be nice if a Dell guy chimed in here....

    I am stuck sort of.


    The linux package instructions and doccuementation are really not good.

  • John ... you've been around this forum for a while.  You know that the forum is not an official avenue of support through Dell and that Dell employees here are largely just moderators ... your best bet for a response is to call them and hope that someone there knows what you're trying to do.  They do have a Linux server group that might be able to help you.

  • What files are under the directory where it installed?

  • Unfortunately  the SAS 6/iR controllers are designed as a costeffective, entry-level solution and there is no option for caching and with ESX there is no option to enable that. The best solution would be to upgrade to the higher end PERC  6i so the caching can be taken care of at the hardware level by the RAID controller with the security of a battery backup. 

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  • I would love to upgrade to the Perc 6i but from everything I've read you can't migrate an array from the SAs S 6/ir to the Perc 6i under Windows 2003 (somewhere I read it was only possible under Red Hat).


    With the SAS Raid Storage Manager it  allowed me to enable the cache on the actual drive itself as it doesn't seem that it was being used (or atleast not very well). I can confirm that enabling the disk cache policy on the drives themselves with Raid manager does improve the performance. (I've heard it from 50+ terminal server users).