Running RHEL 8 on Dell R710/610 via Raid Controller Retrofit

Late last year I wrote a blog post that outlined a process of injecting deprecated storage controller drivers into RHEL 8 via a Driver Update Disk. In a nutshell, this process allows you to install RHEL 8 on the R710/R610 (11th Gen)

This process worked fine, unless you wanted to yum update your server. Rather than attempt to find a repeatable process of injecting drivers prior to updating, I decided to upgrade my RAID controller to one that was supported.

My 11th generation, R710, came with a Perc H700. Identified below.

[root@virt01 ~]# lspci -knn | grep 'RAID bus controller'
03:00.0 RAID bus controller [0104]: Broadcom / LSI MegaRAID SAS 2108 [Liberator] [1000:0079] (rev 05)

Based on feedback from friends and co-workers. I purchased a PERC H330, which I believe ships with the 13th Gen Dell rackmount servers.

These cards can be found for pretty cheap on Ebay.

Plus you will need 2 new cables. You are looking for SFF8643 to SFF8087 (mini SAS HD to mini SAS)

Output from one of my Dell R710s. Note I did not remove the original card.

[{ocptest}root@virt02 ~]# lspci -knn | grep 'RAID bus controller'
03:00.0 RAID bus controller [0104]: Broadcom / LSI MegaRAID SAS 2108 [Liberator] [1000:0079] (rev 05)
05:00.0 RAID bus controller [0104]: Broadcom / LSI MegaRAID SAS-3 3108 [Invader] [1000:005d] (rev 02)


I’ve only performed this swap on one of my R710s, I have 2 more as well as 2 R610s. Below are are few things to consider if you are looking to perform a similar upgrade

  1. Take a hard look at your existing server. Do you need to purchase a full sized pci card or a mini card. This might likely be the case on the 1u servers.
  2. Remove the old card. The server does not quite like having a raid controller installed without cables.
  3. If you buy a full sized pci card, make sure you get one with the bracket that you need (full sized or short)
  4. You may want to find a cable with 90 degree connectors for the backplane. Mine fit fine on the 710, but I have heard that the 90 degree connector is best for 1U servers.

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