Drive Additions for Unraid

I recently acquired a PowerEdge T320 and moved my existing Unraid server to it (from a NAS Killer 3.0). The existing setup has 4 HDDs (array/unassigned devices) and one SATA SSD cache.

There are two changes I’d like to make

  1. Move to a 2 SSD pool for redundancy
  2. Add an HDD cache (per [Guide] HDDs + multiple cache pools in Unraid)

My initial thought on the SSD pool is to replace the SATA SSD with a pair of NVMe drives. I have some questions though:

  1. I would need to use a PCIe - NVMe adapter. Should I be looking at a dual NVMe adapter, or should I use 2 single adapters? I’m not super clear on the bandwidth implications of the dual adapters, and obviously I don’t want to create unnecessary bottlenecks.
  2. Should I not bother with NVMe and just get a second SATA SSD? It’s also not clear to me if the two SATA connectors on the motherboard are SATA 3 or SATA 2.

As for the HDD cache, the current setup uses an integrated PERC S110 plugged into an 8 drive backplane. Of course, this setup only allows for the A bank on the backplane to be used. So, as I understand it, I would need to get something like a PERC H310 so I can plug in both the A and B bank on the backplane. I’ll use the pair of 1TB 7.2K HDDs that came with the system.

Here’s my intended workflow for setting this up. Does this look good, or am I missing something?

  1. Install the H310 in slot 6; flash to IT Mode
  2. Move the cable for the A bank from the motherboard connector to the H310 A connector.
  3. Plug in an additional cable from the B connector on the H310 to the B connector on the backplane.

Thanks for any help you can provide!