SFF-8087 to fanout cable question

Wes Morgan morganw at chemikals.org
Sun Dec 14 07:29:09 PST 2008

Like some of you who have built big ZFS arrays on multi-port controllers, 
I've got a mess of cables in my chassis... Now I have some SAS backplanes 
with mini-sas (SFF-8087) plugs. I know they work because I've used them 
with an Areca 1680 controller and some standard mini-sas cables. I decided 
that I wanted to go a different direction, and purchased an ASUS P5BV/SAS 
board that has a builtin 8-port LSI 1068-based SAS controller (and I 
highly recommend it). Now I have the 4x SAS to SFF-8087, and it doesn't 
want to work... But it worked going from the Areca controller to a regular 
8-port SAS/SATA backplane. Are these cables only usable in one direction?

In summary:

mini-sas (controller) to mini-sas (backplane) - works
mini-sas (controller) to 8-port SAS/SATA (backplane) - works
8-port SAS (controller) to mini-sas (backplane) - nada
8-port SAS (controller) to 8-port SAS/SATA (backplane) - works

Any ideas? Sorry if this is just a "duh" question. I don't do this for a 
living, I'm just obsessive about my media server :)

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