Disk Archive Compatibility

SUMMARY

Basic troubleshooting steps for our customers using sigle bay or multi-disk archive units purchased through unitrends with either UB or Recovery Series appliances.

ISSUE

  • In some cases an archive drive may not be seen as attached, or may perform poorly when attempting to archive.   this article contains various steps to review and resolve many potential issues.  

RESOLUTION

Single-Bay Dock Compatibility:

Use of USB docking station is supported when:
  • Using a Unitrends provided USB3 docking station with Generation 7 physical appliances (generally, Nov 2016 and newer) connected "blue to blue" on USB3 port
  • Using a Unitrends provided USB2 docking station with Generation 6 or older series appliances (Black USB to Black USB ports) exclusively on models that do not also have an eSATA or SAS port
  • Using a Unitrends provided USB2 or USB3 dock with VMWare deployed UBs through a controller port for a USB controller supported by VMWare's native drivers
Use of an eSATA docking station is supported when:
  • The eSATA single-bay dock is connected to Generation 6 or older Unitrends Appliance or UB in VMWare via an eSATA port or via 4-to-1 breakout cable to a SAS port.
  • If equipped, the USB port on a single-bay eSATA dock is NOT concurrently connected.  ONLY the SATA port must be used.  

Single Bay docking stations are NOT supported in any of the following configurations:
  • Hypervisors other than VMWare
  • Though any docking device or that is not directly sold by Unitrends*
  • USB2 docks on Gen 7+ or USB3 docks on gen 6 or older.  
  • eSATA single-bay docks on Generation 7 and higher Unitrends Appliances. 
  • using USB on a generation 6 or older unit that is equipped with an eSATA or SAS port (these units must use eSATA docks, not USB)
  • to any form of thumb drive, retail USB drive/device, or any other USB connection not sold by Unitrends.  Drives are only supported in docks sold by Unitrends (or in some cases identical models from 3rd parties).
*Unitrends will allow the connection of USB2 or SATA docking stations or SATA drives of matching supported model numbers otherwise sold by Unitrends to be covered under software support and diagnostics. However, the USB3 dock used with generation 7+ is a custom device made exclusively for Unitrends, and is uniquely sold by Unitrends for very specific capabilities not available in other USB3 devices. Unitrends will not support any 3rd party devices on USB3 with our physical or virtual appliances.  Supported drives are listed below, supported legacy docks are listed in the Compatibility and Interoperability Matrix:.  These devices can be acquired from 3rd parties and do not have to be directly purchased from Unitrends, with the exception of the USB3 docking station itself.  Parts not listed will not be considered supported and if connected run the risk of appliance issues, performance impact, and in many cases complete appliance data loss, especially when Green drives are used.  

Troubleshooting the Docking Station:
1. Is the Docking station plugged in to a reliable power source?
2. Did you push power button (located on the rear of the docking station) ON? If you did, the dock power indicator should be illuminated.
3. Is the drive inserted correctly, aligning the internal SATA port and power connector?
4. are any pins on the backplane inside the dock bent?  
5. were drives properly removed in a stable state (if not the same or other drives may not be seen when re-inserted in the dock, a cold-boot of the unitrends appliance resolves, always removed drives only when safely unmounted after archives complete)

eSATA or USB Cable “Connectivity”:
Ensure that one end of the cable is firmly and squarely connected to the back of the docking station. Ensure the other end is firmly connected to the Appliance. In October 2009, Unitrends released an improved eSATA Cable with longer connector and more pliable cable that creates a firmer connection.  SATA connections should be snug and not jiggle.  
 

Power Supply:
Is the dock connected with the correct power supply? In March, 2011 Unitrends switched from the Thermaltake dock to the Azio. The Thermaltake PS cable does not fit securely in the Azio and may not provide suitable or stable power potentially resulting in damage to the dock or drives, do not use old cables with new docks). 
When powered on, the dick should light up, and you should feel the disk spin up and humm.  xz

If USB2.0 Cable Connectivity:  (Generation 6 and prior appliances only, no blue USB port present, USB2 specific dock required, not compatible with USB3 dock)
1. Ensure firm connections between the Docking station and Appliance.
2. I can take 10 to 15 seconds after insertion of the disk into the dock to spin up and/or be responsive to software commands.
 

RXDA Compatibility:

Use of RXDA docking station is supported when:

  • Using a Unitrends Gen 7 or lower physical appliance with a SAS port equipped and the RXDA is connected using a 4-to-1 SAS to 4x-eSATA breakout cable.  (card is optional extra purchase in 814S and 818S systems)
  • Using Unitrends Gen 7 or lower physical appliance equipped with 4 available eSATA ports (some models) connected using 1 or more standard eSATA cables (cables provided with original appliance purchase only for models equipped with these ports.  Aftermarket replacement cables are standard eSATA cables and are not sold by Unitrends as add-ons)
  • Using a Unitrends Gen 8 8016S or 8020S System with the RXDA connected to included mini-SAS port via optionally purchased MINI-SAS to 4x-eSATA breakout cable.  (contact Unitrends sales to acquire cable if needed)
  • Using a Unitrends Gen 8 2U system with optionally purchased SAS-2-eSATA Adapter and Cable kit.  Kit is available via Unitrends Sales with purchase or as an add-on and includes breakout cable.  
  • Using a VMWare ESXi host equipped with a LSI 9212-4i4e adapter and eSAS bracket, the adapter passed through to a UB appliance, and the RXDA connected via 4-to-1 SAS to eSATA breakout cable.  
RXDA archiving is NOT supported in any of the following configurations:
  • Hypervisors other than VMWare
  • in concurrent use with a single-bay docking station
  • half-rack size Unitrends Appliances or desktop legacy appliances.  
  • Connected to any card not included with or sold expressly for that specific appliance.  NEVER move a card from one Unitrends appliance to another.  Use of cards from 3 parties could result in voiding hardware warranty in some cases.  
 

ROTATIONAL DRIVE COMPATIBILITY:
1. Ensure Drive is correctly orientated before inserting into the docking station. Not doing so can easily damage the data and power connection inside the docking station. Use the button (front center) to release the drive from the docking station.
2. Disks must be one of the models listed here, other models will be provided only minimal diagnostic support to ensure any issues encountered would also impact supported devices and are unrelated to the hardware in use.  Users are strongly encouraged to use only supported models.  These do NOT have to be purchased direct from Unitrends, but support options and warranty of the appliance are applied to any directly purchased drives for the life of support contract regardless of which appliance they may later be used with.  

Current QA certified drive models include:
NOTE: Do not use drives capable of entering into a low power state on its own (e.g. Green Drives). Data loss and or corruption has been observed on these drives and the associated appliance due to kernel crash events as their lower power state conflicts with always ready requirement needed by the Linux Operating System and the RecoveryOS.

Part # Manufacturer Description
ST3500418AS SEAGATE 500GB DRIVE (EOL)
ST3750528AS SEAGATE 750GB DRIVE (EOL)
ST31000528AS SEAGATE 1 TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST31000524AS SEAGATE 1 TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST1000DM003 SEAGATE 1 TB DRIVE (EOL)
WD1003FBYX and YZ WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST31500341AS SEAGATE 1.5 TB Drive (EOL)
ST32000641AS SEAGATE 2TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST2000DM001 SEAGATE 2TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST2000DM006 SEAGATE 2TB DRIVE
ST33000651AS SEAGATE 3TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST3000DM001 SEAGATE 3TB DRIVE (EOL)
WD4003FZEX WESTERN DIGITAL 4TB DRIVE (EOL)
WD4004FZWX WESTERN DIGITAL 4TB DRIVE
WD4005FZBX WESTERN DIGITAL 4TB DRIVE
ST6000AS0002 SEAGATE 6TB DRIVE (EOL)
ST6000NM0015 SEAGATE 6TB DRIVE
ST6000DM001 SEAGATE 6TB DRIVE

*some older docking stations including some USB2 docks will not recognize 3TB or larger drives.  


License considerations:  

Disk Archiving is not supported on Free/Community/vBE edition releases and may be restricted in some MSP hardware systems. 


Software release:

If your disk is still not being detected after basic connection and support troubleshooting, and you are not on the latest software release available from Unitrends please update to that release and reboot your appliance before contacting support to save time.  When rebooting, always ensure you disconnect any archive drives.  Completely power off the Unitrends appliance and then boot back up (power discharge required, a software warm reboot is NOT good enough), and then retry inserting the drive in the dock only after the UI has been logged back into. 

If after confirming the above, your drive does not show up in the UI, try an alternate drive.  Command line tools may also be used to ensure the disk is detected.  Customers with active support contracts may contact our support team for more information on how to troubleshoot disk connectivity and detection.  Information on hardware_checker and SATA testing tools may also be found in other KBs.  

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