Article ID: 000027901 Content Type: Install & Setup Last Reviewed: 08/06/2021

PCIe* OCuLink Port Connections and NVMe* Drives Population Rules when Combined with SAS/SATA Drives




PCIe OCuLink Port Connections and NVMe Drives population rules when combined with SAS/SATA drives on both 1U and 2U chassis and different backplanes.


Will using Optical Copper (Cu) Links (OCuLink) in the 0 and 1 ports prevent detecting SAS/SATA drives in ports 2 and 3 of the SAS/NVMe Combo backplane F1U8X25S3PHS?


There are basically two different scenarios that change the rules:

  1. Using the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe*) Source #1 – Onboard PCIe OCuLinks:
    Non-Volatile Memory Express* (NVMe*) drive management routes connector pairs 0,1 and 2,3 and cannot mix NVMe with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) or Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) drives within a pair.
    If NVMe drives are populated and OCuLinks enables in 0 and 1 connector pair only, ports 2,3,4,5,6,and 7 will remain SAS/SATA.
  2. Using the PCIe Source #2 – PCIe Switch Add-in Card:
    NVMe drive management routes Drive Connector Set 4,5,6,and 7 and mixing NVMe and SAS/SATA drives within the driver set is not supported.

These rules will apply only for Intel® Virtual RAID on CPU (Intel® VROC). Therefore, without VROC, NVMes can be connected to the server board as stand-alone drives in any enabled OCuLink without disabling any other SAS/SATA ports.

For more information, refer to the following reference examples:


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