More on backplanes …

March 11, 2013

There are two different types of backplanes in this world – passive and active. Passive are just really devices that allow a connection between the drive and card – there is no expander involved.

Active backplanes on the other hand have an expander – a chip device made by third-party vendors to the backplane vendor. These expanders have firmware and intelligence and allow connection of many drives from a much smaller number of ports on a raid card.

So what is the issue here? … compatibility.

Sometimes you’ll plug a card into a backplane, plug in the drives, boot up the system and not see any drives. If this happens to you don’t panic. Contact your nearest Adaptec Tech Support office or go to, describe your card and backplane model and ask the Adaptec Tech’s if they have an updated firmware for the card to get around the problem – they almost always do.

Why does this happen? Well, there are standards and there are standards, and there are companies that do some odd little things just outside the standard so that a competitor who adheres to the standard won’t work with their product. I’m not talking Adaptec here – we’re the ones on the side of the standard. Sometimes you could suspect people trying to stop our products from working with certain products because they know we stick to the standard … no wait, that would be ridiculously suspicious and paranoid of me wouldn’t it?

So if you have an issue with a backplane, contact us and let us help.

(special award for the person who can tell me where that name comes from – in relation to my paranoidness/depression :-))


2 thoughts on “More on backplanes …

  1. Santosh,
    Will there be issues? My crystal ball is a bit cloudy, but there “should” not be. The SES processor on the backplane will talk to the card and pass on such issues as fan function etc.
    While I don’t know this particular product, and it’s not on our compatibility reports, if the product has been manufactured to the correct standards it should work.

  2. I am strongly considering the Areca ARC-4036 8-Bay JBOD Expander Tower Enclosure (, which uses the LSI LSISAS2x28 SAS 2.0 Expander (

    My biggest concern (apart from it working to begin with) is whether I’ll be able to monitor the fan status and temperature via the in/sideband signals within the external iPass mSAS (Mini-SAS) SFF-8088 connection to my Adaptec RAID 6445 controller.

    Will there be any issues?

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