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 ask.adaptec.com, 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 :-))