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LSI RAID Controller - HBA Equivalency Mapping

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by Patrick, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

    It is a well known practice that many vendors re-brand LSI RAID cards and host bus adapters (HBAs) using different firmware and re-sell them as their own. Oftentimes, re-branded cards are less expensive to acquire than their LSI counterparts making re-brands highly desirable.

    It is also well known that using the initiator-target (IT) firmware mode is a great way to give up the RAID features of the cards, treating the cards instead as simple HBAs in IT mode. In turn, this allows operating systems that handle parity calculations to directly access the drives, thereby reducing the rate of TLER dropouts from RAID arrays among other things.

    The purpose of this post is to help users identify those cards which are simple LSI re-brands. This guide will only look at 8 port models for the time being. Normally the 4 port variants have a "4" instead of an "8" in the model number such as the 9211-8i (8 port) versus the 9211-4i (4 port).

    LSI 1068e based
    SAS 3.0gbps, SATA 3.0gbps, approximately 10w of power consumption, (need processor info), no onboard cache, PCIe 1.0 x8 interface, supports SAS expanders, uses sasflash utility to flash to IT mode.

    IBM ServeRAID BR10i equivalent to LSI SAS3082E-R
    Intel SASUC8I equivalent to LSI SAS3081E-R

    LSI 1078e based
    IBM MR10i = LSI SAS8708E

    SAS2004 (PCIe 4x)
    IBM ServeRAID M1110 (81Y4492) - LSI ??
    Intel® RAID Controller RS2WC040 - LSI 9240-4i

    SAS2008 based
    SAS 6.0gbps, SATA 6.0gbps, approximately 9w of power consumption, PowerPC at 533MHz, no onboard cache, PCIe 2.0 x8 interface, supports SAS expanders (with dual linking), uses sas2flash utility to flash to IT mode (when possible).

    IBM ServeRAID M1015 similar to LSI 9240-8i but the M1015 does not support RAID 5 and RAID 50 even when flashed to LSI 9240-8i firmware.
    IBM ServeRAID M1115 newer version of the M1015
    IBM 6 Gb Performance Optimized HBA (46M0912) - LSI-9240-8i (SSD enhanced)

    Intel RS2WC080 looks identical to the LSI 9240-8i and IBM M1015, but supports RAID 5 and RAID 50 like the 9240-8i.
    Lenovo 67Y1460 is a barely re-branded LSI 9240-8i.

    IBM 6 Gb SAS Host Bus Adapter (46M0907) - LSI 9212-4i4e - 4x Internal SATA3 and 1x 4 SAS2 8088 external connector.

    Dell PERC H200 ships with IT firmware but seems similar to the LSI 9211-8i
    Dell Perc H310
    Fujitsu D2607 - 9211-8i ?

    IBM ServeRAID M1115 newer version of the M1015 ?

    SUN SGX-SAS6-EXT-Z (p/n 375-3641) - LSI 9200-8e
    SUN SGX-SAS6-INT-Z (p/n 375-3640) - LSI 9211/10-8i

    Intel RMS2AF040 (Proprietary PCIe 4x)
    Intel RMS2AF080 (Proprietary PCIe 4x) As above but 8 port
    SuperMicro AOC-USAS2-L8iR - 9240-8i spec'd but with 16MB cache and RAID 5 but no RAID 1E has IR firmware (UIO Card!)
    SuperMicro AOC-USAS2-L8E - HBA verion so most like a 9211-8i has IT firmware (UIO Card!)
    SuperMicro AOC-USAS2-L8i - LSI 9240-8i spec'd no RAID 5 but does have RAID 1E has IR Firmware (UIO Card!)

    SAS2108 based

    The following look like re-brands, please share any experiences.
    Intel RS2SG244 - LSI MegaRAID SAS 9280-24i4e The Intel card is about $100 cheaper.
    Intel RS2MB044 - LSI MegaRAID SAS 9280-4i4e
    Intel RS2BL080 - LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i
    Intel® RAID Controller RT3WB080 - looks a bit like a 9265-8i but SAS2108 based SATA controller with 256MB Cache.
    Intel® RAID Controller RS2WG160 - LSI 9260-16i ?
    Intel® RAID Controller RS2PI008DE - SAS version of the RT3WB080 but with 512MB cache and Disk encryption and 8e ports
    Intel® RAID Controller RS2PI008 - SAS version of the RT3WB080 but with 512MB cache and 8e ports
    Intel® RAID Controller RS2BL040 - SAS version of the RT3WB080 but with 512MB cache and 4i ports
    IBM ServeRAID M5015 (46M0829) - LSI9260-8i with BBU
    IBM ServeRAID M5014 (46M0916) - LSI9260-8i BUT with only 256MB cache no BBU
    IBM ServeRAID M5025 (46M0830) - LSI9280-8e
    SUN SGX-SAS6-R-INT-Z (p/n 375-3701) - LSI 9261-8i with BBU
    SuperMicro AOC-USAS2LP-H8iR - not based on any LSI reference board but is similar in specs to a 9260-8i (UIO Card!)

    SAS2208 based
    Intel® RAID Controller RS25GB008 - LSI9285-8e
    Intel® RAID Controller RS25DB080 - LSI9265-8i
    IBM ServeRAID M5016 - LSI9265-8i
    IBM ServeRAID M5110 LSI 9266-8i supporting PCIe 3.0
    IBM ServeRAID M5120 LSI 9285CV-8e external version (LSI9266 but external)
    Dell Perc H710
    Dell Perc H810
    Dell Perc H710P
    1GB version of the Perc H710

    SAS2308 basedIntel® RAID Controller RS25GB008

    Intel® RAID Expander RES2SV240
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  2. john4200

    john4200 New Member

    Isn't the IBM ServerRAID M1015 equivalent to the LSI 9240-8i? The M1015 certainly LOOKS like the 9240, not the 9211:




    Of course, that brings up the question of the difference between the 9240 and the 9211. They both have a PowerPC 440 CPU @ 533 MHz. The 9240 has the "MegaRAID stack", while the 9211 has the "Fusion-MPT architecture". The 9240 has "RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10, 50 and JBOD mode" while the 9211 has "RAID 0, 1, 1E, and 10". The 9240 supports 64 physical devices, the 9211 goes to 256.

    I think I read somewhere that the M1015 has somehow disabled RAID 5, but I cannot find the reference.
  3. odditory

    odditory Moderator

    Maybe you read that from me since I posted that bit of info in another forum, but regardless I have a few dozen of these cards already and have spent some time with them.

    Yes the IBM M1015 is most equivalent to LSI 9240 in terms of firmware, it runs the iMR stack actually (lite version of the MR stack found on 926x and 928x cards) and its based on SAS2008 platform. And I said mostly equivalent to LSI 9240 because its had a few features toggled off in firmware, like RAID5 ability which is present on the retail LSI 9240-8i part. IBM's idea was to upsell the RAID5 feature with a software unlock key, so naturally LSI made it difficult to circumvent that by mere firmware cross-flashing.

    Thus unfortunately it cannot be cross-flashed to become an LSI retail part and inherit that feature set, the way one can do with certain other OEM LSI parts. It also cannot be flashed with "IT" mode firmware like the 9211-8i, even though they're both based on the same SAS2008 platform.

    It can however be firmware upgraded with the files from LSI's website for the 9240-8i. Reason being the firmware ROM file is universal for all variations of the card - retail and rebadged/OEM versions - this based on analysis with a hex editor. The firmware rom file also can't (easily) be modified because there's a hash check to protect against changed bytes, otherwise it would be (easier) to hack an OEM card into having the featureset of the LSI retail version of the card.

    On the bright side, these cards have been selling for $75 and less on ebay, and their default behavior is to present unconfigured disks as JBOD to the host O/S, meaning even though its running a lite raid stack, it behaves like a JBOD HBA until configured otherwise. While its usually regarded as technically cleaner to run a JBOD card with IT (target mode) firmware to do away with the overhead of the raid stack, in benches I really don't see the raid stack presenting a slowdown on this card. Example 16 drives in soft-RAID0 in Windows benches pretty much the same as my retail LSI 9211-8i w/ IT firmware. Same goes for Bonnie++ results in Solaris Express 11.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  4. john4200

    john4200 New Member

    Could be. Thanks for posting about them, by the way. I just ordered some, they are just so tempting at $75/ea. Can get 3 of them for the price of a new 9211-8i!
  5. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

    They were $99 when I checked ebay yesterday! You guys are buying up the supply.
  6. john4200

    john4200 New Member

    Just the US supply! ;)

    I saw one guy in Malaysia selling one for $49 plus $60 shipping! :eek:
  7. Metaluna

    Metaluna New Member

    I just got one for $80 shipped from eBay. I can confirm that it can't be flashed with IT firmware by the usual method. The SAS2FLASH utility refuses to recognize it as an LSI adapter, even when using the -o switch and specifically targeting it using its PCI device address (-cpci switch, IIRC). Mine had "9240-8i" printed on it in one place, and, I think "9220-8i" on another label near the serial #.

    I haven't tried it yet with actual drives connected because FreeBSD doesn't support it yet AFAIK, but it's good to know it can be used as-is without IT firmware.

    A couple of things still concern me though. I've heard that some RAID firmware will a) possibly write metadata to what it thinks are unused parts of the drive, potentially corrupting GPT disks, and b) may still expect a JBOD drive to have TLER, and thus will still drop it from the system if there's a read error. Anyone know how the LSI firmware behaves in this situation?

    Oh, also, how do you flash the LSI MegaRAID firmware if SAS2FLASH doesn't work? I couldn't find any instructions in the firmware download.
  8. john4200

    john4200 New Member

  9. Greed4Speed

    Greed4Speed New Member

    Great thread, thanks. Just bourght 2 of these cards for cheap. What I havn't been able to figure out if it is bootable, forgive the silly question.
  10. nostradamus99

    nostradamus99 New Member

    I replied on the article about the ServeRaid 10 BRi instead of using the forum so apologies for that.
    If I understand correctly, the IBM Serveraid BR10i firmware doesn’t allow you to use this card as a JBOD device?

    I did find firmware for the sas3081e-r but unsure if it also applies to the SAS3082E-R (1 digit can mean a lot in IT land :) )
    found here: http://www.lsi.com/storage_home/pro...pters/sas_hbas/internal/sas3081e-r/index.html
    To make things easier there are 2 firmware available for the sas3081e-r with almost the exact same name:

    Any ideas on which firmware I should use to flash this card to be able to use it as a regular JBOD controller?
  11. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

    Added some Intel LSI SAS 2108 based cards and Intel counterparts and the Lenovo 67Y1460.
  12. john4200

    john4200 New Member

    I saw one error, your link for LSI SAS3082E-R points to a 9211-8i on amazon.
  13. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks John. Fixed.
  14. Metaluna

    Metaluna New Member

    I used the first file you listed (one with SATA 1.5/3.0G support) and it worked fine on my BR10i.

    This is just a guess, but the only thing I figure out about why they have two different firmwares is that maybe there's some kind of compatibility problem in this chipset with SATA 6.0Gbps devices. So if you want to connect a 6Gbps SATA drive, the second firmware must contain some kind of workaround. Furthermore, this hypothetical workaround must also disable compatibility with 1.5G devices, so you can either mix 1.5G and 3G SATA devices, or 3G and 6G devices on one controller, but not all three at once. Of course, any 6G device would still run at 3G or lower since I'm pretty sure the LSI 1068e doesn't do 6Gbps.
  15. jmp242

    jmp242 New Member

    I have an IBM x3550 M3 1U I'm trying to get to do pass through SAS so I can use Linux software RAID easily with it. It came with the M1015 card, but it doesn't seem to present the disks as JBOD for me - it won't boot from it, the install CD doesn't see it etc... The best I can do is configure individual RAID 0 disks. This is a pain as you probably imagine. I was going to try to RE-FLASH to IT firmware, but it sounds like that doesn't work... Any info how you got this to work JBOD? Or any IBM part number that will be an LSI or whoever HBA rather than RAID? Cause I can't seem to get IBM to quote me a non RAID card for the SAS disks...
  16. odditory

    odditory Moderator

    First thing I'd do is try flashing to the latest firmware, either from IBM's site or from LSI's site in the 9240-8i section - either one, they're identical. Older versions of the firmware didn't present unconfigured disks as JBOD, but newer firmware does.
  17. Metaluna

    Metaluna New Member

    Just a data point: The Dell PERC H200 appears to be a SAS2008-based card similar to the IBM M1015.

    In this thread people are reporting they have it working with the mps driver from FreeBSD 9.0, which supports the SAS2008, I believe.

  18. john4200

    john4200 New Member


    I have three M1015 cards working well with linux (Archlinux, kernel 2.6.37) in pass-thru mode. As odditory says, you probably need to get the latest firmware. I flashed mine with the LSI 9240-8i firmware from Dec 2010.

    Here's how they look at the moment:

    Controller device @ pci0000:00/0000:00:05.0/0000:03:00.0 [megaraid_sas]
      RAID bus controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS 9240 (rev 02)
        host0: /dev/sda ATA Hitachi HDS5C302 {SN: ML4221F308PSJF}
    Controller device @ pci0000:80/0000:80:05.0/0000:84:00.0 [megaraid_sas]
      RAID bus controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS 9240 (rev 02)
        host7: /dev/sdb ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7JD1ZA07650 }
        host7: /dev/sdc ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7JD1ZA07649 }
        host7: /dev/sdd ATA Hitachi HDS5C302 {SN: ML0220F30EAYYD}
        host7: /dev/sde ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7JD1ZA07653 }
        host7: /dev/sdf ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7JD1ZA07648 }
        host7: /dev/sdg ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZA26652 }
        host7: /dev/sdh ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZA26651 }
        host7: /dev/sdi ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZA26655 }
    Controller device @ pci0000:80/0000:80:09.0/0000:86:00.0 [megaraid_sas]
      RAID bus controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS 9240 (rev 02)
        host8: /dev/sdj ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2HGJ1SZ804700 }
        host8: /dev/sdk ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZC11938 }
        host8: /dev/sdl ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J9BZC09260 }
        host8: /dev/sdm ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J9BZC09298 }
        host8: /dev/sdn ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZC09571 }
        host8: /dev/sdo ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZC09567 }
        host8: /dev/sdp ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZC09569 }
        host8: /dev/sdq ATA SAMSUNG HD204UI {SN: S2H7J1BZC09573 }
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  19. jmp242

    jmp242 New Member

    Did you have to install drivers or configure via the WebGUI - or just flash the card with the LSI firmware (and not some IT mode firmware, but just general firmware) and then they are JBOD? We have flashed with the december IBM firmware, but will try LSI firmware if that will work...
  20. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

    Good point. I wonder if I should also include the PERC H700 and H800 controllers based on the LSI 2108 and with NV cache options. From what I have read they are similar to the LSI 9260-8i (PERC H700 since that has internal ports).

    Anyone have experience?

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