12Gb/s ServeRAID M5210 SAS/SATA Controller - $135.40

Mars2k

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Jul 2, 2014
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Thanks, not sure this is it but I will try, The issue with MSM is that inability to discover server changes depending on system parameters. For instance I had to disable all my VMware workstation vnics in order to allow discovery. MSM just wanted to discover the vnics only. Now I'm not sure what is going on. An identical card works on another similar system. This MSM instance discovers LSI cards on additional systems but not this one. I will try the jumper and see
 

Mars2k

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Jul 2, 2014
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Ok I've downloaded the P12 firmwaire bios and sas3flash versions from Avago they don't find my card from UEFI or windows. I enable the J1B4 jumper above which recognized the chip as a 3108 but sa3flash.efi failed when offered a bin to load...oh well
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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So did anyone get one of those to run properly in a non IBM box?
Maybe crossflash? :)

Additionally - I am looking for this for vSan and found out (too late) that it needs the cache upgrade for higher queue depths-
does anyone know which one that is referring to?

(ServeRAID M5210 and M5210e SAS/SATA Controllers > Lenovo Press)
Cache upgrades

ServeRAID M5200 Series 1GB Cache/RAID 5 Upgrade 47C8656 A3Z0
ServeRAID M5200 Series 1GB Flash/RAID 5 Upgrade 47C8660 A3Z1
 
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minimini

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Sep 9, 2016
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Just used MSM to crossflash any firmware I wanted (ibm or avago) all worked just fine. Controllers work on any motherboard as they always did.

Finally got rid of error where controller was throwing massive amounts of 0x70 for each sata drive I had attached.

I don't understand how they can release so many bioses over so long time and fix the error just now....
 
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Mirabis

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Mar 18, 2016
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Just used MSM to crossflash any firmware I wanted (ibm or avago) all worked just fine. Controllers work on any motherboard as they always did.

Finally got rid of error where controller was throwing massive amounts of 0x70 for each sata drive I had attached.

I don't understand how they can release so many bioses over so long time and fix the error just now....
Which firmware did you flash?


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minimini

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Sep 9, 2016
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My controller has 2GB memory and RAID 5 key. I guess that makes difference between iMR and MR controllers.

That's all I can say, I am not expert, just wanted to share the experience for sake of sharing. I can't provide any intelligent support, I am way to inexperienced; however I googled this for you:


  • iMR mode (no cache memory upgrades installed) supports:
    • RAID 0, 1, and 10, and, optionally, 5 and 50
    • Fixed stripe unit size of 64 KB
    • Self-encrypting drives with optional Zero Cache/RAID 5 FoD upgrade
    • Both RAID and JBOD (pass-thru mode with system drives) configurations
      • Up to 16 drives are supported in a RAID configuration.
      • Up to 63 drives are supported in a JBOD configuration. (JBOD drives can be used as bootable drives.)
  • MR mode (512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB cache memory upgrade required) supports:
    • RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, and 50 and, optionally, 6 and 60 (Non-RAID is not supported.)
    • Configurable stripe unit size from 64 KB up to 1 MB
    • Self-encrypting drives
    • Optional SSD performance features (FastPath and CacheCade)
PS:
- There's other way to flash controllers, bit its cumbersome: I also had success using IBM flash tool. IBM Flash Tool is actually written by LSI; you need to download and unzip downloaded exe file and inside you will find latest IBM firmware and replace IBM ROM with LSI ROM (you must keep the same name of the ROM file so that you don't need to modify config which is a weird TXT file). However using MSM was simpler so I didn't describe it.
 
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Mirabis

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Mar 18, 2016
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My controller has 2GB memory and RAID 5 key. I guess that makes difference between iMR and MR controllers.

That's all I can say, I am not expert, just wanted to share the experience for sake of sharing. I can't provide any intelligent support, I am way to inexperienced; however I googled this for you:


  • iMR mode (no cache memory upgrades installed) supports:
    • RAID 0, 1, and 10, and, optionally, 5 and 50
    • Fixed stripe unit size of 64 KB
    • Self-encrypting drives with optional Zero Cache/RAID 5 FoD upgrade
    • Both RAID and JBOD (pass-thru mode with system drives) configurations
      • Up to 16 drives are supported in a RAID configuration.
      • Up to 63 drives are supported in a JBOD configuration. (JBOD drives can be used as bootable drives.)
  • MR mode (512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB cache memory upgrade required) supports:
    • RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, and 50 and, optionally, 6 and 60 (Non-RAID is not supported.)
    • Configurable stripe unit size from 64 KB up to 1 MB
    • Self-encrypting drives
    • Optional SSD performance features (FastPath and CacheCade)
PS:
- There's other way to flash controllers, bit its cumbersome: I also had success using IBM flash tool. IBM Flash Tool is actually written by LSI; you need to download and unzip downloaded exe file and inside you will find latest IBM firmware and replace IBM ROM with LSI ROM (you must keep the same name of the ROM file so that you don't need to modify config which is a weird TXT file). However using MSM was simpler so I didn't describe it.
took some Google fu to get the correct version. I managed to flash the IBM firmware from 22th of June 2017. My SC847 lights finally work like they should now lol... Also some unsupported disks are now supported :)

Guess I just have to flash IBM firmware instead of AVAGO



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minimini

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Sep 9, 2016
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It's a hobbled (key-based features) LSI 9360-8i. Do those even support true IT mode?
According Lenovo pages - if you don't have memory and battery module it can do JBOD.

Support for Integrated MegaRAID (iMR) mode (no cache memory upgrades installed) or MegaRAID (MR) mode (requires 1 GB, 2 GB, or 4 GB cache memory upgrade).
  • iMR mode supports (no cache memory upgrades installed) the following features:
    • RAID 0, 1, and 10, and, optionally, 5 and 50
    • Fixed stripe unit size of 64 KB
    • Self-encrypting drives with optional Zero Cache/RAID 5 upgrade
    • Both RAID and JBOD (pass-thru mode with system drives) configurations
      • Up to 16 drives are supported in a RAID configuration.
      • Up to 63 drives are supported in a JBOD configuration. (JBOD drives can be used as bootable drives.)
  • MR mode supports (1 GB, 2 GB, or 4 GB cache memory upgrade required):
    • RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, and 50 and, optionally, 6 and 60 (Non-RAID is not supported.)
    • Configurable stripe unit size from 64 KB up to 1 MB
    • Self-encrypting drives
    • Optional SSD performance features (FastPath and CacheCade)
 
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minimini

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You can configure JBOD (if you don't have cache it is in so called iMR mode) and then for JBOD you don't need to crossflash to LSI according this manual.

M1015 -> PCIe v2 x8 + SATA 3
M5210 -> PCIe v3 x8+ SATA 6

I use M1015 wiht IT firmware; works great. M5210 according specs should be even better... Both cards are compatible with HP 3GB and 12GB expanders.

Let us know how it goes :)
 
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Gnodu

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Oct 10, 2015
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I have an M5210 with 1gb cache module. It still has the original IBM SBR and bios, tried and eventually decided not to bother mesing with the re-flash. May take another look now.

Why am I posting this, you wonder??

Just want to confirm that it booted no problem on:
S4600LT2
S2600IP4
w2600CR2 (workstation model of the IP4)
I also tried it on an Asrock x99 gaming board (I'd just bought 4x400gb 12g/s SSDs... You know I had to try it!!

All if the above worked just fine. However, note thst it won't reliably import the foreign config, if you are migrating frim an earlier LSI card. (In ny case, the lsi 2308 chipset.)

Hope this is helpful!
 
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Craash

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Apr 7, 2017
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Well, here is my story with this M5210.

I ordered one from amazon about the time this tread kicked off for $80 figuring I'd probably have to return it. It showed up with a battery AND a 2GB cache module. But, it had no back plate.

I emailed the seller asking about a back plate. He responding saying he was sorry, but if I wanted to keep the card he'd refund %50 of the price. I tested the card to make sure it wasn't DOA, and at that price I figured what the heck so I agreed.

I ordered a backplate off ebay for $8.50 or so, and BAM, I have a 12G SAS controller with a 2GB cache module AND battery backup for less than $50 all in.

Under windows 10, MSM was able to flash the card to the latest AVAGO without any issue. I've been able to create 0, 1, and parity raid levels with no issue. I don't have any 12G SAS at the moment, but with 6G SATA performance seems to be limited by the pyhsical drives - RAID 0 scales well as one would expect.

They controller is just kinda 'there' in my primary workstation (which is all PCIE NVMe) and I'm not really using it (or the array I created on it) so if there are any 'test' scenarios someone is interested in ask, and I'll see if I can assist.


It does seem to be 'luck of the draw' with these cards as far as how they are/aren't 'optioned', so that is an obvious downside. My amazon listing said it included both back plates, but said nothing about the 2gb cache or battery.

-Edit-

Current platform it's in: ASUS Prime X299-A
 

NYCone

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Jun 23, 2017
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I'm a bit of a neophyte with SAS but I thought the M5210s don't have a true IT mode. They'll do JBOD, but I got the impression you had to fiddle with the card in it's BIOS to get the drives to report properly and that it was a pain in ZFS.

If I wanted an M5210 for ZFS, would one it function like the IT mode on the M1015 (with or without a firmware flash)?
 

minimini

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Sep 9, 2016
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Just want to confirm that it booted no problem on:
S4600LT2
S2600IP4
w2600CR2 (workstation model of the IP4)
I also tried it on an Asrock x99 gaming board (I'd just bought 4x400gb 12g/s SSDs... You know I had to try it!!
However, if I had such expensive motherboards like you (especially 4 socket one); I would afford bit more expensive version of the same controller just clean LSI/Avago. I don't like that IBM has disabled WebBios and enabled it only thru UEFI; who uses UEFI on servers anyway...

Do you use expander ? I have 12G HP one and it gives me drive dropouts sometimes, very irritating considering the ebay price of that expander (+400 usd), I'd like to know if anyone else is using HP expanders....
 
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Gnodu

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@minimini
I actually got *really* good deals (mostly from Oemxs) on all of the above. I Actually tested the card in all of the systems I have (including a Lenovo rd640 I'd forgotten about), maily at the resuest of someone thst was having trouble getting one to work in an older (Nehalem era) server. I ended up using it in the Asrock gaming PC with the only four 12gb/s SSDs I have. It handled 6gb/s ssds and drives no problem. Did not seem to have any whitelist/blacklist issues, either.

I actually use Intel mezzanine raid (yes, generally in hardware raid modes ("CB" is the relevant part of the intel model code) for various reasons) modules, or in two machines (one is just a backup fileserver, I manualy copy to it weekly, otherwise it us offline) i use the intel equivalent of the lsi 9286 (i think it's the rs25sb008 model... "SB" is the important part. 4P server as well. Tjo it's WAY overkill for my needs. I did it as a fun project, really-- but in the winter, it could probably heat a small apartment if you pushed it hard!!

I don't like the blocked webbios part at all-- which is why it got relegated to the gaming machine-- but I have to say-- it's reliable, and no-fuss.

Expanders-- yes- i used the intel 6-port model in the testing- seamless, but was only 6gb/s. I dont have a 12gb/s to test (dont need yet).

Hope that helps!