Addressing problem configuration and need assistance selecting new RAID Controller & Expander…

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by NoProblemAtoll, May 11, 2018.

  1. NoProblemAtoll

    NoProblemAtoll New Member

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    Addressing problem configuration and need assistance selecting new RAID Controller & Expander…

    About a year and a half ago I built what should have been an awesome system but it ended up being a problem configuration. I could use some assistance selecting a new RAID Controller & Expander.

    Long story short, a couple months after setting everything and consolidating all my data onto the systems RAID-6 array, the storage controller started marking drives as failed and rejecting them from the Storage array. None of the eject drives suffered any type of hardware failure so it was a false positive of corruption. I ended up unplugging the system and leaving it off for 6 months until I had time to pull everything apart and rebuild.

    Has anyone else encountered anything like this before?

    Having had time to think on it, I feel my best strategy is to replace all the storage hardware. I had hoped to try and copy the data from the problem array to the new array. I am torn between 2 approaches to attempting that. I can try and limp the existing array along and hope to get most of the data before the controller flakes and breaks the array by rejecting too many drives. OR I can try and replace the existing Controller with a SAS HBA so as to exposed the (24)x Drive in the Raid-6 / RAID-60 set to the OS and use Quetek File Scavenger to attempt to reassemble and recover the RAID. (I had a RAID set get corrupted in the past and was able to recover my data using Quetek File Scavenger.) I really feel the ‘failed’ drives it is false positives and if I can get the drives present to the OS I feel like I have a good shot at recovering everything. I just haven’t used SAS HBA’s previous and would have to buy one and don’t know if I am missing anything to that approach.

    I have ordered a New set of (24)x 2TB WD RE4 HDDs, and am going to pick up a new RAID Controller and new SAS Expander. As I spec the new RAID Controller and SAS expander hardware, I was hoping to get some guidance from the STH community and to tap into the insurmountable amount of working knowledge possessed by the user base.

    As of 2018, what are the best SAS RAID controller models that support RAID 6?

    The existing hardware is a:
    - SuperMicro 24-bay CSE-846 Chassis
    - SuperMicro BPN-SAS-846TQ backplane (straight pass through no expander)
    - Dell H700 RAID controller (flashed over to be LSI 9260)
    - Intel 24-Ports 6GB/s RES2SV240NC SATA SAS RAID Expander Card
    - (24)x 2TB Seagate Surveillance HDDs – Model ST2000VX003

    Given the headaches I have encountered I will no longer be using PERC H700 / LSI 9260 RAID controllers. Also I am not going to continue using Seagate Hard drives.

    I am definitely not opposed to purchasing new hardware (be it new RAID controller, SAS expander, or both) if it means increased performance and/or stability with WD RE4. That said, I do have several RAID Controllers I’d purchased as part of my troubleshooting.

    RAID Controllers:
    - Dell PERC H730P Adapter, 12Gbs SAS / 6Gbs SATA, PCI-Express 3.0, LSI SAS 3108 1200MT/s PowerPC 476 dual-core 12Gbps ROC, 8P Internal SAS/SATA Connectors, 2GB NV Cache, Flash Backed Write Back Cache, (RAID Levels 0,1,5,6,10,50,60), 32 Max Drive Support, Hardware RAID
    - LSI MegaRAID SAS 9265-8i 2×4 ports SAS internal vertical, 1GB DDR3 cache, BBU capable, RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 6, 50, 60
    - Intel® Integrated RAID Module RMS25PB080, PCIe Slot, LSI2208 ROC, 8P Internal SAS/SATA, MegaRAID SWStack, 1GB DDR3, R0,1,10,5,50,6,60

    Expanders:
    - Intel RES2SV240NC SAS Expander Card

    I had hoped to use the Dell PERC H730P going forward however it is not compatible with the Intel RES2SV240NC SAS Expander Card. Does the H730P support expanders? Would the Intel RES3TV360 or Intel RES3FV288W Expander cards be compatible with the H730P? What is the difference? Are there less expensive SAS3 alternatives to those 2 expander models?

    The replacement drives I have purchased are (24)x 2TB WD RE4 Enterprise SATA Hard Drives (WD2003FYYS). Are there any RAID controllers known to work well with the WD RE4 family? (I would hope that being mainstream these are a commonly used drives.)

    (FYI – To not ramble on I left out how I plan to connect (48)x Hdds to my machine and power them all simultaneous but I already have a working solution to that nuance.)


    Any guidance or insight would be greatly appreciated.


    Regards,
    NoProblemAtoll
     
    #1
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  2. i386

    i386 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in my case it was the backplane in a drive cage.
    The raid card (adaptec 6805) would report randomly drives dropping out the array. At some point 2 drives "dropped out" at the same time, that's when I shut the system down and looked at the involved components. On the backside of the backplane were burn marks near an ic. o_O
    The best hardware raid controllers are still from broadcom (lsi) and adaptec, just look at their website for the models with a lot of cache onboard.
    Are you sure? You might need minisas hd to minisas ("ipass") cables, but then it should work together.
     
    #2
  3. NoProblemAtoll

    NoProblemAtoll New Member

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    Damn. I cannot say with 100% certainty that this is not related to the backplane or the cabling. I may look at a new backplane and new cabling as well. I want it back up and stable more than I am worrying about the budget.

    I have ordered all the necessary cable to connect everything. I'd love to be wrong on that point and just have incompatible cables or something. When I just use a 'CableCreations' brand Mini SAS SFF-8643 to 4 SATS w/Latch Cable (1m) and cable up the controller to (4)x drives the H730P will post and see the 4 drives. However when add the 'Cable Matters' brand Internal HD Mini-SAS SFF-8643 to SFF-8087 (1m) cable into the mix and to connect it to the Intel RES2SV240NC SAS Expander Card the H730P fails post with and error the controller is in a 'FAULT STATE'.
     
    #3
  4. NoProblemAtoll

    NoProblemAtoll New Member

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    This is the fun going on over here that comes along with a parallel RAID Array data migration. Big 24-Disk Arrays are awesome when they work but man its a heck of a beast to tackle when something goes wrong especially if you have to double the disk count in a 'Source - Target' data migration situation. I am deep into it now though. Any insight would be greatly welcomed. I am moving fast of this project.

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    #4
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  5. NoProblemAtoll

    NoProblemAtoll New Member

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    I should have been more specific. I was not looking for the newest retail offerings. The full retail price is too high for my taste and they depreciate quickly. I prefer buy the best of the used/refurbished stuff that you can buy on ebay or Amazon.
     
    #5
  6. pricklypunter

    pricklypunter Well-Known Member

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    I think @i386 meant to look at the manufacturers sites for specs etc then go looking for them used ;):D

    The advice is sound though, LSI/ Avago/ Broadcom or whatever they call themselves this week or Adaptec cards can be found at reasonable money on the used market. Look out for Branded versions like Lenovo/ Dell/ IBM and etc from the recyclers/ resellers, you can often find those much cheaper :)

    If I had a need for a card I would stick with LSI based cards, they rarely give trouble, they are reasonably priced, highly inter-operable and there are so many of them kicking about that, if needed, I could replace a bad one easily in short order.
     
    #6
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