anyone have more info about HP H240 HBA?

BLinux

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This seems like an interesting HBA option for SAS3. It uses SFF-8087 ports but supports 12Gbps SAS3, which seems unusual. I know it is NOT an LSI chipset based HBA. Anyone have any information on what chipset it is? I've heard Microsemi mentioned, but no specifics.

Linux driver support seems to be pretty good. Uses hpsa driver and the source is available here:

HP Smart Array CCISS driver
 

Evan

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Use heaps of them in HPE boxes and no issues, work as expected and good performance.
Never tried them in a whitebox though...
 

BLinux

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Use heaps of them in HPE boxes and no issues, work as expected and good performance.
Never tried them in a whitebox though...
yeah, i've been researching this and it seems several people have had success using the H240 in non-HPE servers. there were some issues with the BIOS ROM causing a hang during POST in non-HPE systems, but it can be by-passed by disabling the option ROM for the PCI-E slot and/or updating the BIOS ROM/Firmware.

What is good performance? Do you use them with 12Gbps SAS SSDs? how much of the 8x 12GBps (96Gbps) throughput can it handle?

Do you use only HP branded SSD/HDD with the H240? Have you tried any non-HP branded SSD/HDD with it? If so, any compatibility issues?

Also, used as HBA, does it allow you to run sg_format on the connected storage devices? For example, the Dell H330 I'm currently using in HBA mode, the driver doesn't show any /dev/sgX devices, so I can't use sg_format. If you can login to one of your machines with H240 and just see if any /dev/sg* devices are available for the connected devices, that would be very helpful to me. I'm considering these to replace the Dell H330 I'm using now in hopes that it would remedy some of these issues.
 

DRAGONKZ

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Ive got 5 of them in DL20s running HP SAS and SATA SSDs, running ESXi 6.7.

If there’s any commands you want me to run let me know.
 

BLinux

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Ive got 5 of them in DL20s running HP SAS and SATA SSDs, running ESXi 6.7.

If there’s any commands you want me to run let me know.
yeah... not sure if ESXi is the same as your typical Linux distro, but can you try running:

ls -l /dev/sg*

in a ssh login session?

btw, have you ever tried using any non-HP SSD with it?
 

Evan

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Good performance was testing for Low latency IOPS, I would guess no change to gut full throughput, would be limited by the PCIe 3.0 x8 interface unless my mind is messed up with the different bits and bytes.

Never used any non-HP SSD’s with them.

An example of where we use then is say a dozen nodes in a vSAN cluster, each system having H240 and each one with 6 X SAS3 SSD’s. Reasonably standard config I think in HP land.

If nobody else has then running in a white box with 3rd party SSD I can try for you but should all work fine I would assume.
 

BLinux

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Good performance was testing for Low latency IOPS, I would guess no change to gut full throughput, would be limited by the PCIe 3.0 x8 interface unless my mind is messed up with the different bits and bytes.

Never used any non-HP SSD’s with them.

An example of where we use then is say a dozen nodes in a vSAN cluster, each system having H240 and each one with 6 X SAS3 SSD’s. Reasonably standard config I think in HP land.

If nobody else has then running in a white box with 3rd party SSD I can try for you but should all work fine I would assume.
Thanks for the reply; that's very helpful. Yeah, PCI-E 3.0 x8 would be limited to about 7.88GBytes/sec. With 8x SAS3 SSDs that can do over 1GByte/sec, that PCI-E 3.0 x8 would definitely be limitation. What were the numbers you got for max IOPS across the 6x SAS3 SSDs?

I'm planning to use these in a Supermicro 216A system that has 24x HGST/HUSMM SAS3 SSDs. Currently using Dell H330 in HBA mode, but that doesn't allow me to run sg_format. When I need to do that, I have to shutdown and swap out with the Adaptec 1000-8i I have. Ideally, I would have wanted some LSI 9300-8i or 9341-8i, but they are above my price point right now.

it's interesting that these are 12Gbps but use the older SFF-8087 connectors...
 

Evan

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Let me see what I can dig up, I just remember over 2000 IOmark-VM’s on a 10-12 node cluster.
That’s impressive for vSAN

Let me see what I have sitting around and I will run a standard test as I have 4 machines I will build to a test clusterbin the next days.
 

Patriot

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It should be quite a good hba, from what I understand both the P440 and H240 use the same controller (same as the mid gen p430/p431), H240 simply lacks the flash backed cache and power loss battery. Yes it is a custom HPE/PMC Sierra design, > microsemi > MicroChip.
It is significantly better than the adaptec controllers ever were. The Smart Array group got handed all those chips to manage after the transition.
P431 was capable of 1m iops. Through driver tuning the p440 and h240 might be faster.
Good for linux, bad for BSD due to stuck with the cciss block driver rather than hpsa.
 
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BLinux

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It should be quite a good hba, from what I understand both the P440 and H240 use the same controller (same as the mid gen p430/p431), H240 simply lacks the flash backed cache and power loss battery. Yes it is a custom HPE/PMC Sierra design, > microsemi > MicroChip.
It is significantly better than the adaptec controllers ever were. The Smart Array group got handed all those chips to manage after the transition.
P431 was capable of 1m iops. Through driver tuning the p440 and h240 might be faster.
Good for linux, bad for BSD due to stuck with the cciss block driver rather than hpsa.
Good thing I plan to use Linux w/ the hpsa driver. What kind of tuning are you suggesting?
 

BLinux

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Well, so I decided to try out the HP H240 and picked up a few of them for my SC216A. Right now, I'm trying to update the firmware on them, as they came with an older version. I'm having trouble updating the firmware on 1 out of 3 cards:

Code:
# ./CP033633.scexe 
Supplemental Update / Online ROM Flash Component for Linux (x64) - Smart Array H240ar, H240nr, H240, H241, H244br, P240nr, P244br, P246br, P440ar, P440, P441, P542D, P741m, P840, P840ar, and  P841 (6.30), searching...
1) Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 (6.30)
2) Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 (4.52)
3) Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 (6.30)
Select which devices to flash [#,#-#,(A)ll,(N)one]> 2
Flashing Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 [ 4.52 -> 6.30 ]
Flash failed
    Device Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 of type 10 failed to flash
============ Summary ============
Smart Component Finished
Summary Messages
================
1 flash attempt failed
User opted to not flash 2 devices
See log at /var/cpq/Component.log for details
Exit Status: 7
Flash failed
    Device Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 of type 10 failed to flash
A fatal error occurred. See engineering log for details.
Any ideas what I should try? I did try to re-run it and the above is the results. As you can see #1 and #3 have already flashed successfully to version 6.30.

Here is the log content from /var/cpq/Component.log:

Code:
=================================================================
Installation started: Thu Jun 14 18:59:30 PDT 2018
     Installing: CP033633.scexe
        Version: 6.30A
    Description: Supplemental Update / Online ROM Flash Component for Linux (x64) - Smart Array H240ar, H240nr, H240, H241, H244br, P240nr, P244br, P246br, P440ar, P440, P441, P542D, P741m, P840, P840ar, and  P841
/var/cpq/Component.log
Run with 1 Command Argument(s): ./.setup 
CP033633.scexe - Supplemental Update / Online ROM Flash Component for Linux (x64) - Smart Array H240ar, H240nr, H240, H241, H244br, P240nr, P244br, P246br, P440ar, P440, P441, P542D, P741m, P840, P840ar, and  P841
    Component Version: 6.30
    Component Build: 3578
    SOULAPI Version: 3.20.7.0
Attempting to open TASK XML file: 
Creating engineering log file at /var/cpq/CP033633_2018_06_14_18_59_30.log
Any Supported?:        yes
Component Version:     6.30
Oldest Device:         Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 (4.52)
Image Version:         6.30
Installer State:       1
Jun 14 18:59:36 Begin flash
Model: Smart HBA H240
Location: Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255
Current firmware 4.52, flashing to 6.30
Using firmware image ./firmware_signed.bin.fw
Firmware Image Size 8388864
2611836672: AC:2272858586 Smart Array Flash request failed
        ATTR_NAME_OPERATION_NAME = OPERATION_WRITE_FLASH_ARRAY_CONTROLLER_FIRMWARE
        ATTR_NAME_SCSI_ASC = 0
        ATTR_NAME_SCSI_ASCQ = 0
        ATTR_NAME_SCSI_COMMAND_STATUS = 4
        ATTR_NAME_SCSI_SENSE_KEY = 0
        ATTR_NAME_SCSI_STATUS = 0
        ATTR_NAME_STATUS = ATTR_VALUE_STATUS_FAILURE
        ATTR_NAME_UNIQUE_ID = AC:2272858586
failure
Jun 14 18:59:51 Complete flash, status 107
Flash failed
        Device Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 of type 10 failed to flash
See log at /var/cpq/CP033633_2018_06_14_18_59_30.log
============ Summary ============
Smart Component Finished
Summary Messages
================
1 flash attempt failed
User opted to not flash 2 devices
See log at /var/cpq/Component.log for details
Exit Status: 7
Flash failed
        Device Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 of type 10 failed to flash
A fatal error occurred. See engineering log for details.
 

BLinux

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ok, install ssacli and this is what i'm seeing:

Code:
=> controller all show detail
Smart HBA H240 in Slot 255 (RAID Mode)    ()
CACHE STATUS PROBLEM DETECTED: The controller is disabled because the cache
                               module is not attached. Please re-attach the
                               cache module to re-enable the controller.
 

BLinux

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i think i have a defective card. i pulled the 1, and the other 2 are working fine.

they were all in RAID mode. was able to change them to HBA mode with:

Code:
# ssacli
> controller sn="<serial number>" modify raidmode=off
> exit
# reboot
some strangeness... when i booted up with no drives attached, and then inserted the drives, they did not show up. I then rebooted with the drives attached and they all showed up. perhaps there's an issue with hot plugging? i'm not sure... need to experiment a little more.

on the good news side, the 'hpsa' driver does generate /dev/sgX devices so I can use sg_* tools on the drives. this was one of the main reasons I was looking for another HBA since the H330 cards in HBA mode still use the megaraid driver and do not provide /dev/sgX.
 

Evan

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Not normal in a HPE box not to detect drives when inserted, but no idea why yours would not me, when I say detect , that’s the card detecting it, in linux you still need to rescan the bus of course.

Key for option rom is f8 or f9 from memory, I can boot one tomorrow and check, that is in HP though, now idea if it works in whitebox.
 

BLinux

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Not normal in a HPE box not to detect drives when inserted, but no idea why yours would not me, when I say detect , that’s the card detecting it, in linux you still need to rescan the bus of course.

Key for option rom is f8 or f9 from memory, I can boot one tomorrow and check, that is in HP though, now idea if it works in whitebox.
What do you mean "re-scan the bus" ? With LSI controllers, when I hot-plug a hard drive, it spins up and is detected by the kernel and a new block device entry /dev/sdX is added. I can immediately work on the disk with parted or fdisk, etc. Are you saying with HP H240 or similar, there is a command that needs to be run to detect a new drive being connected?

When I boot up with the drives connected, and then disconnect and re-connect them while in the OS, the drive disappears, and then automatically re-appears. There is no "re-scan the bus" intervention.

I've tried F9 without much luck. Maybe I can try F8, but I also just realized, the 1 card that is having the issue with the non-existent cache module also does not show during POST. The other working cards do show during POST and will show the problematic card. When I boot just the problematic card by itself, it will not show during POST. I think I just have a defunct H240.. I've already contacted the seller and they say they may send a replacement.
 

Evan

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Something like this...


for BUS in /sys/class/scsi_host/host*/scan
do
echo "- - -" > ${BUS}
done