Backplanes + highpoint Rocket Raid Cards ?

james23

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Nov 18, 2014
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Im having compatibility issues with my adaptec 5805 and my 8x 3tb Hitachi HUA723030ALA640 drives (I know they are listed as compatible on BOTH adaptec's and Hitachi's compatibility lists, but some ebay ACE sent me a weird part number of the hitachi drives which is made only in europe and for whatever reason is slightly different and is giving me tons of probs with the 5805, adaptec support has no solution).

So i want to connect the 8x drives to my Highpoint rocket raid 4320 raid card. the Supermicro 846a backplane is a direct attach backplane (not expander) with 6x sff-8087 ports connecting to the 24 SATA/SAS hotswap bays. However highpoint support just informed me that "In regards to the Supermicro SAS backplane, the RocketRAID 4320 will not work with that device."

This makes no sense to me as its a direct attach backplane so it should work with any sff-8087 port.

My question is- Does anyone have any experiences with ANY highpoint tech RocketRaid , raid Cards and ANY backplanes? (hpt support even tells me their latest 4520 card will not work with direct attached backplanes, which i still cant believe is true).

thanks
 

andrewbedia

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Jan 11, 2013
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Never heard anyone say anything nice about RocketRAID cards. I'd avoid them like the plague if it was me.
 

james23

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Im aware of those comments, but before i knew better i bought 4x rocket raid cards ( 3x 4320, 1x 3- series 12 port) this was about 5 years ago) and i can say those 4 have run/still running perfectly..not a single issue and i have alot of experience with RAID cards... each has a mix of raid 5 and raid 6 arrays, (3 x have 8x drives, 1 x has 12 drives). However, if i had my way i wouldn't be using a 4320 in this scenario but its the only card i have left to try (my extra LSI cards dont support over 2tb, and the server already has a adaptec 5405z and 51645 filled up, i was hoping to use the 5805 as the 3rd but its been a nightmare with these hitachi 3tb s.. NIGHTMARE)

so if anyone has any experiences with highpoint RR cards and backplanes (any, but idealy supermicro BPs) i would love to hear. I'll have this 4320 to test and report back in about 6 days but im hoping someone can post their experiences so if i have to buy something else i can get it ordered).

thanks
 

Patrick

Administrator
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Dec 21, 2010
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James,

Seems crazy that they would not work in non expander backplanes. I would venture that upwards of 90% of the market where these get installed is using backplanes of some sort.
 

britinpdx

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Feb 8, 2013
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Sometimes it's easier to say "it won't work" than to actually try in practice !

I had the parts lying around, presents are opened, I have 30min to kill ...

Supermicro SAS825TQ backplane, RR 2720SGL, 2x SFF8087 to SATA cables connected to backplane SAS ports 0, 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 . Server 2012 with the latest driver and Web Gui downloaded for Highpoint.

Pictures are worth 1000 words ....

No problem in seeing the individual drives ( a mixture of Samsung and Seagate 2TB 5400rpm drives) ...


SMART information can be read from the drives..


RAID6 setup with whatever the default settings are ..


CDM results ...


I'd conclude from 30 min of testing that the RR2720SGL certainly works with the "TQ" backplane. Doesn't the "A" backplane replace the individual SAS/SATA ports with SFF-8087 ports (no expanders) .... if so, I don't see why it wouldn't work.
 
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james23

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Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to test that, britinpdx!

RE: Patrick and britinpdx comments about how (hpt 4320+ direct backplane) *should* work: I 100% agree, and ive posted (at bottom of this post) my exact correspondence with highpoint support, i did try to make very clear that this is not an expander, and IS a direct attached backplane. I think Patrick was dead on with, its just *easier* for support to say "it wont work"

2 new points: There was a change to my schedule so i was able to grab the 4320 today and test it on my setup! (versus waiting 6 days as i previously had thought i would have to do)

IT DOES WORK!!

no issues that i can tell thus far, and performance seems great so far!

What i have done: (see attached images below of the speeds im seeing on the 4320 with 2 x Raid 5 arrays, AND speeds from the troubled 5805 on the same disks with same array types,)

Backplane is: BPN-SAS-846A Supermicro Backplane, (direct attach, it has 6x SFF-8087 port connected directly to 24 SATA/SAS Hotswap bays, not an expander, each 8087 drives 4 bays, just like a breakout cable would)
Motherboard is (shouldn't really matter): Supermicro X8DTE-F
Power Supply is: 2 x supermicro PWS-920P-1R (Platinum efficiency power supply)
Chassis is: Supermicro SC846 (4u, 24bay)
RAID cards: Adaptec 5405z , Adaptec 51645 , Highpoint 4320 (replaces the 5805 i was using before)
+The 5405z goes to an external hotswap bay which has 4x intel 710 SSD drives (100gb each), this is in a raid6 array running the OS (win serv 2008 r2), and also has a raid6 array that i use for VMs OS es (vmware workstation run in 2008 r2)
+The 51645 goes to 10x 1tb Hitachi HDE721010SLA330 (PN: 0A38028) sata drives in the hotswap bays, and also 5x 3tb Toshiba DT01ABA300 (drive rev: AAA AA00 / BB0 ) drives , these run various raid 5 and raid 6 arrays, and haven't shown any major issues over the past 30-40 days. however the toshiba array does sometimes run a bit slow when doing OS copy functions, but this maybe bc they are 5400 rpm drives versus the others being 7200rpm , not a big speed hit, but its noticeable at times (there is an unused sff-8088 external port on this card that i may used in the future)
+ I HAD been running an adaptec 5805 on 8x 3tb HUA723030ALA640 (PN: 0F15123) (NOTE THE FIN PART NUMBER **PLEASE**, VERY IMPORTANT, this is a Hitachi EUROPEAN part number, not Hitachi North America, this is a BIG DEAL!!)

I had alot of problems with the 5805 and these particular drives (the particular part number) - The exact MODEL NUMBER of the 8x HUA Drives are both listed on the Adaptec 5805 AND the Hitachi HUA723030ALA640 compatibility lists (they do NOT list part numbers on these lists though, just model numbers), so i figured i'm all good to go! WRONG.

First off- Every time i would create a RAID 6 array, i could never get it to fully initialize without a drive dropping out and messing up the initialize process. I contacted adaptec support, we went back and forth several times, sending logs and trying different methods, nothing worked, and the final determination from adaptec support was there is some incompatibility with these particular drives and to contact hitachi. I then call hitachi north america, read them the model number, and then the part number, and they say, oh we cant offer you support or firmware for this drive, as its from Hitachi Europe. (i thought this was rediclious, and even tried a different rep a day later, with the same result) they refered me to the entirely useless htiachi europe website ( Hitachi Europe : Inspire the Next ), which doesnt even list anything about HDDs. They also provided a UK phone number which i called (long distance) and was not able to even get connected to a dept that dealt with HDDs (the reps had no idea how/where to connect me too, all they had were support departments for hitachi cameras and other hitachi consumer electronic devices). I did try connecting the 8x HUA drives directly to the 5805 via a fan-out cable, the result was the same.

However on the 5805 I was able to make a Raid 5 array or even a Raid 5ee array, and so i did that and thought all was good. Well about 3 weeks after making rd 5 and 5ee arrays (huge ones, 8tb , 8tb and a 3tb 5ee) randomly one day a drive dropped out, so i swapped it with an extra (a 9th - 3tb HUA drive) and it rebuilt the arrays with no issues. I tested the dropped 3tb HUA drive as best i could, and found no issues nor even slow speeds when the drive was hooked directly to an extra Motherboard i have ( thus the dropped drive is fine). Then about a week after this (ive now just about filled up the arrays with data) another drive dropped, so i then inserted the 8th 3tb HUA drive and about 60% through the rebuild, the newly inserted drive dropped from the array (thank god it wasnt a different drive of the array or i would have lost all data of both RD5 arrays). I was able to finally get this array rebuild by booting into adaptec BIOS and letting it rebuild 1 array (of the 3) at a time (which due to the poor adaptec BIOS interface i had to jury-rig by setting one rebuilding array to high priority and the other 2 to LOW priority, then up priority as the arrays finished each rebuild). I knew i had to get rid of either the 5805 or the 8x drives, so i decided to try an extra HighPoint 4320 Raid Card, thus this thread.


-- i did have an unrelated issue which i should mention incase others are searching: I started off this build with a BPN-SAS-846EL1 Backplane (the 24 bay EXPANDER version) and wanted to run several drives on the EL1 backplane via the 5405z) again, the expander and the drives are on Adaptec's and SM's compatibility list (HBA to Backplane) and the HUA drives are listed on SM's and Hitachi, and Adaptec's compatibility lists (as a drive compatible with the backplane and vice versa)..so i should be all good, right? wrong.. i guess it could be the part number issue, but for some annoying reason, i would make an array, then if i did a SHUTDOWN, then start up, the 5405z would only spin up A FEW OF THE DRIVES (using a 10 disk array) thus the array is broken on start-up. However, if i did a reboot, (thus all the drives are already spinning, and remain spinning), all drives would be recognized on the boot and the arrays would be fine. I did try adding a very long delay at the BIOS/POST screen (before the Adaptec BIOS screen), this made NO difference, even adding a huge delay did not matter , the adaptec card just would not spin up all 10 (or more) drives. I even tried tossing in lots of random sata drives i had laying around (i.e. some WDs, some samsung drives, some seagates) it made no difference, nor did the specific hotswap bay of the 24 that the drives were inserted into. Its as if the card would send X number of spin up commands, one at a time, and then stop sending the spin up command. The hitachi drives did not have any jumper settings that could be changed (i.e. some drives have a jumper setting to make them spin up as soon as they get power, and the opposite too, not these hitachi's though). So i then bought the 846TQ backplane (non expander, has 24x sata ports, direct) and thus began the saga above with the 5805... ( i later also bought the 846A backplane, just to clean up cabling, so i have ALL 3 backplanes at this point *LOL* - what a waste of money, i had to buy the 846TQ backplane brand new, full price, and the place would not take it back ( ebizpc.com ), even 3 days after delivery :( )


Images of Raid card copy performance graphs:

note: these are copy operations done in 2008 r2 , the speed data is graphed from WMI, via PRTG polling 2008 r2's WMI data every 30 seconds and plotting/recording it.

1) Highpoint 4320 card - Copies in graph below are run WHILE the 3x arrays are being initialized (in background). Note the 2x 8tb rd5 arrays (J and K drive's) BOTH being written to, so 300+ MB/sec write (may be bound by source - 2 x single 4tb sata drives thus each ~150 mb/s Read)
4320_BothDrives_4 hrs.png


2) J drive = 8tb raid5, on the problem 5805 adaptec card, no other operations are being run, the write destination are Raid 5/6 arrays on the 51645 card (i get 250-400 mb/sec write on these arrays). NOTE ~50 mb/sec with weird spikes
5805_2day_Jdrv.png


3) K drive is a 8tb raid 5, this is also on the problem 5805 adaptec card, no other operations are being run at all, the write destination is again the other Raid 5/6 arrays i have on the 51645 card (i see 250-400 mb/sec write on these arrays):
5805_2day_Kdrv.png
 

james23

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Nov 18, 2014
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I forgot to include the hpt support ticket correspondence:

----------------------------
Copy and paste of HPT support, support ticket:



ME (CUSTOMER);

Hi,
1) Im moving from an adaptec 5805 to an extra hpt 4320 i have and wanted to know if there was anyway to access the RAW value of Smart attributes for drives? (attached to a hpt 4320). Im aware of the web interface -> SHI -> SMART data , however this only shows Threshold ,Worst, Value,Status and i was hoping to also see the RAW value of smart attributes as i can in adaptec storage manager. (sometimes its useful to see a smart attribute ticking up on RAW/DEC data yet it doesn't trigger a fall from 100 or 200 in the "value" section)

2) is there anyway to see the raw controler logs, or any controller logs beyond what one can see in the web interface -> event? i.e. maybe a way to ssh or telnet into the controller?

3) are there any issues / known issues with attaching the 4320 to a supermicro BPN-SAS-846A backplane (its a direct attach backplane, not an expander, it has 6 x SFF-8087 ports connecting to 24 sata/sas hotswap bays), to be clear, this backplane is NOT an expander.

Thank you very much.


SUPPORT:

Dear customer it is not possible to see the RAW SMART values when HDD are connected to the RocketRAID controller, the only tool / software we provide is the SHI, all controller events are capture in the Event log, there is no other detail log to get additional information.

In regards to the Supermicro SAS backplane, the RocketRAID 4320 will not work with that device.

Note: The RocketARID 4320 is a EOL (End of Life) product, it uses older SAS/SATA 3Gb/s technology and as EOL product there are no more software updates.

The RocketRAID 4520 is the next generation upgrade for the RocketRAID 4320. The RocketRAID 4520 does not support any of the items you listed but it has software update support.

Regards

HighPoint Support Team
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(btw; what does software update ability have to do with any of my questions / issues?)
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PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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Support comments on the software update because their non-thinking support drone script says 'tell the customer to update the firmware'
 

james23

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Ive personally swore off most seagates, but especially the 3tb ST3000DM001... ive had way too many of them fail (these were bought at way different times, from way different sources and would consistently fail). I had 6 of them in a prior array / build and they would mechanically fail way too frequently, requiring a full drive replace (and the bad one, was really bad and done- usually the click of death). they are/were some of the cheapest 3tb options though :( but you can often find 3tb hitachi HUA or HDE drives on ebay for ~80$ (some at that price even new or sealed refurbished !). just be sure to VERIFY THE PART NUMBER (different from model number) before paying.

my favorite old drives were the samsung F2 , F3 and F4s. at one point i had over 100 of their 1.5 and 2 TB drives running in data centers and over the course of 5 years only had ONE failure! (and thats through shipping the servers as these were all colo machines !).

I loved those drives (although they did have some nasty SMART test bug that would wipe all your data if you ran a SMART test incorrectly, i never encountered that bug though). Samsung either sold its HDD division or just quit making HDDs, but to this day i still have about 40 of those same drives (now 6-7 years old) still running great, with no failures (except that one from a while ago). (these were/are in supermicro chassis, with TQ backplanes, direct to linux and running mdadm arrays). I probably just jinxed the 40 i have left and running though :/ lol
 

Lost-Benji

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Jan 21, 2013
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The arse end of the planet
Yeah, I have about 20 of them here with another 15 or so out in the wild. I loose one maybe every 8 months.

I too loved the Sammy's but they are no more. The Hitachi's also rock but are now HGST (Seagate).
WD blacks also do well but prices are scary. Red's may have to be my next flavour but either way, there will be no LowPoint involved. Too flaky and too many variables with Marvel chipsets.
 

james23

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Nov 18, 2014
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As sad as it is, i rather get used or refurb (or even new sometimes) hitachi's (pre mid-2013) from ebay than to use anything else. I don't want / trust HGST drives now that seagate owns them, so i stay away from those (im assuming any Hitachi drives post mid-2013 are trouble as they are under seagate at that point, but i think they started labeling them HGST once seagate was involved so it easy to just stay away from HGST).

Ive actually never had a toshiba drive fail on me and i have about 10 of them running (all 3tb s, ). so maybe toshiba drives are good? ( i had heard that WD had bought toshiba's HD divisions, but their website still looks independent toshiba so i think that is incorrect info and toshiba drives are still made independently by toshiba)

Ive had WDs fail on me so i stay away from those (granted most were the cheap greens)

Ive had Seagates fail at a ridiculous rate (like i said before). The most telling element of seagate drives as a brand (to me) was when i read some report by some datacenter or backup provider that showed real world failure rates of their seagate drives, and Seagates' enterprise drives failed MORE OFTEN than their consumer drives!! that was all i needed to read to confirm my feelings on seagate. ( i cant recall the URL of the report, but i think it may have been one of the backblaze drive reports)

im going to do some searching around here and will update this thread but does anyone have real world info on 2tb or larger SATA drive manufacturer failure (or non failure hopefully) rates? like what brand do people use with few to no failures in large unit volumes?