HP H240 (SAS3 HBA) 30 GBP from EU seller / 34 USD from US seller

RTM

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Jan 26, 2014
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So... there may be some obvious reason why they are not popular, but the H240 seems to ridiculously cheap compared to LSI/Broadcom SAS3008 based cards although they have similar specs.

Specwise there isn't that much to say, SAS3, two ports (although they appear to be SFF8087 rather than SFF8643) meaning 8 drives (without expander), PCIe 3, is a HBA by default but also supports cacheless RAID. Some of the posts here on the forum, suggests that you do not need to have a HPE server to use it (checkout the links below).

Here is a link that is nice for us europeans (at least a little while longer anyway) at 30 GBP with cheap shipping, I have seen others that are not much more expensive:

For the non-europeans here is another link at 34 USD that appears to do free shipping (probably US only):

Here are some other threads on the controller:

The firmware (dated 2019) also appears to be available without a support contract:

Of course I have no idea about expander support (meaning if they will support LSI expanders and such), and likewise whether firmware updates can be applied without having an HPE server, but I have ordered some and will probably test the latter.
 
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RTM

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Kneelbeforezod

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I put an offer in for 2 and will see what happens. I Have a couple of older HPE cards in my servers currently that Are I T mode sould always swap and see what happens.
 
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RTM

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Is it easy to switch it to IT mode? Or is that even necessary?

does it support SSD trim?
IT mode is an LSI thing, so I would say that is not necessary.
No idea about TRIM support

I suppose a relevant question is how usable is the HBA mode of the controller? is it functionally equivalent to IT mode?
What is a good test for that? whether or not SMART data is available? (I just found a thread on the freenas forum, where they after a bit of work make smart data accessible, so I suppose that is doable).
 
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BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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The firmware (dated 2020) also appears to be available without a support contract
Firmware version 7.00 has been released in May 2019. The one you linked is just a repackaged bundle for ESXi 7.0 - no changes to the firmware itself.
 
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Samir

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I suppose a relevant question is how usable is the HBA mode of the controller? is it functionally equivalent to IT mode?
From my understanding of IT mode, its role is to basically turn a hardware raid controller back into an HBA, so I think these should be functionally equivalent (if not better) than a RAID controller in IT mode since they are the genuine thing--a simple initiator/target controller.
 

BeTeP

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There is no such thing as
a simple initiator/target controller
The computer system with HBA is a SCSI initiator. The drives are SCSI targets. The "I/T mode" is an LSI specific (not universal industry wide and vendor neutral like many people seem to think) term used to describe a firmware version where all connected LUNs are passed through to the operating system.
 

gb00s

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Jul 25, 2018
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Depends where you are living. Check the shipping rate of the UK's guy if you are not located in UK. Ridiculous. If you are in Germany check this offer : HP - 779134-001 - h240 HBA board PCIe 3 x8 sasadapter | eBay

Card can be used outside of HPE, but from what I remember you have to do it from WinWin and use the HP bla bla software. Sorry, I do not remember the software to config the card.
 
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RTM

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Depends where you are living. Check the shipping rate of the UK's guy if you are not located in UK. Ridiculous. If you are in Germany check this offer : HP - 779134-001 - h240 HBA board PCIe 3 x8 sasadapter | eBay

Card can be used outside of HPE, but from what I remember you have to do it from WinWin and use the HP bla bla software. Sorry, I do not remember the software to config the card.
The shipping rate to Germany must be really expensive for that to be cheaper (don't mean to be rude), shipping of one card is 11.55 GBP to Denmark and only a few GBP more if you want extras, I did not expect there to big that big a difference, but I suppose that is just how it goes.
 
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Samir

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The "I/T mode" is an LSI specific (not universal industry wide and vendor neutral like many people seem to think) term used to describe a firmware version where all connected LUNs are passed through to the operating system.
From my understanding, IT mode is simply crossflashing a regular hba bios onto a raid controller, essentially making a raid controller an hba. And I've seen this done on Dell and other branded cards as well that are probably made by LSI, but not necessarily as theoretically this could work with any controller manufacturer that uses the same chipset for their hba and raid cards and doesn't lock out crossflashing.
 

gb00s

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Jul 25, 2018
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The shipping rate to Germany must be really expensive for that to be cheaper (don't mean to be rude), shipping of one card is 11.55 GBP to Denmark and only a few GBP more if you want extras, I did not expect there to big that big a difference, but I suppose that is just how it goes.
No, I made a mistake and still had Malta as a shipping destination. I have to apologize. My mistake.
 
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nikalai

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Oct 26, 2018
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Bargain Hardware (UK) has a great and the same price for H240. I bought one last year. From what i know, HBA mode is not configured by default and i don't have HP servers, just Supermicro ones. So i couldn't flash / configure the card unfortunatelly.

Great guys on Bargain Hardware. :) I bought several things from them and i am not from UK.

LE: I was not planning to use this card with FREENAS / ZFS. click. I prefer H220 instead.
 
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maanval

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Feb 11, 2020
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Tested this one in a whitebox, it works without any hassle on Debian. However, it will not work with the IBM 46M0997 expander (and it may not be compatible with other SAS/SAS2 expanders either), so don't buy it if that's your intended use case.

From what i know, HBA mode is not configured by default and i don't have HP servers, just Supermicro ones. So i couldn't flash / configure the card unfortunatelly.
You don't need an HP server to configure this HBA. You can use Smart Storage Administrator CLI (download, manual) to manage RAID/HBA functionality from the OS. Alternatively, you can create a USB key to boot off of and setup your preferred configuration there.
 
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Sleyk

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These are good alternate controllers if you cant afford a pricier LSI HBA. They will work fundamentally the same. I have been eyeing this same listing, and a few others for months now, I just never bothered to post here. Plus, there have been other threads on it as well.

Basically, a Microsemi processor. Not LSI, but still works well. No chance of LSI firmware or any affiliation with LSI. They are cheap because currently, no one wants them. There is quite an abundance of them sitting on ebay.

I suspect they may get popular as more and more people go to sas3, but for now, the more popular LSI controllers reign supreme.

Not a bad idea to snag a few and put up for later. After all, SAS3 is just coming into full swing now, its not going anywhere for the next few more years. Snag em while they're cheap...

The future is as crazy as you think it isnt.
 
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int0x2e

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Offered 2 @ $25 ea, seller countered with 2 @ $30.
I think that's an okay price so I went for it.
 
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Sleyk

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Have gone below 30 by now
I just cant get over these cards. Its very strange. These cards are just sooo curious in their choice to use SFF 8087 instead of SFF 8643. I wonder if this was a decision to cut costs for the card? This also tells me that they are confident that SFF 8087 will transfer at 12Gbps? Very interesting.
 
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