HP P812

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raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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Anyone here with recent experience? Last thread here seems to be 3 years old...

I very recently ran into two DL 180 G6 25xSFF with P812 (including 1GB FBWC and ADG!) controllers for very cheap - according to ebay I essentially got them for what the P812 controllers alone are sold these days.
Thus I got the cases, mainboards + 2x Xeon 5620 + 20GB RAM + PSUs as a bonus. No drive caddies, though.

The first one arrived today, and as soon as I was able to confirm that there was indeed a P812 with 1GB FWBC installed (gotta be careful these days), I pulled the trigger on the second one.

Of course the P812 runs fine in the DL180, but I also tested it in my "LegoNAS", which as of now sports a Dell T300 mainboard. That system won't boot with the P812 installed (and yes, I did try blocking SMBUS pins PCie B5/6). Even after flashing it to the current FW (which did run smoothly on Windows Storage Server 2012).

Installed it in a Tyan S5502 and that system booted just fine, so no-HP-bootability confirmed. ;-)

Questions:
- anyone here with long-term experience on these?
- any cross-flashing possibilities? Google didn't yield any, but maybe you gurus heard of some other gurus performing the right kind of voodoo. ;-)
 

cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
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Midwest, US
About to decommission a couple of them soon (connected to a few MSA60's with LFF spinners). They work, the batteries crap every few years and need replacing. Firmware is what it is at this point, they are well past EOL.

The P812's a bit better than the P410's with regards to compatibility with non-HP hardware.
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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Thanks for the insight, mine come with supercaps instead of batteries. Those shouldn't need replacing, right?
 

adeel

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
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not to hijack this thread, but by any chance have you tested the external ports? i recently just updated my P812 to the 6.64(b) firmware and used a spare SFF-8088 to 4 SATA cable, in hopes of connecting more HDs and they don't even seem to be detected. I've read that after the 5.14 firmware, the external ports seem to be disabled, just wanted to know if you were experiencing the same issue.

thanks
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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I have not tried to use the external ports, yet - no cables, but they are inbound.
Looks like we have to figure out a way to go back to 5.14 (seems to be the last fw with external support).
Firmware DVD 10.0 is downloading right now. ;-/
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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I just flashed my second P812 from 3.x to 5.14. Will test and report as soon as my cables arrive (most likely in a couple of weeks, I ordered them from China).
If external ports do work with 5.14 I'll swap the controllers to see if the arrays survive the downgrade.
If they do, I'll try to downgrade the first controller to 5.14.
 

adeel

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
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awesome. keep me posted.

i wonder if the 5.14 firmware is supported in vmware 5.5....i'm not planning on running this for production vm's, just trying to consolidate my home lab into 1 box. if only i could find a 12-24 bay disk chassis that didn't scream bloody murder, i wouldn't have this problem...
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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Did the swap today: the arrays were not accessible with the older firmware. The controller recognized them correctly, but Windows showed them as uninitalized. After swapping the controllers back, they showed up normal again, no data lost.

5.14 did not play well with the 24bay expander card: with dual linking the controller did not initialize, without dual linking some drives were not recognized.
Not really a problem for me, if the external ports do work with SATA drives on 5.14.
I do suspect that they deliberately deactivated SATA support on the external ports, since those ports do show up in SSA with 6.64(b). Also, there would not be just one forum thread mentioning the problem on the net, if they had accidentally cut of all setups that were using external ports with MSAs.
 

adeel

New Member
Mar 10, 2014
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HP is pretty prolific for actively making their products incompatible with non-HP devices. My guess is that if you hooked up an MSA chassis via the external SAS ports, it would work. I just didn't want to have an external disk chassis, but oh well. I picked up a 16 port HP SAS expander card that i'll just route one of the internal ports through, which should resolve my issue.
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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So my external cables arrived today, two quick tests later:
- 5.14 does show my two 500GB SATA test drives on the external ports, Link speed is 3Gbps
- 6.64(b) does not

I'll do some more testing and benchmarking tonight, to help with the decision wether to migrate the data from the 6.64 controller to 5.14, or just live with the limitations.
Main benefit of the external ports would be the link speed (well, and some simpler cabling without the expander), but I'll have to check if my drives are even limited by the 1,5Gbps they currently run on via the expander (2TB desktop drives, mostly).
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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Well, that's a no-brainer, I'll migrate the data.

The exact same disks (4x2TB Seagatate DMxxx) in RAID5 on

6.64, connected via HP SAS Expander @1.5Gbps
4x2TB_P812_fw6.64_int-exp_1,5gbps.jpg

5.14, connected via external Ports @3Gbps
4x2TB_P812_fw5.14_extports3gbps.jpg

It's a shame that 5.14 won't read the array config from 6.64 (but not really a surprise, either).
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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Just a quick update: 5.14 has proven to be rock solid and fast in extensive load tests, thus I didn't see any reason not to try the downgrade of my second P812 from 6.64(b).
Went the official route via firmware update DVD 10.0 in a DL180 G6, and was very pleased to see that HP didn't put any real hurdles in my way - just enable downgrade in the installation options, and you're good to go.
 

Bert

Well-Known Member
Mar 31, 2018
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Bought one of these cards and they are on the way. @raylangivens, how is the card behaving so far? Are you still using it?
 

raylangivens

Member
Nov 22, 2016
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I've moved on to a full Dell setup, because those DL180s were way too loud for my homelab. I can sit next to the R710 and R510, that replaced them, all day long. ;-)

The P812 cards behaved very well, even when I put them into the Dell machines for faster migration of the data. No BIOS access in non HP servers, though.
 

Patriot

Moderator
Apr 18, 2011
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I've moved on to a full Dell setup, because those DL180s were way too loud for my homelab. I can sit next to the R710 and R510, that replaced them, all day long. ;-)

The P812 cards behaved very well, even when I put them into the Dell machines for faster migration of the data. No BIOS access in non HP servers, though.
You can use offline ACU and in OS ACU to configure the arrays in non HPE boxes.
 

YardBouncer

always yield to the hands-on imperative
Jul 13, 2019
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UK
Sorry to necro this thread but I hope someone can help.

I have just got a P812 working in my Z820 workstation.
Currently its only got 4x 1TB SATA (WD RE4) in RAID6 attached, mostly as a test to make sure its behaving correctly.

My plan is to use 4 or 5x 4TB SAS drives. If possible I'll get HP ones.

Question is does the P812 support drives of that size (or bigger)?
Firmware is 6.64(b) since I don't need the external ports.

I've found different answers to the drive size question and I'm sure they are all correct since they refer to different firmware versions.
Fairly confident that 2TB drives work but I know that 32bit addressing craps out at ~2.2TB.
It would be annoying to spend £400-500 on big SAS drives to then find they don't work with that card.

Thanks for any answers.
 

vanfawx

Active Member
Jan 4, 2015
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2TB limitation is a SATA LBA addressability issue, and only for first generation SAS HBA's. This is a SAS2 based card, so you should be fine with SATA drives as big as you can find. If you use SAS drives, this isn't a concern.
 
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YardBouncer

always yield to the hands-on imperative
Jul 13, 2019
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UK
That's great to hear, thanks.

The SAS stuff I've used before has been nowhere near any kind of limit so not had to think about it before.
People I've spoken to have had contradictory things to say.

And I've a cynical streak that fully expects that although there may not be any theoretical reason for any limit HP/Dell?etc will have gimped the firmware anyway for reasons of business logic.

Glad to hear it ain't so.