IBM M1015 Experiences

Mark_T

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Apr 23, 2012
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Hi everyone,

First of all, thanks for this great forum. I was really happy when I found it. :)
I`m doing computer graphics and I`m building my own PCs. I know a little about hardware, but I`m far from being an expert. Not to mention that this is my first experience with a raid card.

I bought from eBay a M1015 after I read everything I could found about it on this forum. The day I received my new M1015 card and placed it in the PCIe slot, my motherboard crashed. I don`t think it was related to the M1015, I think it was just pure coincidence. Anyway, my 3 years warranty for the motherboard expires in June, so I was lucky enough to be able to RMA the board, and now I`m waiting for an answer.

My intention is to crossflash it to LSI9211-IR and setup the drives in Raid 0. My final setup intention is to have 2 arrays in Raid 0, one with 4x 128 GB M4 and a second one 4x 300 GB Velociraptor. I have now 4x 300GB Velociraptor and 2 Crucial M4 128 GB. Later, I`m going to buy the last 2 M4s.

My question is: is it my plan OK? Is it possible to run 2x Raid0 in the above mentioned configuration with no problems? The M4 Raid 0 array will be mainly used as a cache drive (loads of temp files written), and the WD Raid0 array will be just a buffer work area for daily use. After each work session, the files will be copied on a 2TB WD drive.
What do you think? Any advices?

Even though I read a few times about how to flash the card, I might come back with some noobish questions, but I hope you don`t mind about that. :D
Thanks in advance for your help and feedback.
Cheers,


P.S. - My motherboard is a Asus P6T SE (if I will get the same board back, of course).
 
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mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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Running 2x RAID0 is just fine of the M1015, I'm currently testing 2 x RAID 1 on the M1015 and have some other SATA drives attached as well, all runs very nicely.

With flashing study the process well, the SAS2008 flash is fairly fool proof, but you never know :)
Ask away , it was not all that long ago, that I was a noob, well LSI noob, Adaptec was more my scene till I saw the light.
 

Mark_T

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Apr 23, 2012
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Oh, that`s great. I`m a bit more relaxed now.
My initial idea was to buy the HighPoint 2720SGL RocketRAID Controller, after reading this article. But somehow, I have the feeling that website is a bit to optimistic with some of the reviews, so I thought to do first a bit of surch on the web. :)
Reading so many good opinions about M1015 on the forum, I easily decided to go this route. The price difference is not that much, here in UK, but IBM and LSI sounds a bit better to my noobish ears. :D
Thanks.
 

mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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Don't what ever you do, run RAID5 on the M1015 or any LSI9240 based controller you WILL be disappointed.
RAID 0, 1, 10, JBOD or Passthrough you will not find a faster controller.
 

Mark_T

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Apr 23, 2012
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Ok, thanks for pointing that out.
I was really glad when I bought the M1015. Being such a fast controller in Raid 0 it makes me even happier. All I have to do now is to wait for my motherboard to come.
Speed wise, for the 4 x 128 GB M4s I hope something >1,500 MB/s for reading and >700 MB/S, maybe close to 800 MB/S for writing. For the 4 x 300 GB Vraptors I`ll be happy with 400 MB/s read and write. I`m really curious how it`ll perform.
I had for a couple of years 4 x 36 GB Raptors in Raid 0 setup with the onboard Intel controller. I`m really curious. :)
 

Ricoks

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Mar 12, 2012
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mobile, I have a question regarding running RAID in ESXI.
I got the raid to show up in ESXI, like I mentioned in the other post (FINALLY), but my RAID10 of 4x1.5TB 7200SATA drives seems slow. It's been taking a LONG time to install OS's on my VMs, and I want to rule out the array. It shouldn't take 5 hours to install SBS2011............How do I benchmark the array to see what I have with ESXI?
or do I have to install win7 to the server, then benchmark?
Thanks
 

mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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I Installed both CentOS 6.2 and Win Server 2k8 both via my laptop DVD drive which connects to router WIFI
It took a little longer to install this this way but only possibly 10min longer at most.

Its not the source your installing the OS from slowing you up ?
My slow down was WIFI connection to server, but made not too much difference

Try setting up a RAM drive in SBS2011 (if you can, never used it) then copy a large file to and from array time it
Possibly also test install media read speed if above is OK

I would think you should be getting around 200MB/s read, 150MB/s write with your 4x drives
 

Ricoks

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Mar 12, 2012
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Thanks, I'll try some stuff. Do I test from an OS that is installed on the raid drive, or on a different drive?
 

RimBlock

Member
Sep 18, 2011
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Singapore
Anyone found a good source for the PCI bracket that fits these cards ?. A number I have bought from EBay do not come with the bracket. The LSI 3081E-R uses the same bracket but the holes are further back than those of the Intel ET network card so it seems not to be a generic size.

IBM sell the 2U bracket for under USD10 but the local IBM distributor does not list the full size bracket. The M1015 bought as a standalone card from an IBM distro comes with both brackets. If anyone has a part number for the full size bracket then I can query with the distributor and hopefully get a good price for everyone (myself included) and put them up in the sale section if Patrick is agreeable.

What motherboards are people flashing these cards on ?. I have yet to find a LGA1155 board that will flash this card but I have happily flashed on a couple of old MSI LGA775 boards with no problem.

RB
 

sotech

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Jul 13, 2011
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Anyone found a good source for the PCI bracket that fits these cards ?. A number I have bought from EBay do not come with the bracket. The LSI 3081E-R uses the same bracket but the holes are further back than those of the Intel ET network card so it seems not to be a generic size.

IBM sell the 2U bracket for under USD10 but the local IBM distributor does not list the full size bracket. The M1015 bought as a standalone card from an IBM distro comes with both brackets. If anyone has a part number for the full size bracket then I can query with the distributor and hopefully get a good price for everyone (myself included) and put them up in the sale section if Patrick is agreeable.

What motherboards are people flashing these cards on ?. I have yet to find a LGA1155 board that will flash this card but I have happily flashed on a couple of old MSI LGA775 boards with no problem.

RB
The last few I flashed was with an AM3 M4A88TD-M board - haven't checked with any of the newer boards due to not having a spare M1015 while they were passing through our hands. I'm keen to test a few of the Z68 and Z77 boards we have once we do get a spare one.
 

mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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You may find that any SFF bracket will fit.

I used a bracket from an ancient ServeRAID 6m fitted like a glove.

or failing that, Ebay is littered with brackets for the LSI cards

My trusty ASRock Deluxe3 LGA1156 Mobo flashes with no issues
 
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RimBlock

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Sep 18, 2011
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The last few I flashed was with an AM3 M4A88TD-M board - haven't checked with any of the newer boards due to not having a spare M1015 while they were passing through our hands. I'm keen to test a few of the Z68 and Z77 boards we have once we do get a spare one.
Interesting, I had not even thought about AMD setups :).

I can confirm that flashing does not work on a ASRock Z68 Extreme 4 (PCIe 2.0) or a ASUS P8H67-V. I did try on one other SB board but do not recall the model now. Would be interesting to see on IB chipsets.

RB
 

RimBlock

Member
Sep 18, 2011
802
14
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Singapore
You may find that any SFF bracket will fit.

I used a bracket from an ancient ServeRAID 6m fitted like a glove.

or failing that, Ebay is littered with brackets for the LSI cards

My trusty ASRock Deluxe3 LGA1156 Mobo flashes with no issues
Not a lot of full size ones on Ebay.com unless I am looking for the wrong terms. SCSI4ME sell them at US$16 a pop but that really is pretty expensive.

Ok, so the LGA 1156 boards may also work for flashing. I may be getting an X58 board in soon(ish) for trade in so I may give that a go at some point.

RB
 

blckgrffn

New Member
Jun 9, 2012
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mobile, I have a question regarding running RAID in ESXI.
I got the raid to show up in ESXI, like I mentioned in the other post (FINALLY), but my RAID10 of 4x1.5TB 7200SATA drives seems slow. It's been taking a LONG time to install OS's on my VMs, and I want to rule out the array. It shouldn't take 5 hours to install SBS2011............How do I benchmark the array to see what I have with ESXI?
or do I have to install win7 to the server, then benchmark?
Thanks
From what I can tell, this guy disables the write cache on the drive (megaraid software confirms) and so the write performance on your drives will tank compared to what they would do on a non-raid controller but exposed to ESXi.

Clearly you should stay away from this controller if you are planning to use non-ssd disks.

I'd enable write caching if I could, I'd really like this thing to perform better. I haven't figured out how to enable it yet.

Running 13.00.57.00 and driver 2.00.55.00 (in windows native now, so I can do more troubleshooting...), the bios is 7.25.00.00. IR. No options to manipulate cache so far as I can tell.

I posted on this over here:

http://communities.vmware.com/message/2057088#2057088

And made a fool of myself, I am afraid.

If anyone knows how to enable the disk cache on the 9210-8i for a RAID group, I'd be very interested. This is on a huge dedicated UPS, etc. so I'd risk it to get the performance.

Also, I already ordered an HP P410 w/512 MB of battery backed cache - hoping that works out better in ESXi.

*Figured it out in Windows, how might we do this in ESXi?* <-- Performance is right back where I would have expected :) Only had to click through a couple warnings ;)

Anyone out there successfully connecting to their ESXi server with the Megaraid Software? Thanks!
 
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mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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In MSM (Windows) the only thing that you can tweak on a M1015 in IR mode is the Drive Cache Policy (enable/disable)

MSM
Logical
Right click virtual drive
Set virtual drive properties.
Enable/disable
 

Mark_T

New Member
Apr 23, 2012
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I finally built my new system (Asus p9X79 WS) and everything was just fine until "sas2flsh -o -f 2118ir.bin -b mptsas2.rom" command when I got "ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL. Exiting program". I checked on the net and it seems I have to look for another motherboard fo flash my M1015. maybe I`ll buy an old motherboard from ebay. i`ll be grateful if somebody point my to a motherboard known to work 100% for this. Thanks.
 

mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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My ASRock i"ve done all the testing on has not given any issues.
I've got another ASRock board coming LGA1155 I hope I can have the same good results

But to be safe a Server board is your best bet, Supermicro or Tyan board

Should make a database of known non working boards