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IBM M1015 Firmware - What to flash with

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by Patrick, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Hey everyone,

    Just wondering what people have been successful flashing the IBM M1015 with. I have heard LSI 9240-8i firmware, but want to see if there are opinions on versions.

    Patrick
     
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  2. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    There's only one thing you can flash it with and that's the latest 9240-8i firmware from LSI's site, which is identical to the firmware posted at IBM's site but LSI's support section is a bit easier to navigate.

    It's a universal ROM file in that the flashing code reads the vendor string off the card and lays in the appropriate featureset (i.e. RAID5 support). In other words the process has an awareness of all the different retail and rebadged variations of the 9240-8i. So it's not like cross-flashing LSI's non-RAID HBA's where the card could "become" whatever you were flashing over the top of it including the vendor string. They were a little more sophisticated about it, obviously so people couldn't circumvent their partners' ability to do things like upsell software unlocks, like IBM selling the M1000 key which unlocks RAID5 and costs around $120.

    OTOH, a hardware raid5 card for under $200 ($75-$100 on ebay for M1015 + $120 raid5 unlock) is a pretty major bargain.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  3. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Not bad, but no onboard DRAM for write-back cache :-( Oh well!
     
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  4. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    Well let's face it you aren't getting either one of those for high-end performance. But they'd get the job done.
     
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  5. Mindflux

    Mindflux New Member

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    Is it not possible to flash with IT firmware by erasing the entire BIOS first? User "Pawel" in the comments section of this post does it successfully with the X8SI6-F. It seems the newer versions of the flash tool won't let you do it without a full erase of the chip:

    http://www.servethehome.com/howto-flash-supermicro-x8si6f-lsi-sas-2008-controller-lsi-firmware/


    Why would this board use the 9211 firmware but the M1015 needs the 9240? They both require some sort of 'key' (hardware or software) to unlock RAID5.

    It would seem that the 9211 firmware might be better suited?
     
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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  6. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    User Pawel hasn't done anything special, all he encountered was the fact LSI changed their firmware tool to require a pre-erase of the flash area before a new flash could be performed. And the reason the X8SI6 board takes the 9211 firmware is because the implementation of the SAS2008 chip on that motherboard is equivalent to a 9211.

    And even though the 9211 and 9240 have a SAS2008 chip under the hood, they're different and those differences can't be overcome with BIOS cross-flashing. The 9240 and OEM variants run the iMR light raid stack, the 9211 doesn't. You can't interchange the BIOS of one with the other. Sure the 9211 IT mode bios would be great to be able to load on a 9240/M1015, but its not currently possible. If it was you would've already read about it here.

    I've covered this in some more detail in another thread: http://forums.servethehome.com/showthread.php?19-LSI-RAID-Controller-HBA-Equivalency-Mapping
     
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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  7. Mindflux

    Mindflux New Member

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    So, in JBOD mode is this card safe to use with Solaris/Nexenta ? If so, does a driver need to be loaded or do they pick it up automatically?
     
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  8. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    I've had no problems using an M1015 on Solaris Express 11 using JBOD disks in ZFS, yes the 9240-8i driver from LSI's site has to be loaded manually since it is not picked up automatically unlike the 9211-8i and equivalents.
     
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  9. Mindflux

    Mindflux New Member

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    sub.mesa over on [H] is saying it's no good for ZFS. You can see my thread over there about it.
     
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  10. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    he didn't say its no good, he's making assumptions without having owned and tested one of these cards. he's correct that a card with IT mode firmware might be technically "cleaner" for ZFS in terms of less complexity and lack of the raid stack, but in my testing they're pretty much identical from a performance/IOPS standpoint. i think he's also making the assumption that the 9240/M1015 treat disks as raid when in fact it treats unconfigured disks as JBOD, thus the ERC timeout value of this card for raid sets doesn't apply.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  11. Metaluna

    Metaluna Member

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    For what it's worth, I was able to get my M1015 working on FreeBSD 8.2 using the driver from LSI's website. I hammered it for a while (ZFS scrub in background, while simultaneously rsync'ing a bunch of stuff over from my main server) and it seemed pretty stable and pleasantly fast. Unfortunately the driver install process is rather a pain, requiring a kernel recompile, which can take hours if you have to rebuild world.

    The biggest problem was that I couldn't get SMART data out of the connected drives. I'm not sure if this is a driver problem or due to FreeBSDs implementation of smartctl. I also had one incident where the server hung on shutdown and wouldn't power off. I'm not sure if that was related to this card or not.

    So overall I would say not an ideal choice for FreeBSD, but it can be made to work. Needs more stability testing though.
     
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  12. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    Yeah the Solaris Express 11 install was much easier - just a package install which took seconds once the files were extracted. I'll double-check if it passes SMART data.
     
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  13. unclerunkle

    unclerunkle Member

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    Did it ever pass SMART data?
     
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  14. frenchyaz

    frenchyaz New Member

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    M1015 blind

    Hello all,

    Noth sure if it is the right thread and I apologize if it is not. I just got an IBM m1015 that I flashed with the latest version of the firmware from IBM which is -022 at the end while the LSI web site it is -020. So far so good (I tried both and they both work). My issue is more on what kind of SATA hard drives can be used on this card. I tried Seagate, WD drives and each time that the card scan the bus I get 0 drives. In the Megaraid Storage manager (for some reason the IBM manager program doesn't work) everything look fine but still no drives. I'm a bit bumped as I got this card on ebay and cannot return it. I tried with two different set of cables but nothing. Is there a particular type of cable that I need to use? I got 2 mini sas to sata SFF-8087, both don't work. I am not sure where to look now as I would like to have this card to run.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards.

    Cyril
     
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  15. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 Moderator

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    Did you get forward or reverse 8087-sata cables?

    You need forward cables. Do you have a link where you bought the cables from?
     
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  16. unclerunkle

    unclerunkle Member

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    ^^ that would be my guess too. Check your cables. It should at least recognize your drives.
     
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  17. Metaluna

    Metaluna Member

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    I've been playing with SE11 (with napp-it) for the past week or so and yes, the M1015 does seem to have SMART support with LSI's Solaris driver and smartmontools/smartctl 5.40. So far the card has been rock solid.
     
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  18. frenchyaz

    frenchyaz New Member

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    Cables

    yes you are right, my cables were reversed and not forward. I need to send them back and get the proper ones. Thank you! :cool:
     
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  19. frenchyaz

    frenchyaz New Member

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    It seems like I got reversed, not forward... wrong cable dah! Thank you for pointing me out in the right direction. Need to order new cables and send these back. oh well, lesson learned ;o)
     
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  20. apnar

    apnar Member

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    Metaluna, have you been able to get your drives to spin down or sleep on the M1015 in SE11?
     
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