LSI 2008 + 12x 3tb sas disks + lots of duct tape

gea

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Dec 31, 2010
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Or an OCZ revodrive? It's MLC which makes me a bit nervous. Would that work well to throw OI or would I need something a bit more reliable.
USB is a nogo (slow like pain) and a revodrive may give problems because you need drivers.
Use a regular SATA SSD (example Intel 320-40 GB+, MLC is ok) for ESXi and OI
 

smellyeagle

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Jul 26, 2012
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USB is a nogo (slow like pain) and a revodrive may give problems because you need drivers.
Use a regular SATA SSD (example Intel 320-40 GB+, MLC is ok) for ESXi and OI
Ya, I agree with you about USB and revodrive.

If I put SAS2008 in IT mode, I'd have 5 3TB SAS HDDs and 1 Intel 320 80GB drive in the array. Is it ok to mix SAS + SATA in this arrangement? OI would be installed on the SATA SSD and then would create a 5 disk raid-z2 array all on the same controller. I don't have any other options unless I can figure out how to power a sata ssd outside the backplane (there are extra sata ports on the motherboard but no way to power them).

ESXi will be installed on a 1GB SATA DOM in this setup.
 

gea

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Mixing SAS and SATA is ok BUT
Do you want tp pass-through the SAS adapter?
Then all ports are only available in OI not ESXi (chicken egg problem)

You can only pass-through devices not single disks.
You need to get power inside the case to use onboard SATA. For the SSD you may use a PCI-e SSD mounting carrier

Only other option is if you have access to the backplane on a per port base (5 ports to SAS, one port to onboard SATA)

ps
as far as I know, Sata SSD's needs only 5V.
There may be a DOM Power connector with 5V on your board for a SSD with ESXi + OI on a local datastore

other Option: USB connector - enough power for SSD

or SATA DOM 16-32 GB
http://www.innodisk.com/production.jsp?flashid=45
 
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smellyeagle

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You need to get power inside the case to use onboard SATA. For the SSD you may use a PCI-e SSD mounting carrier
What is a PCI-e SSD mounting carrier? I could not find examples on google.

Only other option is if you have access to the backplane on a per port base (5 ports to SAS, one port to onboard SATA)
Can't do this, unfortunately.

as far as I know, Sata SSD's needs only 5V.
There may be a DOM Power connector with 5V on your board for a SSD with ESXi + OI on a local datastore
This could work as the motherboard does have a DOM power connector, but I can't find any DOM to SATA power adapters

other Option: USB connector - enough power for SSD
Same problem here. How can I go from USB power to SATA power?

These are a bit out of my budget at around $250USD
 

smellyeagle

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You need to get power inside the case to use onboard SATA. For the SSD you may use a PCI-e SSD mounting carrier
Something like this would be awesome if it wasn't for the SATA-III chip onboard (marvel I think). If I could just pass through my own SATA from the MB it would be perfect. I guess I could physically modify the device if I couldn't find anything else, but I'd prefer to have SATA pass-through from the beginning.
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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Something like this would be awesome if it wasn't for the SATA-III chip onboard (marvel I think). If I could just pass through my own SATA from the MB it would be perfect. I guess I could physically modify the device if I couldn't find anything else, but I'd prefer to have SATA pass-through from the beginning.
Yikes that thing has some scary bad reviews.

What I really want to see is a SAS 2308 card with eight SATA Power + data connectors. Idea is you could "liberate" PCBs from low cost SSDs and install them on the SAS 2308 card. Even with voided warranties, it would be less expensive than other PCIe options. This is really close to some of the other designs, just like a BYO version.
 

john4200

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Jan 1, 2011
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The motherboard doesn't have a way to connect and power a regular sata disk to use as a boot disk.
Do you actually have this server yet?

I googled for an image of the internals of this server, but I could not find anything. If I had one in front of me, I'd take the top cover off and then look at the storage backplane. My guess is there are several molex connectors going from the PSU to the storage backplane. Just pull one of those off, insert a molex Y-connector, and then add a molex-to-SATA-power adapter (with perhaps an extension cable thrown in if needed), and you should be good.

Unless my guess is wrong. But I would expect Supermicro to use one of their standard storage backplanes (unless they somehow combined the motherboard hot-plug backplane with the storage backplane??? but even something like that might have molex power sockets), and those have molex power sockets on them.
 

smellyeagle

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Jul 26, 2012
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Do you actually have this server yet?

I googled for an image of the internals of this server, but I could not find anything. If I had one in front of me, I'd take the top cover off and then look at the storage backplane. My guess is there are several molex connectors going from the PSU to the storage backplane. Just pull one of those off, insert a molex Y-connector, and then add a molex-to-SATA-power adapter (with perhaps an extension cable thrown in if needed), and you should be good.
I thought about doing something like this as there are plenty of 8 pin molex connectors but then there would be issues any time I tried to take a node out as the power would be connected to a part of the chassis that does not slide out with the node. Instead I'm using a USB to molex power cable (see above) which will accomplish my goal of connecting an ssd to power (and is 100% part of the node). BTW, the SuperServer in question is the 6027TR-D70RF.

Thanks gea for all your input, ideas and direction on this!
 

smellyeagle

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I ran into some trouble flashing the SAS2008 into IT mode and figured I'd put in my solution here for anyone else with a supermicro X9 motherboard (X9DTR-HF in my case, though I expect this method will work for others too). The X9 series of motherboards only have limited option ROMs and have trouble flashing in DOS so the only way to flash the SAS2008 is through the UEFI bios. If you try to flash in DOS, you get the message, "ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL. Exiting program".

Once I located the sas2flash.efi utility on lsi's support site, I loaded it onto a USB along with the most recent IT firmware and bios under the LSI 9211-8i product page. I booted into the motherboard's UEFI bios and mounted the usb with
#mount fs0
#fs0:
All 6 Gb/s SAS HBA adapters require you to clear IR firmware before you can put on IT firmware. If your computer is rebooted after you clear IR firmware but before you flash IT, you're in trouble, so make sure you know what you're getting into and have everything you need before going on.

I'll borrow a bit from the link above:
enter the follow command: sas2flsh -o -e 6
DO NOT REBOOT. If you do reboot, or if you attempt to flash the firmware and/or BIOS image and it does not flash correctly, you will have to RMA the controller.
After the flash has been deleted, run the flash command: sas2flsh -o -f <firmware_image> -b <BIOS_image>
Confirm everything is in check with "sas2flash.efi -listall" and you're done. It's an easy process once you figure it out but it can be quite frustrating trying out a bunch of methods that ultimately don't work. I wasted more time than I'd like to admit trying to make a working DOS boot disk only to find out that it wouldn't work with my hardware!
 
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Patrick

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Good to hear you got this. Might be worth doing an update on the main site for this.