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LSI 9270-8i IT mode

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by Toasty, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Toasty

    Toasty New Member

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    Sorry if this has already been answered elsewhere. I did a forum search but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.

    I have a client with an LSI 9270-8i, with 8 drives currently connected. No RAID, just pass-thru to the OS (currently Server 2012 R2). This works fine for their current setup, but I am planning on installing CentOS and configuring the drives for a ZFS mirrored array.

    I have done this many times before with different controllers, but they were all capable of being put in IT mode, where I could actually see the physical drives and get SMART data and whatnot. I don't have any prior experience working with the 9270-8i in particular, so I'm unaware if there is such a mode available. I can't seem to find anything about flashing the firmware for IT mode. I would love to poke around the setup interface available on boot, but the server is recording surveillance footage and state law requires no downtime without a prior approval (which is a bit of a hassle if I'm just taking it offline for a few minutes). I don't see anything in the MegaRAID Storage Manager interface that tells me what I need to know either.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to configure the 9270-8i for IT mode or as a "dumb" HBA? I'd prefer to use my client's existing hardware, but if this isn't possible, I'll also take recommendations for replacements (I have one in mind, but the more opinions the merrier).
     
    #1
  2. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Active Member

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  3. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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    I didn't know that when I started, so I did it anyway :)

    I just flashed my 2208 (Supermicro X9DRH-7F motherboard onboard) to an IT firmware from a 2308 as an experiment. (I've flashed various LSI devices from Dell/HP with firmwares so aware the some of the differences of versions of sas2flash/megarec over time).

    Seems to work so far - have booted Fedora off an Intel SSD.

    Obviously not a supported solution given I've crossed hardware boundaries with the ROM's and firmwares (controller now reports as a 2308 in sas2flash).


    Here's the info from Sas2flash after the flashing, and Megarec before I started (can check device ID and Vendor ID from the megarec output to confirm its a 2208 - reference the ID's here http://pciids.sourceforge.net/v2.2/pci.ids )

    After:


    Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2308_2(D1)

    Controller Number : 0
    Controller : SAS2308_2(D1)
    PCI Address : 00:01:00:00
    SAS Address : 5003048-0-195E-4500
    NVDATA Version (Default) : 14.01.00.06
    NVDATA Version (Persistent) : 14.01.00.06
    Firmware Product ID : 0x2214 (IT)
    Firmware Version : 20.00.07.00
    NVDATA Vendor : LSI
    NVDATA Product ID : SAS9207-8i
    BIOS Version : 07.39.02.00
    UEFI BSD Version : 07.27.01.01
    FCODE Version : N/A
    Board Name : SAS9207-8i
    Board Assembly : N/A
    Board Tracer Number : N/A

    Finished Processing Commands Successfully.
    Exiting SAS2Flash.


    Before:


    Adapter #0

    ==============================================================================
    Versions
    ================
    Product Name : LSI MegaRAID ROMB
    Serial No :
    FW Package Build: 23.28.0-0010

    Mfg. Data
    ================
    Mfg. Date : 00/00/00
    Rework Date : 00/00/00
    Revision No :
    Battery FRU : N/A

    Image Versions in Flash:
    ================
    BIOS Version : 5.46.02.0_4.16.08.00_0x06060900
    WebBIOS Version : 6.1-71-e_71-Rel
    Preboot CLI Version: 05.07-00:#%00011
    FW Version : 3.400.05-3175
    NVDATA Version : 2.1403.03-0128
    Boot Block Version : 2.05.00.00-0010
    BOOT Version : 07.26.26.219

    Pending Images in Flash
    ================
    None

    PCI Info
    ================
    Controller Id : 0000
    Vendor Id : 1000
    Device Id : 005b
    SubVendorId : 15d9
    SubDeviceId : 0690

    Host Interface : PCIE

    ChipRevision : D1

    Link Speed : 0
    Number of Frontend Port: 0
    Device Interface : PCIE

    Number of Backend Port: 8
    Port : Address
    0 0000000000000000
    1 0000000000000000
    2 0000000000000000
    3 0000000000000000
    4 0000000000000000
    5 0000000000000000
    6 0000000000000000
    7 0000000000000000

    HW Configuration
    ================
    SAS Address : 50030480195e4500
    BBU : Absent
    Alarm : Present
    NVRAM : Present
    Serial Debugger : Present
    Memory : Present
    Flash : Present
    Memory Size : 1024MB
    TPM : Absent
    On board Expander: Absent
    Upgrade Key : Absent
    Temperature sensor for ROC : Present
    Temperature sensor for controller : Absent


    Here's Smartctl info from a drive after flashing the 2208 with IT firmware, to show its working:

    smartctl 6.5 2016-05-07 r4318 [x86_64-linux-4.11.9-300.fc26.x86_64] (local build)
    Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

    === START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
    Device Model: INTEL SSDSC1NB240G4R
    Serial Number: BTWL4466037D240HGN
    LU WWN Device Id: 5 5cd2e4 04b71e409
    Add. Product Id: DELL(tm)
    Firmware Version: D201DL13
    User Capacity: 240,057,409,536 bytes [240 GB]
    Sector Sizes: 512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical
    Rotation Rate: Solid State Device
    Form Factor: 1.8 inches
    Device is: Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
    ATA Version is: ACS-2 T13/2015-D revision 3
    SATA Version is: SATA 2.6, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
    Local Time is: Fri Aug 25 10:03:09 2017 PDT
    SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
    SMART support is: Enabled

     
    #3
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    Stux likes this.
  4. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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    I'm now attempting to reverse the IT firmware flash on my 2208 - putting it back to stock (latest from Supermicro's ftp server) Megaraid ROM version.

    If that all works, and my crazy cross-hardware flash reverses successfully, I'll write up how I did it along with which versions of the tools I used :)
     
    #4
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
    Stux and nthu9280 like this.
  5. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Active Member

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    Wow. I've never tried cross flashing the FW of a different chip architecture (2208 vs 2308). While it may be technically possible since flash chip is a separate from 2x08 ROC, don't know how it affects the data that is passed through the card.


    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
    #5
  6. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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    I was surprised it works - seems to have no issues, but I'll be doing some extensive soak tests to verify, as well as using it for VM OS drives rather than data I want to keep :) I do note that the 2208 and 2308 share the powerpc architecture (altho' 2208 has much more processor grunt), but also realise this will be way off the scale of risk for many.

    Plan is to use it to run a RaidZ across 5x 512GB Samsun 840 Pro SSD's, using PCI passthrough to a Freenas (or maybe Nas4free) VM, which will serve up iSCSI volumes to other VM's. I since managed to flash it back to stock, and then reflash to the 2308 firmware.

    I have screenshots via BMC of each step of the flash (and back-out), and will be writing it up when I get some spare time, but obviously its a highly not supported configuration and only insane idiots would be willing to actually use this in any build. Having proven I can reflash it back to stock, IMO all I'm risking is non-critical data.

    If it shows up any data errors during soak test, I'll just disable it and swap in one of my spare HP H220 (2308-based) PCIe-3.0 cards with the same IT firmware on them, but at this point its just a bit of fun :)
     

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    #6
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    vanfawx likes this.
  7. vanfawx

    vanfawx Active Member

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    Wow, that's some pretty impressive black magic there. Is this only doable between an 2208 and a 2308? Or any chance of this working with 2108 based MegaRaid cards (like the 9260-8i)?
     
    #7
  8. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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    2108 looks like it may work too - same Powerpc 440 chip @ 800MHz as the 2308 (2208 is a dual-core version of same). However - there is a risk that it'll brick the card.

    Note that I've not tested this extensively - only a sample of a single 2208 onboard LSI on my supermicro motherboard :)

    There was a while before I managed to get the LSI recovery firmware to work, where I thought I may have bricked the controller when trying to revert to being a 2208 again.

    It was a risk I was willing to take as RAID is useless to me (I'm not a fan of hardware RAID). I need IT firmware for ZFS appliance - and I have a couple of spare 2308 cards sitting on the shelf, so if I broke the 2208, I'd just write it to experience and use a 2308.

    I've got screenshots of each step and command, including how to back up the SAS address (as I wiped it in the process - deliberately, but then restored the same address later), and will post them up somewhere on the weekend, with a lot of disclaimers :)
     
    #8
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  9. vanfawx

    vanfawx Active Member

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    I look forward to giving your instructions a shot once you have them pulled together online! I have a bunch of 9260's and a 9270 I'd love to try this out on to create some HBA's.

    Thanks for sharing what you've learned so far!
     
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  10. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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  11. vanfawx

    vanfawx Active Member

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    Great writeup, very clear. Are the zip bundles you reference on your site available via google? If not, would you be willing to package them up?

    I look forward to trying this. I have a 9270-8i that I'm looking forward to converting to IT mode.

    Thanks again and I'll update this with my experience going through the process!
     
    #11
  12. vanfawx

    vanfawx Active Member

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    Actually google came through as always and I've acquired the files. I look forward to trying this out!
     
    #12
  13. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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    Cool, I figured the filenames would be enough to track them down.

    There are multiple versions of the mega* tools - I had at least 3 versions of megarec.exe sitting around on my file server where I keep old stuff, and 2 of them didn't recognise the card - but thats par for flashing LSI devices. e.g. when cross-flashing the H220 HP cards to LSI firmware, the v20 sas2flsh.exe won't do it, but the one from the v14 driver pack would using the v20 FW.

    I'm pretty sure the one in lsi_dos.zip was the one which worked, but if not, the sas2008.zip file has a different version in it. Same applies for megacli.exe, and sas2flash. (note that megaoem.exe also supports some of the same commands as megacli).

    Trying to work out where I got the sas2flash.efi I used - its 387 bytes and dated 2016.

    edit: Installer_P20_for_UEFI.zip has the sas2flash.efi I used

    If you get stumped on tools, I can work on pulling together a zip file of the ones which worked for me, but that machine is in pieces currently (changing PSU and installing a 6x2.5" drive bay adapter), so it'll be a week or so as this weekend is busy.
     
    #13
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017 at 3:50 PM
  14. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 New Member

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    I did just notice the 2108 has a PCIe 2.0 interface, and not PCIe 3.0 like the 2208/2308 - which may prove a challenge, so please don't give this a shot unless you're 100% prepared to risk a bricked card.
     
    #14
  15. vanfawx

    vanfawx Active Member

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    I'm hoping it won't make a difference, but I do have a stack of 9260's so I can sacrifice one of them. Considering this was always "impossible", I'm willing to risk a little to make a pile of fairly useless raid cards (to me) into useful HBA's.

    I went through your instructions and found them easy to understand and link to the files and versions required. I'll be able to do some testing this week once I free up a machine to do testing on.
     
    #15
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