LSI 9361-8i 12Gb/s RAID w/CacheVault+supercap $175

jcl333

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May 28, 2011
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LSI MegaRAID LSI 9361-8i SAS 8-Port 12Gb/s RAID Controller w/CacheVault+Battery

Listing is for $189.95, they accepted my offer of two/$175. Also, if you use the eBay app on a phone to make the purchase, you can get another $10 off (code for that I used was YUSAPPGR28BLLYQM )

There are allot of these on eBay that are $199 or more, and don't include the flash-cache or super capacitor (that is not a Li-ion battery in the picture).

I know most people here are after HBAs, I am using these for ESXi because ESXi doesn't support local chipset RAID. I have many 400gig SAS eSSDs that I will use with it. And in the future, I can always flash it into IT mode if I need another HBA.

I also want to mention, I have bought a few other things from that vendor, and had a very good experience.

-JCL
 

BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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Is this a good deal now? I really do not know. I stopped following SAS3 prices after I completely switched to NVME for my primary storage.
But last time I needed a SAS3108 controller (6-7 months ago) I paid no more than $80 for a NEC version of the same card with 2Gb cache and FBU.

If I would need an inexpensive SAS3 RAID controller today - I would get an Adaptec 8 series card. The 4 port version ASR-8405 (it's ok if you don't need many drives) is dirt cheap at like $30 (under $50 with AFM included).
 
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jcl333

Active Member
May 28, 2011
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Is this a good deal now? I really do not know. I stopped following SAS3 prices after I completely switched to NVME for my primary storage.
But last time I needed a SAS3108 controller (6-7 months ago) I paid no more than $80 for a NEC version of the same card with 2Gb cache and FBU.
Well, if you have the money and the need to do all NVMe then more power to you.
I have some NVMe for boot drives and a few other things, but no way to do RAID without a very expensive controller, or I guess you could do it under FreeNAS or something.

I inherited a crap load of decent SAS eSSDs and 7.2K drives from work, so I can get into this for very little money.

I looked around for the NEC, I think you are talking about the NEC 9362-8i. I found a few of those, I did not see any with 2Gb cache and all the one's I see are this much money or more. It would be great to find one as cheap as $80. It looks like you can flash those to LSI and use the LSI drivers.

If I would need an inexpensive SAS3 RAID controller today - I would get an Adaptec 8 series card. The 4 port version ASR-8405 (it's ok if you don't need many drives) is dirt cheap at like $30 (under $50 with AFM included).
The Adaptec cards are nice, I was tempted to go that route. Unfortunately they are not supported by ESXi 7.x, you have to buy one of the newer one's for that and they are still quite expensive.

-JCL
 
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jcl333

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Received my cards, these things are truly awesome cards, very happy.
 

Twist

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Can you check what software options is installed on the card from this seller ?
Also, did the card you got have a buzzer ?
 

jcl333

Active Member
May 28, 2011
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Can you check what software options is installed on the card from this seller ?
Also, did the card you got have a buzzer ?
It has RAID5, RAID6, Fast Path, basically everything except CacheCade 2.0
What is unfortunate is that it appears the previous gen card can use hardware keys to unlock CacheCade 2.0, this card requires a software key and those appear to only be available for $100's of dollars. But it doesn't support trim, only it's own SSD protection features, no sure if that is a deal breaker.

I did not notice a buzzer, I can look again.

-JCL
 

JediAcolyte

Member
May 29, 2020
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Is this a good deal now? I really do not know. I stopped following SAS3 prices after I completely switched to NVME for my primary storage.
But last time I needed a SAS3108 controller (6-7 months ago) I paid no more than $80 for a NEC version of the same card with 2Gb cache and FBU.

If I would need an inexpensive SAS3 RAID controller today - I would get an Adaptec 8 series card. The 4 port version ASR-8405 (it's ok if you don't need many drives) is dirt cheap at like $30 (under $50 with AFM included).
Can you make a recommendation for a good NVMe HBA card? I have a couple of u.2 drives I need to connect to a freeNAS install and I don't know where to start.
I just picked them up off ebay because I saw them cheap and wanted to experiment.
 

BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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There is no universal NVMe HBA recommendation. It all depends on your specific config (PCIe slot availability, PCIe bifurcation support, etc).
 

jcl333

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May 28, 2011
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Can you make a recommendation for a good NVMe HBA card? I have a couple of u.2 drives I need to connect to a freeNAS install and I don't know where to start.
I just picked them up off ebay because I saw them cheap and wanted to experiment.
I personally do have an LSI/Broadcom tri-mode HBA, but I don't use it for that because I think that is a very inefficient/expensive way to do it. The cards are expensive, it eats up ports, and you need a special proprietary cable that is expensive.

For me, I am doing NVMe with some Supermicro M.2 PCIe cards, and then adapter cables to go from that to U.2. The card I have is dual M.2, and you need a motherboard that support bifurcation (to take an x8 slot and change it to x4/x4, etc.). You can get these cheap, about $50, the cables cost about that much as well.

There are cards out there than can go directly to U.2 as well as one's that can work in any motherboard without bifurcation, but they get more expensive.

If you only need two of them, I would be tempted to just use a motherboard with SATA Express, M.2, U.2, or Oculink and get the appropriate cables.

-JCL
 

JediAcolyte

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May 29, 2020
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Well crap. I have the 2 drives and I was hoping for a pcie HBA card with 2, I guess sff-8643, ports to directly attach them. I can go with the m.2 to u.2 adapters but I had a recommendation for the intel models that shipped with their u.2 drives and I can't find any. Someone suggested to me that these were the same but I just have their word for it:

you need a special proprietary cable that is expensive.
Is that a mini SAS-HD to SFF-8643 cable?

I actually have a pair of those but purchased the wrong HBA card to go with them... I hadn't found STH yet.
 

jcl333

Active Member
May 28, 2011
153
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Well crap. I have the 2 drives and I was hoping for a pcie HBA card with 2, I guess sff-8643, ports to directly attach them. I can go with the m.2 to u.2 adapters but I had a recommendation for the intel models that shipped with their u.2 drives and I can't find any. Someone suggested to me that these were the same but I just have their word for it:


Is that a mini SAS-HD to SFF-8643 cable?

I actually have a pair of those but purchased the wrong HBA card to go with them... I hadn't found STH yet.
No, it is a specific cable you have to get from Broadcom AFAK