Need a 12 port (minimum) sata card

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by TeleFragger, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    So here is the deal. Ive got a server 2016 running with stablebit drive pool and ssd optimizer. Love it. Works great for my needs.

    It has the following on the onboard....
    O/S - 128gb ssd
    SSD Cache - 512gb SSD
    Drivepool - 3x2tb wd black
    Drivepool - 2x2tb wd black

    20190127_101720.jpg

    I bought 2x ...6x2.5 bay hotswap kits and need a controller to run them (12 ports here). Looking for recommendations as i know nothing on this end.
    I was going to put these bays in a different machine and build a freenas box but instead add to my current storage.

    I was going to buy a Adaptec ASR-71605 and throw it in but everyone on freenas says stay Lsi ...adaptec wont pass to o/s right or something like that.

    Lemme know your thoughts please
     
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  2. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    I assume you mean 12xSATA ports? TBH if you're going down the road of getting a controller card to plug them in to you'd have been better off getting enclosures using 8087 or 8643 ports (which in simple terms are four SATA connections condensed into a single cable).

    The ASR-71605 is a full-on RAID controller; if you're just wanting connections for stablebit to do its thing then you're not likely to want to have a RAID layer getting in the way, so an HBA or a bog-standard SATA controller is what you're after. Bog-standard SATA controllers are a highly variable bunch and usually not even especially cheap compared to HBAs.

    The LSI (aka Avago aka Broadcom) HBAs are well recommended because they're reliable, easily available, well supported under pretty much every OS and very hackable; lots of people here (myself included) have picked up an OEM-version of one of the LSI chips (usually much cheaper than the LSI retail versions) and flashed it back to stock - the IBM M1015 cross-flashable into an LSI 9211-8i probably being the most famous example.

    I'm a bit confused from your post what you want to achieve though. Are you talking about adding these drives to your windows install/stablebit, or building an all-new freenas box?
     
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  3. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    Well for now i want a card to add 12x 500gb ssds ( already have drives)... to my server where stablebit can use them. I agree i dont need raid features for o/s to do its thing.


    In addition i have a freenas box i want to expand on. Its all just tinkering and no true data... need a card for it to pass non raid to freenas. I have 5x 2tb and 6x1tb for it. 6 sata on mobo...


    I know what you mean by hacking etc... i have hp cx4 style infiniband cards. Hp went to firmware 2.8 but mellanox went 2.9.1000...
    I force flashed them to get rid of hp stuff and go to newer firmware.
     
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  4. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Are those SATA or SAS SSDs? The older LSI HBAs like the 9211 will be at the limit of sequential bandwidth if that's the case - eight SSDs each maxing out a 500MB/s interface = ~4GB/s which is the same amount as the PCIe 2.0 x8 interface they come with, so you'll probably want to look for the PCIe 3.0 variants like the 9207 or the 9300 series.

    If you're wanting a single card to provide all 12 connections (i.e. you don't want to buy two 8-port cards), then things get more expensive because the OEM cards only tend to come in 8-port versions. I use a 9305-16i myself which I bought brand new retail for <£300; that'd be able to do everything you need with minimal fuss.

    The newer 9400 series are forward-compatible with NVME (with some considerable caveats) but in the UK at least they're considerably more expensive.
     
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  5. kapone

    kapone Active Member

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    Stablebit is individual drive access, not RAID, so bandwidth shouldn't be a problem at all.
     
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  6. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    Can you point me to the caveats. I don't have NVMe now but at least here in US the 94xx series are in price parity with 93xx series ones on the eBay.
     
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  7. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    yeah a more than 8 port will kill my bank...

    hmmm
    so this card
    LSI SAS 9207-8i 8port HBA SFF8087 Mini-SAS 6Gb PCI-E 3.0 X8 Controller raid card 791276209876 | eBay

    and this expander
    NEW LSI 9208-8I IBM 46C8989 8PORTS PCI-E 3.0 expander card IT Mode=9207-8I | eBay

    would get me 16 ports?
     
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  8. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Just in terms of the backplane really - one 8643 port will hook you up to four SATA/SAS drives (more if you use an expander) but AFAIK you can only hook up one NVME drive to each port.

    I'm not an expert on expanders but AFAIK both of the cards you've linked to are plain HBAs; I don't think the latter one is a SAS expander. Two of the first one would get you to 16 ports very cheaply though.
     
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  9. Aestr

    Aestr Active Member

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    See the thread below for some more details on the 9400 series.

    https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/school-me-on-jbod-storage.23161/#post-215778

    In short there are cables that allow you to split one connector from the HBA into two NVME drives albeit at pcie 2x instead of 4x. Beyond that they need to go to pcie switches to get greater density.
     
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  10. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    @Aestr & @EffrafaxOfWug -

    Thanks for the clarification. I'm aware of the limitation on number of direct attached NVMe drives. My question was more to determine if there were known issues with these cards.

    Back to OP:
    @TeleFragger:

    I'd stay away from the LSI branded cards you linked above from Chinese eBay sources especially (if they are new) and stick with used Dell / HP / IBM cards. Since you are planning to use multiple SSDs, I'd recommend LSI 2308 Based cards such as HP H220, Dell Dell SAS9217-8i etc from your local market. These will provide PCIe 3 speed and better IOPS and not much more expense than SAS2008 based cards at least here in US.
     
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  11. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    The 9207 range are PCIe 3.0 as well (as per the first ebay link). I believe the thread sticky has a fairly comprehensive list of LSI chips with the SAS2308 cards being listed here: https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...mplete-listing-plus-oem-models.599/#post-4320

    I don't use ebay myself as it seemed impossible to tell real from fake, so if that is a chinese seller (I didn't look) then yes they're best avoided.

    No problems I know of with the cards themselves dealing with NVME, the caveats were as mention in the thread Aestr linked to were just to the link topology (and if you care about sequential speeds I think it's possible to max out the PCIe bandwidth in some configurations as well).
     
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  12. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    thx... would you get the dell or hp? I see they are both about the same time...


    Gotcha - Ive been through that thread and for a n00b - you can get lost, confused and lead to cold beverages of choice ... [:p>

    I have $ in amazon balance so can do that but I use Ebay as also a price guidance...
    I typically choose US only but forgot to during this here...
     
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  13. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    Dell / HP / IBM doesn't matter. Also, these are much easier to flash to latest P20 LSI FW compared to 2008 based H310.
     
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  14. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    then get what card as an expansion card for the other ports?
     
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  15. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    If your system has 2 or more spare PCIe 3.0 X8 slots, I'd just get two of these and call it a day. I have not used expanders so can't comment on that.
     
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  16. Aestr

    Aestr Active Member

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    Expanders work fine as long as you understand and are okay with the bandwidth limitations, but if you have the spare slots for an extra HBA just get two and you'll simplify things which will be doing a solid for future you.
     
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  17. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    Ill have to check. I have a 10gb card using a pci-e 8x... in an hp z420... that is my server running stablebit
     
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  18. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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    As long as i can use a 16x slot for mellanox or sas ill be good...

    Screenshot_20190128-195032_Drive.jpg
     
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  19. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Member

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  20. itronin

    itronin Member

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    I hate it when the vendors have the wrong picture though. scares me... HP 220 . yeah. Have you estimated how long a cable you need for reasonably good routing in your case? I missed in the thread what type of chassis you have? That's a 1M cable which could work if you have some long right angle routing or a really big chassis but can become a big drag (ha!) if you bundle it up in the middle of your airflow. I purchased a couple of these - 5 packs though I'd think you'll only need 1 of them and have a spare or two.
     
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