need some help with HP H240 in HBA mode with Linux

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by BLinux, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    I've been experimenting with a set of HP H240 SAS-3 controllers in HBA mode (it supports either HBA or RAID mode). For the most part it works and performs well, but I've had this one strange issue with "cold"-plugging not working and I'm wondering someone knows something about this? The system is a Supermicro X9DRi-LN4F+ w/ SAS-216A backplane and 24x HGST SAS3 SSDs, being a non-HP system, I'm also wondering if the issue is related to it not being in an HP Proliant?

    So, here's the issue:

    scenario that works:
    1) power off system
    2) plugin all 24x SAS3 SSDs (HGST HUSMM8080)
    3) boot up Linux
    4) all 24 SSDs are detected and work fine.
    5) i can hot-unplug and hot-plug the SSDs and they go away and get detected again just fine.

    scenario that doesn't work:
    1) power off system
    2) unplug all 24x SSDs
    3) boot up Linux
    4) insert any of the SSDs, but none of them are detected by the 'hpsa' driver. the 'hpsa' driver is the one downloaded from HP's website for the OS (RHEL7). it's almost like the SAS port is powered off.
    5) i've tried re-scanning the scsi bus, no good
    6) i've tried unloading and reloading the driver to see if it would trigger something, no good.

    Anyone know why this is? Is there perhaps a driver setting I can change? I've updated firmware to the latest 6.60, but still same issue. If anyone has a Proliant system with this H240 HBA in a lab setting, I'm wondering if you can try the above steps and see if the behavior is the same or not?
     
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  2. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    So what your saying is if the system boots with no disks attached to the controller at all you can then hotpug to add anything but if even 1 disk is inserted at boot time then you can hot plug others ?

    I am 99% sure from memory it works in a HPE server with HPE disks as I am sure I have done it before. I guess it’s like the controller is in power save mode or something when no disks attached
     
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  3. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    I suspect one of your "can" in that sentence is suppose to be a "cannot", but since I don't know which, I can't reaffirm your statement.

    yeah, that might be one way to explain it. i can't imagine this behavior is "normal", but maybe a power saving mechanism on unused SAS ports? even if so, I'm hoping someone can tell me there's a driver option I can use to either have the controller re-check those unused SAS ports for added HDDs, or disable the "feature"... if that is what it is...
     
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  4. Terry Wallace

    Terry Wallace New Member

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    There have been some cards that don’t load there bios if nothing is attached. That would explain what your seeing possibly. Would also explain why a mod probe to load the driver wouldn’t change anything.
     
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  5. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    First can should be a cant :)

    Unfortunately I don’t have really any kind of answer. If nobody comes forward with info in a few days I can test it in actual HP gen9 hardware and see.
     
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  6. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    but this happens even with a single port... say, i only plugin 7 out of 8 SAS lanes (this is direct-attached SAS backplane : BPN-SAS-216A), then that 1 that was left empty can never be used until a reboot with a HDD/SSD attached.
     
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  7. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Ok that’s strange. I added extra drives to a H240 systems the other day with Ubuntu and it could be scar bus scanned and seen, not at all like what your seeing.
     
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  8. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    in an HP system right? so maybe this has something to do with being non-HP... though, I wonder what the difference is? BTW, in that HP system, is the backplane an expander backplane or direct attached type? I wonder if it would work as expected in a expander backplane as the HBA would be communicating with the expander chip and that is always active even if the SSD/HDD slots are not... i have another Supermicro with a BPN-SAS3-216EL1 backplane I may try later...
     
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  9. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    In HP system yes.
    I don’t think I have an H240 and SAS expander combinations as the purpose for H240 is always maximum HBA performance for direct SSD access. Used for vSAN mostly.

    I have yet to test the performance of the new gen10 mixed mode controllers, I hope they are even better than the direct HBA connect H240.
     
    #9
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