Passthrough cheap raid card

KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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Hi,

I want to replace my current SATA 4port Card with a SAS2(or SAS3) to connect all my Hard drives from my HomeServer.

I want at least 8x SATA port
3TB hard drives support
Pass-through support (because I have a Windows Server Space Storage)
Cheap ( used hardware is not a problem)

I already try buy by myself on ebay, my 3 purchase was fail.
one only work with HP motherboard
the 2nd didn't support 3tb drive
the last one didn't have pass-trough support (no IT mode available).

Witch card do you recommend me ?
 

nezach

Active Member
Oct 14, 2012
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Just to clarify, you are looking for IT mode HBA and not a RAID card, right? What 3 cards did you purchase? Maybe all you need to do is re-flash them.
 
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KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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Yes. IT mode card. No need of raid. Because I use Windows Space Storage to manage parity.

The one doesn't support IT mode at all. It a lsi 9267-8i

Lsi sas3081e-r 8 port

And hp p410 fbwc 512m cache.
 

KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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I'm not really lucky when come time to make operation like Flash a firmware.

Someone know a card come already with passtrough and 3TB support ?
 

nthu9280

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Feb 3, 2016
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San Antonio, TX
I recommend you do a quick review of the stickies in this forum. If you don't want to go thru the steps of flashing, check out eBay for pre flashed cards on eBay and sell yours.

Any LSI SAS2008 based controller will be able to handle 2TB+ drives and flashed to IT mode for pass through. Popular are Dell H310 and IBM M1015. I'd stay away from LSI 9210/9211 listed new and cheap from China to avoid the counterfeits.

The next revision of the LSI chip SAS2308 and it's controllers such as HP H220 are straight forward to flash and aren't that much more than SAS2008 based controllers ~ $35 range.

Not sure if you are located in US or outside. Just use (HBA,ZFS,unraid) in your eBay for pre flashed cards.
 
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KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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Not sure if you are located in US or outside. Just use (HBA,ZFS,unraid) in your eBay for pre flashed cards.
I'm live in canada. And all used card I see come from China or Hongkong.

The 3 card listed above come from china ebay vendor.
 

KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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Dell h310 or ibm m1015 are more easy to flash to IT mode? I Mean a firmware updated are available from official website with instructions?
 

nezach

Active Member
Oct 14, 2012
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You can't go wrong with HP H220. It is a newer card so it supports PCIe 3.0 unlike M1015. Last I checked it was cheaper than M1015 and there are no counterfeit crap on eBay. Flashing it is a breeze too.
 

ttabbal

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Mar 10, 2016
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The H310 and M1015 are super easy to flash to IT mode. There are detailed instructions here on the forum. They generally go for about $30 on ebay last I looked. I believe the H200 uses the same chip and can also be flashed. They do support large drives etc., they are excellent cards for a home file server.
 

techtoys

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
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Yes. IT mode card. No need of raid. Because I use Windows Space Storage to manage parity.
Don't do it if you want performance. I use IT mode with storage spaces but NOT with parity. For parity I use RAID-5 with IR mode. I also keep hot spares. Parity mode is slow! Even MS is not fond of their parity mode.
 

KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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Don't do it if you want performance. I use IT mode with storage spaces but NOT with parity. For parity I use RAID-5 with IR mode. I also keep hot spares. Parity mode is slow! Even MS is not fond of their parity mode.
Yeah i know storage space is slow.
But i like it because it easy to use.

Add a physical drive.
Create many volume.
Grow volume on the fly.
Have security if losing up to 2 drives.

If you know an alternative also easy to use but more performance I want to know.
 

techtoys

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Feb 25, 2016
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If you know an alternative also easy to use
Raid-5 is not that hard. easy is relative. Even Raid-6 since you have enough drives.
I do that with spares so if I am busy they array fixes itself and I can let it go.
I can get 300-400 MB/s on cheap LSI raid with DRAM cache and not much effort.
The 10G networking can handle that easy.

The big risk is enclosure failure not disk failure. I protect against that since it has happened to me.
I have bought low end stuff like Sans Digital 4 and 8 disk enclosures.
But even better enclosures can fail.

for super-simple I have 4-disk Sans Digital hardware raid in a Raid-5 configuration with much better performance than storage spaces parity. The enclosure handles parity in its hardware with no Raid card needed. I use eSata. simple.
 
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KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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I've tried esata sans disk digital in the past.

Both of the 4xdisk have fail in near same time. Loose many data. The web interface come from the prehistoric age.

Sans disk enclosure. Never again for me.
 

KarlFranz

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Mar 18, 2019
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Currently with my 15x cheap sata drive storage space. I run at 10-40MBps read/write.

Yeah pretty slow
 

techtoys

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
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Sans disk enclosure. Never again for me
These enclosures are trouble. They run hot and the power supply tends to fail. The 8 disk SAS tower has no temp sensor so a fan failure cooks disks. I still have to see how many of the 8 disks I lost on that debacle. But you can put them in the house connected to a workstation that needs good cooling if you want to run an LSI raid card.

The web interface come from the prehistoric age
Yes it does! You can avoid it if you set the raid using dip switches on the back. :)

I bought 2 of the IBM DAS units new when they were getting dumped cheap. They are much better quality but they go on a rack in the garage. the raid was simple to set up but accessing the data was a project since it required setting up 10G networking, But you can get 100 MB/s over 1G with no effort.

For me storage spaces was harder than LSI raid. I had to do everything in PowerShell since the GUI is limited. You need to understand more RAID like details to set the columns and other parameters. There is support for tiered storage and cache in storage spaces so you get good performance with an SSD cache or even NVME tier if you can afford it.