Please Help me find the best course of options for ZFS HBA.

Discussion in 'RAID Controllers and Host Bus Adapters' started by vl1969, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    Hi. I have been searching and searching for help all over. and still have no running server as of yet.
    here is my problem(s)

    I bought a SuperMicro X8DT3-LN4F Motherboard to upgrade my oldish Opteron based server.
    I run a Prxmox VE with 5 or 6 LXC containers for File serving and Media storage and streaming.
    all Containers are Debian 8 Based. I run a LXC container for File Server (based on TurnKey File Server template ), an Emby server, a Deluge Server and Transmission Server, a SubNZB + coach potato setup to organize and manage media files. I find it works better than rely strictly on Emby for media management. .
    with this setup, if I download or rip a video and place it into completed folder, i know it will be renamed and moved into proper spot by coach potato where Emby will finish the process by tagging and getting the metadata for it if needed.
    it works(the old server) but doesn't have enough power when Emby needs to trans-code movies for web client.
    also some processes takes too much RAM which on my old server I had limited amount. about 40GB.
    so, when I got some free budget I started the upgrade.

    ALL my older setup was ZFS based. I have 16 disks in 4 ZFS mirror pools.
    not all the data is backed up and at this moment I can not get to the data as the initial setup is corrupted by bad update. I used this to start the server upgrade process since the server was down anyways.


    the X8DT3-LN4F MB has an on-board SAS controller
    which lspci reports as 03:00.0 SCSI storage controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic SAS1068E PCI-Express Fusion-MPT SAS (rev 08)"

    unfortunately it only supports up to 2TB drives.
    so I bought a Adaptec 51245 2268100-R 16 PORT SAS card

    I got a 24 port expender "HP 487738-001 468405-001 24-Bay 3Gb SAS" since built int controlelr only have 8 ports.
    the expender works fine but Adaptec card does not work as I expected. it does not have an HBA mode.
    and the JBOD mode that it does have still requires me to Initialize the drives and if I am reading the manual and other forums correctly it is not a simple pass-through mode. I can not just take the drive and plug it in into some other machine and access data from it once I set it up on this controller.
    I have always (mistakenly apparently ) thought that JBOD is the same as simple HBA. as in once adapter is set to JBOD mode it will just pass-through any disks connected to it as is.

    hence my question(s):

    #1. is there a firmware flush for Adaptec card to turn it into full HBA as I needed ?
    #2. is there a firmware flush for my built in controller to make it support large drives
    #3. is there anyone can suggest an inexpensive HBA SAS card that would do what I need as per my setup.
    I need and want to go with SAS setup now as I already invested in all the cables and expander card and I think it is a better way to go. if I can return the Adaptec, I will, if not I will try to sell it.

    please help me figure this out and teach me some new things in the process.
    I have dealt with raid setups in the past.
    I have dealt with plain HBA setups as well
    but it was simple as old setup had plain super micro SAT2-MV8 PCI-X cards 8 port SATA direct hookup.

    I am not in unfamiliar territory and so far can not figure the way out of it.

    Tanks VL
     
    #1
  2. i386

    i386 Well-Known Member

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    #1
    "HBA" mode was added in the adaptec 7 series, older controllers need a "one drive raid 0" for "jbod"/"hba" mode, so no, no hba firmware.

    #2
    support for >2tb drives was added with sas2 (adaptec introduced sas2 with the series 6)

    #3
    Check the sticky in the hdd or hba forum, it has a good list of lsi controllers and their oem variants

    In general:
    X8 is a dated platform, if can try to get a x9 system that still uses cheap ddr3, but has more cpu power and support for pcie 3.0
     
    #2
  3. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    #3
  4. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    thanks i386, but I am not sure I understand everything you said.

    #1 -- I got it. no firmware to flash the Adaptec card hor HBA support. well I kind of assumed that to be the case.

    #2 -- well the adaptec does supports the large disks but since it has no HBA mode it doesn't really help me.
    I was really hoping I could do something with the onboard LSI LSAS1068E controller but that is also a no go. I just found a page describing the chipset and there is no way to make it work with large drives.

    #3 -- will check the sticky ASAP. but I still a little confused on what I really need.

    and the last comment I do not understand, do you mean my Mother board? well nothing I can do here. I already got the board and memory. can not change. and anyhow my Optreon based system also is outdated and was outdated 10 years ago when I got it. if X8 would run for the next 10 years for me it will be OK. I wush I understood the differences before buying it though as X9 boards and even some later X8 borads come with the SAS2008 raid controllers and would have work right out of the box for me.
     
    #4
  5. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    ok the links seams to be a dead end except one for the sticky.

    the sticky thread lists LSI MegaRAID SAS 9240-8i as an HBA but I do not see HBA support in all manuals or other docs.
    does it need to be flashed to LSI 9211 and/or IT mode before it actually support HBA ?

    if it is so I will have to go hunting for one of this ASAP. I really want to get my server back up soooon :)

    PS>> found this 2 on eBay , are they the right ones?

    LSI 9240-8i 8-port SAS SATA MegaRAID RAID Controller Card | eBay


    LSI MegaRAID SATA/SAS 9240-8i 6Gb/s PCIe 2.0 RAID Controller Card | eBay


    and this one LSI MegaRaid SAS 9240-8i 6Gb/s 8-Port SATA+SAS RAID Controller | eBay
     
    #5
  6. msg7086

    msg7086 Member

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    A year or 2 ago we got a pair of H310 and crossflashed to HBA card. Work like a charm. Nowadays you have more options, but adaptec is never my option.

    EDIT: Now you should have many more options than that. The sticky, and other posts in this sections, are very good sources. Like there's a post to crossflash M5014 to HBA below. There are DELL HP and IBM OEM cards on ebay all over the places.

    I'm sure you'll find something cheap and nice.

    If you have no other requirements, H200/H310 would still be my first choice. Cheap and nice cards.
     
    #6
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  7. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    are any of the card I linked to, good for me?

    should I go with "SAS2308 based" cards or should I stick with "SAS2008 "

    there is so many options out there one is more confusing than the other. I went with Adaptec because I used to have cars from them in many of my hardware at work never an issue. but we did used RAID so the cards worked as designed.

    I found more cards as well

    Have one to sell? Sell now - Have one to sell? LSI Dell SAS9217-8i PCIe SAS SATA RAID GTP9G 0GTP9G Device

    and LSI Dell SAS9217-8i 8 Port 6Gb PCIe SAS SATA RAID HBA GTP9G + Device Cable T3F4V
    and NEW LSI SAS 9217-8i 8-ports 6GB RAID Controller Host Bust Adapter | eBay


    any of this are usable ?
     
    #7
  8. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    The sticky's got dozens of examples - probably a confusingly large array of options if you're new to the topic, and note that some that are labelled as MegaRAID really are HBAs that can do RAID (usually not very well) but function best when flashed with a non-RAID firmware. Branding isn't especially easy since LSI has also been Avago and Broadcom and probably more over the last few years.

    But the most common you'll see used are:

    9211-8i (8-port internal SAS2 HBA), this is cross-flashable from the IBM M1015 or the Dell H200 which are basically the same thing but usually available for much less moolah than the LSI-branded 9211-8i. This is likely the cheapest route to getting yourself good SAS2 HBAs as the cards are (or at least were) very plentiful from server pulls, and I even bought two new (still in the IBM shrinkwrap) in the UK for a little over £100. That was five years ago and they're still trucking along... I imagine if you're willing to go s/h you can pick these up for very little stateside.

    9300-8i (8-port internal SAS3 HBA), this is cross-flashable from the IBM M1215 or Dell H300 (again much cheaper than the LSI version), newer and shinier and faster than the 9211-8i but likely not worth the extra money or power consumption for your use-case.

    I did actually end up buying myself a 9305-16i new, simply because at the time it was almost the same price as comparable SAS expanders and the s/h market for 16-port HBAs in the EU seems nearly non-existent; fleabay and its ilk are festooned with knock-offs from china. This'll probably not what you consider a cheap option though.
     
    #8
  9. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    LSI/Broadcom 9207 comes with IT mode firmware and would be the best 6G adapter.
    9217 is the same adapter but with IR (Raid-1) firmware but can be reflashed to IT mode.
    Even with the IR firmware it is ok for ZFS (in contrast to a raid5 firmware)

    Its chip is similar to the LSI 2008 ex on an LSI 9211 but with a faster pci interface
    https://www.servethehome.com/lsi-9207-9217-hbas-sas2308-6gbs-sas-sata-pcie-30/
     
    #9
  10. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    so I should be looking for either LSI 9207 cards or 9217 cards and be prepaire to flush the 9217 to IT mode.

    I am thinking one of this , they all in about my price budget range. especially if I can sell the Adaptec card fast enough.

    LSI Dell SAS9217-8i 8 Port 6Gb PCIe SAS SATA RAID HBA GTP9G + Device Cable T3F4V | eBay

    or

    NEW LSI SAS 9217-8i 8-ports 6GB RAID Controller Host Bust Adapter | eBay

    or

    Dell LSI SAS 9217-8i Host Bus Adapter RAID PCI-E SATA/SAS 8-Port 6Gbps R76Y4 | eBay


    This one is even flashed to IT mode already HP H220 6Gbps SAS PCI-E 3.0 HBA LSI 9207-8i P20 IT Mode for ZFS FreeNAS unRAID | eBay
     
    #10
  11. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    The 9207/9217 or SAS2308 chips are effectively just SAS2008 chips but with added PCIe 3.0 support aren't they? Not sure there's any sense on paying a premium for them if you can get the PCIe 2.0 ones cheaper, and if you're only using platter-based drives there's no likelihood of PCIe 2.0 being a performance bottleneck.
     
    #11
  12. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    #12
  13. msg7086

    msg7086 Member

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    If you really feel lost and don't want to waste more brain cells on this, I recommend H200/H310 with this crossflash tutorial. This is one of the most common ZFS HBA solutions around the low-end market. Almost a no-brainer for this use-case.

    HP H220 should also work. I personally don't like HPE products, didn't have good experience with them. YMMV.

    And H220 shows $35-45 for me, not $70 as you linked. And yes, if it flashes to HBA and works fine, you could go with a later card.
     
    #13
  14. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    got it. I did not find any HP H220 for $35 . most coming out close to $50+ especially ones that can get here by the end of the week.
    so I will find most valued listing and order one ASAP.

    I will also try to sell the Adaptec card. I simply do not need it, even though the card is good and I like Adaptec have no use for it.
    last year I would simply take to the office as most of the servers used it. now well....
     
    #14
  15. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    Here is an example of HP H220 listing here in US for $35 OBO. Not sure where you are located.

    HP H220 / Dell 9217-8i /LSI 9207-8i etc are all based on LSI2308 chip.

    Like others suggested you can't go wrong with either 2008 or 2308. I suggested 2308 simply because the ∆ was marginal and you get the benefits of newer chip and PCIe 3

    If you don't want to go through the process of flashing IT mode, simply pick the one already flashed that you listed.

    650933-B21 HP H220 6G SAS HOST BUS ADAPTER 21111444668 | eBay
     
    #15
  16. vl1969

    vl1969 Active Member

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    Already ordered one.
    This particular listing did not came up on my search.
    All listings i seen for around 35 to 40 dollars were shipped from China and took couple of weeks.
    Or shipping was like 20 dollars.
     
    #16
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