Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

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Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
Hi,

I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA ports on
the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can actually
only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive consumes a mobo port.

Speaking with Dell, they are recommending their part number PEXSAT32
which is a rebadged StarTech product based on the Marvell 88SE9123
chipset. From posts I saw from people running various OS, that chipset
is flaky on everything but Windows.

My local shop has several el-cheapo no-brand cards based on the ASMedia
ASM1061 chipset. From what I could find on the net those cards work ok
but they can be slow. They also have a card based on the Silicon Image
SiI3114 chipset. I didn't find much info on this one except for Windows
victims claiming it was great or sucked.

Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal) expansion
cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?

Thanks,

/jl

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Robert-318

On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 07:50:36 +0000
John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Speaking with Dell, they are recommending their part number PEXSAT32
> which is a rebadged StarTech product based on the Marvell 88SE9123
> chipset. From posts I saw from people running various OS, that chipset
> is flaky on everything but Windows.
>
> Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal) expansion
> cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?

I am using two of these in my server:

ahci0 at pci3 dev 0 function 0 "Marvell 88SE9230 AHCI" rev 0x11: msi,
AHCI 1.2

So far no problems, works fine.
(Note: I don't use software RAID on them; typical workload is access to
a single disk or copying between them.)

/Robert

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Marco Nuessgen
In reply to this post by John Long-4
On Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 07:50:36AM +0000, John Long wrote:
[...]
> Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal) expansion
> cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?

Have a look at the IBM ServeRaid M1015 SAS 6.0gbps SATA III. HBA. It is
based on the LSI SAS2008 chip and can be crossflashed to:
LSI9211-IT Straight pass through no RAID
LSI9211-IR Pass through, RAID 0, 1, 1e, 10

https://www.servethehome.com/ibm-serveraid-m1015-part-4/


Marco.

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
In reply to this post by Robert-318
On Fri, 12 Apr 2019 07:00:15 +0200
Robert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 07:50:36 +0000
> John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Speaking with Dell, they are recommending their part number PEXSAT32
> > which is a rebadged StarTech product based on the Marvell 88SE9123
> > chipset. From posts I saw from people running various OS, that
> > chipset is flaky on everything but Windows.
> >
> > Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal)
> > expansion cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?  
>
> I am using two of these in my server:
>
> ahci0 at pci3 dev 0 function 0 "Marvell 88SE9230 AHCI" rev 0x11: msi,
> AHCI 1.2

Thank you! So far two votes for this chipset. Somebody contacted me
offline to say he was using a HighPoint Rocket 640L card. Is this the
same card you have?

/jl

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
In reply to this post by Marco Nuessgen
Thank you!

/jl

On Fri, 12 Apr 2019 10:22:14 +0200
Marco Nuessgen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 07:50:36AM +0000, John Long wrote:
> [...]
> > Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal)
> > expansion cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?  
>
> Have a look at the IBM ServeRaid M1015 SAS 6.0gbps SATA III. HBA. It
> is based on the LSI SAS2008 chip and can be crossflashed to:
> LSI9211-IT Straight pass through no RAID
> LSI9211-IR Pass through, RAID 0, 1, 1e, 10
>
> https://www.servethehome.com/ibm-serveraid-m1015-part-4/
>
>
> Marco.
>

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Paul de Weerd
In reply to this post by John Long-4
Hi John,

On Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 07:50:36AM +0000, John Long wrote:
| Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal) expansion
| cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?

Not exactly what you're looking for, but I have a startech.com 2 Port
SATA 6Gbps PCI Express eSATA controller card [1].  I use this to
(occasionally) connect an external disk shelve (using a port
multiplier) to my machine.  OpenBSD detects this as:

ahci0 at pci2 dev 0 function 0 vendor "Marvell", unknown product 0x9128 rev 0x20: msi, AHCI 1.2
ahci0: port 7: 1.5Gb/s
scsibus1 at ahci0: 32 targets

So despite being an "unknown product", it's supported by ahci(4) and I
have successfully accessed disks behind it.  The product page says
this uses the Marvell 88SE9128.

This vendor has similar products with internal ports using the same
Marvell chip.  Those may be of use to you.

Cheers,

Paul 'WEiRD' de Weerd

[1]: https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-SATA-6-Gbps-PCI-Express-eSATA-Controller-Card~PEXESAT32#

--
>++++++++[<++++++++++>-]<+++++++.>+++[<------>-]<.>+++[<+
+++++++++++>-]<.>++[<------------>-]<+.--------------.[-]
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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Allan Streib-2
Paul de Weerd <[hidden email]> writes:

> Not exactly what you're looking for, but I have a startech.com 2 Port
> SATA 6Gbps PCI Express eSATA controller card [1].  I use this to
> (occasionally) connect an external disk shelve (using a port
> multiplier) to my machine.

Incidentally, does OpenBSD support hot-plugging external drive on eSATA
ports?

I had a similar StarTech card and it worked fine if the external drive
was attached and powered up at boot but did not recognize it if attached
later. But was probably around 6.1 release if not older the last time I
tried that.

Allan

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Paul de Weerd
On Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 10:29:33AM -0400, Allan Streib wrote:
| Paul de Weerd <[hidden email]> writes:
|
| > Not exactly what you're looking for, but I have a startech.com 2 Port
| > SATA 6Gbps PCI Express eSATA controller card [1].  I use this to
| > (occasionally) connect an external disk shelve (using a port
| > multiplier) to my machine.
|
| Incidentally, does OpenBSD support hot-plugging external drive on eSATA
| ports?

Not that I'm aware of.  I've never tried (or had the need, with my
specific setup).

| I had a similar StarTech card and it worked fine if the external drive
| was attached and powered up at boot but did not recognize it if attached
| later. But was probably around 6.1 release if not older the last time I
| tried that.

I don't think anything has changed in this regard, nothing that has
been committed suggested adding support for hot swapping (e)SATA
devices.

Cheers,

Paul

--
>++++++++[<++++++++++>-]<+++++++.>+++[<------>-]<.>+++[<+
+++++++++++>-]<.>++[<------------>-]<+.--------------.[-]
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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Johan Huldtgren-7
In reply to this post by John Long-4
> I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
> drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA ports on
> the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can actually
> only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive consumes a mobo port.
>
> Speaking with Dell, they are recommending their part number PEXSAT32
> which is a rebadged StarTech product based on the Marvell 88SE9123
> chipset. From posts I saw from people running various OS, that chipset
> is flaky on everything but Windows.
>
> My local shop has several el-cheapo no-brand cards based on the ASMedia
> ASM1061 chipset. From what I could find on the net those cards work ok
> but they can be slow. They also have a card based on the Silicon Image
> SiI3114 chipset. I didn't find much info on this one except for Windows
> victims claiming it was great or sucked.
>
> Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal) expansion
> cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?

I've got an mfi and an mfii card in two servers, both have worked well,
I do not run softraid on them though.

mfi0 at pci1 dev 0 function 0 "Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS2108 GEN2" rev 0x05: apic 2 int 2
mfi0: "LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i", firmware 12.15.0-0239, 512MB cache


mfii0 at pci3 dev 0 function 0 "Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS2208" rev 0x05: msi
mfii0: "LSI MegaRAID SAS 9271-8i", firmware 23.34.0-0017, 1024MB cache

.jh

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by John Long-4
On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
> drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA ports on
> the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can actually
> only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive consumes a mobo port.

You missed the important information of *which* server.

If it's one of the usual poweredge then you're usually better off with
whatever they normally use for RAID systems (you can usually find them
second-hand).


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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
In reply to this post by Paul de Weerd
Thank you Paul and Johann!

/jl

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
In reply to this post by Stuart Henderson
On Sat, 13 Apr 2019 08:05:29 -0000 (UTC)
Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
> > drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA
> > ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can
> > actually only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive consumes
> > a mobo port.  
>
> You missed the important information of *which* server.

Ah sorry.

> If it's one of the usual poweredge then you're usually better off with
> whatever they normally use for RAID systems (you can usually find them
> second-hand).

Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell recommended, but
I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely Dell tests anything but a
thousand variants of Windows and *maybe* RedHat.

/jl

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Stuart Henderson
On 2019-04-13, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, 13 Apr 2019 08:05:29 -0000 (UTC)
> Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
>> > drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA
>> > ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can
>> > actually only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive consumes
>> > a mobo port.  
>>
>> You missed the important information of *which* server.
>
> Ah sorry.
>
>> If it's one of the usual poweredge then you're usually better off with
>> whatever they normally use for RAID systems (you can usually find them
>> second-hand).
>
> Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell recommended, but
> I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely Dell tests anything but a
> thousand variants of Windows and *maybe* RedHat.
>
> /jl
>
>

Ah ok. You might as well treat this as a whitebox PC then as there aren't
any standard hardware RAID/etc options for these (and you don't need to
worry about cables from card to backplane)

 Had it been a Txx0 or Rxx0 then there would be a more obvious choice.

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:13:55 -0000 (UTC)
Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2019-04-13, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Sat, 13 Apr 2019 08:05:29 -0000 (UTC)
> > Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >  
> >> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:  
> >> > I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
> >> > drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA
> >> > ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can
> >> > actually only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive
> >> > consumes a mobo port.    
> >>
> >> You missed the important information of *which* server.  
> >
> > Ah sorry.
> >  
> >> If it's one of the usual poweredge then you're usually better off
> >> with whatever they normally use for RAID systems (you can usually
> >> find them second-hand).  
> >
> > Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell recommended,
> > but I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely Dell tests
> > anything but a thousand variants of Windows and *maybe* RedHat.
> >
> > /jl
> >
> >  
>
> Ah ok. You might as well treat this as a whitebox PC then as there
> aren't any standard hardware RAID/etc options for these (and you
> don't need to worry about cables from card to backplane)
>
>  Had it been a Txx0 or Rxx0 then there would be a more obvious choice.

Dell does have a part number for this since they did this on
purpose apparently so they can sell a half-baked server and then
sell you a card which they know you will need...but I am not sure if it
is a good choice..

Anyway thanks to everybody who answered. :)

/jl

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

Stuart Henderson
On 2019-04-14, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:13:55 -0000 (UTC)
> Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 2019-04-13, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > On Sat, 13 Apr 2019 08:05:29 -0000 (UTC)
>> > Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >  
>> >> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:  
>> >> > I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
>> >> > drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA
>> >> > ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can
>> >> > actually only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive
>> >> > consumes a mobo port.    
>> >>
>> >> You missed the important information of *which* server.  
>> >
>> > Ah sorry.
>> >  
>> >> If it's one of the usual poweredge then you're usually better off
>> >> with whatever they normally use for RAID systems (you can usually
>> >> find them second-hand).  
>> >
>> > Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell recommended,
>> > but I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely Dell tests
>> > anything but a thousand variants of Windows and *maybe* RedHat.
>> >
>> > /jl
>> >
>> >  
>>
>> Ah ok. You might as well treat this as a whitebox PC then as there
>> aren't any standard hardware RAID/etc options for these (and you
>> don't need to worry about cables from card to backplane)
>>
>>  Had it been a Txx0 or Rxx0 then there would be a more obvious choice.
>
> Dell does have a part number for this since they did this on
> purpose apparently so they can sell a half-baked server and then
> sell you a card which they know you will need...but I am not sure if it
> is a good choice..
>
> Anyway thanks to everybody who answered. :)
>
> /jl
>
>

Yes, but it's just consumer-type ahci hardware not a proper sas/raid card.
So you might as well use whatever cheap sata card you can get your hands on.


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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

gwes-2
>>
>>>>> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>> I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 + 2x2.5
>>>>>> drives but when I popped it open I found there are only 4 SATA
>>>>>> ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed drives, I can
>>>>>> actually only install 3 drives because the stock DVD drive
>>>>>> consumes a mobo port.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell recommended,
>>>>>> but I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely Dell tests
>>>>>> anything but a thousand variants of Windows and *maybe* RedHat.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> /jl
>>>>>>
[ lots of good stuff snipped ]
I'll second the LSI Logic/Avago/Broadcom? SAS/SATA controllers.
They run as many disks as I want at full speed. As previously
mentioned they can be quite inexpensive if you buy one relabelled
as (for instance) an IBM card.

They do need to be flashed to a recent firmware version.
Older firmware versions limit themselves to 32-bit block numbers.

A probably obvious note:
PC type boxes have unfortunate limitations unless one
is prepared to spend $$$ for high end or Xeon/Opteron.
PCI lanes and memory subsystems can saturate :-(

Geoff Steckel

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 14:53:34 -0400
gwes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >>  
> >>>>> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:  
> >>>>>> I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 +
> >>>>>> 2x2.5 drives but when I popped it open I found there are only
> >>>>>> 4 SATA ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed
> >>>>>> drives, I can actually only install 3 drives because the stock
> >>>>>> DVD drive consumes a mobo port.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell
> >>>>>> recommended, but I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely
> >>>>>> Dell tests anything but a thousand variants of Windows and
> >>>>>> *maybe* RedHat.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> /jl
> >>>>>>  
> [ lots of good stuff snipped ]
> I'll second the LSI Logic/Avago/Broadcom? SAS/SATA controllers.
> They run as many disks as I want at full speed. As previously
> mentioned they can be quite inexpensive if you buy one relabelled
> as (for instance) an IBM card.
>
> They do need to be flashed to a recent firmware version.
> Older firmware versions limit themselves to 32-bit block numbers.

Can I flash one of these cards without installing it in a Windows box?
Because I don't have one ;)

> A probably obvious note:
> PC type boxes have unfortunate limitations unless one
> is prepared to spend $$$ for high end or Xeon/Opteron.
> PCI lanes and memory subsystems can saturate :-(

It is a Xeon box, but low end. It was not expensive and it shows. I
prefer my other low-end Xeon box, the Fujitsu TX1310 M3 is a much
better box with easier access to everything, runs 4x3.5 drives
without requiring an addon card and has a 1225 v6 Xeon as opposed to
the v5 that came in this Dell box I'm fighting with.

/jl

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

gwes-2
On 04/14/19 15:25, John Long wrote:

> On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 14:53:34 -0400
> gwes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>>>  
>>>>>>> On 2019-04-11, John Long <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>>>> I have a Dell server that was advertised to support 4x3.5 +
>>>>>>>> 2x2.5 drives but when I popped it open I found there are only
>>>>>>>> 4 SATA ports on the motherboard total. So of the 6 claimed
>>>>>>>> drives, I can actually only install 3 drives because the stock
>>>>>>>> DVD drive consumes a mobo port.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Yeah T30 PowerEdge. The local shop has the card Dell
>>>>>>>> recommended, but I'm not sure I trust them since it's unlikely
>>>>>>>> Dell tests anything but a thousand variants of Windows and
>>>>>>>> *maybe* RedHat.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> /jl
>>>>>>>>  
>> [ lots of good stuff snipped ]
>> I'll second the LSI Logic/Avago/Broadcom? SAS/SATA controllers.
>> They run as many disks as I want at full speed. As previously
>> mentioned they can be quite inexpensive if you buy one relabelled
>> as (for instance) an IBM card.
>>
>> They do need to be flashed to a recent firmware version.
>> Older firmware versions limit themselves to 32-bit block numbers.
> Can I flash one of these cards without installing it in a Windows box?
> Because I don't have one ;)
They can be flashed from Linux. I think a USB drive formatted right with the
appropriate files & running Linux from a cd-rom would suffice.
I did something like that.

Geoff Steckel

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

John Long-4
On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 15:35:22 -0400
gwes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> >> I'll second the LSI Logic/Avago/Broadcom? SAS/SATA controllers.
> >> They run as many disks as I want at full speed. As previously
> >> mentioned they can be quite inexpensive if you buy one relabelled
> >> as (for instance) an IBM card.
> >>
> >> They do need to be flashed to a recent firmware version.
> >> Older firmware versions limit themselves to 32-bit block numbers.  
> > Can I flash one of these cards without installing it in a Windows
> > box? Because I don't have one ;)  
> They can be flashed from Linux. I think a USB drive formatted right
> with the appropriate files & running Linux from a cd-rom would
> suffice. I did something like that.

Thanks.

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Re: Good options for SAS HBA or SATA expansion cards?

lists-2
In reply to this post by John Long-4
Thu, 11 Apr 2019 07:50:36 +0000 John Long <[hidden email]>
> [...]
> but they can be slow. They also have a card based on the Silicon Image
> SiI3114 chipset. I didn't find much info on this one except for Windows
> victims claiming it was great or sucked.

Hi John,

Don't get this.  I have a controller of this chipset on one mainboard and
found out it works very unreliable, generates errors on regular light use
and our driver for it in OpenBSD turned out to be stuck before its second
version as it is found in other operating kernels.  Skip or fix drivers..

Kind regards,
Anton Lazarov

> Can anybody recommend some good 2 or 4 port SATA (internal) expansion
> cards or a SAS HBA that works well with OpenBSD?
>
> Thanks,
>
> /jl
>

12