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Ericloewe

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FreeNAS and the driver, as far as I'm aware.
 
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Hi!

Would an Intel MB Integrated RAID Module RMS25KB080 be fine and can it be crossflashed to become an LSI controller, like the previous generations M1015s?

What 2308 based controllers are currently "en vouge" for best use in ZFS with SATA-III 600 MBit SSDs and HDDs?

Thanks,
Axel
 

Ericloewe

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It should be possible to crossflash. It's somewhat uncharted territory, though, as it may have custom firmware for hardware lockouts (Dell motherboards do).

The SAS 2308 is mostly found integrated on motherboards these days. The only popular PCI-e card is LSI's own SAS 9207.
 
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Maybe a silly question: Is it an issue if you flash with a version higher than the driver ?
Ed, why not flash with current version ?

PS: I'm asking cause I have the same warning message (12 instead of 16) and getting ready to download the LSI firmware.

Regards, André
 
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Maybe a silly question: Is it an issue if you flash with a version higher than the driver ?
Ed, why not flash with current version ?

PS: I'm asking cause I have the same warning message (12 instead of 16) and getting ready to download the LSI firmware.

Regards, André
It's only a silly question because it's asked every other day and answered every other day.

So to make sure we hit our quota for today...

"The driver and firmware must match. Driver v16 is only verified against firmware v16."
 
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His response was:
"Our firmware is based on LSI 2308 version 17, so it’s not recommended to flash back to LSI version 16 to avoid some compatibility concerns."

I let him know my concern is my data. Locating this firmware has really been my only gripe with ASRock. They have been more than willing to go out of their way to answer my questions. They even reached out to their contact at Lian-Li for me to find out when the PC-Q26 will be back in stock in the US. Nothing I even requested for him to do. Way above and beyond the call of duty. I will wait for his response before having you reach out to your contact. Realistically, this is a server board and firmware files should readily be available on their website. I could understand not having available for consumer grade boards because 99% of end users are idiots. I guess if worse comes to worst I can always locate the version 17 FreeBSD driver and get that loaded.
It has been a couple of months since you posted this, but did you hear back from ASRock about this? I'm also using a E3C224D4I-14S, but can't find the correct firmware anywhere on their website.

Edit

Turns out, I'm blind :confused: They do offer a P16 download.
 
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j_r0dd

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It has been a couple of months since you posted this, but did you hear back from ASRock about this? I'm also using a E3C224D4I-14S, but can't find the correct firmware anywhere on their website.

Edit

Turns out, I'm blind :confused: They do offer a P16 download.
I was able to get a hold of the files, but that's good that they at least readily have available on their site now.
 

Black Ninja

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Don't let me stop you from spending $1500, but if you're going to spend $1500, buy a nice Supermicro chassis with a built-in SAS expander backplane like the SC846BE26-R920B along with an M1015 and cables, it is a better choice for FreeNAS.
I didn't know that using sas expander is good in freenas. I thought we need M1015 or similar HBA with direct attached drives to the backplane like Supermicro SC846TQ backplane ?! Isn't it using sas exander adding addition kind of step between drive and controller , kind of like what raid does? Otherwise who would need more than one HBA card ?! You can get one LSI 9211i and run let's say 36 drives (LSI9211i says support 256 drives). Am I right ?
 

Black Ninja

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You eventually run into SAS contention.
So what's the verdict sas expander or direct attached is better for freenas?!
 

Black Ninja

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For 16 drives Supermicro chassis for freenas build options:

1.Get a chassis with direct attached and use 2 HBA's with sata break out cables
or
2.Single HBA and use Chasiss with sas expander.
 

jgreco

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It still depends. Do you get the SAS expander for free? A second HBA is probably cheaper than the cost differential to go with an SAS expander. Are we talking hard drives? SSD's? SAS multiporting? Etc.

IT STILL DEPENDS.
 

Black Ninja

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Let says everything is free and you have to build it with reliability as priority number one.

By the way does S.M.A.R.T pass through SAS expanders like it would with direct attached ?!
I am trying to keep with the rule that "freenas need to have direct access to the drives" that's why I was interested when you said sas expander is ok ?! I am not experienced with sas expanders because I was avoiding then for a long time , was I wrong ?
 

depasseg

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I think of it this way: for all intents and purposes, SAS expanders operate the same as direct attached. There are tons of SAS Expander systems running FreeNAS connected to an M1015. (Also, don't confuse SAS expanders with SATA port multipliers - which are bad, bad, bad)
 

jgreco

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Let says everything is free and you have to build it with reliability as priority number one.
It *STILL* depends.

If you're using SAS drives, need multiporting, tons of drives while running out of PCIe slots, etc., SAS expander goodish.

If you're using SSD's or twitchy SATA HDD's, or are trying to cram a ton of drives on a single multilane cable, SAS expander baddish.




By the way does S.M.A.R.T pass through SAS expanders like it would with direct attached ?!
I am trying to keep with the rule that "freenas need to have direct access to the drives" that's why I was interested when you said sas expander is ok ?! I am not experienced with sas expanders because I was avoiding then for a long time , was I wrong ?
Not necessarily. It is just another choice to negotiate when making decisions about how to engineer a system. A SAS expander doesn't interfere with FreeNAS being able to directly talk to the drives - except sometimes some SATA drives (especially older ones) are twitchy about behaving nicely, in which case that might be a problem.
 

Black Ninja

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I think of it this way: for all intents and purposes, SAS expanders operate the same as direct attached. There are tons of SAS Expander systems running FreeNAS connected to an M1015. (Also, don't confuse SAS expanders with SATA port multipliers - which are bad, bad, bad)
I think you are exactly right, I am confusing sata port multipliers with sas expanders. I am trying to find the distinct difference ?
 

Ericloewe

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For what it's worth, all SAS expanders should, per the spec, fully comply with the ATA tunneling through SCSI protocol.

I think you are exactly right, I am confusing sata port multipliers with sas expanders. I am trying to find the distinct difference ?
An SAS expander connects to an SAS HBA and communicates with it through the SAS layer using SCSI commands. It also serves as a tunnel endpoint for SATA devices attached to it.

A SATA port multiplier multiplexes SATA only, but the important flaws are that there are no reliable ones and that most hosts dislike port multipliers (particularly, Intel SATA ports do not support port multipliers). To add insult to injury, they're frequently implemented together with a crummy hardware RAID system.
In contrast, SAS expanders are an integral part of the SAS spec.
 

Black Ninja

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So I guess the main limitation is the speed with SAS expanders and number of drives ? I wonder then if you double you drives compared to lanes you have , sata 3 lane will have the half bandwidth like becoming sata 2 in theory ?! This is in case all drives are reading at the same time , I assume bandwidth is dynamically allocated between then base on activity , no ?
 

Ericloewe

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So I guess the main limitation is the speed with SAS expanders and number of drives ? I wonder then if you double you drives compared to lanes you have , sata 3 lane will have the half bandwidth like becoming sata 2 in theory ?! This is in case all drives are reading at the same time , I assume bandwidth is dynamically allocated between then base on activity , no ?
Right. For a bunch of spinning rust drives, an SAS expander will probably still provide very similar performance to direct-attached drives.

The HBA can also limit the number of SAS devices it can interact with, but that's a large number (128+ for LSI SAS 2008/2308. Possibly 256 or even 512).
 
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