HP SAS Expander Owner's Thread

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,813
Assuming we can all agree to a form factor, I think a group pcb fab buy wouldn't cost too much per person. I personally was thinking in terms of single adapters, if you keep the adapter pcb small and light, the locking mechanism on the pci-e slot should be enough to keep it stable. Then, as long as the card is properly mounted to the case there won't be any issue.
Fortunately I can do some prototyping at school without having to pay for anything. Once I get a final design, I can't imagine it would cost too much. Adding the bits and pieces to the PCB is going to be the hardest part.
 

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
That is UIO BTW. I have the Supermicro 256MB UIO version of the Adaptec 5805 (it literally has an Adaptec sticker on it) that I no longer have a UIO board for otherwise I'd test it with the expander.
 

treadstone

Gawd
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
567
FYI, I figured the following might be useful to some folks.
I had posted a support question on ask.adaptec.com on Sunday and received an answer today:



My question:

I would like to know if you have any information if your 5805Z RAID controller is compatible with the HP SAS Expander. The HP SAS Expander is apparently based on the PMC Sierra PM8005 SXP 36x6GSec 6 Gbit/s SAS Expander chip ( http://www.pmc-sierra.com/products/details/pm8005/ ). I would also like to know if the 5805Z will support the sideband (SGPIO) enclosure management to indicate HDD activity and fault status?!?

For reference, here is part of my server configuration:

1 x Chenbro RM-91250 enclosure ( http://usa.chenbro.com/corporatesite/products_detail.php?sku=45 )
52 x Western Digital WD20EADS HDDs ( http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=576 )
14 x Molex SFF8087 600mm Cables ( http://www.molex.com/molex/products...LE_ASSEMBLIES.xml&channel=Products&Lang=en-US )

The idea is to connect the 5805Z to two HP SAS Expanders (running firmware version 2.02) via a 152mm SFF8087 cable each. Each SAS Expander is connected to 6 SAS backplanes (the RM-91250 contains a total of 12 4 port SAS backplanes) via a 600mm SFF8087 cable. Each SAS backplane connects to 4 WD20EADS 2TB SATAII drives. A total of 48 WD20EADS drives are connected to the 5805Z RAID controller. My idea is to run the array in RAID mode 50. Either as 3 x 16 drives for a total of 90TB of usable space or 2 x 24 drives for a total of 92TB of usable space.

Apparently the 5805 controller recognizes the HP SAS Expander card but does not 'see' or recognize any drives attached to the Expander!
( http://www.hardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1484614 )
I assume that the 5805 and 5805Z are similar but not the same controllers?!?
Do both controllers use the same firmware or do they use different firmwares?

Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.



The answer I received this morning:

Please refer to our compatibility listing here www.adaptec.com/compatibility

We have tested some backplanes that use PMC Expanders, but this particular model of PMC Expander Chip hasnt been tested, so we cannot garantee the results.

This aside, I see no problems with the configuration.

The difference between the two RAID cards is that the 5805-Z is the Zero Mainenance Model, this means that no battery is needed as the cache is copied onto a flash module for protection in the event of a loss of power. The standard 5805 card, is for use with an add on battery module, AMB-800, which protects the cache if there is a power cut.

I hope this helps

Thanks for using ASK US

Best Regards,
ADAPTEC Technical Support,
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
@treadstone - So in other words they gave a non-answer "Read our HCL, and gee it should work".

If you have your heart set on Adaptec, and despite my suggestions to the contrary since I've run 24 drive RAID6 arrays for years on both Adaptec and Areca cards and know their strengths and weaknesses, I'd suggest an 5085Z rather than 5805Z. Sure you'll have a couple SFF-8088 cables looping between cards at the back of the case but internal wiring will be cleaner. Or you can wait for Adaptec to pull their heads out and find out why the 5805 isn't working right with the HP expander. If it were *my* 50 bay case (and it almost was- heh) there's no way I'd be putting anything but Areca in there because of the superior I/O throughput, build and rebuild times. Example HDTune READ test, the Areca will max out the 600MB/s SAS tunneling protocol ceiling, the Adaptec runs at about 300MB/s-400MB/s with the exact same drives in the same RAID6 configuration- and yet they're both running the same IOP348 chip. Go figure.

One more thing, remind me why you got WD20EADS drives- did you get some sort of killer deal on them? they're not *ideal* for large RAID arrays. this topic has been covered pretty frequently in other threads.
 
Last edited:

agrophel

Weaksauce
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
73
bah some of sellers on Ebay are not allowd to ship HP SAS Expander outside US :/
 

treadstone

Gawd
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
567
@odditory

I am going with Areca NOT Adaptec, based on your suggestions :)

I just posted this as a FYI. I had posted this question to Adaptec before we had our conversations about the throughput performance.

A couple of reasons why I picked the WD20EADS over anything else:
- I have some first hand experience with the green drives and prefer WD over some of the other brands (I won't touch Seagate drives anymore, too many BAD experiences).
- I did get a really good deal on those drives, my contact had to go to WD direct to get a bid price on them for me :)
- They stay fairly cool compared to some other drives I've used.
- For my requirements, capacity outweighs performance.
 

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
10,462
@odditory

I am going with Areca NOT Adaptec, based on your suggestions :)

I just posted this as a FYI. I had posted this question to Adaptec before we had our conversations about the throughput performance.

A couple of reasons why I picked the WD20EADS over anything else:
- I have some first hand experience with the green drives and prefer WD over some of the other brands (I won't touch Seagate drives anymore, too many BAD experiences).
- I did get a really good deal on those drives, my contact had to go to WD direct to get a bid price on them for me :)
- They stay fairly cool compared to some other drives I've used.
- For my requirements, capacity outweighs performance.

Hope you can flash those with TLER or you may have dropouts on a 1680.
 

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
10,462
Odditory,

Can you confirm that if I run two SAS cables from the Areca->HP does it have a positive effect on throughput?
 

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
@odditory

I am going with Areca NOT Adaptec, based on your suggestions :)

I just posted this as a FYI. I had posted this question to Adaptec before we had our conversations about the throughput performance.

A couple of reasons why I picked the WD20EADS over anything else:
- I have some first hand experience with the green drives and prefer WD over some of the other brands (I won't touch Seagate drives anymore, too many BAD experiences).
- I did get a really good deal on those drives, my contact had to go to WD direct to get a bid price on them for me :)
- They stay fairly cool compared to some other drives I've used.
- For my requirements, capacity outweighs performance.

I would agree that the Areca's are a better controller in general than the adaptecs. However, you can often find a 5805 or 5085 on ebay for $150, which you will never find an areca for. Depending on how much money you want to pay, the adaptecs are pretty good from a bang for buck POV...
 

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
I would agree that the Areca's are a better controller in general than the adaptecs. However, you can often find a 5805 or 5085 on ebay for $150, which you will never find an areca for. Depending on how much money you want to pay, the adaptecs are pretty good from a bang for buck POV...

I'd buy one in a second if they were $150! Heck even $200. I may be in the minority but I like mine.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
Hope you can flash those with TLER or you may have dropouts on a 1680.

@nitro did you mean to say 1680ix-24? If so it's apples and oranges. I have a strong feeling those old dropout problems were due to the onboard expander rather than the IOP348 raid chip. Testing has shown even drives like the infamous Seagate 1.5Tb's w/ CC1H firmware that were so problematic for people and dropped out of arrays can't seem to be phased when using HP expander on EXTERNAL port of 1680ix-24 (the only connector not routing through onboard expander). I've been beating 8 of them up in RAID6 for almost 2 weeks now- building, rebuilding, winthrax, and not a single hiccup or timeout. If I attach them to the internal ports of the 1680ix-24, the first one drops out within minutes to an hour. They won't even get 5% into array build. The onboard expander in high port count Areca and Adaptec cards are seriously suspect since it's night and day difference in dropout issues.

Unfortunately I sold my WD20EADS drives before I got the chance to test on HP expander, but I *think* he'll be alright. All you can do is test for a week or two before entrusting data. In the case of the Hitachi 2TB's, they don't ship with ECR (TLER) enabled either. Then again the Hitachi's don't have "minds of their own" like WD GP drives that go to sleep, low power idle, and other power saving behaviors independent of the raid card. Whereas Hitachi fully supports these APM features, they're defaulted to disabled. The WD GP's seem to have them defaulted to ENABLED based on what I've read, but I'm not 100% on that.

If a drive really does get kicked because of taking too long to respond during a deep error recovery cycle (trying to remap bad sectors), I say no big deal, take the drive out, run a full surface scan, let it remap its bad blocks (or RMA the drive if they're excessive), put it back in array and let it rebuild. If that happens too often for comfort, think about switching to another model of drive. If *I* got a deal on the drives I'd probably try to work around any issues that came up too, which they may never.
 
Last edited:

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
@nitro did you mean to say 1680ix-24? If so it's apples and oranges. I have a strong feeling those old dropout problems were due to the onboard expander rather than the IOP348 raid chip. Testing has shown even drives like the infamous Seagate 1.5Tb's w/ CC1H firmware that were so problematic for people and dropped out of arrays can't seem to be phased when using HP expander on EXTERNAL port of 1680ix-24 (the only connector not routing through onboard expander). I've beating 8 of them up in RAID6 for almost 2 weeks now- building, rebuilding, winthrax, and not a single hiccup or timeout. If I attach them to the internal ports of the 1680ix-24, the drop after a few minutes to an hour in heavy usage. The onboard expander in high port count Areca and Adaptec cards are seriously suspect in those old dropout issues.

Unfortunately I sold my WD20EADS drives before I got the chance to test on HP expander, but I *think* he'll be alright. All you can do is test for a week or two before entrusting data. In the case of the Hitachi 2TB's, they don't ship with ECR (TLER) enabled either. Then again the Hitachi's don't have "minds of their own" like WD GP drives that go to sleep, low power idle, and other power saving behaviors independent of the raid card.

If a drive really does get kicked because of taking too long to respond during a deep error recovery cycle (trying to remap bad sectors), so you take the drive out, run a full surface scan, let it remap its bad blocks (or RMA the drive if they're excessive), put it back in array and let it rebuild. If that happens too often for comfort, think about switching to another model of drive.

I have 8 WD20EADS drives on an adaptec 5085 and HP SAS expander. They work fine, at least with TLER enabled.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
I would agree that the Areca's are a better controller in general than the adaptecs. However, you can often find a 5805 or 5085 on ebay for $150, which you will never find an areca for. Depending on how much money you want to pay, the adaptecs are pretty good from a bang for buck POV...

Absolutely Adaptecs are good bang for buck, at least if you find a used one. However when buying new, Adaptec is generally as expensive as Areca. The high resale value of the Arecas is probably testament to them (either that or their scarcity relative to mass distributed Adaptecs).

My question in treadstone's situation was why cut a corner on the raid card after doing everything else right- spending a lot of money on a monster 50-bay case, buying 50 drives, expensive motherboard and components, etc.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
I have 8 WD20EADS drives on an adaptec 5085 and HP SAS expander. They work fine, at least with TLER enabled.

No doubt, but attach those same drives to an Adaptec 5 series of greater than 8 ports and I'm guessing you'd see dropouts sooner than later. As you know Mike, TLER only comes into play if and when the drive has trouble during a read operation, which in all likelihood your drives have not yet, so your experience would've probably been the same had you had TLER disabled up until now. A shortened TLER timeout is no more than a small safety net when the drive has read problems, rather than something making a difference in whether otherwise trouble free drives get kicked out of the array right away.
 
Last edited:

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
No doubt, but attach those same drives to an Adaptec 5 series of greater than 8 ports and I'm guessing you'd see dropouts sooner than later. As you know Mike, TLER only comes into play if and when the drive has trouble during a read operation, which in all likelihood your drives have not yet, so your experience would've probably been the same had you had TLER disabled up until now. A shortened TLER timeout is no more than a small safety net when the drive has read problems, rather than something making a difference in whether otherwise trouble free drives get kicked out of the array right away.

You are of course right. A drive that's having a lot of problems (and I have had a couple WD20EADS run into problems) is going to get dropped TLER or not. TLER helps for occasional faults, but not a long string of them. So I think it's still important to have something like TLER settings.

It is interesting what you say about in onboard adaptec expanders being fussy. My 31605 had all kinds of issues with my firmware patched seagate 7200.11's. So much so that I just retired the array and with with the WD's to replace the capacity. It would be interesting to try these out with the HP expander. I still have a few of them that I could bring back into service and see if their performance improved...
 
Last edited:

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
OK... this is getting strange. I received my two HP SAS Expanders back from some awesome forum member who flashed them with firmware v2.02.
1. First I tried, in the Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer motherboard, the Adaptec 5805 internal (both) then both converted to external... nothing.
2. Second I tried, in the Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer motherboard, the Areca 1680LP internal and external... nothing
3. Third I tried, in the Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer motherboard, the Adaptec 3085... nothing
4. I then tried four slot iterations for the SAS Expander and two locations for the 5805 and 1680LP... still nothing.
5. I flashed the Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer BIOS three times, tried a bunch of power settings and etc... nothing.

I was thinking that it could be a motherboard issue but for the fact that I was able to run raid cards in every slot no problem, and the Intel Pro/1000 PT Quad has been in 5 of the 7 slots working fine so I went downstairs to the new i5-650 and Gigabyte H55M-UD2H...

1. First I tried, in the Gigabyte H55M-UD2H, the Adaptec 3085... hello expander... no drives.
2. Second I tried, in the Gigabyte H55M-UD2H, the Adaptec 5805 internal (both) then both converted to external... hello expander... no drives.
3. Third I tried, in the Gigabyte H55M-UD2H, the Areca 1680LP internal and external using odditory's Areca settings... HELLO 8x Savvio 15k rpm drives!!!!!!!
Areca-HPSE.JPG


Is that strange or what?

Does anyone have thoughts as to why this may be?
 

novadude

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
1,108
As for the Asus boards compatibility, my money would be on the nf200 or asus programming causing problems with the detection and subsequent power provision to the card.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
@pjkenned: you need to divide and conquer these issues. you're involving too many variables at once in your testing, forget the Adaptecs for now (simply converting them to external doesn't overcome what I think is a firmware difference between the 5805 and 5085). Just try to get the 1680LP + expander working, obviously by disabling SES2 you're a step closer.

And in case you care, populate ports 2C and 3C rather than 5C and 7C as you did, then the drives will show up as PHY#0 through PHY#7. I dunno why the last disk would show up with 0.0GB unless you took the screenshot after having just replugged one of the miniSAS connectors. Unplug and replug that drive. I've never had issues with drives showing up on the expander as the wrong size, BTW.

This shouldn't be so problematic, I blame the motherboards tentatively, I dunno if the manufacturers did something where they just assume an x16 PCIe video card in those slots and the backward compatibility to x8/x4 is subpar. For the record I tested each of your expanders with 32 drives connected and they all showed up, no probs. That was on Supermicro motherboard, which happens to be the only brand I'll use in a server.
 
Last edited:

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
The reason for the odd drive placement is I put the SFF-8087 connectors in a place easy to reach (pulled lots of cables today and knew this would be temporary). The Seagates, Areca, HP SAS Expander, and the Gigabyte H55 are making Raid 5 right now.

Which board were you using? Finding a Supermicro board with at least 4x PCIe slots (I figure PRO/1000 PT Quad, Raid card, + 1 for later) and iPMI is a pain. I'm thinking the X8DTL-iF-O right now since I can't find the X8ST3-F at NewEgg I guess I can always get it from buy.com...

Update: X8ST3-F en route. I don't want to spend time figuring this out.
 
Last edited:

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,813
Well, my 1680i should hopefully be here on Wednesday. I can part with my 1680ix-24 then if it works as planned.
 

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
The reason for the odd drive placement is I put the SFF-8087 connectors in a place easy to reach (pulled lots of cables today and knew this would be temporary). The Seagates, Areca, HP SAS Expander, and the Gigabyte H55 are making Raid 5 right now.

Which board were you using? Finding a Supermicro board with at least 4x PCIe slots (I figure PRO/1000 PT Quad, Raid card, + 1 for later) and iPMI is a pain. I'm thinking the X8DTL-iF-O right now since I can't find the X8ST3-F at NewEgg I guess I can always get it from buy.com...

Update: X8ST3-F en route. I don't want to spend time figuring this out.

Wow, nice board for storage - and needs only commodity DDR3. Expensive though... But Lots of PCI-E slots and has an LSI SAS controller on board plus the ICH10R.

Do let us know how it works for you...
 

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
Folks, I just swapped my v1.0 expander with the v1.52 expander that odditory was very gracious enough to send me. But all is not well with 1.52. After the swap, my adaptec 5085 would not get to the array detection part of it's bootup sequence. It just hung there with the waiting for controller to boot message.

Meanwhile, the drive activity lights on my WD20EADS drives kept going on and off peridocally. All 4 WD drives hung off a breakout cable would light for a second or two, and just keep repeating that pattern while the controller was just sitting there...

My hitachi's and a single segate disk that was plugged in as a single drive weren't blinking though, so I suspect it's an issue with the the GP drives that is causing the problem. Since 1.52 enables syncing at 3 gbps instead of 1.5, I am wondering if it's a problem with the SATA speed negotiation. I'll try and track down some jumpers later and see if I can verify that.

Has anyone had success with the 1.52 version firmware and the WD GP drives?

Thanks,
mike
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
You got 2.02 firmware on that expander, and I think you hit it on the head as far as the 4 WD's having an issue with 3Gbps, at least in your particular configuration. Since your 1.00 expander was limited to 1.5Gbps SATA, this issue didn't reveal itself until the upgraded expander firmware. If nothing else, at least you have control over the issue by jumpering drives which is preferable to having to control the issue through running an older firmware on the expander.

EDIT: And here's your answer. Sure enough Adaptec says you need to jumper a WD20EADS down to 1.5Gbps for proper operation with the 5085.

A bit confusing is the last line on that page: "When connected through an expander and not directly connected to an Adaptec Series 2 or 5 controller, Western Digital 2TB drives are supported at 3Gb/sec speeds." That's obviously B.S and must only apply to older expanders they tested with, that probably max out at 1.5Gbps anyway.
 
Last edited:

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
That article is why I jumper my WD drives on Adaptec controllers. Not worth the risk.

Also, Mike the board is cheaper than the outgoing Asus P6T7 WS Supercomputer so it is all relative. If that LSI controller did work with the HP SAS Expanders though... it would be pretty killer for SW raid/ WHS since you could in theory use that controller for two expanders. I'm sure the throughput would be terrible though, and the onboard controller would have some other issue. Will be interesting.
 

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
You got 2.02 firmware on that expander, and I think you hit it on the head as far as the 4 WD's having an issue with 3Gbps, at least in your particular configuration. Since your 1.00 expander was limited to 1.5Gbps SATA, this issue didn't reveal itself until the upgraded expander firmware. If nothing else, at least you have control over the issue by jumpering drives which is preferable to having to control the issue through running an older firmware on the expander.

EDIT: And here's your answer. Sure enough Adaptec says you need to jumper a WD20EADS down to 1.5Gbps for proper operation with the 5085.

A bit confusing is the last line on that page: "When connected through an expander and not directly connected to an Adaptec Series 2 or 5 controller, Western Digital 2TB drives are supported at 3Gb/sec speeds." That's obviously B.S and must only apply to older expanders they tested with, that probably max out at 1.5Gbps anyway.

I knew about the adaptec warning on the WD drives, but geez, the controller can't even get through a bootup cycle. It hangs the machine and prevents a valid boot from occurring.

I'll add the jumpers to the WD drives tomorrow and report back on if it solves the problem.
 

treadstone

Gawd
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
567
@ odditory:

Not necessarily in regards to the last line in Adaptec's Support Knowledge-base answer.

Each PHY has to negotiate the links capability based on the receiving end. Which means that each link between the controller card and the expander (4 of them) can run at 3.0Gbps and the the links between each HDD and the expander can individually be either 1.5Gbps or 3.0Gbps. In this setup, it is possible that the PHYs that are build into the IOP348 may have issues negotiating the proper link speed/settings at 3.0Gbps with a particular HDD but whatever expander you may use, has no issues with the exact same HDD. That's also the reason why the low port count Adaptec RAID controller cards have issues with a bunch of drives but the higher port count Adaptec RAID controller cards do not since the link negotiation is done on the expander chip! It works similar to an Ethernet switch. Each link will try to negotiate the highest possible speed, but if for any reason the PHY encounters issues during the negotiation, it will fall back at the lowest speed of the link (e.g. a link may try to negotiate 100Mb/s Full duplex, then 100Mb/s half duplex, then 10Mb/s full duplex and if that fails it will setup the link at 10Mb/s half duplex!). So the RAID controllers PHY will just back to 1.5Gbps after it failed to communicate with the receiving end at 3.0Gbps! Since this is the lowest speed and both of them 'should' be able to talk to each other, the HDD should work on the controller at the 1.5GBps link speed.
 

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
Ok, more lack of joy. With bios 17544 (the latest from November), even with the WD drives strapped for 1.5 Gbps, the controller still hangs in "booting the controller kernel" message at system POST. No flashing on the drive activity lights on the WD drives though, so strapping them to 1.5 Gbps did seem to help things. But it looks like some sort of compatibility issue.

odditory, did you test the 2.0 expander firmware with any adaptec controllers? What BIOS were they set to?

EDIT: BTW, if the expander is unplugged, the controller POST's fine. However, if after it posts, I connect the expander to the controller, it detects no drives. At least in BIOS mode. I haven't had the courage to bring it up in multiuser mode and then try the hot plug of the controller.


Thx
mike
 

alamone

Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Messages
589
As captain of the Adaptec hate club, I'd say just chuck the Adaptec and replace it with an Areca or even a Highpoint and you'll probably get more joy. My Adaptec would kernel panic if I tried to connect my Chenbro SAS expander to it when I had it.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
lol. You're not alone alamone, Adaptec 52445 connected to HP expander on SFF-8088 port also kernel panics and never gets past the BIOS, can never even get to CTRL-A menu, it just reboots motherboard eventually. The fact there are so many issues with Adaptec cards and expanders leads me to believe Adaptec's testing has been very limited.

The 52445 was a great card when matched up with drives that didn't have a problem with its onboard expander, I used 24 x Hitachi 1Tb's for about 18 months with it and no issues . However it's time to move on and the 52445 is going bye since Adaptec's firmware fixes to address expanders aren't forthcoming.
 
Last edited:

mikesm

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
178
As captain of the Adaptec hate club, I'd say just chuck the Adaptec and replace it with an Areca or even a Highpoint and you'll probably get more joy. My Adaptec would kernel panic if I tried to connect my Chenbro SAS expander to it when I had it.

Interesting. Odd that 1.0 firmware works with it fine.

Odditory, do you have release notes for the expander firmware revs? It might be helpful in working this with adaptec support.
 

odditory

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
6,482
Not really that odd since firmware 1.0 was at 1.5Gbps/3.0Gbps for SATA/SAS speeds respectively, and 1.52 brought 3.0Gbps/6.0Gbps for SATA/SAS. Maybe the expander wants to handshake with the adaptec at 3Gbps but the Adaptec only wants to handshake at 1.5Gbps. I maintain that its Adaptec that needs to bring their firmware up to snuff since other brands are working fine, such as Areca SAS cards and even non-RAID HBA's.

I'll do some more testing and see what if any differences in behavior there are between my Adaptec 52445 with HP expander on firmware 1.00, 1.52 and 2.00. If I find out that only HP expander firmware 1.00 works with Adaptec, it's still kind of unacceptable but worth documenting just so people know. Mike it may end up that you have to hold on to your 1.00 expander until the day comes that Adaptec fixes their firmware.

Firmware change log from HP:

Version: 2.02 (9 Dec 2009)
Enhancements/New Features:
- Added support for a new hardware revision of the HP SAS Expander Card. This update is not required, but is recommended by HP in order to be at the latest shipping revision.

Version: 1.52 (B) (22 Oct 2009)
Enhancements/New Features:
- Updated the component installer. If you have previously updated to version 1.52, another update is not needed.
- Support for 6Gb SAS / 3Gb SATA HDD.
- Added support for HP ProLiant DL 580 G5 and HP ProLiant DL 785 G5 Servers. Support is limited to 3Gb SAS / 1.5Gb SATA HDD.

Version: 1.52 (7 Aug 2009)
Enhancements/New Features:
- Support for 6GB SAS / 3GB SATA HDD.
- Added support for HP ProLiant DL 580 G5 & HP ProLiant DL 785 G5 Servers. Support is limited to 3GB SAS / 1.5GB SATA HDD.
 
Last edited:

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
10,462
Anyone using .5 meter cables in a norco with this card?
Im trying to figure out if .5 meter will be long enough
 

Bookmage

Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
671
I have absolutely no knowledge of this, but is it possible to use one of these industiral backplanes to power the HP SAS expander? or something similar?
http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/spe-4s-r10-p-9315.html

And much thanks to everyone here for testing and collecting all this data...I've been looking at specing out my next storage server and I was looking for something better than cramming a bunch of 8port dumb sata controllers in a case...
And the max on this HP SAS expander is 32 drives right? so just 8 drives short of 2 norco cases?
oh the possibilities...

Oh one more thing I just thought of and didn't see it mentioned.
Can you daisy chain a couple SAS expanders?
Ie, Controller card connected internally to port 9 on SAS expander connected to SAS expander via external port? This would give 7+8 ports between the two cards or 60 drives?
Just wondering...
 
Last edited:

myrison

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
116
I think I recall odditory posting that they (the HP SAS expanders) can be daisy chained, though I believe it is somewhat controller dependent. At one point he mentioned his plans to update the first post with daisy chaining results so I think it's possible, but not in all cases.
 

pjkenned

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
1,971
I have absolutely no knowledge of this, but is it possible to use one of these industiral backplanes to power the HP SAS expander? or something similar?
http://www.orbitmicro.com/global/spe-4s-r10-p-9315.html

Going to sound stupid, but that is $50 + shipping + tax in some states. You can get a cheap board for <$50. For example, I bought some mATX MSI AMD chipset board + a Sempron 140E (or something like that it is still in box) for <$50 two weeks ago at Fry's. The CPU sells for $37 on NewEgg so if I were to sell that it would be a super cheap option. The motherboard installs and powers up the PCIe SAS Expander no problem with no CPU and no memory, and the only thing you are using the board for is 11-14w of power to the expander in a board/ slot capable of powering several times that. I'm pretty sure this is going to power 4U #2 in my setup.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
48
Hi there guys- My name is Dustin and I have been one of the sources for the green board SAS expander cards out there. Our gear has come direct from HP, and I encourage you to direct any questions you might have to this thread, or to me directly if needed. I will do my best to be a vocal and active member, and not spam the boards with for sale or advertising threads. Simply PM me or IM me if you like.

Thanks!
 

Bookmage

Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
671
ooo sweet... does that mean the green cards u source will have the latest firmware? to save us lazier folk from having to flash? :-D
 
Top