HP SAS Expander Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by odditory, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes, that should work. Just make sure that you have a safe place to properly mount the card, and that the cables are well secured. Any movement of either the power or data cables can create issues, and cause early failure. Also make sure that you have very good airflow to the card.

    proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FvWAebf3l.jpg
    Here is a pic of a similarly mounted card, outside the case.
     
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  2. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    Excellent! Ordered one just now.

    I think that the card can be safely & securely mounted below the motherboard in an available slot in my case (10 available, so 3 empty below mb). If not, I should be able to find a good place for it in this case (thermaltake core wp200).

    Many thanks!
     
  3. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    Hello All,

    It seems my successful preliminary evaluation of the combo Avago/LSI 9201-8i and HP Expander card was short-lived.

    After some time, upon restart of the system, I would randomly lose drives. This progressed until only 1 or 2 drives show up on reboot to OS. The strange thing is that I can see all drives perfectly when in the 9201's bios while it is refreshing every 10 or 20 seconds or so.

    I have acquired a second HP Expander card, primarily for a backup, with the intention of also aquiring another LSI 2008 chipset HBA for backup (this second step is not completed yet). No matter what configuration of cables (I have spares of both breakout and 8087-to-8087) and expander cards, even when booting into different Linux distros, only 1 or 2 or at very sporadic times 3 drives are seen out of 8 total. When in controller card's bios, all drives are online at all times.

    I was told that these expander cards can be temperamental if running too hot, so I made sure that was not happening; the heat sink on the card is warm when running but not hot to the touch. The rest of the card is actually rather cool to the touch.

    Next step is installing the cards into another complete system.

    In the meantime, has anyone had this type of problem with a combination of LSI 9201-8i and HP Expander card model # HSTNM-B017 firmware version 2.01?

    Cheers!
     
  4. WestSidaz

    WestSidaz Limp Gawd

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    Have you checked from avagos bios settings that it shows hdds to OS aswell? in there, atleast in my avago bios settings there is option for bios only, os only i think and both..
     
  5. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    I've always disabled the bios, because I don't boot from any disk connected to the 9201, and no need for bios to be loaded in memory. If I don't have the HP Expander card connected, just drives directly to 9201, OS sees all drives perfectly. I don't change settings when connecting the expander.
     
  6. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    Well, I think I figured the HP Expander card issue out.

    Set device timeout options in LSI SAS9201-8i higher than default, and all drive offline issues went away! Now to start turning each one back down one at a time, to see which one(s) actually affect the disks.

    For now, seems to be running quite smoothly, even on multiple reboots. Tried different OS's also, with same good results.

    Thanks all, and have a great day!
     
  7. defjam3

    defjam3 n00b

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    G'Day all. Huge thread, and can't find an answer to this already, so hoping for some clarity. I have a lsi 9280-16i4e card, and looking at the HPE DL38X Gen10 12Gb SAS Expander 870549-B21 to attach to the backplane of a storage server. Based on the experiences of this forum, will that work? The cables in the kit I assume are just normal 8087 cables but cut to the right length for a Gen10 server, but are otherwise just good quality? Any help or suggestions are appreciated.
     
  8. runt

    runt 2[H]4U

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    Not sure if it's posted, but Firmware 2.10(C) is out.

    I actually just ordered one for my unRAID box and thankfully I have a P410 to use to flash it.
     
  9. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    Don't really need the P410 to flash the card, but it's helpful. Rather convoluted to do it in Linux, but works very well. Just have to be careful and follow directions precisely.

    Thanks for the heads up about new version!
     
  10. runt

    runt 2[H]4U

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    My other option is to try to flash it with a Dell PERC H310 converted to an IT Mode LSI-9211-8i. I think the P410 will work better.
     
  11. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    Same, I just use the LSI SAS9201-8i (IT mode). Probably easier to run the installer with P410. Cheers!
     
  12. Allan74

    Allan74 n00b

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    First off, hello to all. This post has a ton of info and has been an interesting read waiting for my account to become active.

    I have a quick and dirty 'What would you do?'

    I will be ordering an Expander today and have found myself with a question that many have already asked, but perhaps not in the exact situation.
    Along with the Expander, I will be ordering EITHER a P410 or a P212, as I would rather be prepared than not if I need a firmware update.

    As a bit of background, I am currently running a pair of LSi 9261-8i cards currently, RAID5 SATA & SAS Constellation arrays (separate), Windows Box, extremely low traffic (Home Plex Server).

    My choices to reconfigure:
    1) 9261-8i twin internal 8087's to the Expander.
    2) P410 512MB twin internal 8087's to Expander.
    3) P212 512MB single external 8088 to Expander.

    Results will be RAID5 still, 1x SATA array and 1x SAS array.

    Here is the 'What would you do'....?

    thanks in advance.
    Allan
     
  13. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Are these still a decent card to add to a NAS in 2019?

    They have become incredibly cheap on ebay. This seller is selling lots of 2 cards for $18.95, "buy it now"...

    I am considering picking one up because I currently have two LSI controllers in my server for my 12x 7200rpm 10TB Seagate Enterprise drives, and I could really use to free up the PCIe slot one of the drives occupy.

    IN my current setup all the drives are connected at 6Gb/s. Looks like adding this controller would drop them all down to 3Gb/s. I'm not sure this is relevant though, as the max sustained speed of my spinners is ~255MB/s and 3Gb/s is equivalent to 384MB/s. They do have 256MB of cache though, so cache access would probably be slower than with the native 6Gb/s connection, but I wonder if that is relevant at all.

    Any thoughts?
     
  14. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    Depending on your NAS configuration, the speed could affect thoughput. If you're running something like unRaid or other software-based NAS system, then the speed isn't an issue, especially if you also have somewhat decent SSD cache drive(s) available. For most DIY NAS users, these cards are definitely worth using to get a large number of SATA ports in JBOD configuration. I've noticed a lot of current NAS builders using these cards on forums like unRaid, ServeTheHome, and Reddit server threads. I have two each of LSI 92xx and HP expander cards, one each in the server and the others for spares. Purchased the expanders from Amazon seller for I think $15 each, flashed hba's and expander's firmware to latest versions.

    Cheers!
     
  15. runt

    runt 2[H]4U

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    I have one waiting to drop into my unRAID box, once I get a new case that is. However, I will be dual linking it to my cross flashed Dell Perc H310 (LSI 9211-8i)
     
  16. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The expanders are great even connected to the old lsi 2008 controller cards, artofserver on ebay did a good bit of testing on the ibm sas2 expanders that are 6gb/s and only like $25-30 on ebay and was getting solid numbers with zfs raidz2 8 disk and 16 disk testing:
     
  17. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Make sure that you update the firmware to the latest or you may find SATA speeds locked down to SATA150 regardless of the upstream bandwidth. A lot of the eBay cards coming out of China are still shipping with 1.x versions.
     
  18. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 [H]ard|Gawd

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    On that note he provides instructions on updating the IBM ones to the latest version:
     
  19. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    So, to be clear. Firmware cannot be updated without a HP branded raid card?

    Is there a way to read the existing firmware revision without an HP branded raid card to see if it needs updating?
     
  20. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Actually, in the grand scheme of things, maybe that doesn't matter when one can pick up a p410 for flashing purposes on eBay for $5...
     
  21. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh god this thread, almost a decade old, where does time go?

    I wouldn't recommend this old HP expander anymore, get a SAS2 based LSI expander for cheap
     
  22. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    I flashed both of my cards to latest 2.10 firmware while connected to LSI SAS9211-8i using Linux booted from USB stick. Not that difficult if you follow instructions carefully. At command prompt, type in "lsscsi -g | grep HP" (without quotes) to get firmware version.
     
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  23. runt

    runt 2[H]4U

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    I picked one up because my mismatched drives don't give great performance anyway. Plus with the way unRAID works I am fine with it.
     
  24. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Are you aware of any affordable SAS2 expanders with more than 4 output ports when used in dual input mode?
    One of the reasons this expander has been so popular is because of the number of ports.
     
  25. tomkunz

    tomkunz n00b

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    Just looking for some advice here from those in the know...
    Today I put together a LSI 9207-8e connected to a old HP SAS Expander (green board) with a couple of SATA disks attached. I just recently got the idea to build a cheap jbod and got several cards from ebay. Firmware on the LSI was 7.39.02 (IT mode) from August 2015, and firmware on the HP SAS exp is at 2.10. I updated both of those from previous versions of firmware that they had shipped with.
    The LSI 9207 was able to see that the expander was attached, but it could see none of the disks attached to the expander. I tried changing the settings on the 9207 from "bios and OS" to "disabled" to "just OS", but nothing worked.
    When Linux boots, it can see the 9207, and the SAS expander shows up as /dev/sg0, but it also does not see any disks attached.
    I thought maybe this was a problem with the 9207 or the SAS expander. I swapped out both, no change.
    So my conclusion is that neither HP SAS Expander is working right. Both can be seen by the controllers, I updated both with new firmware. I would think that the probability of them both being bad in the same way and both behaving badly simultaneously, right out of the box, is a bit low.
    Has anyone else seen this problem with their cards?
    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  26. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Are the drives SAS or SATA? Can you see the drives if they are directly connected to the SAS controller?
     
  27. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 [H]ard|Gawd

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    LSI 9207-8e has external ports based off the model number, are you routing it to the SAS expander internally?
    (the external ports on the expander are generally outbound only, not inbound)

    If you have specific models/routes/setup of the cards and expander that would be ideal (and maybe a picture or two if possible).

    Have you tried hooking the SAS cable from the LSI controller to the disks directly to see if they show up?
     
  28. tomkunz

    tomkunz n00b

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    I have not done that yet, but I just purchased a $22 card on ebay to allow me to do so, to convert the incoming SFF-8088 to 8087.
    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  29. tomkunz

    tomkunz n00b

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    In this case, I have a mix of SAS and SATA, however the card did not see any of them one at a time, either. In fact, one is an old SATA-1 (toshiba 80g laptop drive) and the others are SATA-2 and SAS.
    I have not connected them directly to the 9207-8e yet, but I bought the adapter off ebay to do so. When that arrives, I will post my results here. I also have an email into the supplier of the HP expander to see if he has any suggestions.
    Thanks!
    Tom
     
  30. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well, try them directly to the card to remove one point of failure. Make sure your have the right cables (Forward vs Reverse breakout for example). You have a 9207-8e which has external connectors, how are you linking it to the expander, and do you have the necessary cables to connect the SAS or SATA drives to the card without the expander?
     
  31. tomkunz

    tomkunz n00b

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    I am connecting the 9207-8e with SFF-8088 to SFF-8088 cable to Port 1 of the SAS expander.
    To eliminate the SAS Expander from the mix, I will substitute in one of these 8088-to-8087 cards:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Ports-Min...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
    and connect the usual 8087 to SATA cables that I was using on the sas expander originally:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Molex-Mini...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
     
  32. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think thats your issue, pretty sure the expander inputs are two of the 8087 ports internally, the external port is outbound.

    So the 8088 to 8087 adapter then connecting that to the internal ports should get you working.
     
  33. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Do yourself a huge favor. Buy a 9207-8i and do everything internally, which will cost you about the same as the kluge of the external to external board and the money you will get for selling your 8e. Dual link that to the expander and go from there.
     
  34. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I just got one. I was hoping to free up a PCIe slot on an old server I use for backups where performance isn't terribly important.

    UNfortunately I got stuck with the 1.5gb/s problem.

    I was willing to live with 3gb/s but 1.5 is a bit too slow. Might not slow down 5400rpm drives very much, but I think there will be some impact, and anything that lengthens my resilver times is something I don't want :p

    Oh well, was worth a try. At least I only spent $12 on it :p It will go into the parts bin. Maybe I'll find a use for it some day :p
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  35. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Zara-
    Just update your firmware to at least 2.10 (2.10C is the latest) and your SATA will negotiate at 3.0.
     
  36. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I just updated it to 2.10, no dice. It is still at 1.5 with my WD Red 4TB drives in my Norco backplane.

    Straight to HBA they negotiate 6Gb/s

    I'll try 2.10C and see if that makes a difference. Thanks
     
  37. ClintE

    ClintE Limp Gawd

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    So it's your backplane that's the issue? I have these old SuperMicro CSE-M35T-1B 5-in-3 drive cages, and the drives in them negotiate 3Gb/s with LSI 9201-8i & HP Expander. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried them on the "new" build; I've had the cages for about 10 years.
     
  38. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Nothing's impossible, but if I hook up the SAS HBA straight to the backplane, the drives negotiate at 6gb/s.

    Could be the expnader is just finnicky.
     
  39. runt

    runt 2[H]4U

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    I know that my expander liked to drop random drives, so I stopped using it.
     
  40. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, I think I'm just going to wind up using a second 9211-8i, instead of the expander.