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Re: Supermicro SAS controller

On Thu, 03 May 2012 13:48:33 +0000, Ramon Hofer wrote:

> On Wed, 02 May 2012 17:49:53 +0000, Camaleón wrote:

(removing some stuff)

>> Just let me add a note of warning here: whatever SAS/SATA card you
>> finally choose, ensure that has support for big hard disks (>2-3TiB)
>> just in case, because this information is not usually displayed on the
>> specs.
> Thanks for the warning. I will carefully check about the LSI 9240-4i and
> the Intel 6Gb SAS expander.
> I was just googling for the LSI SAS 9240-4i. It seems as it uses the
> same chipset as the Intel expansion card (see post #5 in [1]).
> They should be supported by the hwraid packages [2].
> [1] http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1037845618 
> [2] http://hwraid.le-vert.net/wiki/DebianPackages
> So I think this looks promising for the controller and expansion cards?

The first time I had to buy a hardware raid controller I looked into 
these two links which helped me a lot to "separate the sheep from the 


(note that despite being scsi/sas/sata adapter controllers they all can 
share the same set of drivers)

Altough the first link is not very up-to-date, it's still very helpful 
when it comes to distinguish between the drivers/chipsets of the 

To keep yourself at the "safe-side", I would recommend sticking to the 
set of drivers listed at the beginning of the page, that is:

Hardware RAID cards have drivers outside these two collections (e.g., 3w-
xxxx, 3w-9xxx, aacraid, cciss, dac960, dpt_i2o, gdth, ips, megaraid, 
megaraid2, megaraid_mbox aka megaraid-newgen, mpt*).

These drivers are usually open source and so can be included in the 
kernel so you don't even need to install nothing to get the card and the 
array levels detected at install time.

In brief, yes, that card seems one of those you can consider to be "safe" 
enough to don't have many problems :-P

>> Mmm, yes. I can't tell for that specific model but LSI is a good
>> manufacturer for HBA solutions and also linux-friendly, at least that's
>> what I've heard :-)
> Yes, I hope I won't have any problems with them. Especially because they
> too promise SuSE and Red Hat support but only have a Debian 5 driver on
> their homepage.
> But since the hwraid page shows good support for MegaRAID cards I'm
> optimistic :-)

At this point, let me share my own experience with hardware RAID cards 
because "not all that glitters is gold" :-)

This is an own-made list I did of things one should take into account for 
hardware RAID cards:

1/ The driver is included in the kernel (you will avoid many problems)

2/ The card's manufacturer provides a set of CLI tools (also GUI/web 
based) to control all of the aspects of the RAID volume (from array 
volume expansion/current array status... up to firmware update, if 

3/ The manufacturer is enough linux-friendly so that in the event of a 
problem you can contact them with no regrets :-)

>> Mmm, yes, there's something strange there. Ah, I think I got it :-)
>>> $ sudo lspci | grep Marvel
>>> 01:00.0 RAID bus controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
>>> MV64460/64461/64462 System Controller, Revision B (rev 01)
>> This can be the motherboard SATA 2 controller.
>>> 02:00.0 RAID bus controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
>>> MV64460/64461/64462 System Controller, Revision B (rev 01)
>> This can be the SAS add-on card.
> I think they probably are the two SAS cards

I also thought so, but it cannot be that way :-)

(note the add-on card is SATA 2 -and thus 3 Gbps- while one of the 
embedded ports is rated at 6 Gbps and there's only one port listed that 
features the 6 Gbps speed)

>> Does this make more sense? Yes, exact numbers do not match but this can
>> be due to a simple identification problem ("update-pciids" could solve
>> this).
> I did update-pciids but the numbers didn't change. But anyhow they are
> the same as on the debian wiki pci database. Or what numbers don't
> match?

I wouldn't bother about that. Maybe is just the chipsets are still not 
listed at the upstream PCI ID database.



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