Solved SAS-12 Gb/s controller card for FreeBSD?

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

I've traded my 1TB SATA/SSD for 1.2 TB SAS/Seagate-ST 1200MM088 2.5" HD with a person from craigslist. Now, I have:

I'm trying to get this SAS-12 Gb/s controller card for it:

Edit:
Or maybe this one? It shows as FreeBSD-12.0 compatible.

So, I wonder if the SAS controllers would work in FreeBSD without issues. Any suggestions or hints?
 
OP
OP
toorski

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

Apparently yes
I checked the hardware notes before I started looking at the 12Gb/s SAS controllers. I'm still looking, but now only for the lowest sale price :)

This helps, somewhat:
 
OP
OP
toorski

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

Most LSI/Avago/Broadcom (it changed owner a couple of times) cards should work fine.
I can see that there are many SAS controller driver options for FreeBSD, and even more controller choices on Ebay. The cheapest seem to be (used) pull-outs from various, so called, enterprise servers - most are 6Gb/s. I'm trying to find some kind of 12Gbs/SAS card that will work - HBA or RAID, for $50 or less.

I just wonder if the SAS-12Gb/s HD is a hype or a REAL r/w speed or/and performance improvement over 6Gb/s SATA/SSD. At the end, it won't matter. I just want to play with SAS HD in FreeBSD
 

rigoletto@

Daemon
Developer

Reaction score: 1,035
Messages: 2,091

Just for the sake of the information, if you are going to use ZFS this is not recommended to use a RAID card but a just an HBA.
 
OP
OP
toorski

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

Just for the sake of the information, if you are going to use ZFS this is not recommended to use a RAID card but a just an HBA.
Yes, HBA will be. I almost forgot about beloved ZFS;)

Another, maybe a good, thing. I can disable SATA interface in BIOS on my X79 model PC/EnterPrice server with Intel C600 chips :)

So, I will look for SATA/SAS combo controller. This may prevent SAS controller's BIOS interfering with my motherboard's SATA in BIOS.

Edit:
And later, I'll be looking for an EnterPrice 12Gb/s SSD.
Can't live with just FreeBSD updates and upgrades - heh
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,504
Messages: 4,347

I'm still looking, but now only for the lowest sale price
This is a mistake I learned personally.
Ebay is full of idiots who don't know what they are selling.
Although all cards look visually the same the firmware is the clencher.
For example the Intel card you quoted above is an LSI card, BUT
It uses Intel's VID and PID. So FreeBSD will not recognise it.
Same with shopping for the cheapest. Lots of Dell cards that are LSI but they use a different VID and PID.
So for 50 bucks you are not going to find a genuine 12G LSI card but a clone.
Fortunately you can flash an LSI firmware to the card but it takes alot of practice to get it right.
The earlier 6G LSI cards like the SAS92xx series were quite simple to crossflash.
The IBM M1015 card for example was very easy to crossflash to LSI IT mode.
These new 12G cards use EFI blobs and it is much harder.
I have a stack of them to prove it.

So, I will look for SATA/SAS combo controller.
All the recent LSI cards take either SAS or SATA. It is IT mode that you desire for software raid.
Also avoid MegaRAID cards at all cost. They are hardware RAID.

And later, I'll be looking for an EnterPrice 12Gb/s SSD.
Save your money and get an NVMe drive. They are quicker and cheaper.
In fact I would advise to skip 12G SSD's altogether. Go straight to NVMe.
Either Intel or Samsung enterprise drives.
You just need PCIe 3.0 lanes to accommodate them.
The M.2 NVMe cards run hot due to tiny size and thermally throttle.
I advise you look at NVMe U.2 drives in the 2.5" Form Factor.
Here is an easy host card for U.2 drives:
For max throughput you need PCIe 3.0 with x4 lanes.
 

mark_j

Active Member

Reaction score: 41
Messages: 111

This is a mistake I learned personally.
Ebay is full of idiots who don't know what they are selling.
Although all cards look visually the same the firmware is the clencher.
For example the Intel card you quoted above is an LSI card, BUT
It uses Intel's VID and PID. So FreeBSD will not recognise it.
Same with shopping for the cheapest. Lots of Dell cards that are LSI but they use a different VID and PID.
So for 50 bucks you are not going to find a genuine 12G LSI card but a clone.
Fortunately you can flash an LSI firmware to the card but it takes alot of practice to get it right.
The earlier 6G LSI cards like the SAS92xx series were quite simple to crossflash.
The IBM M1015 card for example was very easy to crossflash to LSI IT mode.
These new 12G cards use EFI blobs and it is much harder.
I have a stack of them to prove it.
I concur. I think the only safe ones to get are HP StoreOnce cards. You're looking at least double in price, though.
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,504
Messages: 4,347

I just wonder if the SAS-12Gb/s HD is a hype or a REAL r/w speed or/and performance improvement over 6Gb/s SATA/SSD. At the end, it won't matter. I just want to play with SAS HD in FreeBSD
Not quite hype, but for a spinning drive that gets 200MB/sec there is no need for SAS3/12G.
If this is your first SAS experience I suggest you get the IBM card I mentioned, the M1015 for $25 bucks.
You could hook up 8 SAS2/SAS3 drives or SATA3 drives to it.
8 SATA3 SSD's will max out the PCIe 2.0 bus at x8 so be advised of that issue with these older cards.
You will want to flash it with the LSI IT firmware. If that is a hassle for you look for the LSI SAS9211-8i.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/274063856556

Here is the SAS2 cable for SAS92xx
https://www.ebay.com/itm/254241691691

Here is a SATA cable for the SAS92xx series
https://www.ebay.com/itm/293195419970

You can use both of these cables at the same time. 4 SAS drives and 4 SATA drives.
 
OP
OP
toorski

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

Not quite hype, but for a spinning drive that gets 200MB/sec there is no need for SAS3/12G.
Hype or not, I won't know until I try it.
But, if you have or did some real world benchmarks of a similar HD, post few lines here.
I got all the right cables already. I also have my Puget Sound Associates (high-tech dumpster divers and tweekers) looking for all and any EnterPrice SAS controllers or anything that looks like one - I'll do (almost) anything to avoid Ebay or Amazon, if I can :)
 

Attachments

VladiBG

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 255
Messages: 628

Are you going to use SSD disks on that controller? If not why you need 12Gb/s controller? Or maybe you have a backplane with with 32 HDD?
 
OP
OP
toorski

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

The final outcome:
After little bit of time and with help from my Puget Sound Associates (hitek dumpster divers and modderhackers), I was able to dig out 2 good Dell-PERC H310 SAS controller cards from the pile of trash that we could flash. Now, I have 2 good SAS controllers and my EnterPrice SAS HD running like a good'n old BMW, with its hot engine raving at 10K RPMS doing 200++KM/h in the fast (left) lane on authobahn - blinking high beams, left flasher on and shooting laser sign "MTFO to the right or die" :)
7127


Edit:
Sorry for the picspam.
I don't know why am I having issues with deleting the img and just leaving Thumbnail :( Is it the otter-browser or the forum's engine :confused:. Each time, when I tried to delete just the img, the Thumbnail was also gone :mad:
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,504
Messages: 4,347

Very wise to go the SAS2 route. SAS3 to me has been a money pit.
I went first for the LSI TriMode cards which should do NVMe as well as SAS3 and SATA3.
All I can say is run away from SAS3 OEM cards. Nothing but headaches.
Never got a single NVMe running on any of the TriMode SAS94xx cards.
OEM/Non-LSI SAS3 cards have been a wash for me.
Some background here:
 
OP
OP
toorski

toorski

Active Member

Reaction score: 47
Messages: 153

I don't know why I was insisting on 12Gb/s SAS3 controller card. Most of my gear that I play with is vintage. But, if I found one for free, I'd try it anyway with FreeBSD :)
The SAS controller cards were free and so was this Dell-T3500 box, as you see, all from trash. The Dell box didn't have any RAM or storage devices. Somehow, I was able to mix&match my extra vintage RAM stick to make all work, as shown. Now, I have 2xDell-T3500 and one T5500 boxes, just in case, and to experiment with.
 

arcadian

New Member


Messages: 11

The Dell LSI cards are well established solution and let you install SAS hard drives which can be found on Ebay relatively cheaply -Like for 3TB and 4TB drives on Ebay the price for a SAS drive is about $10 less, and If you're using RAID 5 setups with 3-4 HDs that adds up. But I wouldn't recommend it for SSDs at all.
 

Phishfry

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,504
Messages: 4,347

Here is a discussion about the Lenovo OEM versions of LSI SAS3 controllers. I am attempting to try to flash one tonight.
 
Top