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  1. I'm wanting to get an LTO drive to allow me to offload large amounts of Video file at a time for archival purposes and free up some space on my HDDs which. I seem to be coming across conflicting information in my research and wondered if anyone had any experience or insight into how the SAS protocol works and how it could be used for my purposes. Ideally I would like to get an LTO5 Drive and internally mount it to a Case with a 5.25" bay (I have an old Antec case which should do fine for this). The drive seems to have an SFF 8484 connector (which I believe is a backplane connector for when the drive is installed in a server/autoloader). I am struggling to find a suitable HBA to connect it to, I had found an LSI 6Gbps SAS HBA 9200-8i that looks to have a pair of SFF 8087 connectors and thought that an adapter from 8484 - 8087 would allow the drive to be detected and functional, but the sellers I have asked seem not to be sure. One also mentioned that they doubted that the HBA would be detected by the PC's Bios...but gave no reason as to why...is there something I'm missing here? I know that using (particularly older) LTO drives isn't exactly easy in Windows, but I do have access to an older Mac Pro if that makes more sense or of course am happy to run Linux on the final build of the LTO backup PC. Likewise I have found out that there needs to be sufficient air flow to keep the LTO Drive iself and possibly the HBA cool enough to operate. Any help would be amazing! Thanks
  2. I have had unraid for just under a year now and finally getting my sh@% together and using it for more then Plex. Like a book server, personal wiki and a game server for games like Minecraft to start. I want to add 8 more drives and have used all the sata ports on my board. Now reading a lot about HBA and what I will need. I would like general feedback and also brand and model advice. Now my math was on the idea to not bottle neck all 8 drives at the same time. This seems like overkill because I can't think of a time when more than two drives would be needed but if you have insight into this please let me know. Rounding up about 5GB/s minimum will be needed for all drives at the same time. So here is what I found that I would need to cover this at the lowest cost. Using a SAS to SATA cable splitter to connect the 8 sata drives. This has me looking for HBA cards that fit this bill. 1) HBA card SAS-3 PCIE v3 6Lane 2) HBA card SAS-4 PCIE v4 3Lane HBA vs Raid Im using Unraid so an HBA should do the job just fine. But is there a feature of a Raid card that I could benefit from? Also there are internal 10 port SATA PCIE cards on amazon but I question the quality.
  3. Hello, I'm just wondering who else on the forums owns one of these servers and has issues with noise due to the server kicking fan speeds up enormously when non-HP PCI devices are plugged in. What cards have you found that don't cause this symptom? I have been having trouble with an LSI HBA I purchased, and the original P420 RAID controller. The P420 doesn't spin the fans up due to not being properly recognized, but because it runs so hot. I did some reading and it sounds like running hot is pretty typical for that controller, though. Thanks for any help!
  4. Hi, I want to build a NAS box on a mini-itx platform, but the boards available for current APUs only have a single x16 slot (please let me know if any am4 or lga1151 itx board has this feature). I am looking at the ASRock AB350 motherboard and the A12-9800 for 4 cores and UHD output (I want the fileserver to also be the HTPC in living room). In my reading, I'd rather not use onboard SATA (can't find a board with 8 ports anyway). I want to install a LSI100301 (8-port mini-sas 8087) and use the forwrard mini-sas to sata (4 way) connectors to reach eight 3TB WD Reds. This frees me up to put 2 ssd's on the mainboard SATA for ZIL and L2ARC or to install another operating system besides Free NAS. WIll the LSI HBA work in a x16 slot meant for a GPU??? I want a four-core desktop cpu for plex transcoding, logging, and regular scrubbing, and security (my family will be putting medical records and some business backups on this). Thanks!!
  5. I have a Norco RPC-4224 and need a way to connect all 24 possible drives with the 6 SAS 8087 connectors but not use more than 8 PCIE lanes. I'm using 4TB drives with it.
  6. Hi, I'm trying to build a NAS. At the moment I have a test machine up and running. Specs: It's FreeNAS-9.2.1.8-RELEASE-x64 (e625626) (on a thumbdrive) Mainboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LX Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 CPU @ 3.10GHz Ram: 4x 2GB DDR3 Dual Disks:; 2x 2TB Seagate Baracuda (ZFS Striped) At the moment the read/write speeds of the drives is about 40MB/s. So I was looking at speeding up the system, maybe with a raid controller. But I juust found out that ZFS doesn't work with Raid controllers. So now the question is which is better/faster/safer. A system with a Hardware Raid controller, or a system with ZFS??
  7. My HBA that I use in my unRaid server died. I need a replacement HBA that will fit my norco 4220 4u case. It uses internal sff-8087 connectors to the 5 backplanes. I need direct access to the HDD's. What is the best hba card I should get.
  8. I love watching LTT videos but with the recent influx of NAS/Storage videos I often have to behave like an old man yelling at the TV because I see silly mistakes. Building your own NAS? Here are some basic rules of thumb: 1) Filesystem has to be ZFS 2) No hardware RAID cards 3) You can never have too much RAM (aim for 1GB RAM per TB of usable storage) 4) FILESYSTEM HAS TO BE ZFS If you stick to those few rules, you will have a great time, but this excludes unRaid which LTT likes to use for dedicated NAS builds. unRaid uses an inferior filesystem and has strange limitations while costing money in some situations. This is nuts, as there is a superior free alternative that is just as easy to use, FreeNAS. Personally I have a FreeNAS at home but I use FreeBSD professionally to run all our NAS solutions both in Europe and in Asia. New to FreeNAS? There are many blog posts, guides and videos on the subject but I always recommend checking out the excellent official documentation: http://doc.freenas.org/9.3/freenas.html (current version) And I'm sure there are a lot of people here that are more than willing to aid you in case you need help finding hardware.
  9. Flashing an LSI 9211-8i to IT Mode (might also be useful for flashing other LSI RAID cards) (newbie edition) "It can't be that difficult.", I thought to myself before starting this adventure. "Tons of people have done it, there are quite a few tutorials on it, this should be feasible." Yeah, right... Seriously though, it's not actually that tricky, it's just that the info I needed to get it done required quite a bit searching and trial-and-error. Note: I put this in the storage subforum instead of the tutorials because it's fairly specific and the people who might find this useful are more likely to be lurking around here I'd estimate. Disclaimer Flashing your cards can break them if things go wrong. This post is merely a documentation on my way to success, and I provide this info in the hopes it might be useful to somebody. However, I take no responsibility for anyone else's misfortunes. Proceed at your own peril. Anyway... FreeNAS Users @wpirobotbuilder has discovered that FreeNAS already seems to have the sas2flash utility built in, check this post for more info. Windows Users See this post from @Danny91 for a small tip about drive spin up and down. The Objective I plan on using this card in a server running ZFS as its main data file system. Since this isn't a ZFS tutorial I won't go into the details, but basically ZFS prefers direct access to your disks without a controller doing any "smart" things in between (like, for example, running a RAID setup). Often, RAID cards will be delivered running in IR mode (Integrated RAID firmware), and we would like to change that to IT mode (Initiator target mode), so that the controller just acts as a host bus adapter without trying to do anything smart. This can also be desirable if you're not running ZFS, for example if you'd like to use software RAID. In order to change from IR to IT mode, we need to flash a different firmware onto the card. What I Used - motherboard: Asus P8Z68 (yes, the M/B matters) - a 4 GB USB flash drive - the file 9211-8i_Package_P17_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows from LSI's product site's "SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS" section on the 9211-8i. - the file Installer_P17_for_UEFI from LSI's product site's "SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS" section on the 9211-8i - a precompiled UEFI shell (see below for details) Sources I primarily followed the instructions from Bryan Vyhmeister's excellent blog post on this topic, but I needed to do quite a bit of additional research on getting the UEFI shell to work, which is why I'm creating this tutorial (not that I fault him for that, his tutorial is not supposed to be an UEFI shell primer, after all. If it hadn't been for his post it would have probably taken me many more hours than it did). There's quite a bit more info I plowed through on my way to the objective, but none of it was really pertinent to getting the job done. Also, for some of the UEFI shell files, I used the Arch Linux Wiki. Shall We Proceed? Alright then, let's get started. Getting the Firmware and BIOS Files for the HBA Note: Obviously, the version numbers might change in the future. - Create a FAT partition on the USB drive. - 9211-8i_Package_P17_IR_IT_Firmware_BIOS_for_MSDOS_Windows: Grab the file from LSI's site (doesn't matter if you're running Linux, *BSD or Win) and unpack it. You need the file 2118it.bin, located in the directory Firmware/HBA_9211_8i_IT in the archive. Of course you can also choose to simply update the IR firmware if you wish, then you'll need that file, located in Firmware/HBA_9211_8i_IR. Either way, copy the firmware file onto your USB drive. - You also need to update the card's BIOS for this (at least AFAIK), so also grab the file mptsas2.rom, located in the directory sasbios_rel inside the archive. Copy that file onto your USB drive as well. - Note: You can, but don't need to, create separate directories on your USB drive. In the end, we will only have four files on it, so it doesn't really matter. - Grab the Installer_P17_for_UEFI file from LSI's website and unpack it. - Copy the file sas2flash.efi, from in the directory sas2flash_efi_ebc_rel in the archive, onto your USB drive, into the same directory as the firmware and the BIOS file (yes, I'm aware you can put all of the three files at arbitrary locations, but why make things more complicated...). - That's phase 1 completed, now all that's left is getting this to run on your PC. That was actually the trickier part for me... Getting the UEFI Shell The first thing that went through my mind when I got to that part of the tutorial I linked above was pretty much just "WTF?". I quite frankly had simply never heard of an UEFI shell, let alone used one, and searching the web I found precious little information about the subject (and what I did find was mostly rather technical and would have required lots of thorough reading to understand it, and even then it was doubtful if it was actually going to be of any use to me). For those of you who are also a bit puzzled by this (then again, maybe I am the only one), basically the EFI shell is a command line interface that let's you do basic system tasks on your machine (yes, I am aware that that is a very broad generalization, but it will suffice for the purposes of this tutorial, otherwise you are welcome to start reading docs on the subject). Unfortunately, depending on your M/B (and that's why the M/B is relevant in this), you will require a different shell, and will need to follow different steps to access it. I have gotten the impression that some boards even come with an integrated one, but I'm not 100% certain on that. If you have such a board, you can skip the next part, since you don't need to download one. The different versions of the shell you're most likely to need are these: - For the most current version (the 2.0 branch), go here and select the one which matches your architecture. - If those do not work for you (and in my case they did not), it might be that your M/B requires an older version, either the X64 or IA32 version. - The links for the v1 versions I got from the Arch Linux wiki page here, as mentioned above. - Copy the EFI shell onto your USB drive as well, I called it shellx64.efi. I am not absolutely certain, but the name might matter to some extent to your M/B, I have also come across simpler names like shell.efi, but I was so glad when I finally got things working I didn't experiment further to check which names work and which do not. UPDATE: Did another flash, indeed Shell.efi also worked. Flashing the HBA Mount the LSI card in your machine, plug in the USB drive with all four files on it (the LSI BIOS, the firmware, the sas2flash utility and the efi shell), and drop into the BIOS of your machine. Note: I'm not an expert on this subject, but I have seen it recommended to have only one 9211-8i in your system during this process. Allegedly it's possible to specifically target a card to flash, but I couldn't try that out, so I have no info on that process. Getting Into the UEFI Shell This too wil probably depend on your M/B. On mine, there was an option in the Exit BIOS menu of the BIOS which said Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device. Basically, that option will search any devices you have connected for anything that might be an EFI shell and will try to run it. If you have the wrong shell or your machine can't find it, you will fail here (took me a few tries to get to the next step...). Mounting the USB Drive Once you're in the shell, you need to mount the USB drive with the files on it so that you can access them (obviously). On my machine, the first thing the shell did was print a nice list of all connected storage devices, with my USB drive labeled ft0 and my HDDs and SSDs labeled blk... You might need to do a bit of trial and error here to find the right drive, but it shouldn't be an insurmountable obstacle. In my case, mounting the USB drive was done with: Then I needed to change directories into the drive: mount ft0: (yes, no 'cd ' or anything like that). ft0: Inside a directory, you can list the contents with and change directories with ls And this is what it looked like for me after that: cd directory_name (click image for full res) Actually Flashing the Card This was actually fairly straightforward. Make sure you're in the directory with the BIOS, firmware and sas2flash.efi, and run the following command to reset the card and prepare it for the new BIOS and firmware. CAREFUL: DO NOT TURN OFF OR REBOOT YOUR MACHINE AT THIS POINT. ALLEGEDLY YOU WILL HAVE A BRICKED CARD ON YOUR HANDS!!! This is what it looked like during the erasing process for me. The actual erasing takes a while, to be specific this step: (click image for full res) sas2flash.efi -o -e 6 After a successful erase, this is what you should get: (click image for full res) Then flash it with the new files: Which should look like this: (click image for full res) You can check if the new flash was successful with: sas2flash.efi -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom Which gave me this output: (click image for full res) sas2flash.efi -listall Alternatively, you can get more detailed info with the -list command. The 'Firmware Product ID" field will indicate if the controller is now running in IT mode: Output for that command: sas2flash.efi -list (click image for full res) NOTE: You can also check if the sas2flash utility detects your card(s) properly with the listall command before you start the whole process. If the card doesn't show up here, you won't be able to start flashing in the first place. You can then leave the UEFI shell with exit and should be back in your M/B's BIOS. To make sure your card is now in IT mode, reboot your machine and it should get displayed when the card's BIOS is run. As you can see, it is not actually all that complex, but there are a hilarious many things that can refuse to play ball in this, and sorting out those from the ones that work took quite a bit of effort. If you search around the web for flashing this card you will find many alternative procedures, and depending on your setup (hardware, the version of sas2flash you're using, which firmware type and version you're wanting to flash onto the card etc.) some of them might actually work for you. For me, however, this was the only one that lead to success. Thanks to Bryan's post I was able to save lots of time in finding out which files and tools I needed, but then I was stuck quite a while on that whole UEFI shell thing. Once I had that up and running it was a pretty painless process though. If you find any errors please point them out. I wrote down what I did quite carefully during the process (primarily to make sure I could reproduce it with a second card should I ever buy one), but I'm not infallible, so there might be undesired entropy lurking somewhere. Thanks for reading! So long -aw
  10. Hi. I have a question about host bus adapter. What types of code run on these cards?
  11. System: HP xw8600 Dual Xeon X5430 2.66GHz 28GBs DDR2 666Mhz FB-Dimm ECC ram GTX 710 (Basically a headless server) ROG 10G network card LSI SAS 9201-16e HBA 1x 250GB SSD (boot drive) 4X WD RE 4tb 4x 1tb Assorted drives 3x HGST 4tb Drives (trying to add) The system does see the LSI HBA I added but even in the BIOS config tool I don't see any drives. The HBA does show up under the SAS controller (which has a 2TB limit) I want it under SATA controller which I think is emulated on this board. I purchased a SFF-8088 to 4x Sata cable and it goes directly from the card to the drives. I read some things about this and something about Forward and reverse cables but nothing concrete. What is wrong??
  12. Is there a way i can manage my LSI HBA RAID Controller from within windows server 2016 environment? (rebooting into BIOS is tedious and seems quite unnecessary to me just to add a hot spare or new drive configs (not removing existing arrays)....) I've looked up some stuff from broadcom (new parent company of LSI), but none of the programs or files i downloaded and tried to install appeared to do anything. i was thinking like someway to locally ssh or telnet in, but i have no idea how to flash a card from within windows without a working tool from a manufacturer. LSI SAS 9211-8i | https://www.starline.de/fileadmin/images/produkte/lsi/LSISAS92118i__ENG_.pdf | PS. I've also considered upgrading the firmware on the device, but i'm really skeptical of doing so since none of the current support info webpages actually list this exact card as compatable. (closest listed page on broadcom's site is the 9210 | > also.. how do i download a copy of the current firmware off the card? (since if the new version for w/e reason doesn't work, it's not available online anywhere i can find) | >> I have replied to this thread to find out how their upgrade went.. https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/779052-lsi-9211-8i-p20-firmware/ other thoughts: upgrading bios: data loss? (wouldn't see why it would, but can see it possible) Thanks.
  13. So I have this chassis for my server https://www.logic-case.com/products/rackmount-chassis/4u/4u-server-case-w-16-x-35-hot-swappable-satasas-drive-bays-6gbs-minisas-+-2-x-525-bays-sc-4316/ it is currently populated with 12 sata drives using the built in ports on the mobo as well as a sata PCIe card as well as a startech card. If I want to add any more drives to the server I now need to buy another PCIe card to give me the extra slots. I would like to use the opportunity to get rid of the two expansion cards that are in there already and replace them with one card that will support all the drives. There are 4 SFF-8087 ports one for each row of drives. What I need (if it exists) is one expansion card that has enough ports for all 16 drives. The drives are all Sata 3 I don't need sas drives. Ideally I don't want to spend more than £200 on the card and I am not opposed to buying second hand. I don't need any raid functionality as all my drives are pooled using Transparent Raid from FlexRaid. it only stores media files and anything important is backed up on another drive plus crashplan central. I have a fairly good knowledge when it comes to building and buying a gaming system or but I am just getting into the enterprise hardware so I am still very much a novice when it comes to shopping for this hardware. I have had a look around but from what I can see the places that used to sell "affordable" 16 port HBA cards either don't sell them anymore or they are enterprise cards with features that I don't need. I have looked through ebay but buying server hardware isn't necessarily as easy as buying consumer or gaming hardware due to compatability issues and the assumption that you know exactly what you are looking for. Other information: Windows Server 2012r2 (possibly updating to 2016 soon) gigabyte z77-ud5h mobo 32GB ddr3 ram all drives are formatted as standard NTFS drives All drives are Sata 3 No raid system is connected to a UPS System runs 24/7 Plex Server/Nextcloud vm/Ark server/file server Any more questions or information I will answer as best I can Thanks for the help.
  14. Hi, recently I purchased a HP Microserver N36L for use as a basic file server. It currently has 3GB of RAM (ECC) and I have been looking to use it as a small file server. What would be the best way to configure the server for this as I have read on FreeNAS but this appears to need more RAM and (For best practice) an SSD (Avoid flaky USB drives) for the random writes which in turn would mean I would need to buy JBOD card due to the servers lack of ports. However is this the best setup or am I missing some secret gold mine somewhere as NAS4Free and Server 2012 R2 are looking like promising candidates without needing expensive devices such as the IBM M1015 cards etc. So what does everyone recommend?
  15. Hi all.. first of all, greeting from Chile,!! Please excuse the noob nature of this question. I work in a small VFX studio, and we have a Fiber Channel HBA storage system installed, which is not in use right now. However, i am attempting to connect to this storage array using a windows 10 system with a FC HBA card, and keep running into some problems. I have connected my windows 10 workstation, using a ATTO 82EN and can confirm that the fiber connections are correctly connected to the switch. I just did this and haven't done any configuration at all. However, i am unable to mount the drives, and keep getting multiple instances of RAW drives show up on my device manager! I do not have any background on these kind of matters, and the vendor who installed this system doesn't exist anymore. Please, if you have any information on how i should configure a FC HBA please send me in that direction. I have admin access to the storage array but again, i do not know how to get this to work. I was also told that i need to enable MPIO to get the multiple instances of the drives to behave as one, but i have no idea if its possible or how to do it!! Thanks in advance!!
  16. Looking for some HBA recommendations for a NAS server i'm setting up. Current Mobo is M5A97 LE R2.0 Link (Will eventually update this to a more proper board in the future.) Looking for a setup of 3 4port HBA's to eliminate SPoF in my array. Looking for cheap but not absolute crap. Found https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816124064&ignorebbr=1 on sale on newegg which would serve me nicely in terms of ports per card and its connectivity to the system. Any advice would be appreciated.
  17. Hey everyone, I'm building a UnRAID / Gaming box with file hosting duties. I will (at one point, not right now) have up to 22 SATA devices which need to be connected to my Asus TUF X299 MoBo. I'd like to buy a (or more than one) HBA card to connect all the HDDs (20) to work with UnRAID but I'm not sure which one. Is there a fairly simple and cheap solution out there? I've heard that RAID cards are not recommended due to the way they handle the raw disk access but that some RAID cards can be flashed to another mode which supports the right type of connectivity. Can anyone provide a little more information on this please? Thx in advance ~eruk2007
  18. Some time back I built myself a FreeNAS file server. Storage wise it has been running a 3x 3TB raidz1 (RAID5) configuration. Not long ago I implemented 10Gbit into it and the RAID has now shown me it's throughput limits. I plan to kill 3 birds with one stone. I plan to increase the redundancy (raidz1 to raidz2 or RAID5 to RAID6). I plan to increase to total capacity of the array (9TB total replaced with 16TB), and I plan to install 8 drives instead of 3 which will increase the total throughput and help utilize my newly founded 10Gbit link more. In total to compensate all of the drive bays I need 20 SATA ports. The motherboard has 14 but some are SATAIII, some are SATAII, some are controlled by the PCH, some are controlled by Marvel. It's all over. I know FreeNAS using ZFS could really care less about mixing drives on different controllers but I'd still like to put the whole RAID on one SATAIII controller. If SSD's ever get cheap enough I could replace all the disks and probably max out the throughput of the SATAIII controller. The other mishmash of ports on the motherboard will plug into the remaining drive sleds to be utilized for experimentation, wiping old drives and other purposes. I've heard of people taking old RAID cards and flashing the cards BIOS? Firmware? I'm not sure what it's called. By doing so converting it to an HBA but I really don't want to do that. I'm looking for a 8x SATAIII port PCI_e x8 card. I did research of my own and came up with this: SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 And then appropriate cables to go with it: 4-Lane mini-SAS to 4xSATA 7pin I like how it uses Mini-SAS and breaks out into 4 SATA ports. It only supports JBOD but I would basically just change no hardware configuration options and set up the RAID in FreeNAS with ZFS. Can anybody say that FreeNAS will respond irregularly to this card without me having to figure out drivers? Or does anybody have a card that they'd recommend over what I found? I'm willing to spend up to $200 but that has to include cables if the card doesn't come with them. All recommendations will be appreciated.
  19. So im setting up server at home for web hosting and as a media center of sorts. my issue ive run into is that i converted an older dell optiplex into the server. internally it has for sata ports but only enough space in the case to fit 2 drives. at the moment one slot is being taken by the OS(windows server 2003). i want to add more storage externally but im not sure what the best way to go about that is. san nas raid controller esata something else? what im looking for cheap as possible preferably hot swap-able but not required fast enough for 10 people to stream video thru a web browser any help is greatly appreciated.
  20. I'm planning for a FreeNAS build that I want to be expandable up to 20-24 HDDs.
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