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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL.
    Posts
    216
    Yeah, I agree they aren't made for it. We try not to use the onboard SAS for a reason And we use that card because most of our customers end up wanting the BBU for write cache and wish they had purchased a card that works with a BBU
    Curt Royer - Amadi Systems
    curt@amadisystems.com - http://amadisystems.com

    Rackmount Solutions | Storage Arrays | Networking & Accessories

  2. #17
    Onboard SAS (LSI) is basically just dedicated PCIe 2.0/ 3.0 lanes to a standard controller. More or less, same as the card version just the motherboard manufacturer places the components on the motherboard and does not need to have a PCIe connector for it.

    One big thing to look out for is that RAID 5/6 performance with no onboard cache (backed by capacitor + NAND or battery) really suffers because you are basically writing directly to the drives rather than having a buffer.

    Been working on compiling a resource for LSI controllers:
    LSI SAS 2008 Controllers
    LSI SAS 2108 Controllers
    LSI SAS 2208 Controllers

    Will have the newer LSI SAS 2308 controller listing up next week (finishing up a 2U roundup then a few ASUS reviews this weekend.) Oftentimes purchasing non-LSI branded cards is less expensive which is the driver behind putting all of the like devices on one page.
    My site dedicated to server and workstation hardware: http://www.servethehome.com

  3. #18
    I'm really just looking at software raid in general as I consider it more reliable, and definitely more flexible. We'll be storing large files so a large stripe size (2MB or more) is a must for good performance, which I've never seen a h/w raid card support that. The LSI onboard has been reliable at not dropping the drives / disappearing the drives, unlike the highpoint 2320, where it's pretty common to have one or two drives randomly disappear requiring a reboot to fix, or, in the case of a kernel upgrade, all the drives disappear pending a driver reinstall / reboot.

    So really just looking for a bunch of reliable ports, moreso than a "raid card" per-se. Thanks for all the feedback so far, very very helpful.
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
    Email: sales [at] ioflood.com
    Skype: funkywizard
    Backup Storage VPS -- 1TBVPS.com

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    411
    In that case keep your current onboard 8 port and add one of the LSI 16 port JBOD cards, I think they are in the 3-400 range and work very well (drivers for everything out of box). We have a number of clients using them for ZFS setups.
    Daniel Pautz - WebNX, Inc. dan >< WebNX.com
    WebNX.com Enterprise Hosting Solutions – Los Angeles and Manhattan NewYork based Servers
    High end Dedicated Servers at reasonable prices and a Premium network with 9x providers route optimized with the Noction IRP

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    3,860
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    Thanks for your feedback!

    If we've already got a case (without sas expander) and a motherboard (with sas onboard), is there a good option for getting a SAS expander?

    I really like the idea of the simplified cable management, and the ability to use our existing LSI on-motherboard SAS (which has been reliable for us so far), as well as the 24 bay supermicro chassis (which has also been reliable for us), so overall think this sounds like a great solution, especially considering the SAS backplane model is only about $200 more than a similar case without that feature. In fact, this could turn out to be $100 cheaper *and* better than how we had done things before with the 14 port supermicro board + 8 port raid card, as the raid card costs about $300 and the sas expander version of the chassis is only about $200 extra if memory serves on the cost of the non-expander version of the chassis.
    well, you can always to replace the backplane w/o SAS expander in SC846A/SC846TQ with the backplane w/SAS expander (BPN-SAS2-846EL1 6G/s), but backplane alone will cost you over $500. with the new backplane, then you can just connect it to the on-board LSI 2008 controller you already have via one single SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable.

    since 2x 8-port LSI 2008 non-RAID host adapters or single 16-port host adapter would still cost you $350-$400, it might be worth to look into upgrading the backplane in your SC846 chassis to BPN-SAS2-846EL1. true, it may cost you $100-$150 more, but you only need to deal with one single cable than 24 single-port SATA connectors. if you could manage to resell the old backplane on eBay or Amazon, chance is very good that you end up spending much less money than buying more host adapter(s).
    C.W. LEE, Apaq Digital Systems
    http://www.apaqdigital.com
    sales@apaqdigital.com

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by cwl@apaqdigital View Post
    well, you can always to replace the backplane w/o SAS expander in SC846A/SC846TQ with the backplane w/SAS expander (BPN-SAS2-846EL1 6G/s), but backplane alone will cost you over $500. with the new backplane, then you can just connect it to the on-board LSI 2008 controller you already have via one single SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable.

    since 2x 8-port LSI 2008 non-RAID host adapters or single 16-port host adapter would still cost you $350-$400, it might be worth to look into upgrading the backplane in your SC846 chassis to BPN-SAS2-846EL1. true, it may cost you $100-$150 more, but you only need to deal with one single cable than 24 single-port SATA connectors. if you could manage to resell the old backplane on eBay or Amazon, chance is very good that you end up spending much less money than buying more host adapter(s).
    Thanks for the suggestion. It certainly seems like the cleanest solution, while still being cheaper than buying a 24 port raid card.
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
    Email: sales [at] ioflood.com
    Skype: funkywizard
    Backup Storage VPS -- 1TBVPS.com

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    13,249
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. It certainly seems like the cleanest solution, while still being cheaper than buying a 24 port raid card.
    funkywizard,

    A customer actually uses this exact setup in a dozen or so servers. It works out great.
    Steven Ciaburri | Proactive Linux Server Management - Rack911.com
    System Administration Extraordinaire | Follow us on twitter:@Rack911Labs
    Managed Servers (AS62710), Server Management, and Security Auditing.
    www.HostingSecList.com - Security notices for the hosting community.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    funkywizard,

    A customer actually uses this exact setup in a dozen or so servers. It works out great.
    Thanks for letting me know the real world results there, that's always the biggest thing lacking from just looking at a spec sheet.
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
    Email: sales [at] ioflood.com
    Skype: funkywizard
    Backup Storage VPS -- 1TBVPS.com

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    13,249
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    Thanks for letting me know the real world results there, that's always the biggest thing lacking from just looking at a spec sheet.
    He uses it for his file servers, in mdadm raid. We push a gigabit out of each box pretty much 24/7.
    Steven Ciaburri | Proactive Linux Server Management - Rack911.com
    System Administration Extraordinaire | Follow us on twitter:@Rack911Labs
    Managed Servers (AS62710), Server Management, and Security Auditing.
    www.HostingSecList.com - Security notices for the hosting community.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Not So Deep South
    Posts
    929
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ard-_-16401184

    This HP SAS Expander supports the LSI 2008 chip and also supports bonding so you can get 12G to the motherboard and keep your current case. The card is very plentiful on ebay, just avoid the yellow printed PCB's. I know there used to be a HP VAR the hung around on HardForum that resold the expander updated with the latest firmware so an HP server/raid card was not needed.

    Personally I've used Chenbro in the past with excellent results spanning multi chassis, and I know their new 6G Expanders also support the LSI 2008
    Last edited by mitgib; 05-05-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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