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Bought an IBM ServeRAID M1015 (LSI SAS9220-8i)


oj88
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I succumb to impulse buying and bought the abovementioned controller. I haven't installed it yet as I still need to buy a few Molex-to-SATA power cables. In the meantime, I'd like to ask if there's anything I should need to do prior to adding disks?

 

The scenario is like this... I have 1 system drive and 5 data drives. All of them are using the motherboard's built-in SATA ports. I'd like to move all the data drives to the RAID controller without actually converting it into a RAID array. I just want them to appear as individual drives. Is this the default setting? I'm asking because the data drives do have files in them that I'd like to keep intact when I move them to the controller. I don't want the controller to overwrite them, thinking it's part of an array or something.

 

Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks!

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OK. What you want to do is so 'iffy' I wouldn't even considerate it until you have at least 1 full, complete, and verified backup of the data.

 

Typically, with most RAID controllers, you don't have to put the drives into an array. They should be available as single drives, but I don't know that IBM controller specifically, so I can't say for sure.

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The RAID controller would need to support JBOD. I have not worked with the IBM version of this, but a few web searches point toward flashing the controller to IT mode firmware to get it to support JBOD. First thing I would do is try it with a couple of test drives and see if it gives you the option you are looking for. I don't see a reference to JBOD in the specs;

http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0740.html

 

This seems to be a good resource;

http://www.servethehome.com/ibm-m1015-part-1-started-lsi-92208i/

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The RAID controller would need to support JBOD.

 

I'm not sure that's true. I have some older RAID cards in my basement, some that may even pre-date the definition of JBOD, that can present drives to the system without having them in an array. What they did require was the drivers for the cards. I don't know what you call it when they work that way, but I guess it's basically the same as JBOD.

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Good point, I probably over use the term JBOD. The link I added above covers this controller well. Part 1 covers setting up the controller. The only concern I would have is, does the data stay intact when you are setting up the disks 

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@Schoondoggy

 

Awesome link, especially the second one... spot on. I guess I would have to read through it first to gain some confidence with this card. I may be able to scrounge through my old equipment heap and look for a couple of sacrificial drives.

 

Thanks!

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I dont think you should worry about the drives so much as the data you are using for testing.

The drives will present themselves as you intend or they will not. Little prospect of HDD damage while you test

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Thanks guys. it's now up in experimental status. Following the steps here (http://www.servethehome.com/ibm-serveraid-m1015-part-4/), I've managed to flash the firmware to a more 'proper' one that essentially converted the IBM OEM model "SAS9220-8i" to an undiluted LSI SAS9211-8i. The latter firmware with the 'IR' variant allows for pass-thru configuration (presents each individual physical drives to be seen by the OS, including the complete SMART parameters), as well as RAID0 and RAID1.

 

Using two 2TB WD Greens, I've tried the pass-thru method and it was exactly what I was asking about in my first post. Feeling a bit adventurous, knowing that this is experimental, I configured the two 2TB drives for RAID0. I'm curious to see if either of the two Greens will fall out of the array due to their inherent lack of TLER. I'm using Crashplan to backup some of my data to the newly-created 4TB RAID0 array. That should keep it active for several hours.

Edited by oj88
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