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Time to start B120i FAQ?


Royco
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I have a question.

Does the B120iZM support FIS port multiplication on ports 4-5?

Have reviewed the Intel C204 datasheet and concluded, it may well do, but only in non-AHCI mode.

If it can, i would like to install 4 SSD modules with a PM adapter in slot 4 and the same in the ODD slot

Ok. Will only run at SATA gen 2.0. This is not an issue for me.

 

Intel tell me, go to HP.

HP tell me it won't. This may be because they have set bit 17 in the CAP register to disable it via the gen8 BIOS supplied by HP.

Has anybody tried this yet?

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20160128
Installed HP BIOS is J06 06/06/2014.
Used a USB key with a small build of FreeBSD.
Can try in AHCI mode on Gen8.
Can try in non-AHCI i.e. RAID mode Gen8.
Can test to see if device reports PM supported.
DL'd FreeBSD v10.1 (iso image) for use with USB Stick
 

So...
Changed BIOS settings to RAID. Was at AHCI.
This loads RAID v3.54.0 at BIOS load.
This loads HP AHCI SATA Controller v0.84 at BIOS load.
Ran FreeBSD v10.1 Live CD.

dmesg | grep -i ah
> ahci0: AHCI v1.30 with 6 6Gbps ports, Port Multiplier supported

reports the chip supports Port Multiplier

 

Changed BIOS settings to AHCI. Was at RAID.
This loads HP AHCI SATA Controller v0.90 at BIOS load.
This loads HP AHCI SATA Controller v0.84 at BIOS load.
Ran FreeBSD v10.1 Live CD.

dmesg | grep -i ah
> ahci0: AHCI v1.30 with 6 6Gbps ports, Port Multiplier supported

reports the chip supports Port Multiplier

 

Why is it reporting PM for both AHCI and RAID?


Conclusions
Is bit 17 optional in the CAP register so as to, in effect make use of
PMs optional by the vendor, should they seek to do this?
For example, see reported issues with Supermicro microcloud storage and FreeBSD.

 

For the gen8, The issue of AHCI vs. RAID seems thus superfluous as they
both report PM can be used but this must be, it seems clear to me, for ports 4-5 only.
The datasheet refers to not used by AHCI as opposed to, AHCI only.
So... seems reasonable to assert, AHCI ignores some register settings in the PCH.

 

If anyone is running, e.g. freeBSD as installed OS they will be able to determine the
caps, caps2 and EM caps settings for the controller in AHCI and/or RAID mode.
If caps, caps2 values reports FBS, eSATA et al, can conclude ports 4-5 may indeed be
used for FIS based swithing re - PM etc.

 

I only briefly tested with LiveCD. This is not conclusive.

 

As a use case, use of 4 ssd modules with PM may fit in slot 4. May also, ditto fit in the ODD compartment.
I've only referred to PM.
RAID IC adapters carrying 4 SSD modules or more could be used but that remains to be seen.
Seems to me, will save some power and make better use of the gen8 as opposed to using external additional storage and power.

Edited by JEWilson
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Hi Guys, I've just got the Gen8 server and I'm looking for the information regarding how to configure it properly :) So, sorry for noob questions but if I understand correctly, the most optimal way to use SSD in ODD is to put the B120i controller in RAID mode and create one disk RAID0 array (consisting of SSD only). Then, there should be no problems in installing WS2012R2 Std on SSD, and booting from SSD ... What happens when I add 4 more drives into the front bay? Putting them into, e.g. RAID10? Will it affect the booting sequence? Will I have to pull 4 drives out each time I boot, so the server chooses SSD for booting? Or everything should be fine?

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  • 1 month later...

Ok here is my first newbie questions. I have been buggin schoondoggy offline for a few days I appreciate his help to get over some hurdles. But its now time to give him some peace and quite haha. The B120i is sata II correct? If I use the PCI slot for a new card can I upgrade the Sata II to Sata III? at sata 2 the newer drives are able to give everything they have correct? here is what I want to have in the case

 

2 SSD drives

4 6tb+ drives

1 Bluray ODD

and ability to attach an external 5 bay eSata Enclosure.

 

what PCI card should I get to allow me to do this at Sata III speeds?

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Ok been doing a lot of reading so I want to make sure my info is correct. Looks like I can get SATA III speeds from the P222 Card. I would just switch all the drives to this card and bypass the B120i all together.

 

So now my follow up questions:

 

1) if I use the P222 as my base is there any benefit to going with the P420 instead?

 

2) I have noticed that there are a lot of cards with higher and lower FBWC moduals. what are the benefits of going with a larger FBWC?

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Ok been doing a lot of reading so I want to make sure my info is correct. Looks like I can get SATA III speeds from the P222 Card. I would just switch all the drives to this card and bypass the B120i all together.

 

So now my follow up questions:

 

1) if I use the P222 as my base is there any benefit to going with the P420 instead?

 

2) I have noticed that there are a lot of cards with higher and lower FBWC moduals. what are the benefits of going with a larger FBWC?

The P420 gives you 8 internal ports, the P222 gives you 4 internal and 4 external. The B120 is SATA III on ports 1&2 as stated above. You could run your 2 SSD's on the B120i ports 1&2, the DVD on port 5(ODD), the 4 internal disk drives on a P222 and a 4 drive enclosure on the external port. There is no eSATA port on the MS Gen8. 

How were you going to configure the drives?

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good to know...

 

Here is the external enclosure I have hooked up to my MSS EX495 I would really like to reuse this. Are you saying with the P222 I wont be able to use all the avail bays?

 

TowerRaid TR5M+BNC - 5 Bay eSata Port Multiplier JBOD Tower

 

I was hoping JBOD so I can have Drivepool doing the management of the Disks.

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good to know...

 

Here is the external enclosure I have hooked up to my MSS EX495 I would really like to reuse this. Are you saying with the P222 I wont be able to use all the avail bays?

 

TowerRaid TR5M+BNC - 5 Bay eSata Port Multiplier JBOD Tower

 

I was hoping JBOD so I can have Drivepool doing the management of the Disks.

The external port on the P222 is a SFF-8088 SAS/SATA connector. It will not work with the eSATA JBOD.

Instead of the P222 you could look for a SATA card that has a eSATA port on the back and internal SATA ports. You would need to run in AHCI mode. 

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