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I've been lurking on these forums for about a year now and read a lot of the threads on the Gen8 MS, and as a result have spent more money than is absolutely necessary on my Gen8.


Is anyone using a HP H222 HBA in a Gen8 MS?


I found a couple of threads asking the question but no definitive answer.


I'm using my Gen8 as a ZFS* fileserver and as a result I'm not particularly interested in the RAID abilities of the P222. Unless, of course the P222 can be configured to access connected drives as JBOD. Eevn then it seems like a waste to buy/install the P222 and not use it as intended.



* - I'm completely sold on the idea of the array being hardware agnostic after I got burned by a Adaptec U160 controller.

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I have not used one, but have heard they are a great card.

I don't think it would be supported in iLo.

The IBM M1015 is still my favorite JBOD card and they are under $100.

I dont think you are able to access the internal SATA ports with the M1015 in the system.

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If you are using ZFS why not save the complication/cash/power/heat and use the built in controller?


I assume you only need 4 drives on the pool?


I get good performance from AHCI + 4 HDDs (zol 0.6.3) *without* having to add extra hardware - you could always spend the cash saved on memory (ZFS uses a fair amount).


As for a good HBA, I've had no complaints from the LSI 9211-x on bigger systems (running IT firmware). Seems to be a popular combo. Also, I believe the M1015 mentioned above is based on the same chipset (LSI SAS2008) - but sometimes available cheaper and can be flashed with the same firmware, but with a few extra steps.

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Thanks for the replies.


I bought a G1610T a year ago, installed 4x 4TB drives in it and over the course of the year upgraded the 2GB of RAM to 16GB and the 1610T to a 1265Lv2. nas4free currently boots from a USB flash drive. I chose nas4free due to previous experience running servers with FreeBSD.


The machine holds all of our photos, home movies, documents, music, movies and tv series in FLAC and transcoded x264 files (from our CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays although I've not yet done all of our discs). We're currently at over 90% disk usage and I can attest that ZFS performance does drop off at around 90% disk usage.


I've explored several options to increase the space available. Move the MS to a bigger case and add a HBA. Add a HBA with an external connector and an external drive enclosure. Replace the MS with something else, tranferring my RAM, CPU and drives to the new machine. After initially favouring moving the MS to a bigger case, I think an external enclosure and HBA will be more appealing to SWMBO, especially given the budget contraints I'm under!


I have an eSATA card on order with Amazon which claims to support port multiplier and should arrive any day now (Marvell chipset so will hopefully play well with FreeBSD/nas4free). My concern with that is that it is only a PCIe 2.0 x1 which might become a limitation. If it is, then I'd need to replace that... and the H222 seems ideal as it offers one internal and one external connection. If I lose the use of the internal MS controller by adding that card, I can move it to the H222.


I'll look into some of the other cards you have suggested.



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If you are in the search for a HBA with external connector I recommend.


HBA:  LSI SAS 9207-4i4e Host Bus Adapter Kit (4 Port Internal, 4 Port External, 6Gb/s SATA+ SAS, PCIe3.0 HBA)


HBA:  HP LSI 9217-4i4e 8-port SAS 6Gb/s RAID Card


basically the same chipset but branded for HP. You can find them between 180-250 EUR. I was lucky to get them both at bellow 200EUR each.


If you do not want a proper RAID card this is the best choise in my opinion. They are better than HP H222 HBA or IBM M1015 and even than HP P222 if you do not need the RAID 5 or RAID 6 features.


For both of them you get true 6Gb/s SATA + SAS support for 4 internal ports and 4 external ports.

You get one x4 mini-SAS internal connector (SFF8087) to which you can very easy add your SAS cable of the 4 drive case from the Microserver to get 6Gb/s support for all the 4 drives.


You get one x4 mini-SAS external connector (SFF8088) to which you can add a tape drive (in my case a HP StorageWorks LTO4 drive ) or a 4 disk external enclosure also featuring 6Gb/s support for all 4 disks.


It is much better than having an e-sata card.

Edited by georgio
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My concern with that is that it is only a PCIe 2.0 x1 which might become a limitation. 


eSATA maxes out at 3Gb/s, which is well within the abilities of a PCI-E lane.  

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