Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

HBA Card for Pass Thru


venno
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All

 

I am looking to acquire a PCIE HBA card for a pass thru disk controller in Esxi for exclusive use by an Expenology VM. 

 

I know from the forums that the M1015 is highly regarded for this but its quite a pricey card where I am in Australia (even used). I have seen the LSI 9211-8i variant cards on ebay are around $50 cheaper, they come from China so I do wonder if they are genuine.

 

Are these the best cards to consider or are there other options?

 

Also, do you need to cater for extra cooling for these cards...eg add a fan on the heatsink...I have read on the forums that they run hot?

 

cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see from the other thread that you've already ordered a E3 1265Lv2.

 

I know from the forums that the M1015 is highly regarded for this but its quite a pricey card where I am in Australia (even used). I have seen the LSI 9211-8i variant cards on ebay are around $50 cheaper, they come from China so I do wonder if they are genuine.

LSI 9240-8i = Dell H310 = IBM M1015

LSI 9211-8i = Dell H200

 

There are HP versions of the card as well but I don't know the numbers for them.

 

All of the cards use the same LSI SAS2008 SAS controller. The difference is that the LSI 9240-8i, IBM M1015 and Dell H310 have an additional RAM chip on the board which allows the SAS2008 controller to do RAID 5. It is more like software RAID with some partial assistance from the hardware though so don't expect performance to be like a real hardware RAID 5 controller.

 

You're just passing the drives through to the VM anyway so it doesn't make any difference to you whether it has the extra RAM chip or not. You'll want to flash your card with the LSI 9211-8i IT firmware. The IR firmware is for RAID which isn't what you want.

 

There is a Dell 6 Gbps SAS HBA or LSI 9200-8e as well which has the same controller but it only has external ports so you should avoid that one.

 

Are these the best cards to consider or are there other options?

They're reasonably cheap and are reliable if you have the right firmware on them. There are plenty of newer cards as these are quite old but you'll be paying significantly more.

 

Also, do you need to cater for extra cooling for these cards...eg add a fan on the heatsink...I have read on the forums that they run hot?

You can add a fan if you want but it shouldn't be necessary. Some people add one just in case however. I'd avoid running the Microserver with the case off however if you do have a card inserted that doesn't have a fan. My HP P222 card overheats after 10 minutes with the case off because there is no forced airflow. Edited by GotNoTime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers GotNoTime great info.

 

Yes I have already ordered the cpu from amazon.de, bit dodge in that the delivery time is listed as essentially 1 - 2 months so will be interesting to see if it comes off. Have also ordered another SSD.

 

Thanks for the Dell part number equivalents they are a lot cheaper over here, I can pickup the H200 for $125AUD and it comes with LP bracket and the min sas to quad sata breakout cable (which I can use for the SSD's). Will probably look to mount a small low noise Geil fan on heatsink as the comments about how hot these cards get do worry me. 

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GotNoTime has some good cards listed - they are all RAID cards, so have onboard processors etc. so get hot.

 

If you want a basic AHCI controller with SFF8087 connector for the front caddy, this is worth a look:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4-port-lycom-pe-123i-ahci-sata-iii-6-gbps-sff-8087-internal-mini-sas-low-profile-pcie-host-adapter

 

It seems to be the same as this one by Startech: http://www.startech.com/uk/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/PCI-Express-SATA-III-RAID-Controller-Card-Mini-SAS-SFF-8087~PEXSAT34SFF

 

I use the top one in my ML310ev2 passing it through to a Centos VM using ESXi and it works fine.

 

Possibly worth asking on the Xpenology forums to see what works.

 

 

The other way of doing it is to buy a cheap SATA card and use that for your ESXi datastores and then pass through the onboard b120i controller (in AHCI mode)  to Xpenology.

Might affect your fan speed though. 

Used to do this with my Gen8 Microserver, but not Xpenology. Again the Xpenology forums have people using Xpenology directly on the Microserver, so they may have some ideas on fan control.

I used this SATA card: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005B0A6ZS?keywords=pex40039&qid=1442614369&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1 

and enabled the ASM1061 chipset for ESXI datastores using this vib: http://www.v-front.de/2013/11/how-to-make-your-unsupported-sata-ahci.html

Edited by snapper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers snapper

 

I looked into those cards, the startech is available here but its $50 more than the LSI/Dell/IBM ones. I definitely want to pass thru the HDD cage using a controller in the PCIE slot and then use the onboard 120i first 2 sata ports for SSD's.

 

I can also get a HP H222 locally at a reasonable price but i can't find any info on anyone having used it in G8, you would think being HP it should be compatible with iLo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well things change quickly.....amazon are unable to fulfill the order fof the 1265 cpu so i took the coin from that purchase and rolled it into a p420.

 

I will keep my i3 cpu and use the p420 for raid 5 of the hdd cage, so no pass thru for me.

 

With the hp raid card could i put the 2 ssd on the second mini sas and do a raid 0 array (given that the other connector will be the raid 5 array) and just disable the b120?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well things change quickly.....amazon are unable to fulfill the order fof the 1265 cpu so i took the coin from that purchase and rolled it into a p420.

Yes. It is very difficult to find a new E3 1265Lv2 now. eBay for a secondhand pulled processor is pretty much the only source for them now.

 

I will keep my i3 cpu and use the p420 for raid 5 of the hdd cage, so no pass thru for me.

A lot of people use something like a E3 1230v2 even though the TDP is significantly higher than the stock CPU. It is your decision though whether that is something you'd be happy with.

 

With the hp raid card could i put the 2 ssd on the second mini sas and do a raid 0 array (given that the other connector will be the raid 5 array) and just disable the b120?

Yes. You need to buy a SFF-8087 to discrete SATA forward breakout cable. Make sure it is a forward breakout cable. There is a reverse version as well which won't work for what you're trying to do.

 

You'll also need to work out how to get power to your extra 2 SSDs. You can either tap into the regular PC molex power connector that powers the drive cage or find an adapter for the small floppy power cable plug that is at the top for the ODD slot.

Edited by GotNoTime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. It is very difficult to find a new E3 1265Lv2 now. eBay for a secondhand pulled processor is pretty much the only source for them now.

 

A lot of people use something like a E3 1230v2 even though the TDP is significantly higher than the stock CPU. It is your decision though whether that is something you'd be happy with.

 

Yeah its a bummer but I guess the sandy/ivy HW is old now in IT terms.

 

I can get a cheap E3-1220L sandy from ebay, from what I can tell its performance should be comparable to my i3-3420 with bonus of drawing nearly a third the power and picking up VT-d. With both these processors the only thing I can really see I'm missing out on is PCIE 3, I don't know if this is a major thing even given I will be using the external raid in that slot which is PCIE 3 capable.

 

 

Yes. You need to buy a SFF-8087 to discrete SATA forward breakout cable. Make sure it is a forward breakout cable. There is a reverse version as well which won't work for what you're trying to do.

Cheers will ensure I get the right cable.

 

 

You'll also need to work out how to get power to your extra 2 SSDs. You can either tap into the regular PC molex power connector that powers the drive cage or find an adapter for the small floppy power cable plug that is at the top for the ODD slot.

I have cut the FDD power plug off and terminated a sata power connector to run my current ssd, should have terminated a double in hindsight. Will see if I can get a sata power splitter, if not I will chop the connector and terminate a double. They cost $1 locally, about the only cheap thing I have been able to add to my g8  :)

 

Cheers for your help man.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah its a bummer but I guess the sandy/ivy HW is old now in IT terms.

The E3-1265Lv2 was expensive but fairly easy to get at the start of 2015 but since then it seems the remaining new stock has been completely exhausted.

 

I can get a cheap E3-1220L sandy from ebay, from what I can tell its performance should be comparable to my i3-3420 with bonus of drawing nearly a third the power and picking up VT-d.

 

With both these processors the only thing I can really see I'm missing out on is PCIE 3, I don't know if this is a major thing even given I will be using the external raid in that slot which is PCIE 3 capable.

You'll only have PCIe 2.0 with the E3 1220L but that just means the slot maxes out at 4GB/s instead of 8GB/s. You'd have to be hitting the SATA III transfer limit of 600MB/s for all 6 of your used ports to even come close to the lower PCIe 2.0 4GB/s.

 

I have cut the FDD power plug off and terminated a sata power connector to run my current ssd, should have terminated a double in hindsight. Will see if I can get a sata power splitter, if not I will chop the connector and terminate a double. They cost $1 locally, about the only cheap thing I have been able to add to my g8  :)

Yes. You can get SATA power splitters. I bought a floppy power to SATA adapter for mine. Edited by GotNoTime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been having a hard time to find a SFF-8087 to sata 4 port cable in Australia. A lot of what is advertised does not mention whether they are a forward or reverse type, or whether they support sata III. There are some Aus ebay sellers that have cheap cables but they only state sata II adherence (around $10 to $20 mark).

 

I have found some ebay sellers from china who claim everything under the sun for $7 but I am a bit sceptical. Closer to home the startech cable is sold for $60 and states controller card to drives functionality and support for 6gbps sata III, only one I can find that states this (within this price point obviously all the commercial name brand stuff does but its hellish expensive here).

 

Does anyone use the real cheap cables and do they provide the correct speeds/functionality, or should I just go with the startech?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...