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SAS Expanders - a few questions



Looking for some user experience


Has anybody had any experience with the following SAS expanders i have my eye on?


Microsemi (Adaptec) - 82885T (2283400) - http://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/sas/sas/aec-82885t/


or the


Intel RES2CV360/240 http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/servers/raid/raid-expander-res2cv.html 


So after good or bad experinces....


1) what raid card did you connect the expanders to

2) what throughput do you get when using multiple HDD/SSD - anything close to the bandwidth claimed?

3) If not connected to same make of RAID card - could you update the bios on the intel or not?

4) Do you have either working in WIn 10 PRO 64bit - any issues - does Windows see the expanders i believe it should


Finally a bit confused with the cable directions


do you use forward or reverse breakout cables from the expander to the HDD?

and also are there any issues with the Adaptec and cables from miniSAS (8087) to miniSAS HD (8643) - i assume these are bi directional?


Lost of questions :) - just been burnt with Highpoint controllers not working together so want to get it right this time  :rolleyes:



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  1. I had an Intel RES2SV240 expander, connected to an IBM ServeRAID M1015 (LSI 9211-8i).

    Now, I'm using Supermicro Exanders (built into the case, part of the backplanes for the drive cages)


  2. As for throughput, well, take a look: 



    So yeah, you should get the advertised throughput. And that's on a single controller with an expander.


  3. Not sure what you mean here, but either way, should be able to.


  4. Not using in Windows 10.   

    Also, most Expanders are not dependant on drivers. The RAID/HBA card is the one in question though. That does have to have driver support. 



As for the expanders you've listed, I've used the Intel ones. They use an LSI chipset, so work very well.  I have the "24" port version, and that's been fantastic. 


As for the first one you've linked, that's a SAS3 (using SFF-8643) whereas the Intel ones are SAS2 (SFF-8087).  


So what card you need depends heavily on the controller card you're using. 

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Thanks Chris


Well jealous of that image - have tried to get the RR to run multiple drives at same time in scanner and two is about it - three and scanner complains about the bus being over loaded!! - although burst mode works  :blink: for many drives at the same time


Anyway as you know they are going back to supplier


Yes one other question i had was the image for the RES show the connectors with what i assume are plastic covers - so they are 8087 connectors then - good - tech docks say so but images are confusing


as for 3 it stated somewhere that you cant update the RES bios unless its connected to a Intel hba - was this a red herring?


Yes SAS3 - but it appears you can get sas3 to sas2 cables - i.e. 8643 to 8087 - so in theory you could connect the adaptec to the intel and possibly the other way around as well 


At the moment i am leaning towards sas3 (with adaptec 8 series card) just for future proofing - combined cost will be a little more than the three RR i hope to get my money back on.

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Yeah, I was happy when I was able to hit that.  The RocketRAID card I had, well had issues doing that... 



As for the connectors, the Adaptec card is using  SFF-8643 connectors (small, square), and are SAS3 (12gbps) connectors. 

The intel card is using SFF-8087 (the rectangular connectors), and are SAS2 (6gbps) connectors. 


you can get adapters, but if everything you have is using SFF-8087 ..... 



As for the Intel RES expander, I suspect it's a red herring. The chipset in use is an LSI chipset, actually.  So as long as you use a decent card, I think yo ucan update it without issue.  However, I'm not sure you'll need to upgrade the firmware here. 


If you want to get SAS3 (nothing wrong with that), then I'd recommend an LSI card.  New, they're a bit expensive, but: 



Though you can find them for cheaper, I'm sure. 

And there is the Intel RES3FV288 expander card, as well. It's SAS3. 



I'd recommend against mixing generations. As there isn't an issue, you can do so. But ......




Also, baring SSDs, you're going to have plenty of bandwidth for SAS2. If you can find the hardware for cheaper, you'll be fine with it.  

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Thanks again


Well after a lot of digging around in ebay's darkest depth Russia, Lavtia, Spain ... you can find some real bargains in Germany!


So i was basically looking for cards that were compatible (same make and generation - trying to keep things simple) with Win 10 and thats my mistake when i started this search - although a very few new cards do have Win 10 drivers the vast majority dont - what i had forgotten was that the majority of these cards are only used in servers and as 2016 is all shiny and bushy tailed the majority of the big players have not bothered to produce Win 10 drivers waiting for 2016 to come out or are not going to both as the cards are EOL.




I decided to set my sights lower to Win 7/2012R2/2012 Essentials and see what i could find - and as you would expect the field is bigger although the choices are not huge as our Sys Admin chums tend to be a bit conservative in there choices - and the second hand/ refurb market is lively but ultimately limiting in variety. The usual suspects come up - Lsi, Hp, Adaptec etc


I settled on HP kit partly because i have used it in the past and partly i found HP parts really cheap in Germany. Before i get to that ( it going to be a long post :) ) all the cards i was interested in, HBA or Exp were cheap in the USA mainly and  the import charges ebay/HMRC apply made what looked a bargain a joke - also these sellers who mark down their product price then stick it to you on the "postage" deserve a special place in hell!


The site i found in Germany is https://www.servershop24.de/ They have some absolute bargains covering a broad range of manufacturers and types of tech which i have spent a fail bit of yesterday and today wading through to chose my  card/exp and a few other bits and pieces  - they are on ebay if you want to use that to buy stuff.


In the end i have 


HP P410 with 512meg cache - £47

HP 24 Bay PCI-E SAS Expander Card 468406-B21 - £33

And some SAS cables - £20


:blink:  only 60% what i paid for one new RR!  


On there way to me :)


Also lined up are

HP ProLiant DL380 G6 2x Xeon X5650 Six-Core 2.66 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 292 GB SAS - 16 HDD bays - £375 - comes with two P410  :o - if you add up the bits making this server you are saving £150 -£200 on a build you own server with same spec - could not find a better deal anywhere - i'm sure there are but not in Europe that i could find

a battery pack for P410 - £28 


I will probably get some more cards once i have checked the quality of what i get and more Ram/HDD for the G6


My day gets better i just made a cheeky offer for a Windows 2012 Essential licence and it was accepted - £80 another bargain (tempered with is it too good to be true?) 



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Well, sounds like you've had a fun week then. :)


And yeah, if you're willing to go a bit older (I have a few X5660's and they're fantastic), you can get some really nice hardware! 


As for driver support, I'm kind of suprised that there is an issue at all, as Windows 10 is pretty good about drivers. 

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A quick update


the P410 and SAS expander are talking to each other and 2012 R2 Essentials see the P410 on install which is nice


Have updated to the latest driver though as windows could not auto find a recent driver - no issues


The disks i have connected do not show up in windows and you do not get a bios screen for the P410 (apart from a boot rom screen that goes by so fast you cant read it)


However loading the HP ProLiant Array Configuration Utility for Windows 64-bit allows you to configure the disks - initial test is to set each disk as a raid0 on its own and then create a logical drive - they then appear in windows and as an added bonus they are not wiped it appears - need a bit more testing to confirm this.


As added bonus have got a new un used R2 Essentials Lic for £20 this time :)

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