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jmone

Q: 2 x M1015 or 1 x M1015 + RES2CV360?

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In my 20 Bay Chassis I currently have 2 x M1015 (flashed to IT mode) feeding 16 Discs in the DrivePool and use the Mobo SATA ports for  OS, Backup OS, and the Pool's 1TB SSD.  I'm currently in the process of rebuiding it with larger HDD, WinServer 2016 Essentials etc.  As part of this I was wondering if I should go from 2 x M1015 to 1 x M1015 + RES2CV360.  The reason for this is that with my 10Gb Fiber PCI card I have run out of PCI-E Lanes and the Mobo has "turned off" 2 x 6GB Sata Port on the Mobo.  

I understand that running 1 x M1015 + RES2CV360 may impact the SATA throughput but would it really matter on Spinning Rust (these will end up being a mix of 8TB Seagate Archive Drives and older 4TB Hitachi Deskstars).  If I do go with 1 x M1015 + RES2CV360 do I connect 2 x SAS cables between the M1015 and the RES2CV360?

Thanks

Nathan

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Either would be fine, actually.

I've used both configurations, and neither has any issues. 

 

21 hours ago, jmone said:

If I do go with 1 x M1015 + RES2CV360 do I connect 2 x SAS cables between the M1015 and the RES2CV360

If you go this way, you only need to hook up a single cable to the expander.  You don't need both cables connected.

9 hours ago, jmone said:

...or has the world moved onto some low cost PCI-e 3.0 16 port HBA?

You mean HighPoint card?  *shudders*.  No.

 

 

My personally recommendation is to go with the single controller and the SAS expander.  It will get you the most drives connected. 

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So I got the RES2CV360.... well it actually from what I can tell a DELL 010141900-000-G (PN 5R10N??) as per the pic with a bunch of extra bits:

- SAS external to internal card
- SFF-8087 to 8088 Internal To External 26P Dual Port Card
- 2 x SFF-8087 to 8088 Cables
- 6 x SFF-8088 to 8088 Cable
- 4PIN12V to 4 MOLEX plug pin connector/converter
- Delock ATX Power Supply & Fan Controller 

For now I removed the little board connected by the 2 x ribbon cable (not sure what it does) and just connected the Expander to my M1015 using the supplied 2 x SFF-8087 to 8088 cables and then from the Expander to the Backplane using the existing cables.  It just booted up fine with no issue from Windows Server 2016 or DrivePool :)  I've not been able to track down any doco on this card at all so far and I'm not sure what some of the bits even do or if I want to use them.  I also need to work out how to mount the card and route the cables.....

SASExpander.jpg

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That's ... odd.  

Well, if you install the LSI MegaRaid Storage Manager, you should be able to see the device in that.  As well as the drives and how they're attached.

As for the rest, looks like .... that's going to be a fun board! 

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Thanks - I'm not sure it shows much (see pic) but the little board is not connected at present (I'll try connecting it later and see if anything changes).... or is there are part of MSM I should be looking at?

 

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A couple of pics (one from MSM), + one of my brand new Mid Plane mounting solution (I'm now just using the 2 x SFF-8088 to 8088 Cables to connect to the M1015 and I'll leave the others if I ever need to use the External SFF Board for more storage goodness).  Love how you can just plug these expanders in and they just work without any mucking around.  

preview

 

preview

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...just to chime in here...remember that expanders have firmware too.

I am running 1x M1015 + 1x RES2SV240 in my 24bay rig for 5+ years now....I remember that there was a firmware update for my expander that improved stability with S-ATA drives (which is the standard usecase for the majority of the semi-pro users here, I think).

Upgrading the firmware could be done with the same utility as for the HBA, as far as I remember...instructions were in the firmware readme

Edit: here's a linbk for a howto: https://lime-technology.com/forums/topic/24075-solved-flashing-firmware-to-an-intel-res2xxxxx-expander-with-your-9211-8i-hba/?tab=comments#comment-218471

regards,

Fred

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Thanks - reminds me to check.  I see that the MegaRAID Storage Manager has an "Update firmware" link but it seems to only be for the Controller itself.  Looks like I have on the M1015 (seen as a SAS9211-8i) Ver 20.00.04.00 (I "think" the latest is 20.00.07.00).  

EDIT: Storage Manger made updating the M1015 firmware to 20.00.07.00 easy as!

 

EDIT2:  I'm reluctant to try to upgrade the firmware of the Expander till I know what it actually is.... and I've failed!  I can find no doco about this board at all.

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...I'd try the tools from intel to check the FW version of the expander.

Maybe this would give away some more info about the inner specs and if another FW would work.

At least from the naming it looks like an Intel or similar one...

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