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karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 14 December 2014 @ 12:07edited 12:10 25s
I am stuck at the moment little bit and therefore I ask your expert opinions about expanding the number of SATA ports on my aging HP N40L.

I have 6 pcs of WD RED 3TB running nice in the cube and ZFSGURU is booting and running from an USB pendrive.
I would like to attach two SSD's (wich I have gathered from my older computers - 2pcs OZC Agility 4 128GB) to serve as place for OS (ZFSGURU) SWAP _ L2ARC _ CACHE _...
I've red some pretty damn good description I think from CiPHER a show-to do it but I am out of ports to do that.
So I have not much room in the case so the SSD's should be placed outside.
I'am thinking about to by one of these:
http://www.delock.de/produkte/S_89366/merkmale.html?setLanguage=en
http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_322_SATA---eSATA_89367/merkmale.html
With one of these cards I should not have the problem to get power from the cube to the SATA SSD's because of the eSATAp ports. Or should I have this card?
http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-SATA-6-Gbps-PCI-Express-eSATA-Controller-Card~PEXESAT32#tchspcs

I am looking forward to get later an USB 3 expansion board too maybe one of these:
http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_319_USB-3-0_89243/merkmale.html
http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_319_USB-3-0_89242/merkmale.html
So waiting for your kind opinions.

CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 14 December 2014 @ 12:21
I would suggest ASMedia instead of Marvell; so the first two would be better than the last adaptor.

But how do you want to connect eSATA to your SSD? The powered eSATA means it can provide power, but that doesn't work if you connect them straight to the SSD without casing. They would still require power connector to be attached. Perhaps you can order an eSATAp cable which splits into data + power. But otherwise normal eSATA -> SATA cable for data and use a splitter cable to connect internally to SATA power cable and make a hole somewhere to let the cable go outside of the casing.

To be honest; is this worth it for a low end N40L? What if you just keep what you have and save your money to upgrade to a bigger ZFS NAS with better hardware sometime in the future? Do you really need to have L2ARC?

Furthermore, the OCZ SSDs are not that reliable. If you are going to use it for OS disk and SWAP, then it is possible to get problems because of that. The SSDs would be great for L2ARC though. But it depends on your usage whether that really will be beneficial. Also note that you need RAM in order to actually use the L2ARC. I think your HP N40L does not have that much RAM, does it?

In other words, is this really a good investment for you?
karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 14 December 2014 @ 15:18
I don't know if it is worth investing in the HP N40L any more. I don't have any problem with it. So
http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_322_SATA---eSATA_89367/merkmale.html
and 2pcs of this
http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_4_SATA---eSATA_84396/merkmale.html
could solve the connect and power issue for $100.
I have the Agility drivers already.
The N40L has 16GB ECC RAM from it I think 12GB could be used for L2ARC etc.
Alternatively I can leave the expansion but USB pendrive is slow like hell and not much reliable either.
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 14 December 2014 @ 17:19
Yes indeed that is the correct cable to provide power to normal SATA SSD.

Just wondering: why don't you install the system on your HDDs? Is it because you want to use HDD spindown to save power? In that case you should not install the OS on the HDD pool. Otherwise, there is little reason why you shouldn't.

16GiB ECC ohh that is nice. In that case there is not much reason to upgrade very soon i guess. I thought these mini PCs had little RAM like 2GiB or 4GiB non-ECC.
karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 14 December 2014 @ 17:47edited 23:46 01s
Yes indeed it is because of the spindown. My pools are used about 8 hours in one block daily and the rest of the day they are spinned down. There's a separate 1 TB USB drive running all the time and working as torrent - mule - etc. pool. My WD HDD pools are secure Z2's till the 1TB drive and the boot pen drive are not protected.

And the HP Microserver comes with 2GiB ECC and official it can have 8GiB max. There are certain 8GiB ECC DRAM modules however functioning flawless in it.
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 15 December 2014 @ 07:40
Ah nice, well if you invested in your current system i guess you can continue to invest in it. Just try to buy stuff that you can use for a future system, that would be my advice.
karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 2 February 2015 @ 11:52
I've tried http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_322_SATA---eSATA_89367/merkmale.html
which is a very good card if somebody needs 2pcs external and powered eSATAp ports or USB3 ports. I have to return the card because the usb part was DOA. I felt sorry for it, the Asmedia 1062 chip with the Multiplexer chip on board was fast like hell on PCI Express x4 bandwidth.
So I got http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_319_USB-3-0_89356/merkmale.html for having USB3.
And an Asmedia 1061 PCI-E Express SATA3 6Gb/s eSATA SATA III Card 2ports for $12 shipping inclusive. Yes it was cheap. Did not notice it's single lane and PCI Express spec. rev. 1.0. I've learned it on the hard way. The card recognized the OCZ Agility 4 drives as SATA3 6Gb/s devices, but ZFSguru got not correctable READ CRC CAM errors in the log.
After writing hint.ahcich.0.sata_rev=2 in /boot/device.hints the CRC problem solved with limiting the AHCI devices to 3Gb/s. That has not a big impact on performance because the HP N40L has a default 3Gb/s AHCI controller onboard and the Agility drives are pushing 250MB/sec instead of the top 300MB/sec now. That is more than enough to saturate the gigabit network.
So it's not future proof but cheap enough. I am eagerly waiting now for a new ZFSguru release to play with. Thank you for the advices CiPHER.
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 2 February 2015 @ 14:34
Thanks for reporting back on your findings!
karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 5 January 2017 @ 07:51
I' am rebuilding / expanding my server and recently built in an IT firmware flashed Dell H200e controller and currently testing it. After copying about 2TB through Samba I've experienced lost sync - disc dropout - reboot in this row which made me to look into the kernel log.

http://pastebin.com/8UXXeF9w

I've 6 HDD's on the controller working.
ahcich0: <AHCI channel> at channel 0 on ahci0
ahcich1: <AHCI channel> at channel 1 on ahci0
ahcich2: <AHCI channel> at channel 2 on ahci0
ahcich3: <AHCI channel> at channel 3 on ahci0
ahcich4: <AHCI channel> at channel 4 on ahci0
ahcich5: <AHCI channel> at channel 5 on ahci0
ada0 at ahcich4 bus 0 scbus5 target 0 lun 0
ada1 at ahcich5 bus 0 scbus6 target 0 lun 0

My questions are if there is a recommended - peculiar LSI driver setting to set?
- Is there a known 2TB Samba copy limit error?
- Is there a recommended stress test (preferably nondestructive) before trusting the controller card again?
CiPHER
Developer

1199 posts

Posted on 5 January 2017 @ 17:25
Don't you have any 'da' disks? I can see them being detected.

I can see though that the firmware is of older version:

mps0: <Avago Technologies (LSI) SAS2008> port 0xe000-0xe0ff mem 0xfe7f0000-0xfe7fffff,0xfe780000-0xfe7bffff irq 18 at device 0.0 on pci2
mps0: Firmware: 20.00.07.00, Driver: 21.01.00.00-fbsd

You have SAS2008 chip, which should have no 2TiB limitation at all. 32-bit LBA/MBR has such limitation. The older LSI 1068E chip has 2TiB limitation, meaning that all disks like 3TB or 4TB would be displayed as 2TiB or 2.2TB instead.

You could try updating to firmware version 21, if that exists. I can vaguely remember the firmware and driver version should be the same number.
karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 5 January 2017 @ 19:42
Yes you are right about the must - driver and firmware has to be the same version, but Avago stated, the latest firmware is v.20 and there is no new in the making and it's compatible with fbsd v.21 driver. (bad versioning I think)
The 2TiB problem only a possibility not a sure thing. I've experienced reboots only when I tried to copy more than 2TiB data from a ZFS directory to Windows10 directory. So I thought maybe Samba 3 is the culprit.
And yes I have 7 da disks as you can see in the pastebin kernel.log.
One is an external USB drive, six is attached to the DELL-LSI controller so they have SAS addresses.
karmantyu
User

131 posts

Posted on 6 January 2017 @ 08:54
Is the MPT Fusion driver enabled in the default kernel by default (11.0.008) or should I recompile it?
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