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mango
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-22-2011
Location: Switzerland
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IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

Did anyone ever successfully install an IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a D20?

 

The reason why I am asking is that I tried just that and failed. I attached the SATA drives with a SFF 8087 cable and installed the adapter into a x16 slot. During boot I can access the adapters WebBIOS and can access the adapter from Windows 7 using the management software. So far so good.

The issue is that the adapter itself does not recognize a single disk (I tried multiple different types/brands). Suspecting interrupt / resource issues I disabled the Intel and the Marvell adapter in the BIOS, updated the M1015 firmware etc... no luck.

 

Did anyone ever successfully install a M1015 in a D20? If so, what's the trick?

 

Concerning the Marvell adatapter - we have three D20s in use. On all of them this adapter will consistently corrupt any RAID sooner or later (under Linux and under Windows). Even after a replacement of the motherboard. As much as I like the D20, the on-board RAID adapter really is a waste.

 

Thanks in advance for any useful hints!

 

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erik
Posts: 5,018
Registered: ‎11-23-2007
Location: United States
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

welcome to the forum!

 

while not the M1015, i've had an IBM BR10il installed in a D20 x4 slot with no problem.   both use an LSI chipset.

 

have you tried the cable in a different SFF-8087 socket or installing the card in the x4 slot?

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mango
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-22-2011
Location: Switzerland
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

Thanks for the welcome and swift response!

 

I have not tried the x4 slot, but will try that. As far as the SFF8087 socket is concerned, I tried every conceivable possibilty. Also I even had the M1015 exchanged to exclude the possibility for the card to be faulty.

 

Furthermore I have successfully tested an IBM SAS HBA v2 (also with an LSI 2008 chip) in the x16 and x4 slot which works just fine (assuming you disable the bootrom to avoid resource conflicts with the Marvell or alternatively disable the Marvell).

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EsotericUser
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎09-25-2010
Location: sacramento
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

What is the benefit of using this  IBM ServeRAID M1015 card? Will it be faster then the Lenovo D20 onboard raid controller, provided similar hard drives are used.

 

 

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erik
Posts: 5,018
Registered: ‎11-23-2007
Location: United States
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158


mango wrote:

Furthermore I have successfully tested an IBM SAS HBA v2 (also with an LSI 2008 chip) in the x16 and x4 slot which works just fine (assuming you disable the bootrom to avoid resource conflicts with the Marvell or alternatively disable the Marvell).


the SAS HBA v2 uses an LSI 1068E, not a SAS2008.   perhaps the 1068E plays better with the D20 than the SAS2008 chipset.   the BR10il has a 1064E and works well in my experience so there might be something to the chipset.

 

with that said, have you considered using the IBM SAS HBA v2 instead?

 


EsotericUser wrote:

What is the benefit of using this  IBM ServeRAID M1015 card? Will it be faster then the Lenovo D20 onboard raid controller, provided similar hard drives are used.


the benefit would be in using an LSI controller that many people favor for its reliability and software package.

 

all things equal, speed would be nearly identical with the marvell controller whether it's for data storage or an OS installation.   for what you're personally doing, an SSD is still the recommended solution for your OS installation.

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jtreble
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
Location: Canada

Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

[ Edited ]

Did anyone ever successfully install an IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a D20?

 

We had this card working in IT mode with an LSI bios in a Win7Pro D20 ZFS (NexentaCore or Solaris-based VM - I can't remember) box.  It has since been replaced by an LSI card.  Sorry, I can't help you on the HW RAID side.

 

John Treble

Ottawa, Canada

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mango
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-22-2011
Location: Switzerland
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

John - thanks for the hint with the IT firmware. In this case I actually wanted to use IR mode, but if I cannot get this one to work, then I might be better off with IT mode. Can you remember, which firmware did you use? I tried various firmware levels from IBM and from LSI (9240-8i). With none of them the adapter was able to detect a single drive. I even tried another M1015 to rule out adapter HW failure. Also I tried both available PCIe x16 slots. I wonder - is there anything in the D20 BIOS and / or resource allocation (IRQ, ROM image) that let's this adapter fail? The other point I was wondering about... I know the IBM HBA 6Gb/s also comes with a LSI2008 and is equivalent to an LSI9211. This adapter works in the D20. The firmware is different (no WebBIOS, less features etc.). The 9211 is supposedly simpler (and cheaper). Would it make sense to try flashing the 9211 firmware onto the M1015 (not sure this question actually makes sense)? Concerning my earlier reference to the HBA v2 - that was a mistake. I was referring to the 6Gb/s HBA (http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0054.html#6gbsas). This one comes with a LSI 2008, but has the RAID feature disabled (I tried IR and IT firmware). Also, internally it has 4 SAS/SATA ports only. As for the Marvell adapter, I am surprised not to read more about issues with it. We had three D20, two running Windows 7, one Linux with SATA disks from different vendors, all setup by different people (i.e. only one by myself). One of them I had the motherboard exchanged. When running any RAIDs (even 0) including 4 disks or more (cannot talk about 3 - never tried), we consistently suffered from severe data corruption (loss of filesystem). Hence I am not going to go near that controller in RAID mode on the D20 any time again. Actually I'd prefer to disable it entirely which is one of the reasons to install a M1015.
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erik
Posts: 5,018
Registered: ‎11-23-2007
Location: United States
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

regarding failures/issues with marvell controllers, i'd want to know exactly which model hard drives you're using in the three systems that failed.   not all HDDs are rated for use in RAID and nearly all modern desktop drives will cause issues.   enterprise drives on the other hand have specific firmware that prevent timeout and subsequent data loss.

 

regarding M1015 firmware on the 9211, it might flash if you extract the BIOS and flash it from within MSM.   just be sure to have a copy of the 9211 firmware handy in case it doesn't like the flash for some reason.   this is of course unsupported by both IBM and LSI so proceed at your own risk.

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jtreble
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
Location: Canada
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

[ Edited ]

... then I might be better off with IT mode.

If you are going to configure a software RAID-based system, yes.  Otherwise, I wouldn't think so (see below).


Can you remember, which firmware did you use?

LSI 9211.  We did this on a spare D20 with an unused M1015 for ZFS file system test purposes only.

 

The firmware is different (no WebBIOS, less features etc.). The 9211 is supposedly simpler (and cheaper).

The LSI HBA 9200-series cards are primarily designed for passthrough bus access.  The RAID functionality on these cards is very basic (e.g., no battery, no cache, poor performance, typically only RAID 0/1/10 ...).


Would it make sense to try flashing the 9211 firmware onto the M1015 (not sure this question actually makes sense)?

As a means of adding additional 6Gb/s ports to implement a file system like ZFS (end-to-end check-summing, software RAID ...) a card like the 9211-8i in IT mode is ideal.  I wouldn't, however, flash an M1015 with LSI firmware on any box used for business.  I would just buy the LSI card ($250). 

 

... we consistently suffered from severe data corruption (loss of filesystem). Hence I am not going to go near that controller in RAID mode on the D20 any time again. Actually I'd prefer to disable it entirely which is one of the reasons to install a M1015.

Have you considered testing a D20 configuration with a more capable RAID card than the IBM M1015 (i.e., one with battery, cache ...) and enterprise-grade hard drives?

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mango
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-22-2011
Location: Switzerland
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Re: IBM ServeRAID M1015 in a Lenovo D20 4158

I finally solved the mystery. The problem were the cables. I had three brand-new cables. It would appear that each one of them was faulty. Who'd expect that? Right now I am running a RAID5 which shows no issues so far and performs well. It matches the current needs. As for the Marvell adapter, the problem wasn't that I'd loose a volume. The problem was that the data got corrupted without apparent reason (SMART status of all disks was ok etc.). So, supposedly if a disk operation fails I'd expect the adapter to degrade a volume not to corrupt it. I had the same effects with three different disk types from different manufacturers on this adapter. I disabled that adapter now as I got fully working (and so far reliable) replacement with the M1015. Just make sure your cables are ok ;-}