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LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2015-07-18, 0:47 AM
Hi, I have a D30 and need to have SAS RAID card for it. Can I use IBM LSI 9260-8i card? Or how about Lenovo 03X3744? Lenovo 03X3617? Thanks in advance.
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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2015-07-18, 1:05 AM

Sure, any of the 9260-8i options should work.  The IBM version, if memory serves, differs slightly in firmware but overall functionality should be similar enough to the base LSI firmware.

 

The support site has Win 7 and 8.1 9260-8i drivers for the D30 available here:  http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products/workstations/thinkstation-d-series-workstations/thinkstation-d30/downloads/DS032624

 

You might find newer drivers on LSI's site.  The above link is the most recent tested and qualified spefically on the D30.

ThinkStation P700      ThinkPad X1C7

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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2015-07-20, 15:42 PM

Many thanks. I will give a try.

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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2015-07-20, 16:25 PM

so this card will work as well: HP LSI 9260-8i SAS 6GB/s 512Mb RAID Controller 694505-001? I will update firmware first.. 

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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2015-07-20, 17:52 PM

It should be the same, but it's hard for us to tell if HP is getting a unique SKU of the card (in terms of hardware).

 

In my opinion, it's important to make sure you're running the Lenovo approved firmware on the 9260 if you choose to use it.  I know there were a few defects found during development there that we specifically resolved in our firmware for that card.  Buying the card from Lenovo is obviously the easiest path as I don't think we currently offer a method for end users to manually update the firmware on that controller.




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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2015-07-21, 15:40 PM

The Lenovo-specific firmware is available on the support site here:  http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products/workstations/thinkstation-c-series-workstations/thinkstation-c30/downloads/DS032945

 

If the HP variant of the card is a box-stock LSI card but with HP-specific firmware then you should be able to overwrite it with ours, assuming you're familiar with how to properly flash it and willing to assume all risk in the event that things go wrong.  The same caveat would apply to the IBM variant, although i'm positive that IBM's version is a box-stock 9260-8i with IBM firmware.

 

As psuturtle mentioned, buying the Lenovo version is your best bet for support reasons.

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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2018-03-16, 1:31 AM

The onboard RAID in the D30 is 3Gb/s. I am assuming that one would purchase the LSI 9260-8i to get higher I/O since it is rated for 6Gb/s?

 

Can you achieve higher than 1GB/s (1000MB/s) sequential reads if you just stick to the onboard RAID and use all 5 blue slots in RAID 0? Or will they be limited regardless of how many drives you put in RAID 0, because of the interfaces 3Gb/s limit?

 

lets take this as a hypothetical example:

 

5 SSDs in RAID 0:

 

1. SDD - 6Gb/s (550MB/s)

2. SSD - 6Gb/s (550MB/s)

3. SSD - 6Gb/s (550MB/s)

4. SSD - 6Gb/s (550MB/s)

5. SSD - 6Gb/s (550MB/s)

 

What will my final MB/s be (sequential reads) in either:

1. stock onboard D30 RAID controller (which we know to be limited to 3Gb/s)

2. LSI RAID controller ad in

 

 

 

 

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Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2018-03-16, 3:54 AM

Yes the LSI adapter should give you 6Gb/s theoretical throughput since all of the ports are SAS/SATA3.  Intel forced the SCU (blue) ports on the onboard controller to be limited to 3Gb/s speed, so the LSI adapters have a clear advantage there.  It's also important to note that by default only 4 of the blue ports will be active on D30.  To enable the 5th port you need to make sure you have an appropriate HDD enablement module installed.

 

I'll ask our benchmarking team to provide feedback on your bandwidth specific questions as they might have relevant data that they can give you.

 

One thing I wanted to point out is that not all of the onboard SATA ports are limited to 3Gb/s speeds on D30.  The red AHCI ports (which are routed to the legacy controller within the PCH) are SATA3-6Gb/s ports.  The orange SATA ports are also AHCI ports as well, but these are limited to 3Gb/s.  While not officially supported, there is an option in BIOS setup to support RAID on the AHCI ports such that you could run a RAID 0 or RAID 1 array on those ports at the higher bandwidth.  I'm not sure what kind of numbers you're looking to achieve, but this might be another option to consider along with the LSI controllers.

 




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  • Message 9 of 11

Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2018-03-17, 1:46 AM

I have successfully installed a 10Gbe SFP+ card in the D30, works perfectly. I used one of the PCIe x16 slots, but it only runs at x8

The speed is fantastic.

I set up a peer-to-peer connection between the D30 and another computer in the house

In the D30, I have a slow SSD (550MB/s) (using the red connector)

In the other computer I have an NVme drive (2500MB/s)

 

Transfering a file between the 2 computers along the 10Gbe fiber optic connection yields 550MB/s, because of the bottleneck created by the SSD. However, once the file is cached in RAM, doing it again gives me the full speed of 1Gigabyte/s transfer. Absolutely amazing.

 

So, clearly the slowpoke SSD in the D30 has to go. My thoughts were to get a RAID card and use SAS drive.

I was thinking of maybe 8 drives (which is the max for the LSI 9260-8i) and maybe RAID 6 them.

The SAS drives are usually 10K and rated at 6Gb/s, still slower than my LAN connection individually, but with RAID 6, I think I may be able to hit the 1000MB/s throughput consistently with a decent amount of storage space (say 2Tb per drive).

SAS drives don't come in very high storage capacity like SATAs. But they should still make a decent NAS repository.

 

There are 12Gb/s SAS drives out there now, and I believe a controller as well LSI 9300-8i. Unsure if you guys have a special firmware for them as well as the LSI 9260-8i? Hint hint, please make one! This will surely max out the 10Gbe connection. It would actually achieve 11.7 MegaBytes/sec transfer speed. So now the bottleneck returns back to the network connection!

 

As far as I know, there isn't a technology pathway for SATA to go any higher than 6Gb/s. The future is SAS drives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Message 10 of 11

Re: LSI 9260-8i for ThinkStation D30

2018-03-19, 15:10 PM

I've sent your bandwidth question over to our benchmarking team.  We're obviously not still actively working on D30 given the age of the platform, but they might have some info they can provide from old testing results.

 

The supported discrete RAID adapters on D30 will get you to 6Gb/s in terms of drive support.  I don't know if that'll get you to your desired throughput with a RAID array or not, but I don't think 6Gb/s SAS drives will perform better than 6Gb/s SATA SSDs in general.  12Gb/s drives and controllers do exist, but they aren't officially supported on D30 as that platform was going EOL when that technology came about.  P500/700/900 were the first ThinkStations to have support for 12Gb/s SAS. 

 

SATA is limited to 6Gb/s max.  SAS will go up to 12Gb/s, and I think SATA Express will get you to that level or even higher (but it isn't really a popular standard).  Now that capacities are increasing and RAID support is becoming possible, NVMe is really the front runner moving forward.  SAS really seems to be a dying breed from what we see.




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