In my house I have an HP Microserver Gen 10, I use it as NAS and hypervisor for a few virtual machines.
Since I need a reliable system I have decided to implement a RAID 1 (2x 3TB HDD) and use an external 3TB for backups.
Yes, if you where asking why backups, the answer is pretty simple, RAID doesn’t substitute backups.
I had three option:
- Microserver RAID (Marvell SATA controller 88SE9230)
- Linux software RAID
- Add an additional PCI Express RAID card
Why I have chosen the third option?
I have decided to use an additional RAID card because for the Marvell SATA controller RAID I have see a lot of discussion about weird issues (ex: RAID no more recognized after a poweroff and power on).
Plus I have tested it and it didn’t recognized a failure on one of the HDD and the Marvell Utility on Linux is a crap so I have discarded it.
I have also discarded Linux software RAID for performance issue, sometimes it use a lot of I/O.
On the Microserver there are only two core (It’s an AMD Opteron X3216 APU) so the server will became busy only for handle read/write operations.
So in the end I have chosen a Dell PERC H200 RAID card (it’s an LSI 9240-8i PCI SAS/SATA) because it’s a good and also cheapest RAID on the market.
Plus it works (only in BIOS mode) and fit perfectly on the Microserver (only the connector for the discs is not easy to fit).
By taking a look on various forums (in particular this on homeservershow.com) they suggest the LSI 92XX series.
Now let’s stop talking and let’s start with the facts.
The PERC H200 card that I’ve bought come with a very old firmware version (2010 I think it’s the first release) and it doesn’t support HDD major than 2 TB, only the recent firmware will support them.
On the web there are lot of tutorial for convert this card from Dell brand to original LSI firmware. (LSI9211-IT or LSI9211-IR here an explaination about the two modes)
Since Dell provide an official firmware we are gonna use it.
Step 1 – Get the firmware
Go on the Dell website and downlod the Linux version of the firmware for the PERC H200 (https://www.dell.com/support/home/it/it/itdhs1/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=nx9t4).
[root@microvisor ~]# wget https://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER00417454M/1/SAS-RAID_Firmware_NX9T4_LN32_07.03.05.00_A08.BIN
Since we are running on HP hardware and not on Dell hardware if you run the binary you will receive the following error:
This Update Package is not compatible with your system configuration
So we need to extract the content from the file, in order to do it, run the following command:
[root@microvisor ~]# bash SAS-RAID_Firmware_NX9T4_LN32_07.03.05.00_A08.BIN --extract SAS
The extracted content it will look like this:
[root@microvisor ~]# ll SAS total 5680 -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 360 Feb 3 2012 00-secupd-dell.rules -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 52 Feb 3 2012 98-secupdusb.rules -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 227 Jan 12 2012 buildVer.sh -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 302 Feb 3 2012 doRPM.sh -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 22173 Feb 3 2012 dupdisneyinstall.sh -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 101425 Jan 25 2012 duppmdatacollector.bin -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 22781 Jan 12 2012 en.prop drwxr-xr-t. 2 root root 78 Apr 12 2012 ESX -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 1205544 Jan 12 2012 getSystemId drwxr-xr-t. 3 root root 35 Apr 12 2012 hapi -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 327836 Feb 3 2012 libstorelibir-2.so -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 282444 Feb 3 2012 libstorelibir.so -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 181848 Feb 3 2012 libstorelib.so -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 75708 Jan 12 2012 mc.txt -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 6718 Apr 12 2012 package.xml drwxr-xr-t. 2 root root 60 Aug 13 17:45 payload -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 390 Apr 12 2012 PIEConfig.sh -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 4461 Feb 3 2012 PIEInfo.txt -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 2465586 Feb 3 2012 sasdupie -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 374 Jul 7 2006 smbiosHelp.txt -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 638 Jul 7 2006 spconfig.xml -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 893 Mar 17 2010 sphelp.txt -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 58863 Jan 23 2012 spsetup.sh -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 934020 Jan 12 2012 sputility.bin -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 537 Jul 7 2006 spUtilityHelp.txt -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 41230 Feb 3 2012 srvadmin-storelib-sysfs-7.0.0-4.73.1.el4.i386.rpm -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 1419 Feb 24 2007 svmExeMsg.xsl -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 4 Jul 7 2006 uni-eol.txt -rwxr-xr-t. 1 root root 4818 Apr 12 2012 Version.txt [root@microvisor ~]#
We don’t need all those files but only the content of the payload folder, so create a new folder and copy the files
[root@microvisor ~]# mkdir -p ~/firmware-upgrade/ [root@microvisor ~]# cp -rf ~/SAS/payload/* ~/firmware-upgrade/
Step 2 – Get the flash utility for Linux
For flash the firmware LSI provide a tool called sas2flash.
Since we are gonna flash the original Dell firmware we can flash directly from Linux OS (Centos 7 in my case) without creating a bootable MSDOS USB Stick.
I have downloaded the sas2flash utility for linux from this link let’s download and extract the content from the zip
[root@microvisor ~]# wget https://ww2.chemistry.gatech.edu/software/lsi/9211-8i/Installer_P12_for_Linux.zip [root@microvisor ~]# unzip Installer_P12_for_Linux.zip
Now copy the sas2flash tool for i686 and x64 systems to our firmware-upgrade folder
[root@microvisor ~]# cp ~/Installer_P12_for_Linux/sas2flash_linux_i686_x86-64_rel/sas2flash ~/firmware-upgrade/
Step 3 – Flash the firmware
Now we are ready to flash the RAID card, go inside the firmware-upgrade folder and run this command in order to list all available LSI RAID controller on the system
[root@microvisor firmware-upgrade]# ./sas2flash -listall LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility Version 12.00.00.00 (2011.11.08) Copyright (c) 2008-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2) Num Ctlr FW Ver NVDATA x86-BIOS PCI Addr ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 0 SAS2008(B2) 07.15.08.00 07.00.00.19 07.11.10.00 00:03:00:00 Finished Processing Commands Successfully. Exiting SAS2Flash.
As you can see the tool detect our card as number 0, let’s print out the detail of this card
[root@microvisor firmware-upgrade]# ./sas2flash -c 0 -list LSI Corporation SAS2 Flash Utility Version 12.00.00.00 (2011.11.08) Copyright (c) 2008-2011 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2) Controller Number : 0 Controller : SAS2008(B2) PCI Address : 00:03:00:00 SAS Address : 5782bcb-0-5480-5300 NVDATA Version (Default) : 07.00.00.19 NVDATA Version (Persistent) : 07.00.00.19 Firmware Product ID : 0x2713 Firmware Version : 07.15.08.00 NVDATA Vendor : Dell NVDATA Product ID : H200A BIOS Version : 07.11.10.00 UEFI BSD Version : 07.00.01.00 FCODE Version : N/A Board Name : PERC H200A Board Assembly : N/A Board Tracer Number : N/A Finished Processing Commands Successfully. Exiting SAS2Flash.
In my case the output is alredy after a firmware flash but before do the flash note down the following data: NVDATA, Firmware Version and BIOS Version.
Run now the following command for start the firmware flash. We flash the firmware (-f parameter and the boot rom – b parameter):
That’s it! If the flash gone ok you can reboot the system and enjoy the new firmware for disks > 2TB
Step 4 – RAID tools and smartctl (optional)
For this RAID card you cannot use MegaRAID tools. You need for the Fusion-MPT SAS-2 cards a tool called sas2ircu.
This tool on Centos 7 is provided by nux.ro you can download and install it with these commands:
[root@microvisor ~]# wget http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/dextop/el7/x86_64/sas2ircu-15.0-1.el7.nux.x86_64.rpm [root@microvisor ~]# yum install sas2ircu-15.0-1.el7.nux.x86_64.rpm
Now you can check the RAID status with this command:
If you need or need to run smartmontools on each disk normally you cannot with a RAID card but there is a trick.
You just need only to load the sg kernel module (Linux SCSI Generic driver) and then you where able to use smartctl.
[root@microvisor ~]# modprobe sg [root@microvisor ~]# smartctl -a /dev/sg2 smartctl 6.5 2016-05-07 r4318 [x86_64-linux-3.10.0-957.27.2.el7.x86_64] (local build) Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org === START OF INFORMATION SECTION === Model Family: Western Digital Red Device Model: WDC WD30EFRX-68N32N0 Serial Number: WD-WCC LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 2ba25624c Firmware Version: 82.00A82 User Capacity: 3,000,592,982,016 bytes [3.00 TB] Sector Sizes: 512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical Rotation Rate: 5400 rpm Form Factor: 3.5 inches Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show] ATA Version is: ACS-3 T13/2161-D revision 5 SATA Version is: SATA 3.1, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s) Local Time is: Wed Aug 14 15:31:56 2019 CEST SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability. SMART support is: Enabled
To always load the module at boot you need to create a file under /etc/modules-load.d/ folder for ex. raid-smart.conf and inside the file write sg
[root@microvisor ~]# echo "sg" > /etc/modules-load.d/raid-smart.conf
If you need help, please leave a comment!