[CentOS] CentOS and Marvell SAS/SATA drivers

Nico Kadel-Garcia nkadel at gmail.com
Sun Mar 6 22:45:53 UTC 2011

On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM, Chuck Munro <chuckm at seafoam.net> wrote:
> On 03/06/2011 09:00 AM, compdoc wrote:
>>> >Regarding the Marvell drivers, I had good luck with the 'sata_mv' driver
>>> >in Scientific Linux 6 just yesterday, running a pair of 4-port PCIe-x4
>>> >Tempo 'Sonnet' controller cards.
>> Are those the Mac/Windows Sonnet cards that go for less than $200?
>> What kind of performance you seeing? Are you doing software raid on them?
> Yes, those are the cards which target Windows and OS-X, but they work
> fine on Linux as well.  They use the Marvell 88SX series chips.
> They control 6 2TB WD Caviar Black drives, arranged as 5 drives in a
> RAID-6 array with one hot spare.  3 drives are connected to each of two
> cards.  mdstat shows array re-sync speed is usually over 100 MBytes/sec
> although that tends to vary quite a bit over time.
>> ------------------------------
>> On 03/06/2011 09:00 AM, John R Pierce wrote:
>> On 03/05/11 7:01 AM, Eero Volotinen wrote:
>>> >
>>> >  areca works..
>>> >
>>> >
>> for SAS, I prefer LSI Logic.
> The Supermicro mobo I'm using (X8DAL-3) has an on-board LSI 1068E
> SAS/SATA controller chip, although I have the RAID functionality
> disabled so I can use it as a bunch of drives for software RAID-6.  Like
> the Tempo cards, it has 6 2TB WD SATA drives attached which provides a
> second set of arrays.
> Performance really sucks, for some unknown reason, and I get lots of I/O
> error messages logged when the drives get busy.  There appears to be no
> data corruption, just a lot of retries that slow things down significantly.
> The LSI web site has no info about the errors.  The firmware is passing
> back I/O abort code 0403 and LSI Debug info related to "channel 0 id 9".
>  There are only 8 ports so I don't know which disk drive may or may not
> be causing problems.  The SMART data on all disks shows no issues,
> although I tend to treat some SMART data with scepticism.
> I need to track this error down because my understanding is that the LSI
> controller chip has very good performance.

I've had Linux integration issues with them for various reasons. Also,
one LSI chipset may differ, a *LOT*, from the next LSI chipset in
performance and integration.

I like Adaptec for price/performance, and good Linux overall
compatibility (including CentOS). Just don't order those "fell off the
truck" Taiwan specials that are clearly Adaptec chipsets, but have
actually had the numbers filed off. (Ran into those at a hardware
vendor that specialized in promising BIG! NEW! FEATURES! but which had
never tested the components in combination, and explaining that they
needed to files 2 millimeters off the overlong and badly cut mounting
plates or the controller cards would *keep* unseating was..... not a
good conversation.)

                                    Nico Kadel-Garcia

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