[CentOS] New controller card issues

Thu May 28 17:25:43 UTC 2015
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On Thu, May 28, 2015 11:12 am, Kirk Bocek wrote:
> On 5/28/2015 9:03 AM, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> On Thu, May 28, 2015 10:46 am, Kirk Bocek wrote:
>>> On 5/26/2015 11:07 AM, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
>>>> Push came to shove - these things gag on a drive > 2TB.
>>> I ran into this a couple of years ago with some older 3Ware cards. A
firmware update fixed it.
>> With 3ware cards depending on card model:
>> 1. the card supports drives > 2TB
>> 2. the card as initially released does not support these drives, but there
>> is firmware update after installation of which the card will supports
drives > 2TB
>> 3. The card does not support drives > 2TB, even with latest available
firmware. (there are really old cards, even though someone may say
hardware doesn't live this long, I do have them in production as well,
>> to the credit of 3ware I must say: I've never seen one dead - excluding
abuse/misuse of course).
>> Just my $0.02
>> Valeri
> Well the 3Ware cards have reached their end of life for me. I just went
through a horrible build that finally hinged on an incompatibility
between a 3Ware card and a new SuperMicro X10-DRI motherboard. Boots
would just hang. Once I installed a newer LSI MegaRaid card, all my
problems went away.

Of two vendors 3ware and Supermicro (if it is hardware defining choice)
3ware wind hands down for me. I gave up on Supermicro some time ago. I
prefer Tyan system boards instead. Several supermicro boards died on me:
all of them were AMD boards, dual or single socket workstation class
boards. They died of age, somewhere in their 4th year of age, starting
memory errors (and these are not due to mem controller which is on CPU
substrate - I attest to that), and few Months later they would die
altogether. I ascribed it to poor system board electronics design, and
poor design of even one class of their products is a decision maker - at
least for me. So, as far as system boards are concerned, I'm happy with
Tyan, whose boards I'm using forever, who is in server board business
forever (which was true even when Supermicro just emerged).

As far as RAID cards are concerned... This is a bit more difficult thing.
I do use both LSI and 3ware. 3ware outnumbers LSI in my server room by a
factor of 5 at least. LSI is good solid hardware that exists forever
(pretty much as 3ware does). For me big advantage of 3ware is transparent
interface. By which I mean web interface. There is command line interface
for both and 3ware command line interface may be less confusing for me.
But transparent web interface available in 3ware case it real winner in my
opinion. As, when dealing with (very good, which both are) RAID hardware
the screw ups happen mostly due to operator error (OK, who of you guys do
not screw up even with confusing interface are geniuses in my book - which
I definitely am not).

Sorry for long comment. I did feel 3ware deserves more respect than one
might draw from this thread otherwise.


> I have used and depended on 3Ware for a decade. I worked with both the
3Ware vendor, which is Avago, and SuperMicro, there is simply no fix. I
suggest everyone stay away from 3Ware from now on.
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247