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DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

anthony11
Regular Advisor

DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

When configuring a new system on HP's web site, adding the second 8SFF drive cage brings up a message indicating that one must add a P421 or P822 HBA.  This raises two problems:

 

1) The P822 is not available for selection on the configurator.  In fact I can't find any description of it on the web at all, though it seems logical that a successor to the P812 would accompany the P420/P421.  Anyone know when it might surface?

 

2) In the past one could use a SAS expander to attach both the second 8SFF drive cage and the stock cage to the same HBA, eg. the embedded P410i used on the DL380 G6.  The advantage here is being able to share spares between the two cages, and being able to configure RAID volumes with more than 8 disks.  Since the Gen 8 HBA's finally offer the capability 3-way mirror, I was hoping to be able to configure 12 disks in a volume, a 4-way stripe of 3-way mirrors. I called HP about this and got handed off to offshored tech support, who was slow to understand the issue.  After researching for a while he said something about HP not recommending / allowing the SAS expander in Gen 8 systems, blah blah performance blah, and are "working on something else".

 

I'd be grateful to anyone who can enlighten me as to the situation, if this is true, that it won't work, that it'll work fine if I buy the parts separately, or that it's just a bug in the configurator and should be orderable.  Sure I can just stick in a P421, but that means that I can't have global spares, and I can't configure more than a 2-way stripe (2x 3-way mirrors).

 

 

 

23 REPLIES
Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

1> DL380p Gen8 supports Smart Array P222/P420/P421/H221 and as you might already know that it has integrated P420i

 

2> Sas Expanders are not supported starting from Gen8 servers , basically the expander is built into the backplanes, I understand that by not having a sas expander we cannot span a logical drive across two different backplanes as it is on two different controllers. HP soon will start shipping 12LFF and 25SFF expander based backplanes which means that the embedded P420i will be able to support the 12LFF and 25SFF without having to purchase an additional controller

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Goutham Sabala
anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?


Goutham_Sabala wrote:

1> DL380p Gen8 supports Smart Array P222/P420/P421/H221 and as you might already know that it has integrated P420i

Of course.  I still need to know when the P822 will be advertised, orderable, and shipping.  I'd buy it today if I could to work around the lack of the SAS expander.  The P822 obviously is coming -- just not clear when.

 

2> Sas Expanders are not supported starting from Gen8 servers , basically the expander is built into the backplanes, I understand that by not having a sas expander we cannot span a logical drive across two different backplanes as it is on two different controllers. HP soon will start shipping 12LFF and 25SFF expander based backplanes which means that the embedded P420i will be able to support the 12LFF and 25SFF without having to purchase an additional controller

Interesting. Not sure how 25 SFF bays will fit given the new disk brackets and the status display / connectors on the right side of the front panel.  25 would be great, though a 16SFF panel would seem more likely.  When will this be announced, orderable, and shipping?  I spent two hours on the phone the other day being forwarded around HP, and nobody understood the issue with the lack of the SAS expander, and nobody mentioned these new drive cages.

 


 

Steve Burkett
Valued Contributor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Good to know, There's a very brief mention on these in the HP technology paper:

 

Technology considerations in selecting a direct attached storage solution for HP ProLiant Gen8 servers

"Expanders
SAS expanders allow one SAS port to connect to multiple drives or other expanders. HP SAS Expander Cards and ProLiant Gen8 Expander Backplanes allow servers to connect more drives per port, use more than eight internal drives in a RAID array, and spread a RAID array across multiple drive cages.

 

Internal expander backplanes
HP developed new expander backplanes for use in ProLiant Gen8 server platforms. Unlike previous designs, these backplanes do not require a SAS expander in a PCIe slot. They have simplified cabling and support SmartDrive status monitoring and error logging."

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Thanks, Steve.  I'll read through that document -- had not seen it before.

 

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

A few models of DL380* appear on HP's web site now with ostensible 25SFF cages.  The choices are few, though, and there is much confusion between 8SFF and 25SFF models.

 

There's also a DL380e Gen8 now, with little indication of how it dffers from the DL380p Gen8.

 

Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Not sure if you looked at this for DL380e Gen8
http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Coffee-Coaching-HP-and-Microsoft/Let-s-learn-about-the-new-DL380e-Gen8-ProLiant-Server/ba-p/113243

 

Here is a better one for you ( edited ) located the quick specs of E ( essential series ) 

DL380e Gen8

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14327_div/14327_div.HTML

 

DL380p Gen8 (performance series )

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14212_div/14212_div.HTML

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Goutham Sabala
anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

An HP rep initially claimed to me that the DL380e differed from the DL380p by being a tower, which is not the case.

 

Best I can figure, the DL380e is characterized by lower-performance CPU's with fewer memory channels.

 

Linking to the quickspecs document doesn't help me quote a configuration I can use or tell me when 25SFF models would actually ship.  The first DL380p's we ordered only partially shipped; HP only shipped the memory, disks, etc. a month later.

 

 

Goutham_Sabala
Esteemed Contributor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Hi Anthony,

25SFF will start shipping by July. I do not have exact date but were meant to ship by 2H
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Goutham Sabala
anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Good to know, thanks.  Information on these is scarce on hp.com, plus of course the usual 40% failure rate of page views.

 

Any info on whether a decent set of stock configurations will appear?  So far the only models configurable on the web site are the dl380e, and one large dl385 configuration.  Quickspecs mention a CTO base model and one with two high-end 8-core CPU's, but those don't show up anywhere else.

 

MShep
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Did you get anywhere with this?

Have the same issue, I am torn between just getting another DL380 G7 with a drive cage and a SAS expander so I can use all 16 disks or throwing cash at this to get it working with the new models.

Spoken at length to HP via various distributors and the only thing even closely resembling an answer was:

Use the HP Double Mini SAS Y 36in Cable Assembly (662901-B21).

So has anyone seen and/or used these cables? And will they actually allow me to get all four connections across the two drive cages in a DL380p Gen8 using the two onboard SAS ports the same way the old SAS Expander did?

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

The cable is just for connecting a PCI HBA to the second 8SFF cage AFAICT.

 

When we ordered our first two Gen8 systems, HP told our VAR the same thing, and my boss didn't catch it, so we have two systems with second 8SFF cages we can't use.  Best part was that HP scattered shipping of the various components over the course of two months.

 

Regarding 25SFF models, there are a couple of part numbers in some versions of the DL380 Gen8 quickspec document, one for dual 2.7GHz 8-core, the other for a CTO base.  I placed an order for one of the former.  Our VAR tells me today that HP -- despite having showed a bunch of stock -- has discontinued that part number.  This didn't stop HP from shipping the disks and memory, though -- just no system to put them into.

 

My VAR so far has come up with 686204-S01  HP Proliant DL380e E5-2440 2.4GHz 6-core 25 SFF Server/S-Buy

 

This is the mysterious DL380e, not the DL380p.  Difference seems to be lower clock rates and half the memory channels.

 

Someone at HP claimed to me that 25SFF models would be available mid-June, but they still don't appear on the web site.

 

What a @#$@#@ nightmare.  No wonder HP is having trouble, they can't even be bothered to sell a usable configuration of their servers.  And to think that we switched from Sun/Oracle hardware because it had become so impossible to order and get support...

 

If you need your system before the next century, probably ordering the G7 is the way to go, if you can handle the crappy HBA's that won't do 3-way mirrors.

 

Northwoods
Frequent Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Well add another caught with their pants down. Ordered a DL380p with the 16xSFF bays expecting to run a large array across 16 drives and low an behold, nope...can't do that.

 

Why couldn't HP include a controller option with 4x8087 mini-sas connectors or backplanes with built-in expanders?

 

Half tempted to order a PowerEdge 720 next time around as it can do this without any issues.

 

With the units I have looking at breaking down the raid groups or buying a non-smart array controller which can handle it. Which for the cost of the P421 w/2GB cache + cache for the onboard P420i I could have picked up a LSI MegaRaid 9260-16i or a  3ware 9750-16i4e which bypasses the problem entirely and works.

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Our VAR quotedd systems like that too despite our explicit spec for all 16 drives on a single HBA, and my boss didn't catch the variance.  I now do the ordering :D

 

HP *does* now offer the 25SFF / 12LFF backplanes with embedded expander, but they sure don't make it easy to order.  Last I checked no 25SFF configs were on the web site. The QuickSpecs document listed a part number for a 25SFF system with dual 8-core 2.7GHz, mem, FBWC, etc.  Our VAR quoted us 1+2 of those, and HP accepted the first order. They shipped the extra memory and disk, then cancelled the system itself, saying that it was discontinued.  Our VAR was speechless, and found out that these models are CTO/BTO *only*, so I had to embark on the painful process of canceling / ammending PO's.

 

HP does now finally offer the P822, but it has 4 external and only 2 internal connectors.  I imagine someone duly motivated could pop out a slot cover and run the external connectors back inside.  I also suspect that the older SAS expander card would work, but it certainly isn't "supported".

 

Wrt your temptation to order a Dell:  phear.  As bad as HP is to deal with I hear that Dell is even worse, plus the utilities for setting up their rebadged LSI RAID HBA's are even more horrid than HP's.

 

I favor non-RAID HBA's and software RAID too, but:

 

1) Linux software RAID sucks.  Hard.  Really hard.  Coming from ZFS I read up on LVM2 and MD and was astounded that the tech was 20 years behind

2) There's the age-old problem of physically locating a failed disk.  Linux' stupid sequential device names (sda sdb) instead of cXtXdX makes it an order of magnitude harder.  HP's HBA's in theory will light up a failed disk, though we've yet to experience a failure to test that.

 

 

Minutemqnqvs
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Could anyone find the right way to be able to control the 16 disks witn one P420i RAID controller on the DL380 Gen8? I'm facing the same problem here...I want to create a big RAID 6 array on the 16 disks but it looks like it's not possible?!?

 

I previously had Gen 5, Gen 6 and Gen 7 DL380's and there was always a solution for this...

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Unless I'm missing something the only supported way with internal disks and HBA RAID is to order the 25SFF CTO chassis, which can take up to 27 internal split across two channels. Alternatives include software RAID or a P420i with external disk chassis. One could I imagine buy a SAS expander separately and stuff it in, but I have no idea if it would work.

Annoying, isn't it? HP took months after Gen8 launch to come out with the 25SFF chassis. I'd say that it really should be the default, but the higher-end CPU's aren't supported -- reduced cooling / airflow I guess. The stock chassis is especially limiting when using three-way mirrors.

HP advertised BTO 25SFF models for a while. I ordered one, then they shipped the extra disk and RAM and cancelled the server itself. I had to piece together a CTO order for the balance, which was an accounting nightmare.
Minutemqnqvs
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Argh...then I guess I'll go the IBM x3650 M4 way, it has everything the Gen8 DL380 doesn't provide :(
anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

I'm curious -- like what?

 

I came to HP systems from Sun gear.  Lots of things I miss about the latter, especially a vastly superior serial console experience.  I demo'd an IBM M3 system last year and found that the serial console was disabled by default, and the IBM people I was dealing with couldn't get me a viable set of steps to enable it.  HP nominally has it enabled by default with Gen 8 systems, which is extremely useful for remote bringups and iLO bugs.  We had a batch of systems from Mexico that came with it disabled, though, and other bizarre factory misconfigurations.  Systems built in the US have all been fine from the factory.

 

Not being able to get a menu-style RBSU interface is annoying with HP, though, especially since the CLI lacks command editing and the ability to handle pasting test -- or did that get fixed from the G7 systems?

 

Another plus for HP is the ability of their Smart Array HBA's to do 3-way mirrors.  IBM uses LSI cards, and when I wrote to LSI they told me they have no plans.

 

When I demo'd the IBM M3 system I'd hoped that UEFI would be a clean break from BIOS anachronisms, but I found that it pretty much was more of the same with a different name.

 

YMMV.

 

 

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

The 10SFF (360) and 25SFF (380) chassis work for me, though the period when they weren't available was rocky
Enzo91778
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Enzo here have you resolve this already ? I have the same problem with my client I'm from the Philippines they have a DL380p CTO with a Smart Array Controller HP P420/1GB FBWC is the P822 the answer for this or Not?
anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Enzo, you don't state exactly what your client's problem is, what they want, and what they have.  Do they have the 25SFF DL380p Gen 8 chassis, or the stupid default 8SFF chassis?

xnavdvpj
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Hp has a solution for this now.

 

Purchase  these items.

HP Smart Array P830/4GB FBWC 12Gb 2-ports Int SAS Controller              698533-B21

HP 6G SAS P430/830 Secondary Cable Kit                                                         729276-B21

HP 6G SAS P430/830 Primary Cable Kit                                                              729278-B21

Directions 

1 - Install the P830 in an open PCIe slot.

2 - Connect the Primary cable kit from Port 1 to Cage 1 and the Secondary cable kit from Port 2 to Cage  This will then enable them to RAID stripe across both cages.

3 - Disable the onboard P420i in the BIOS, and set the P830 as the primary boot controller.

 

Note: If server isn’t a fresh build. RAID information can be saved/exported from the P420i, so they should back up their data and restore it once the drives are connected to the P830 and the RAID groups have been re-configured.

 

Good Luck

Jalvarezmcp
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

Hello,

 

I too purchased two Gen8 DL380ps with the P822 controllers and have the same exact issue of spanning anything across both drive cages. I've spent tons of time with HP support and bottom line, no expanders = no solution. I suggested plugging in one internal port per cage back plane and I was told by HP that the controller would only be able to see 4 drives per cage if I did that. I also suggested plugging in an external port right back into the second cage and was told that the internal and external ports on the P822 differ tremendously and would not work. I'm considering returning these two servers and opting for the 25 SFF model since it appears to have the same e5-2690 proc and high speed 14900r 1866Mhz Memory, but before doing this I'd like to get more info on the 25SFF back plane and make sure that this would be advantageous and there are no other surprises with that disk architecture....here are some pics of my back plane and insides of my server with the fans assembly removed. I've got the P822 going to one cage and the P420i going to my second cage....has anyone heard anything else new?

 

Thanks,

 

Jose Alvarez

anthony11
Regular Advisor

Re: DL380p Gen8 incompatible with SAS expander? Smart Array P822?

The 25SFF chassis Just Worked for me.  IIRC 12 of the bays map to one HBA channel and 13 to the other.  There is/was an option for an additional two drive bays to stick in the second PCI bay in the rear, but I'm not sure if HP ever shipped any.

 

If you want to have HBA RAID volumes with more than 8 drives, the 25SFF chassis really is the best way -- or tacking on an external drive array.

 

That said I suspect the external port -> internal port would probably work, but who knows what hassles that might bring.