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HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

 
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HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

Hi friends:

I work for a tiny non-profit. We have a Dell PowerEdge R730 with PERC H730 controller with (4) internal SAS drives in a RAID 5 Array, running W2016.

We recently purchased an HPE StorEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive and an LSI SAS 9207-4I4E 

SAS controller. The Dell server does not recognize the controller nor the drive (and device manager in the OS does not show either).

I tried getting help from Dell. The closest response I could get is that "G13 and G14 versions of our servers only support 12GB external SAS". When pressed to recommend a controller that would work with the R730 and the HP Ultrium, they could not provide a SKU for me and stated that they could not guarantee that it would even work with the HPE StorEver. Translated: Go away, since you didn't buy a Dell PowerVault.

I've been in IT for over 30 years. Not ranting, but I've never seen a server that could not work with a standard off the shelf SCSI 3rd party controller (Adaptec, LSI) and tape drive. I've worked with many my whole life.

In 2018, I cannot believe how hard it is turning out to be to find a SAS controller that works with this server and that supports the HPE StorEver 15000 External drive.

Can someone here please help advise on a controller that would work to interface the Dell R730 with this unit?

(Rant: Since when did we begin moving back to vendor-specific proprietary closed systems? I don't manage or buy a bazillion servers, and I know vendors are not in the businesses of making other companies money. But in this day, to not have a SAS device interoperate on different server platforms...really? Not a fan of Dell. )

I cannot get over how hard it is to simply get a SAS controller to connect this drive to a Dell R730. PAINFUL.

Can someone recommend a controller? (and, extra if you  have time to comment, have the vendors really moved backwards towards proprietary closed systems?)

7 REPLIES 7
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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

Sorry to hear about your troubles.  

Here is where I would recommend starting: https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=c04616269

Look at page 38 of the March 2018 edition for the Windows SAS HBA listing for the StoreEver products.  If you scroll through the other pages you will find similar listings for Linux, etc.  

It looks like the LSI 9217-414e is what is required - rather than the 9207-414e.  I honestly am not familiar enough with these two HBAs to know the differences - sorry.  Note that there are also several caveats listed in the above matrix that might be worth reviewing.

Do you believe that Dell is saying that you explicitly need a 12Gb HBA for this to work?

On Monday I will discuss this item with another engineer here on our team and see if we can provide any further guidance on this subject.  Sorry I can't give you more concrete guidance at this point in time.  

 

EDIT: Realized I had provided a page number from the February version, not the March version.  Updated now.



I am a HPE Employee
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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

I really appreciate that, Chris_Hillier. Truly. And if you don't mind
checking with another one of your team members, that'd be great. To be
honest, as a Director of IT, I've pretty much almost always used HP gear,
though sometimes (as where I am now) I occasionally bump into Dell. I love
HP Servers and products, which is why I picked the Ultrium 15000 from HP
rather than the Dell PowerVault product. Better support, better quality,
etc. 'nuff said.

Yes, it would appear that Dell is saying that this "Gen13" server only
supports 12GB SAS controllers. The PERC H730 is a 12gb/6gb/3gb SAS/SATA
controller. The Dell rep suggested that their 12gb controller *MIGHT* work
(their SKU 405-AADZ). But he could not find any specs for it, including
what connector it had (The ultrium has an SFF8088, but he didn't know what
connector this had, nor if any converter cables would even work).
Basically, like I said, since I was trying to hook up an HP, he just kind
of brushed me off. HOnestly, that's what I expect from them. That's been my
experience.

Regardless, I want to make the HP Ultrium 15000 work, if not in this
server, then in some backup workstation I could build and do it the old
fashioned way with a backup server separate from my main server. But I'd
rather figure out what controller can be put in that R730 to give me the
external SAS port I need to plug in that drive. I've not decided what
backup software I'm going to put in. Was looking at Acronis Backup, but
historically have worked with Backup Exec. That's another thing I'll have
to yet eval and test.

But if i can't get the controller or the Ultrium to even show up in device
manaager of the o/s, I'm at a dead stop from day one.

Anything you can do to help me identify a controller would be great. IF I
could wave a magic wand, I'd send this Dell Server back to Michael Dell and
buy an HP. But i cannot undo what we have now, and I'd rather simply figure
out how to get this drive connected to this server and move forward.

Never a dull moment.

:)

--
*Robert P. Britton Jr.*
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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

Ok, we spent some time discussing this item earlier this morning.  Essentially, we believe that if you can find a list of HBAs that Dell states are supported with tape, our drive should work with any of them even though we do not specifically test compatibility.  We would typically recommend one of the Broadcom/Avago/LSI HBAs.

Looking at the Dell server configuration tool, it appears that the 'SAS 12Gbps HBA External Controller' (Dell PN 405-AAES) is the only option for a SAS HBA.  I am not sure who manfacturers this HBA, but it might be good starting point.  Here is a link to it on the Dell website:

http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/sas-12gbps-hba-external-controllerlow-profile-cuskit/apd/405-aaes/storage-drives-media#polaris-pd



I am a HPE Employee
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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

Ok. So I spent the morning on with Dell. I got the 12gb SAS controller they said would work with our PowerEdge R730. The cotrnoller is detected by the O/S, but the HP Ultrium 15000 is not. The controller does not list the device as connected, even though it is powered on and connected using an SFF-8644 cable to an SFF-8088 cable.

The Dell Rep told me that it is not supported, and that NO tape backups are supported with this server. Of course, this was their phillipino call center over seas, so I'm not confident that this is fully accurate.

So now I have a Dell supported 12GB SAS controller that is supported by the MFG, but that won't detect the Ultrium 15000. And they tell me there are no external tape drives at all supported by Dell for my PowerEdge R730.

Now I'm stuck. I have a $3000+ brick and a server that the manufacturer tells me there are no external tape drives that are supported.

So let me ask this question before I return the Ultrium 15000. What controller does HP sell that would work in a DESKTOP PCIe slot. I'm thinking the only thing I can do now is build a dedicated workstation backup because Dell says there's no controller they have or will support that will allow any external tape drive at all to be connected to my server.

If I cannot find a supported controller that i can put on a workstation, I have to return the brick. But even doing so leaves me without an option, according to Dell, for finding ANY external tape drive that will backup our server. That's just crazy.

There are days I hate being in IT, and this is one of them. So frustrated.

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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

It is really strange you are having these problems.  Dell has always been really good about supporting tape on their servers and connecting an HPE tape drive usually isn't a problem.  While there are some differences in an HPE LTO tape drive interface and the LTO tape drives sold by Dell those differences are pretty minor and shouldn't affect OS detection.  Dell could implement what we call a "white list" model where the controller will only connect to devices that are on a list of supported devices but I haven't seen that with Dell SAS connectivity yet.

Have you looked to see if the tape drive is hidden somewhere in Device Manager like under "Other Devices"?  WS2016 won't list the tape drive under tape drives until the HPE tape driver (or an ISV application tape drivers) is installed.

The card you listed previously, the LSI 9207-414e, is the LSI (Avago/Broadcom) branded version of the LSI 9217-4i4e oem controller that HPE has tested and the 9207-4i4e would be the off the shelf LSI controller that I would recommend.  Any issues HPE finds in an OEM controller LSI rolls into all related controllers pretty rapidly so LSI controllers work well with tape.  If the OS detects/reports the controller then I would expect that the tape drive should also work.  I have personally tried a large number of different LSI branded and LSI oem SAS controllers and have not yet found one that didn't work with HPE tape drives.

 


I work for HPE

Accept or Kudo

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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

the LSI 9207-414e, a 6GB SAS controller, does not get detected by Dell PowerEdge R730. Dell's manual specifically says the R730 only supports 12GB SAS (slot 6 for single CPU R730 servers). So the LSI 9207-414e doesn't get detected, while the Dell 12GB controller does. The Dell 12GB SAS controller shows up in the OS Device Manager no problem. However, the controller does not detect the Ultrium 15000 at the hardware (and consequently the O/S) level. The controller shows no connected devices and hence presents no system "other devices". And the Dell support rep said that no external tape drives are supported on the R730. (I'm not sure if the offshore call center rep was really truthful on this, or making a blanket statement regarding no support of 3rd party (read, "NON-DELL") hardware.

Honestly, I have NEVER in my 30 years of IT experienced not being able to get a 3rd party tape drive to work with a COTS server. I've worked with HP, Quantum, Exabyte, you name it. This isn't the first time I've ever experienced a vendor saying that they don't "support" any 3rd party tape drives, but where the reality is that they truly appear to NOT work with any others, and in fact said the R730 has support NO external tape drive support at all. (Which again, I think is probably bunk, but given that I can't get the drive to connect, it's so far turning out to be a truth).

And trust me: I've been around the block enough to know the difference between "officially tested and supported" (e.g., we only test our gear and a limited subset of major OEM partners gear) vs. it works but we aren't going to help you, go away, 3rd Party gear. Dell's really good at the "go away" part of the equation. You didn't buy Dell brand? We don't understand english. Go away.

I was reading another vendors LTO tape drive specs. They say that their LTO-7 drives specifically require a *NON-RAID* SAS controller that supports *SAS STREAMING*. So my belief is that the Dell controller I purchased likely does not support external SAS streaming devices but only PHYSICAL DRIVES. (I thinkt his becuase the controller bios only has a listing for connected "DISKS" and the spec sheet/manual does not even mention tape drives. And since the LSI 9207-414e is a 6GB device, unsupported for use in the R730, I now have to decide whether to identify and purchase yet ANOTHER 12GB SAS controller that specifically supports SAS streaming devices and gamble whether it'll work with the HP Ultrium 15000.

I have identified that a 6gb SAS controller will not work in the R730. I have confirmed that a 12GB SAS controller does. But I have not been able to identify a 12GB SAS controller that supports LTO-7 tape devices that will work in the R730. Like I said, Dell basically said "go away."

Given the market share of both HP and Dell, I am surprised, though not shocked, that there's no listing of tested support and compatability here. But neither does Dell show support for the Quantum LTO-7, or any of the others, or even it's own PowerVault LTO-7 devices, which does not show as supported on the R730. Their controllers in fact do not mention LTO drives at all. Just disks or SAS shelfs/enclosures.

So do I roll the dice again and try yet another 3rd party non-raid 12GB SAS controller, or do I simply find a SAS controller, supported on any Desktop Workstation running W10 or W2016 Std, that *will* work with the Ultrium 15000. I don't mind findiing and building a dedicated backup workstation. But this is just another gamble. I've already bought (2) controllers that don't work, a tape drive that doesn't communicate with aforementioned controllers and servers. I'm $5k into this and I can't even get the device to get connected to a major brand server. Do I spend another $500 for yet another controller and roll the dice again?

What I'm trying to do now is find a desktop PC I can pop the LSI 9207-414e in and see if the tape drive is even detected. BUt as a non-profit, most of the workstations we have are legacy PCs, ancient dust gatherers that I don't think support PCIe.

Sheesh. This is now turning into experimental testing. And even if I find a controller that presents the device to the O/S, will there be reliability issues regarding streaming data to the drive? Will Acronis or Backup Exec work with the device, or even the basic O/S built-in backup?

Sorry folks. Just red in the face with frustration. So much money spent for non-functioning results and ROI. Regardless, I will find a way. Just need to get throught the pain.

 

 

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Re: HPE StoreEver LTO-7 Ultrium 15000 External Tape Drive - SAS Controller

Ok, So I put the LSI 9207-4I4e controller in a desktop PC. Detected fine. Dectected the Ultrium fine. Downloaded and ran the HP Tape Tools and diagnostics. Drive is up to date. Waiting for the health check to finish.

Cheap Desktop PC: 1

Dell Power Edge R730: 0

Hurrah desktop PC!

Will then test various backup apps to backup our W2016 Hyper-V running a few VMs.

One step closer.

Sorry for the whining earliear. There are days when I really just get so frustrated. Pre-sales, our servers are the best thing and will help do it all for your business. Post sales: Go away. That's not supported.