OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers - VMS

This is a discussion on OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers - VMS ; I notice the Smart Array 5302, 5304, 6402, 6404, and P400 controllers are supported on OpenVMS but the P600 is not. Was there a reason why support for the P600 wasn't added? I was looking at a way to add ...

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Thread: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

  1. OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    I notice the Smart Array 5302, 5304, 6402, 6404, and P400
    controllers are supported on OpenVMS but the P600 is not.
    Was there a reason why support for the P600 wasn't added?

    I was looking at a way to add inexpensive large hard drives
    to my home systems and thought the P600 would be ideal since
    it works with SATA drives. I borrowed one to try and after
    adding the PCI ID to SYS$SYSTEM:USER_CONFIG.DAT it does work
    but not as a boot device. That's not a show-stopper for me
    as there are a couple of SCSI drives in the system that are
    used for the VMS system disk shadow set and a third hard
    drive that's the dump device/scratch disk.

    On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:

    I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    since I can boot from SCSI disks.

    Neither option is supported but I don't have support on the
    systems. I did a lot of testing on the drives and didn't see
    any issues but I have the data backed up to tape.
    --
    Eric Dittman
    dittman@dittman.net

  2. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers


    > On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:
    >
    > I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    > my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    > The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    > into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    > since I can boot from SCSI disks.
    >


    Out of curiousity, were the disks configured as a hardware RAID
    volume?

    (Playing around with VMware ESX - it would only accept SATA on the
    1068's if the controller had the disks configured as a RAID (anything)
    volume - then the controllers 'logical volume' looks like SCSI to the
    host)

    Anyone know whether the LSISAS1068 cards work on Alpha? (seem to
    remember driver was there in 8.3 last time I checked)
    Unfortunately they're 3.3V only PCI-X cards so probably only something
    newer like a DS15 with 3.3V PCI slots.

    If they work, does anyone know of a 'cheap' 3.3V -> 5V 'shim' to allow
    the LSI 3.3V PCI-X cards to be used in older Alphaserver slots (5V)?
    The 1068 cards are low-profile so only a bit of bracket mangling would
    be needed if it actually worked

    MattF


  3. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    In article <7vbui.7695$dD3.456@trnddc07>, dittman@dittman.net wrote:

    > I notice the Smart Array 5302, 5304, 6402, 6404, and P400
    > controllers are supported on OpenVMS but the P600 is not.
    > Was there a reason why support for the P600 wasn't added?


    Is P600 the PCI-X based SmartArray controller for SAS (and SATA) disks?
    I don't have my secret decoder ring handy to translate the code names
    (which I know) to product names (which I don't remember off the top).

    If I'm thinking of the right card, the main factor in the decision was
    to concentrate effort on fewer cards in order to get them ready for
    market sooner. The PCI-Express card was chosen over the PCI-X card.

    The SmartArray controllers are always a bit of a challenge for VMS (and
    HP-UX and linux). Our workloads tend to uncover firmware problems that
    don't matter in the Proliant environment where the controllers are first
    introduced. These have to be diagnosed and fixed, and new FW gotten
    into the supply chain and out to customers. Usually this happens a few
    times before the card is ready to support.

    There are known problems with older firmware on the controllers and
    disks. If the HW came from the Proliant supply chain, it doesn't
    necessarily have the right firmware. If it came from the Integrity
    supply chain, recently, it should be right. Since you're providing your
    own support, it's up to you to check, and upgrade the FW if necessary.

    AFAIK, the P600 did NOT get FW fixes matching the ones that went into
    it's relatives to permit VMS and Unix support.

    > I was looking at a way to add inexpensive large hard drives
    > to my home systems and thought the P600 would be ideal since
    > it works with SATA drives. I borrowed one to try and after
    > adding the PCI ID to SYS$SYSTEM:USER_CONFIG.DAT it does work
    > but not as a boot device. That's not a show-stopper for me
    > as there are a couple of SCSI drives in the system that are
    > used for the VMS system disk shadow set and a third hard
    > drive that's the dump device/scratch disk.


    You didn't specify: Integrity or Alpha? All bets are off on Alpha.

    > On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:
    >
    > I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    > my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    > The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    > into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    > since I can boot from SCSI disks.


    Last I heard, in informal use, HP SATA drives work just as well as HP
    SAS drives with these controllers. To maximize the likelihood of
    success, make sure you have:
    1. VMS V8.3 with the latest patches.
    2. The latest FW and EFI driver for your controller.
    3. The latest FW for your disks.

    VMS hasn't formally qualified the SATA disks because the platform HW
    teams haven't done so. Even if VMS did all the OS testing required,
    there'd still be no supported systems to put the cards into.

    There could be FW problems lurking in the SATA disks that have been
    fixed in the SAS disks.

    At some point, Integrity servers and VMS may start supporting SATA disks.

    > Neither option is supported but I don't have support on the
    > systems. I did a lot of testing on the drives and didn't see
    > any issues but I have the data backed up to tape.


  4. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    On 8 Aug, 05:19, ditt...@dittman.net wrote:
    > I notice the Smart Array 5302, 5304, 6402, 6404, and P400
    > controllers are supported on OpenVMS but the P600 is not.
    > Was there a reason why support for the P600 wasn't added?
    >
    > I was looking at a way to add inexpensive large hard drives
    > to my home systems and thought the P600 would be ideal since
    > it works with SATA drives. I borrowed one to try and after
    > adding the PCI ID to SYS$SYSTEM:USER_CONFIG.DAT it does work
    > but not as a boot device. That's not a show-stopper for me
    > as there are a couple of SCSI drives in the system that are
    > used for the VMS system disk shadow set and a third hard
    > drive that's the dump device/scratch disk.
    >
    > On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:
    >
    > I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    > my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    > The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    > into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    > since I can boot from SCSI disks.
    >
    > Neither option is supported but I don't have support on the
    > systems. I did a lot of testing on the drives and didn't see
    > any issues but I have the data backed up to tape.
    > --
    > Eric Dittman
    > ditt...@dittman.net


    In our experience at the moment, getting 5302A or 6402A cards is
    rather a challenge. They're on a lead time of weeks rather than days
    (i.e. like 6 weeks) if you can get them at all. (


  5. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    Well, eric, I have 20+ in stock

    David


    --
    David B Turner
    Island Computers US Corp
    2700 Gregory St, Suite 180
    Savannah GA 31404

    T: 877-6364332 x201
    Intl: 001 912 447 6622

    E: dturner@islandco.com
    F: 912 201 0402
    W: http://www.islandco.com

    wrote in message
    news:1186590844.210436.256070@o61g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com...
    > On 8 Aug, 05:19, ditt...@dittman.net wrote:
    >> I notice the Smart Array 5302, 5304, 6402, 6404, and P400
    >> controllers are supported on OpenVMS but the P600 is not.
    >> Was there a reason why support for the P600 wasn't added?
    >>
    >> I was looking at a way to add inexpensive large hard drives
    >> to my home systems and thought the P600 would be ideal since
    >> it works with SATA drives. I borrowed one to try and after
    >> adding the PCI ID to SYS$SYSTEM:USER_CONFIG.DAT it does work
    >> but not as a boot device. That's not a show-stopper for me
    >> as there are a couple of SCSI drives in the system that are
    >> used for the VMS system disk shadow set and a third hard
    >> drive that's the dump device/scratch disk.
    >>
    >> On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:
    >>
    >> I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    >> my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    >> The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    >> into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    >> since I can boot from SCSI disks.
    >>
    >> Neither option is supported but I don't have support on the
    >> systems. I did a lot of testing on the drives and didn't see
    >> any issues but I have the data backed up to tape.
    >> --
    >> Eric Dittman
    >> ditt...@dittman.net

    >
    > In our experience at the moment, getting 5302A or 6402A cards is
    > rather a challenge. They're on a lead time of weeks rather than days
    > (i.e. like 6 weeks) if you can get them at all. (
    >




  6. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    MattF wrote:

    > > On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:
    > >
    > > I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    > > my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    > > The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    > > into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    > > since I can boot from SCSI disks.
    > >


    > Out of curiousity, were the disks configured as a hardware RAID
    > volume?


    No.

    > (Playing around with VMware ESX - it would only accept SATA on the
    > 1068's if the controller had the disks configured as a RAID (anything)
    > volume - then the controllers 'logical volume' looks like SCSI to the
    > host)


    The individual drives look like SCSI to VMS.

    > Anyone know whether the LSISAS1068 cards work on Alpha? (seem to
    > remember driver was there in 8.3 last time I checked)
    > Unfortunately they're 3.3V only PCI-X cards so probably only something
    > newer like a DS15 with 3.3V PCI slots.


    I haven't tried on an Alpha.
    --
    Eric Dittman
    dittman@dittman.net

  7. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    Robert Deininger wrote:
    > In article <7vbui.7695$dD3.456@trnddc07>, dittman@dittman.net wrote:


    > > I notice the Smart Array 5302, 5304, 6402, 6404, and P400
    > > controllers are supported on OpenVMS but the P600 is not.
    > > Was there a reason why support for the P600 wasn't added?


    > Is P600 the PCI-X based SmartArray controller for SAS (and SATA) disks?
    > I don't have my secret decoder ring handy to translate the code names
    > (which I know) to product names (which I don't remember off the top).


    Yes. Which is why I was surprised it wasn't supported as there are
    quite a few existing Integrity systems with PCI-X slots.

    > If I'm thinking of the right card, the main factor in the decision was
    > to concentrate effort on fewer cards in order to get them ready for
    > market sooner. The PCI-Express card was chosen over the PCI-X card.


    I can understand this given your following comment on the controllers.

    > The SmartArray controllers are always a bit of a challenge for VMS (and
    > HP-UX and linux). Our workloads tend to uncover firmware problems that
    > don't matter in the Proliant environment where the controllers are first
    > introduced. These have to be diagnosed and fixed, and new FW gotten
    > into the supply chain and out to customers. Usually this happens a few
    > times before the card is ready to support.


    I've used an SA5304 in the past and I'm not surprised they are a
    challenge to VMS. Having to use ORCA or ACU to configure them
    is a bit of a pain. I noticed MSA$UTIL will configure them now
    but not having a system with an SA5304 loaded I can't confirm
    if that's easier (it doesn't like the P600, which is understandable
    as it's not supported).

    > There are known problems with older firmware on the controllers and
    > disks. If the HW came from the Proliant supply chain, it doesn't
    > necessarily have the right firmware. If it came from the Integrity
    > supply chain, recently, it should be right. Since you're providing your
    > own support, it's up to you to check, and upgrade the FW if necessary.


    It looks like it has the latest firmware but I can always reload.

    In any case, as it's not supported I'd rather use the much cheaper
    LSISAS1068 controller instead.

    > AFAIK, the P600 did NOT get FW fixes matching the ones that went into
    > it's relatives to permit VMS and Unix support.


    Windows and Linux are the only supported operating systems for
    the controller.

    > > I was looking at a way to add inexpensive large hard drives
    > > to my home systems and thought the P600 would be ideal since
    > > it works with SATA drives. I borrowed one to try and after
    > > adding the PCI ID to SYS$SYSTEM:USER_CONFIG.DAT it does work
    > > but not as a boot device. That's not a show-stopper for me
    > > as there are a couple of SCSI drives in the system that are
    > > used for the VMS system disk shadow set and a third hard
    > > drive that's the dump device/scratch disk.


    > You didn't specify: Integrity or Alpha? All bets are off on Alpha.


    Definitely Integrity.

    > > On the subject of using SATA disks with VMS:
    > >
    > > I also tried a LSISAS1068-based controller and it worked on
    > > my rx2620 with SATA drives with no changes to the system needed.
    > > The system will boot from the disk but it VMS crashes shortly
    > > into the boot. As with the P600 this isn't a problem for me
    > > since I can boot from SCSI disks.


    > Last I heard, in informal use, HP SATA drives work just as well as HP
    > SAS drives with these controllers. To maximize the likelihood of
    > success, make sure you have:
    > 1. VMS V8.3 with the latest patches.
    > 2. The latest FW and EFI driver for your controller.
    > 3. The latest FW for your disks.


    I have loaded the latest of everything. I suspect that the actual
    revision of the LSISAS1068 might be the issue. The one I have (a
    SAS3080X-HP) has an A1 rev. The latest firmware for the LSISAS1068
    only supports the B0 and B1 revs. I'm going to keep my eye out for
    a controller with a newer rev. to test.

    Is the controller on the rx2660 and rx3600 integrated or on a
    separate board?

    > VMS hasn't formally qualified the SATA disks because the platform HW
    > teams haven't done so. Even if VMS did all the OS testing required,
    > there'd still be no supported systems to put the cards into.


    Understandable.

    > There could be FW problems lurking in the SATA disks that have been
    > fixed in the SAS disks.


    That's entirely possible.

    > At some point, Integrity servers and VMS may start supporting SATA disks.


    That would be nice.
    --
    Eric Dittman
    dittman@dittman.net

  8. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    David Turner, Island Computers wrote:
    > Well, eric, I have 20+ in stock


    That was Steve that was having trouble finding them.
    --
    Eric Dittman
    dittman@dittman.net

  9. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers


    > I have loaded the latest of everything. I suspect that the actual
    > revision of the LSISAS1068 might be the issue. The one I have (a
    > SAS3080X-HP) has an A1 rev. The latest firmware for the LSISAS1068
    > only supports the B0 and B1 revs. I'm going to keep my eye out for
    > a controller with a newer rev. to test.


    > Is the controller on the rx2660 and rx3600 integrated or on a
    > separate board?


    Speaking only to rx2660 hardware, and having installed a P400 into
    two, I can say I believe the LSImumble on the rx2660 is on the
    motherboard. I know it does not occupy the low-profile PCIe slot on
    the motherboard which gets enabled/used by the P400 when that is
    ordered.

    rick jones
    --
    portable adj, code that compiles under more than one compiler
    these opinions are mine, all mine; HP might not want them anyway...
    feel free to post, OR email to rick.jones2 in hp.com but NOT BOTH...

  10. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    In article , dittman@dittman.net wrote:


    > In any case, as it's not supported I'd rather use the much cheaper
    > LSISAS1068 controller instead.


    That's fine, but don't expect the same performance you'd get from a
    SmartArray controller. The cheap card has is basically a SAS controller
    with limited RAID thrown in as an afterthought.

    > > Last I heard, in informal use, HP SATA drives work just as well as HP
    > > SAS drives with these controllers. To maximize the likelihood of
    > > success, make sure you have:
    > > 1. VMS V8.3 with the latest patches.
    > > 2. The latest FW and EFI driver for your controller.
    > > 3. The latest FW for your disks.

    >
    > I have loaded the latest of everything. I suspect that the actual
    > revision of the LSISAS1068 might be the issue. The one I have (a
    > SAS3080X-HP) has an A1 rev. The latest firmware for the LSISAS1068
    > only supports the B0 and B1 revs. I'm going to keep my eye out for
    > a controller with a newer rev. to test.


    The FW should be released in parallel for the A and B revs. I think it
    is in separate packages. And the A rev of the chip IS supported.

    > Is the controller on the rx2660 and rx3600 integrated or on a
    > separate board?


    Integrated on the rx2660. On rx3600 and rx6600, the card goes in one of
    the reserved core PCI slots.

  11. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    Robert Deininger wrote:
    > In article , dittman@dittman.net wrote:


    > > In any case, as it's not supported I'd rather use the much cheaper
    > > LSISAS1068 controller instead.


    > That's fine, but don't expect the same performance you'd get from a
    > SmartArray controller. The cheap card has is basically a SAS controller
    > with limited RAID thrown in as an afterthought.


    I haven't tested the throughput of the P600 but the LSISAS1068
    controller had about 75% of the performance of the built-in
    U320 controllers with the HP 73GB 15K RPM U320 drives in my
    quick BACKUP test.

    I'll test the P600 to compare (and run some better tests on both).

    Fortunately the speed is adequate for the purposes. I'm using this
    for storing stuff I don't need fast access to but don't want to
    have to pull off tape or CD/DVD.

    > > > Last I heard, in informal use, HP SATA drives work just as well as HP
    > > > SAS drives with these controllers. To maximize the likelihood of
    > > > success, make sure you have:
    > > > 1. VMS V8.3 with the latest patches.
    > > > 2. The latest FW and EFI driver for your controller.
    > > > 3. The latest FW for your disks.

    > >
    > > I have loaded the latest of everything. I suspect that the actual
    > > revision of the LSISAS1068 might be the issue. The one I have (a
    > > SAS3080X-HP) has an A1 rev. The latest firmware for the LSISAS1068
    > > only supports the B0 and B1 revs. I'm going to keep my eye out for
    > > a controller with a newer rev. to test.


    > The FW should be released in parallel for the A and B revs. I think it
    > is in separate packages. And the A rev of the chip IS supported.


    I was talking about the firmware released by LSI for that specific
    controller. They only have firmware for the B0 and B1 revs. in
    the latest firmware. I'll try switching to the firmware used for
    the HP controller (if it's available separately).

    Another thing I'll try is getting a small SAS drive just to see if the
    problem is SAS drives vs. SATA drives.

    > > Is the controller on the rx2660 and rx3600 integrated or on a
    > > separate board?


    > Integrated on the rx2660. On rx3600 and rx6600, the card goes in one of
    > the reserved core PCI slots.


    Is that card available separately?
    --
    Eric Dittman
    dittman@dittman.net

  12. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    Oopth !

    wrote in message news:uqpui.1999$Aj6.1475@trnddc01...
    > David Turner, Island Computers wrote:
    >> Well, eric, I have 20+ in stock

    >
    > That was Steve that was having trouble finding them.
    > --
    > Eric Dittman
    > dittman@dittman.net




  13. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    > > Integrated on the rx2660. On rx3600 and rx6600, the card goes in
    > > one of the reserved core PCI slots.


    > Is that card available separately?


    Armed with the part number (which I do not know offhand) you could try
    partsurfer.hp.com.

    rick jones
    --
    web2.0 n, the dot.com reunion tour...
    these opinions are mine, all mine; HP might not want them anyway...
    feel free to post, OR email to rick.jones2 in hp.com but NOT BOTH...

  14. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    In article <6KEui.4156$Aj6.540@trnddc01>, dittman@dittman.net wrote:

    > Robert Deininger wrote:
    > > In article , dittman@dittman.net wrote:

    >
    > > > In any case, as it's not supported I'd rather use the much cheaper
    > > > LSISAS1068 controller instead.

    >
    > > That's fine, but don't expect the same performance you'd get from a
    > > SmartArray controller. The cheap card has is basically a SAS controller
    > > with limited RAID thrown in as an afterthought.

    >
    > I haven't tested the throughput of the P600 but the LSISAS1068
    > controller had about 75% of the performance of the built-in
    > U320 controllers with the HP 73GB 15K RPM U320 drives in my
    > quick BACKUP test.


    What sort of SAS/SATA disks did you use in the test? Sustained
    throughput tends to be limited by the rotational speed of the spindles.
    If you didn't have 15K disks, it was likely the disks, not the
    controller, limiting your throughput.

    > I'll test the P600 to compare (and run some better tests on both).
    >
    > Fortunately the speed is adequate for the purposes. I'm using this
    > for storing stuff I don't need fast access to but don't want to
    > have to pull off tape or CD/DVD.
    >
    > > > > Last I heard, in informal use, HP SATA drives work just as well as HP
    > > > > SAS drives with these controllers. To maximize the likelihood of
    > > > > success, make sure you have:
    > > > > 1. VMS V8.3 with the latest patches.
    > > > > 2. The latest FW and EFI driver for your controller.
    > > > > 3. The latest FW for your disks.
    > > >
    > > > I have loaded the latest of everything. I suspect that the actual
    > > > revision of the LSISAS1068 might be the issue. The one I have (a
    > > > SAS3080X-HP) has an A1 rev. The latest firmware for the LSISAS1068
    > > > only supports the B0 and B1 revs. I'm going to keep my eye out for
    > > > a controller with a newer rev. to test.

    >
    > > The FW should be released in parallel for the A and B revs. I think it
    > > is in separate packages. And the A rev of the chip IS supported.

    >
    > I was talking about the firmware released by LSI for that specific
    > controller. They only have firmware for the B0 and B1 revs. in
    > the latest firmware. I'll try switching to the firmware used for
    > the HP controller (if it's available separately).


    If you're using FW released by LSI, as opposed to an HP release, I don't
    know if you're getting the fixes you need. And I don't know if the HP
    FW packages would work on a non-HP controller.

    > Another thing I'll try is getting a small SAS drive just to see if the
    > problem is SAS drives vs. SATA drives.
    >
    > > > Is the controller on the rx2660 and rx3600 integrated or on a
    > > > separate board?

    >
    > > Integrated on the rx2660. On rx3600 and rx6600, the card goes in one of
    > > the reserved core PCI slots.

    >
    > Is that card available separately?


    Yes and no. The rx6600 can use 1 or 2 of the cards, and it is possible
    to add the second card after the system is bought. But the card doesn't
    have an HP product number, AFAIK. (It has a part number, which is not
    the same as a product number.) So it may not be orderable like a
    conventional add-in card.

    Tell your sales contact that you need to order a second card for your
    rx6600 system, and see if you can get the right ordering information.

  15. Re: OpenVMS and Smart Array Controllers

    To Eric Dittman et al,

    I want to hook up my OpenVMS RX2620 P600 controller and you provided a partial example on this forum.
    After putting your change in place, I can see the controller (shows up as PKC0, but have had no success in access any disk drives (SATA 2TB) on the MSA60 box.
    Do you use MSA$UTIL, SAS$UTIL, or some other utility to make this happen?
    Is the Firmware on the P600 significant?
    I upgraded my OpenVMS8.3 to 8.3-1H1 to match your version, but no luck yet.
    Any guidance on this? I really, really want to use this combo!

    thank you,
    broberds

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