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SAS9211-8I 8PORT Int 6GB Sata+sas Pcie 2.0
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- Product Type:SAS Controller
- Host Interface:PCI Express x8
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LSI 9211-8I - STORAGE CONTROLLER - DISK ARRAY (RAID);HARD DRIVE;TAPE DRIVE - SERIAL9211-8I - STORAGE CONTROLLER - DISK ARRAY (RAID);HARD DRIVE;TAPE DRIVE - SERIALATTACHED SCSI; SERIAL ATA-300 - 6 GBPS - RAID 0;RAID 1;RAID 10;RAID 1E Manufacturer : LSI UPC : 830343006717
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I installed this on an ASUS TUF H370-Pro Gaming MOBO. I had quite a search to find the correct sequence to make the flash to IT with a more recent version of firmware. Apparenly a DOS boot would not work with certain Intel configurations. The various directions that were offered as standard did not work. However, the freenas forums gave me everything I needed. Sorry, but the directions require URL's and Amazon won't allow that.
Performance is virtually the same as my MOBO SATA III ports for the same drives. And, I can now extend my system by 8 drives.
They key that worked for me over all other things however was setting up the USB stick with two directories on a freshly formatted FAT32 file system, 32MB size partition, /boot/efi and /efi/boot with both Bootx64.efi and Shellx64.efi name forms of the Shell_Full.efi file I downloaded. (Rename Shell_Full.efi to both of these and copy to both sub directories). Proceed with the rest of the directions.
Search the FreeNas forums for: "
How-to: Flash LSI 9211-8i using EFI shell" by boris_d, you will find his post a little ways down the search screen. Date Feb 26, 2017.
Here is a link on how to flash this card to IT mode (which let's you connect drives in JBOD mode. That way you can use software raid and MOST IMPORTANTLY you can now access SMART data from your drives, which is obviously VITAL for monitoring drive health.):
BTW, the card came with BOTH full height and low-profile brackets.
Will come in RAID mode but you can still use JBOD or single disk RAID-0's. Easy to flash to IT mode using UEFI on modern motherboards: I used an MSI C236 workstation board and put the firmware and bios files on USB.
Important caveat for vmware ESX 6.0 and higher. This card will work using the mpt sas driver. However it has been dropped from the HCL. This will leave you out of support compliance for vSAN etc.
Both cards came with very old BIOS and Firmware; found a bunch of instructions but UEFI doesn't play well with the upgrade process. Ended up dusting off an old PC, throwing the PCB in, booting under DOS and completing the upgrade in less than 5 minutes.
For FreeNAS to work it needed to go from IR to IT firmware (P20) - did the same for the 2nd, to ease any future troubleshooting (if needed) by dealing with only 1 configuration instead of two different ones.
Price good too.
My other issue (still not sure why) is that, even after flashing to "IT" mode, I'm unable to view any S.M.A.R.T drive information off the connected drives (I'm using 4 ea. WD WD40EFRX drives). The Western Digital SMART utility just shows SMART Status as "unavailable".
Overall, I'm very happy with the card. I haven't had any drives "drop out" or have any hiccups so far.. The software RAID utility from LSI is user-friendly and very simple to use. I'm using Windows Server "Storage Spaces" to keep 4 ea. 4TB drives in a mirror (RAID 1) virtual disk array. I've been running the card with these drives for about a month now.
Once working, wow. Speeds are excellent. Need to start looking at a SAS expansion card now!