- 1 x SFF-8643 mini-SAS HD Internal Connectors
- 1 x SFF-8644 mini-SAS HD External Connectors
- Up to 12Gb/s
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On The Fence - Need Support - Cant Find It ANYWHERE 07/13/2014
Fine piece of hardware. Next gen performance. LSI reputation.
Support! At least passive support.... What I mean by passive support as a con is that I have found NO documentation on the management of this HBA, no forums or wiki to support troubleshooting, absolutely no way for me to figure out why my HBA is only seeing one of the three disks attached to it. I do not know why the other two disks get strange, small partitions on them after being wiped and reinstalled.
When trying to access support through the LSI website all you get is:
"It's easy to get help from LSI Support. You can send us an email, submit an online request or call us.
Submit a Support Request
Before calling support, please have your serial number(s) handy for your HBA, SAS Switch, MegaRAID, 3ware, Nytro Application Acceleration or NAS Gateway products."
What about a troubleshooting section? What about a link to the LSI Community? What about a product sheet for the management interface? What about any detailed instructions about using the device? << great details on how to plug it into a PCIe slot, though if you need this info, than you probably shouldn't be this HBA.... once plugged in though, then what - or maybe once plugged in and not working exactly like it is supposed to, then what?
There is nothing of use provided in the documentation section of the website either. Only hardware install note. OK, plug into PCIe slot. But what happens when drives aren't recognized? And what about management software. Yes, crtl+c access the management during boot. BUT i had to use google to find that info. Not even part of the install notes.
I have started a ticket with actual LSI support though have not yet received a response. I will let you know how the active support is handled upon receiving any...
FYI, I am installing in Windows Server 2012 machine. I am doing most hard drive manipulation through Linux on a separate machine. That is where I see the strange, tiny partitions once a clean drive has been hooked up the HBA. This is only about 50% of the time though that the small partitions are created by some task, not always. I have used Linux LiveCD boots directly into the Server 2012 machine as well, though this helped - same result, see one of 3 drives installed....
It is very strange when you google phrases trying to access LSI HBA support. It is like LSI has a hit squad deployed in the search engines to assassinate any attempt at googling for support. Everything goes back to the same useless LSI pages which offer no real support.
I suspect that this means most users just plug and go using these HBA's. In my past experience that is all I have had to do. But now that I have a problem, I'm f*ct apparently.
I still believe that hardware is daggum fine. Though hardware with a management interface which yields a working hardware/firmware team results in a very expensive object which is not really heavy enough to even be a paperweight or doorstop... I am keeping my fingers crossed and trusting that LSI will come back with support that rivals the quality of their hardware. I just hope it doesn't take too long as I am in bad ways at present.
My take away from this if you have time and patience, I trust in LSI. But if you are working towards a mission critical task (and I cannot believe I am about to say this about LSI) than I would warn you to avoid the 9300 series / 12 Gb/s series of LSI products as I do not believe they have all the bugs worked out nor do I believe that they have a community developed and supported to work through this in a timely fashion.
This is the first time in a decade I have found my self with a nice piece of hardware I cannot do anything with, I have had my fair share of headaches over last decade, though I have not found this dead end I am at now. There is absolutely nothing left for me to do or try, other than hope and wait for LSI support.
I look forward to updating this review with good news and any info I have learned about overcoming the obstacles which have me dead ended,,,
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