4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2013 12:22 AM by Yassin

    SATA/SAS capable controller RSTe pass-through mode in Linux

    Yassin

      Hi,

       

      I recently purchased a S1400FP server board along with the upgrade key C600 (RKSATA8R5) for enabling all of the 8 SATA/SAS ports in SATA mode.

       

      However it is stated in the monthly specification update that RSTe is not supportable in linux operating systems, it did not mention that the pass-through mode did not work.

       

      Can someone confirm that this is the case and provide information on whether this is planned to be fixed or not fixed?

       

      I have 4 disks in a OS controlled software raid 5 (by mdadm) and want to use the pass-through functionality of the SATA/SAS controller. THe problem that I am seeing is the following:

      * Every second time I reboot, only 2 of the 4 drives are readable and mdadm fails to reassemble the array

      * All other times I reboot, 3 of 4 drives are detectable, and the array is assembled in a degraded mode.

      * It is always the same hard drives that fail. The hard drives are in working order (bad blocks and smart tests are performed)

      * When I move all drives to the AHCI sata ports all drives are detected and the raid assembles perfectly, always (i rebooted 10 times).

      * I have seen similar problems on other server boards here:

      S2600CO & pass-through disks

      * My hard drives in the raid array:

       

      HDD1:

      Model Family: Western Digital Caviar Green
      Device Model: WDC WD10EADS-00M2B0
      Serial Number:WD-WCAV51002022

      LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 2add5365b

      Firmware Version: 01.00A01

      User Capacity:1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB]
      Sector Size:  512 bytes logical/physical
      Device is:    In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]

      ATA Version is:   8

      ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated

      Local Time is:Wed Aug 14 13:46:41 2013 CEST

      SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.

      SMART support is: Enabled

       

      HDD2:

      Model Family: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
      Device Model: ST31000528AS
      Serial Number:9VP17SJA

      LU WWN Device Id: 5 000c50 015605d3b

      Firmware Version: CC35

      User Capacity:1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB]
      Sector Size:  512 bytes logical/physical
      Device is:    In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]

      ATA Version is:   8

      ATA Standard is:  ATA-8-ACS revision 4

      Local Time is:Wed Aug 14 13:49:44 2013 CEST

      SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.

      SMART support is: Enabled

       

      HDD3:

      Model Family: SAMSUNG SpinPoint F1 DT
      Device Model: SAMSUNG HD103UJ
      Serial Number:S13PJ1LS651116

      LU WWN Device Id: 5 0024e9 001acfb0a

      Firmware Version: 1AA01118

      User Capacity:1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB]
      Sector Size:  512 bytes logical/physical
      Device is:    In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]

      ATA Version is:   8

      ATA Standard is:  ATA-8-ACS revision 3b

      Local Time is:Wed Aug 14 13:53:32 2013 CEST

      SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.

      SMART support is: Enabled

       

      HDD4:

      Model Family: Western Digital Caviar Black
      Device Model: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B0
      Serial Number:WD-WMATV2735250

      LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 0ac274bc8

      Firmware Version: 05.00K05

      User Capacity:1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB]
      Sector Size:  512 bytes logical/physical
      Device is:    In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]

      ATA Version is:   8

      ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated

      Local Time is:Wed Aug 14 13:56:05 2013 CEST

      SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.

      SMART support is: Enabled

       

       

      Hard drive HDD1 is the one who is never detected by the SATA/SAS controller, and HDD2 is detected every second time I reboot. When I loog into the OS, HDD2 is always readable, but HDD1 is never readable. They all work on the AHCI capable SATA controllers without problems.

       

      I am aware that this could be a HDD firmware related issue, but I would like to make sure it is not a known problem with the SATA/SAS controller pass-through in S1400FP first.

       

      I appreciate all the help and tips I can get to fix this issue as I really want to use the SATA/SAS controller in SATA pass-through mode.

       

      Thank you

        • 1. Re: SATA/SAS capable controller RSTe pass-through mode in Linux
          john_s@intel

          Yassin,

           

          I think you're going to have a difficult time. As you said there may HDD firmware related issues. Especially since you're using four different HDDs.

           

          For pass-through mode you'll need SATA devices attached to the AHCI controller configured in AHCI mode (pass-through).

           

          For Linux you'll need to use mdadm and inbox drivers as you know. You might want to check the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (Intel® RSTe) for Linux OS document.

           

          Regards,

          John

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: SATA/SAS capable controller RSTe pass-through mode in Linux
            Yassin

            Hi John,

             

            Thank you for your quick reply. I have already read through the document you refered to, but I did not find any answers there.

             

            In the BIOS, the SATA/SAS controller options are:

            * Disable

            * ESRT2 RAID mode

            * INTEL RSTe RAID mode

             

            However, in the INTEL RSTe RAID mode description (in the BIOS), it is stated explisitly that pass-through mode is supported. What does this mean? I interpret it as having support for pass-through AHCI SATA. Is this incorrect? My bios is at the current latest firmware version (version 01.05.0001).

             

            If my assumption is incorrect, then I recommend that the specification of this mother board explisitly mentions that the SATA/SAS controller can not be used in AHCI mode or that it does not have support for it (as this is what I assumed before buying the server board).

             

            My workaround for now is to use the dedicated AHCI controller, but I would like to have my question above answered so I know that I will need to buy an additional AHCI SATA controller for my future upscaling in AHCI mode (or consider a new server board).

             

            Thank you.

             

            Regards,

            Yahya Yassin

            • 3. Re: SATA/SAS capable controller RSTe pass-through mode in Linux
              edwardzh

              I believe there are some misunderstandings here.

               

              The onboard SAS/SATA capable controller (or SCU, SAS Controller Unit) is either in RSTe mode or ESRT2 mode. There is no AHCI mode for SCU ports.

               

              RSTe mode does support pass-through, which means if you have a drive connected and you don't have any RAID configurations, OS can see the drive directly. While ESRT2 doesn't support pass through, which means if you don't configure a drive as RAID volume, the OS won't be able to see it.

               

              For OS to see a pass through drive under RSTe mode, RSTe driver is still needed. We don't have any RSTe driver for Linux, but as mentioned in the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (Intel® RSTe) for Linux OS document:


              SCU is the Intel® Serial Attached SCSI Controller Unit that is part of the C600 family Platform Controller Hub. The Linux SCU driver (isci) has been upstreamed to the Linux kernel since kernel version v3.0. However, the latest Linux kernel is always recommended to get the latest bug fixes and features.

               

              So you may want to check your kernel version. You can also install Windows on RSTe to confirm whether the issue is caused by drive firmware.

              • 4. Re: SATA/SAS capable controller RSTe pass-through mode in Linux
                Yassin

                Hi,

                 

                Thank you for your reply. I believe I got my answers now.

                 

                Best regards,

                Yahya Yassin