Intel 910 SSD compatibility issues with other LSI mpt2 based products – Part I

I purchased an Intel 910 SSD to validate the device before deployment in my production environment. I was shocked to discover that it would not play nice with my LSI 2003, 2008, 2308 based cards. LSI is the reference point for enterprise storage. If your are gear doesn’t play nice with LSI, you simply aren’t in the enterprise space — but how could Intel develop a product that was based on the LSI 2008 chip and be fully incompatible with other LSI cards? It is a mystery to me. I have the following LSI products and received the same results: 9207-8i, 9211-8i, 9205-8e

It seems that the Intel product has been configured to prohibit being a boot device. This configuration option may some how bleed over to the LSI cards which disable themselves from being boot devices. This is all happening despite the fact that the LSI cards are configured to “boot from BIOS or OS.”

My reference platform is an Intel SR2625URLXR 2u server. I have tickets open with both Intel and LSI. The Intel SSD team denies any responsibility and has pushed the ticket off to the server team. The server team, at least report, was trying to get their hands on a 910 SSD to validate the issue. It seems the server team should have a stock pile of Intel server products at their disposal. Apparently, they don’t. What is up with that?

On the other hand, LSI was more accepting of the problem. The tech I worked with seemed concerned that during post the LSI card reported the card as being “disabled” even though was clearly set to boot from “BIOS or OS” within the configuration utility. The LSI tech said something like, and I am paraphrasing here, “I need to get someone with a budget to buy one of these cards.” He followed it up with, this may take a long time. This is not what you want to hear from the worlds leading storage vendor. The tech requested screen shots of both the card disable message and the configuration screen indicating that it was infact enabled.

I am now playing wait and see. In the mean time, either be prepared to validate the Intel 910 SSD with your LSI gear or if you cannot afford the risk (since the 800gb is going for $4,000) it might be wise to simply stay away until the issues have been worked out.

I will continue to post progress on this issue.

j.

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11 Responses to Intel 910 SSD compatibility issues with other LSI mpt2 based products – Part I

  1. It has been a week with no updates from Intel or LSI. I have made three update requests to the LSI tech working the case. So far, no response.

  2. Olivier says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering if that device was supported in Solaris for use with ZFS (L2ARC or ZIL). It seems that device requires some drivers to be able to use it & Intel only provides some for Linux (RHEL, Suse) or Windows.
    Thank you for your help,

    • Yes, of course. The Intel 910 certainly appears to work. The mpt2 driver attaches right out of the box. I added it to the OpenIndiana HCL some time ago.

      My initial testing, booting off the onboard sata ports indicates that you get the best performance from this device by having lots and lots of concurrency.

  3. Jolene says:

    Glad to see an update of this site, finally.

  4. I wanted to add that LSI has assigned a defect to problem where MPT2 devices cannot be used as a boot device in the presence of the 910. The defect number is 490258-218190922 if you would like to call and complain about this issue.

    — cut here —
    From: Support
    To: Jason Matthews
    Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 13:58:33 -0600
    Subject: RE: SR # P000[redacted]
    Thread-Topic: SR # P000[redacted]

    Jason,
    The Defect is still open and there has been no additional information logged.

    For prompt assistance, please call us at 1 800 633-4545 or email support@lsi.com

    Thank you,

    [Redacted],
    Technical Support Engineer
    RAID Storage Division

  5. Radim says:

    Hi,
    thank you for reporting this issue.
    I have put on hold ordering 2 devices for our nexenta.
    Please keep us updated.
    TY in advance.

    • Note that I am moving forward with the devices, but I am pairing them up with 1068e based cards, not mpt2 (2008,2308,etc) based cards.

      I have 12 on (back)order now for a rollout of a new service.

      j.

  6. I am pleased to report the firmware and bios version P15 appears to fix this issue in both the passive and active riser configurations.

    Congratulations to LSI for eventually fixing this issue.

  7. Ben says:

    Thanks for the detailed information. Any clue on if LSI 2108 (hardware raid) devices would be affected by this?

  8. The use of LSI’s 2008 SAS PCIe controller makes sense as there’s widespread OS support for the controller, in many cases you won’t need to even supply a 3rd party driver. The 910 isn’t bootable, but I don’t believe that’s much of an issue as you’re more likely to deploy a server with a small boot drive anyway. There’s also no support for hardware encryption, a more unfortunate omission.

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