Looking for a RAID card for my first NAS with ZFS

I was looking at a Dell PERC H710. I wanted to know for someone new to RAID cards, besides setting up specific cooling to keep the card cool, what else do I need to know? Are the drivers for that card mainlined in the kernel?

Looking to setup 8 SAS drives in RAIDZ2.

I am asking if it has mainlined Linux drivers as I bought an enterprise SSD and the vendor never mainlined their drivers. :-/

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Hi, not sure about that specific card, but there are 2 places I like to check for compatibility:
The Art Of Server has a YouTube channel and eBay shop. You don’t have to buy from him, but he shows compatible kit, and pre-configures the ones he marks up as ZFS.
You are welcome to flash a card yourself of course, and there are guides for it.

I also like to check the unraid HW guide: it’s not designed for ZFS, but the cards marked as “working ootb “ do work, to varying degrees.

I am not sure about TRIM though, which might be worth checking out if running SSD’s

I see mixed reports of the h710, maybe being stuck in passing through configured/raid0 drives, instead of raw. so if you haven’t purchased it yet, maybe check out TAOS for model numbers to buy elsewhere, or from him

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You’ll want an HBA, not a RAID Card, just to clarify:

RAID Card will create an array out of your Disks and display them as one big one
HBA will just pass through the Disks to the OS so ZFS can take care of them.

For older Cards, you might have to rely on something like the following, depending on your Distribution:
https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/epel/

This would include the above mentioned H710, which isn’t supported in some Distributions anymore.

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Might be able to use an old server board with SAS integrated. Seen videos of people swaping UEFI blobs to get JBOD instead of RAID. Some probably have JBOD as an option you can configure, IDK.

This one looks promising. Might be able to find it cheaper from somebody else, or offer this guy less.

Indeed!
with two xeons and 8 drives wattage and thermal dissipation is going to be ‘interesting’ though

the 2630l is one of the lower TDP rated parts that can be had for under $10 each. Also, SAS will be connected to socket 1 and won’t require the 2nd socket.
EDIT: TLDR is, it’ll hardly require shit for a PSU.

Ah, I was already imagining you going full monty with dual 135W xeons, 1TB of ecc ram and multiple 10gbit cards :slight_smile:

I may repost the question to ask about HBA. I thought a RAID card would handle HBA.

What are some HBA cards that are cheap and plentiful on ebay, but also have mainlined drivers in the Linux kernel?

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A Raid Cad can be exactly the same Hardware as an HBA, the question is just whether there’s Firmware Available to convert it into one and if you’re comfortable flashing IT-Mode Firmware yourself.

mpt2sas was removed from RHEL and Derivatives a bit ago:

So Cards of the LSI 2xxx series will require you to install a driver from elrepo.

If you’re using a different Distro or OS, LSI2011-8i for example (e.g. H310 from Dell flashed to IT Mode) can still serve you fine.

Should you want something newer, look for LSI3008 based Cards that are either already or can be flashed into IT Mode

Jeepers! why? nevermind, reading

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There’s multiple cards, but you can check eBay for Dell Perc H200/H310’s or LSI 9211-8i HBA to get hits on an applicable card. There are many guides on how to flash these cards

Typically run around $30-40 dollars, or a bit more if you get one already flashed and FreeNAS/TrueNAS ready.