Building a server? Recent deals on RAID parts IBM ServeRAID, LSI MegaRAID

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Posted December 5, 2012 by Patrick Kennedy in Client Tips
IBM M5014 BBU Overview

Many users of this site purchase server pulls of IBM ServeRAID and LSI MegaRAID cards to complete systems. A common focus is on RAID controller server pulls. LSI SAS 2008 and LSI SAS 2108 based cards are very popular since they are often included in systems and pulled in datacenters. Also, liquidators will sell cards separately on off lease and repossessed servers. As a result, there are a number or popular IBM ServeRAID and LSI MegaRAID cards that come available at half or one third of new prices. These tend to be opportunities to get fairly fast components at low costs. ebay has become the liquidation center for used IT and from time to time deals come up. Below are some of our picks of current ebay deals. Most have decent inventory.

IBM ServeRAID M5014 with BBU $149.99

Recently another IBM ServeRAID M5014 deal surfaced with a LSI Battery BAT1S1P. The LSI Battery BAT1S1P is really a LSIiBBU08 BBU at heart. For those that are wondering, the LSIiBBU08 is a Lithium Polymer version, whereas the LSIiBBU07 is an older Lithium Ion version of the battery. The IBM ServeRAID M5014 is similar to the LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i with the LSI SAS 2008 controller. Key differences are that the LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i costs significantly more and gets you 512MB of cache with RAID 6 and 60 support. The IBM ServeRAID M5014 also has half of the 9260-8i’s cache at 256MB v. 512MB. These can be flashed to LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i firmware. Flashing the M5014 offers faster boot times and a few other features.

The deal does not come with a bracket but those can be found for $10 or so.

Total Cost: $149.99 on shipped on ebay.

IBM M5014 BBU Overview

IBM M5014 BBU Overview

IBM ServeRAID M5015 with BBU and full height bracket $249.99

Only two of these available at the time of this writing. The IBM ServeRAID M5015 has twice the cache of the IBM ServeRAID M5014 above, so it comes with 512MB. This is very similar to the LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i but without support for RAID 6 or 60 out of the box. One could purchase a M5000 key to enable these features though. Like the IBM M5014, you can flash the M5015 to LSI 9260-8i firmware which offers a faster boot.

Total Cost: $249.99 shipped on ebay.

LSI MegaRAID 9261-8 with BBU $340 or best offer

The LSI MegaRAID 9261-8i supports RAID 6 and 60 like the LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i. It is also a SAS 2108 based card with a PCIe Gen2 interface. The 1 versus 0 in the product number means that the SFF-8087 ports are mounted to the rear of the card.

Total Cost: $340 or best offer on ebay. (Note these will go quickly as they are generally selling for $380-$450 used.)

IBM ServeRAID M1015 $75

IBM ServeRAID M1015

IBM ServeRAID M1015

The venerable IBM ServeRAID M1015 is a mainstay enthusiast HBA. The cacheless controller only supports RAID 0, 1 and 10 not 5 and 50 like the IBM ServeRAID M5014, M5015 and LSI MegaRAID 9261-8i. It does have a LSI SAS 2008 controller onboard and is well supported in most operating systems. These make ideal controllers for ZFS servers. Commonly three of these are found in ZFS servers to power 4U 24 disk ZFS systems. One can easily flash the M1015 to IT mode and to LSI 9211-8i firmware as Pieter’s amazing guide mentions.

Total Cost: $74.45 on ebay without bracket many left. That seller also has low profile and full height bracket options available for slightly more.

Intel RES2CV240 24-port SAS Expander

For those that are looking to pair these cards with a JBOD SAS expander chassis, the Intel RES2CV240 will be a popular choice. Jeff showed us this week how to use a Supermicro JBOD board for a DIY JBOD chassis. The Intel RES2CV240SAS expanders pair well in that setup.

Total Cost: About $290 on Amazon or $300 on ebay.

See any other great deals? Let us know on the great deals forum where we keep track of deals on new and used server equipment.


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About the Author

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

4 Comments


  1.  
    Elliswoth, J

    Thanks for this. Building a Supermicro server with Norco DAS in a week and good finds.




  2.  
    Supermacro

    IBM ServeRAID M5014 with BBU $149.99 – Gone

    LSI MegaRAID 9261-8 with BBU $340 or best offer – Gone

    Man, that was fast.




  3.  
    Fabio Pereira

    great post.
    What is the main advantage of a big cache on these boards?

    Thanks





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