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November 8, 2016

How to flash a LSI SAS 3008 HBA (e.g. IBM M1215) to IT mode

A step-by-step guide to cross flashing IT firmware on an IBM M1215 (or LSI SAS 9340-8i / 9300-8i) for an inexpensive yet fast LSI SAS 3008 HBA ready for ZFS
 
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July 24, 2012

Solid State Drives Are Now Less Expensive than Hard Drives

I had not thought about this in awhile, but Solid State Drives (SSDs) are now less expensive than their hard drive counterparts. Sure, someone probably just did a bit of research and saw a SanDisk Extreme 240GB is $180 ($0.75/GB) while a 3TB Western Digital Red edition drive is $180 ($0.06/GB) and declared me insane. I would instead argue that a SSD is not competing with a slow as can be massive 3TB drive. Instead, we should be comparing the current crop of solid state drives to their spindle counterparts, 10K and 15K rpm SAS drives. Of course, one could add a 300GB Velociraptor in there to showcase fast spinning SATA drives and the result would be similar.

 
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July 2, 2012

Supermicro X9DRD-7LN4F Dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 Motherboard (LGA2011)

The Supermicro X9DRD-7LN4F is yet another board from Supermicro for the dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 LGA2011 range of motherboards. Supermicro has an extensive dual LGA 2011 range at this point so a user does need to take care to select the right board for their application and chassis. Along with Tyan there is an ocean of choice now in the dual LGA 2011 category. The Supermicro X9DRD-7LN4F motherboard got my attention as it has a good cooling layout and six PCIe 3.0 x8 slots.

 
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June 26, 2012

LSI 9207 and 9217 HBAs w/ SAS2308 6Gb/s SAS & SATA PCIe 3.0

With all the PCI Express 3.0 capable motherboards being released lately both on the Intel Xeon E5 and Xeon E3 series sides, it’s time to use all that available bandwidth. The popularity of using SSD’s in RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 to give high throughput has meant that the PCIe 2.x bus got saturated with data very quickly, especially since even consumer SSDs can push 550MB/s each. With the latest Intel Xeon E5 and E3 generations, the PCIe 3.0 bus has been moved to the CPU providing a higher bandwidth, lower latency bus than the typical PCIe 2.0 x8 electrical buses that are mainstream in the server industry just a year ago. The new crop of LSI SAS 2308 HBA cards hope to [...]

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