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Noob question, moving drives around between sata ports

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
Hi guys

I've heard that TrueNAS * is more than happy to have the physical drives moved around between SATA controller ports, which in itself might impact drive naming.
Without impacting the disk pools etc.

Reason I'm asking, my current NAS (lets leave it nameless, for those that have not read other threads) is dying, make that dead, crash 3 times last night) I have a new SATA controller coming, so want to distribute my HDD's over the onboard controller and the new controller, but it could save me allot of time if I can for now leave all the drives on the internal controller and let me start building, and then move some of the drives onto the psi based controller once it arrives.

please advise.

G
 

ChrisRJ

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
307
Yes, changing the connection should work without problems. Without meaning any offense, have you checked that the new controller works with ZFS and FreeBSD?
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
thanks for confirmation,

No offence taken, valid question, I honestly have not... it's a Vantec, so big brand, x fingers...

G
 

ChrisRJ

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
307
Big brand is not relevant. Please read up on the subject, unless you want to risk loosing all your data. In addition, initial "success" with non-compliant hardware is often seen as proof that things work. Well, they do, until they don't any longer. So there are cases when a setup, that people had been warned about, worked for months and suddenly failed catastrophically.
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
Can you maybe point to where I can see the certificate matrix of supported cards? google time...
G
 

sretalla

Wizened Sage
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
3,926
Can you maybe point to where I can see the certificate matrix of supported cards?
No such thing as that.

You'll probably need to think a little differently if you want a supported PCIe add-in card since HBAs are really the way to go for proper support rather than SATA cards (which can be problematic if they run Marvel controllers... so at very least try to avoid those).
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
... downloaded the large pdf, will scan through it.

G
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
... To late, card ordered and paid for, collecting tomorrow.

Its the following card, now need to find out if it will be supported.


G
 
Last edited:

sretalla

Wizened Sage
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
3,926
OK, so that card is a terrible choice for two reasons...

1. "HyperDuo is a Technology Created by Marvell"
2. It's a RAID card and will almost certainly interfere with ZFS having direct access to the disks even if you use it in JBOD/legacy mode.
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
As I understand, the card does allow for straight pass through, ... (not using the build in RAID features).

If bad card... then I will have to look down the road at getting another and moving the HDD's then.

Not as if I have loads of choices, very few of these cards are carried by the various local agents.

G
 

ChrisRJ

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
307
I would certainly not dare use this card only for a single day! What you should go for is something LSI based (e.g. 9211), which you will find in many OEM HBAs. A popular one is IBM M1015, flashed to IT mode. You fill plenty of those on eBay and there are folks who have already flashed them for use with ZFS.

The problem with pass-through of cards like yours, is that is like Russian roulette. It migth work 90+% of the time. But that is an SLA most people who chose ZFS would not accept. ZFS is enterprise software, for good and for bad. The "bad" side is that it is rather particular about how direct the access to disks shall be (especially for non-standard situations). Even if your card presents the drives to the OS as discrete drives, it will likely still interfere with some low-level SATA commands.
 

SweetAndLow

Sweet'NASty
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
6,342
Just getting a hba is the simplest solution. Sata cards are never recommended because hba is just as cheap and works every time.
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
ye... does not work like that here in South Africa, we'd expect to 5x for a HBA, HBA's here are Enterprise only.
eBay means nothing here, the things you think how you can get things, ignore that for us.

G
 

georgelza

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
69
so back to my original question. (ignoring the HBA vs Sata Card discussion)

G
 

pschatz100

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
1,062
The chipset on that Vantec card is not listed in the FreeBSD compatibility list, so I would be wary of it. From what I gather, a card that describes itself as "non-raid" is more likely to have a FreeBSD supported controller. For instance, Syba (also known as IO/Crest) makes a variety of cards, some of which should be OK. Vantec may have other cards as well. Just be careful to check the chipset being used against the FreeBSD compatibility list.

so back to my original question. (ignoring the HBA vs Sata Card discussion)
Your original question was answered.

Don't knock the advice given by the experienced members in the forum. You need to understand that TrueNAS is built on FreeBSD OS, which is not Windows. It does not support the wide array of hardware that is supported by Windows or Linux. There are lots of systems and add-in cards that will not work properly in FreeBSD - which is why you have to be careful about your choice of components. You may not have easy access to some of the recommended hardware, which makes it important to do your research and be extra diligent about the choices you make.

If you search the forum, you will find a number of horror stories about people who tried using unsupported sata cards. In some instances, they worked... until they didn't - then all was lost.
 
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