Quick LSI RAID Question



  • Not sure if this is something I should already know or not, but never encountered it before, so I wanted to check in. Is it possible to create 2 RAID volumes with LSI RAID Controller Cards?

    Example - 5TB available space in RAID10 configuration
    (4) 3TB WD Blacks
    Create 1 bootable RAID volume ~350GB
    Create 2nd RAID volume ~ 4.65TB

    Reason being, my motherboard isnt UEFI, and I need to have over 2TB addressable on my file server partition. My understanding is that GPT disk can't boot without UEFI, but Windows can use GPT disks without UEFI as long as it is not the boot volume.

    Any clarification or corrections you experienced people can provide?



  • You are asking if an LSI RAID card has a logical volume manager built in on top of the RAID layer. And the answer is... I don't know of any that do. They might, but I know that some do not and likely if some do not, none of them do. I know some high end ones, like the PERC H700, lack this. If LSI has it, it would be unique to the model.



  • @scottalanmiller darn so my only real choice to use over 2TB on my RAID volume is to upgrade my server or split the boot drive off the RAID?



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Reason being, my motherboard isnt UEFI, and I need to have over 2TB addressable on my file server partition. My understanding is that GPT disk can't boot without UEFI, but Windows can use GPT disks without UEFI as long as it is not the boot volume.

    Windows shouldn't see the storage directly from the RAID card, however. Let your hypervisor do its job and abstract this away so even if the LSI card cannot do this, it won't matter to your Windows VM.



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @scottalanmiller darn so my only real choice to use over 2TB on my RAID volume is to upgrade my server or split the boot drive off the RAID?

    I was too slow on the virtualization post. It's your hypervisor's job to handle this, not the OS.



  • @scottalanmiller unfortunately no VMs in this conversation. IT Director is opposed to virtualization



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @scottalanmiller unfortunately no VMs in this conversation. IT Director is opposed to virtualization

    Then the IT Director is your technological failure in this instance. Windows isn't suppose to handle this situation and neither is the LSI. There is a layer meant to handle this and it's meant to be there every time. Unfortunately, your choices are bandaid it by doing something like adding extra drives, not using Windows as your OS or buying a different RAID controller or fix the actual problem and run it by the CEO that your director isn't capable of making technical decisions, is wasting company resources on a personal mission and is putting the company at risk without benefit.



  • Unfortunately, in this day and age, all enterprise class systems, like LSI RAID and Windows, have been assuming virtualization for so long that there really are no accommodations for systems without the proper abstraction layer. There are, of course, very special cases where you need to be physical with an install but they are less than .01% of all installs and are so unique that this would not be a real issue and would almost never involved Windows as the OS (only really large use case for this is low latency systems and Windows isn't capable of doing that.) So no vendor on either side of the equation addresses this because the problem doesn't actually exist, for all intents and purposes.



  • Of the remaining insanely unlikely physical Windows install necessities, you also can rule out any that don't need super large disks and any that boot from SAN (which is essentially all in the enterprise space.) So put that all together and the need for this just gets to be so nominal that in the rare remaining case, you just buy extra hardware to work around it.



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @scottalanmiller unfortunately no VMs in this conversation. IT Director is opposed to virtualization

    I know it's to late now, but that's a "Thanks for taking the time to interview me, but I doubt I'll be accepting the position." if they're not willing to budge in the interview process.



  • Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.



  • @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    My next problem is to figure out how to get this card to allow me to connect 6 drives in the cheapest, most efficient way possible while not sacrificing performance. I have a SF8087->4 SATA connector breakout cable right now. Sounds simple, huh?



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    Yeah, sadly no simple work around without the extra disks or a SAN to provide a boot LUN.



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    My next problem is to figure out how to get this card to allow me to connect 6 drives in the cheapest, most efficient way possible while not sacrificing performance. I have a SF8087->4 SATA connector breakout cable right now. Sounds simple, huh?

    You need a port multiplier to connect more than 4 drives with that card. (Marvell 9715 chipset is the one I know is used by Backblaze. Not exactly the greatest storage setup, but it'll work.)



  • You could make a big array, then when youre installing windows make a 350GB partition for the windows install, then use the rest as another disk(data i guess) for that server.



  • @momurda said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    You could make a big array, then when youre installing windows make a 350GB partition for the windows install, then use the rest as another disk(data i guess) for that server.

    Doesnt work. Windows sees the single RAID volume as 1 "disk" and since that disk has over 2TB partition, it has to be GPT. Per SWJ, I cant create 2 volumes on the same raid array

    Thanks for the help though



  • @travisdh1 said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    My next problem is to figure out how to get this card to allow me to connect 6 drives in the cheapest, most efficient way possible while not sacrificing performance. I have a SF8087->4 SATA connector breakout cable right now. Sounds simple, huh?

    You need a port multiplier to connect more than 4 drives with that card. (Marvell 9715 chipset is the one I know is used by Backblaze. Not exactly the greatest storage setup, but it'll work.)

    Thanks Travis! I looked around and couldnt really find one with that chipset. Do you have any other recommendations? Also what is the performance impact of using the port multiplier card?

    I see good reviews for a company "IO Crest" on Amazon. Anyone heard of them before? I can order through Insight if anyone has a good recommended card that isnt available on consumer sites.



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @travisdh1 said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    My next problem is to figure out how to get this card to allow me to connect 6 drives in the cheapest, most efficient way possible while not sacrificing performance. I have a SF8087->4 SATA connector breakout cable right now. Sounds simple, huh?

    You need a port multiplier to connect more than 4 drives with that card. (Marvell 9715 chipset is the one I know is used by Backblaze. Not exactly the greatest storage setup, but it'll work.)

    Thanks Travis! I looked around and couldnt really find one with that chipset. Do you have any other recommendations? Also what is the performance impact of using the port multiplier card?

    I see good reviews for a company "IO Crest" on Amazon. Anyone heard of them before? I can order through Insight if anyone has a good recommended card that isnt available on consumer sites.

    They don't actually say on the blog page. I haven't actually used any myself, but you do have one options that I found.
    Amazon 1 to 5 port.

    Next time I'd just get a card that has enough ports on it already, or a server case that included the needed backplane.

    Performance wise, you will only get a max of 6Gb/s per port, no matter how many drives are connected to the port.



  • @travisdh1 said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @travisdh1 said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    My next problem is to figure out how to get this card to allow me to connect 6 drives in the cheapest, most efficient way possible while not sacrificing performance. I have a SF8087->4 SATA connector breakout cable right now. Sounds simple, huh?

    You need a port multiplier to connect more than 4 drives with that card. (Marvell 9715 chipset is the one I know is used by Backblaze. Not exactly the greatest storage setup, but it'll work.)

    Thanks Travis! I looked around and couldnt really find one with that chipset. Do you have any other recommendations? Also what is the performance impact of using the port multiplier card?

    I see good reviews for a company "IO Crest" on Amazon. Anyone heard of them before? I can order through Insight if anyone has a good recommended card that isnt available on consumer sites.

    They don't actually say on the blog page. I haven't actually used any myself, but you do have one options that I found.
    Amazon 1 to 5 port.

    Next time I'd just get a card that has enough ports on it already, or a server case that included the needed backplane.

    Performance wise, you will only get a max of 6Gb/s per port, no matter how many drives are connected to the port.

    Thanks. Unfortunately this is an upgrade instead of new build, so buying a $4-500 replacement card wasnt needed untill I ran into these GPT problems.

    I am open to purchasing a new case w/ backplane if anyone has any good suggestions.



  • Is this a custom server? Never saw a model number mentioned.



  • A newer motherboard with uefi would be cheaper than a newer rackmount case with backplane. cases like that worth buying cost $500.



  • @tiagom said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Is this a custom server? Never saw a model number mentioned.

    yea its custom build using an Antec 900 Case



  • @momurda said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    A newer motherboard with uefi would be cheaper than a newer rackmount case with backplane. cases like that worth buying cost $500.

    no rackmount



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @tiagom said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Is this a custom server? Never saw a model number mentioned.

    yea its custom build using an Antec 900 Case

    Yeah, seriously, replace the motherboard!



  • @Brains said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @Dashrender said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    Even though the RAID controller won't provide the partitions for you, does that matter? Assuming that the OS will see the entire 5 TB partition, Windows should allow you to create a 350 GB boot partition that you install Windows to, then format the rest as GPT and call it a night.

    It wont work. Windows cant boot to a GPT disk if there is no UEFI motherboard installed. Im going to just add a couple more disks and setup disks as the boot volume. Then use GPT on the existing 5TB volume.

    My next problem is to figure out how to get this card to allow me to connect 6 drives in the cheapest, most efficient way possible while not sacrificing performance. I have a SF8087->4 SATA connector breakout cable right now. Sounds simple, huh?

    Aww, I didn't realize that you could only have a disk be either GPT or MBR... maybe if I was less tired.. yeah I'll blame it on the jetlag.



  • You dont use server racks or virtualization?

    You also missing the point about whether or not you have a rackmount case. Buy a new motherboard, still a better option that whatever you are thinking of doing. By the time you have found a solution to this, you could have a new board from newegg or amazon in your hands. hell, you could go to local mom n pop store and buy one in less than time than it takes to reply to this.
    OR
    make that big raid volume like you want, then put another disk or 2 in the leftover mobo ports(since yorue using a raid card for the big volume), and install windows on that disk. The data is what is important, not windows install. That can be replaced in minutes.



  • A new used server might be a better option at this point, assuming you can find one that fits your needs.



  • @momurda said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    You dont use server racks or virtualization?

    They use whitebox desktops as servers, no virtualization. Nothing enterprise is allowed. We've been discussing this in other threads and offline as well. It's nothing to do with price, in fact it is costing a ton. It's one person's personal agenda and nothing to do with needs, resources or anything. But yeah, none of that stuff allowed.



  • @momurda said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    You also missing the point about whether or not you have a rackmount case. Buy a new motherboard, still a better option that whatever you are thinking of doing. By the time you have found a solution to this, you could have a new board from newegg or amazon in your hands. hell, you could go to local mom n pop store and buy one in less than time than it takes to reply to this.

    Yeah, mobos are decently cheap, especially as these are nice desktop ones. Updating that to UEFI is easily the simplest solution. Replacing the LSI instead of the mobo is going to cost way more.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    @momurda said in Quick LSI RAID Question:

    You dont use server racks or virtualization?

    They use whitebox desktops as servers, no virtualization. Nothing enterprise is allowed. We've been discussing this in other threads and offline as well. It's nothing to do with price, in fact it is costing a ton. It's one person's personal agenda and nothing to do with needs, resources or anything. But yeah, none of that stuff allowed.

    RUN - RUN away from that company as fast as a new job will allow - or even faster if you can afford to be without that job for a while!


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