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Hardware Maximum SATA = 16?

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Hey guys

 

Does anyone know if the maximum limit by hardware limitation is 16 SATA drives?

 

Because I'm trying to setup 24 SATA disk, but I can't go past 16 without the remaining SATA ports not being recognized from the POST level.

 

Here is what I've tried:

 

2x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 = works great

3x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 = only drives from the first 2 controller are recognized, the 3rd controller basically is not recognized by the BIOS, is not even XPEnology.

 

If I use Linux is basically the same issue. (tried Ubuntu 16 LTS)

 

So I thought maybe If I used a ATTO ExpressSAS H60F + SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 to get me to 24 ports... nope, same problem

After the ATTO ExpressSAS H60F, it basically ignores the SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8, it loads only 2 or 4 drives from it, then the rest crashes

 

that attempt, almost corrupted my data.

it's the exact same behaviour as when i tried to use 3x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8

 

The motherboard is a brand new Skylake P10S WS (work station) board with an i3 CPU https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/P10S-WS/overview/

 

Originally I was planning to use 2x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 + the on-board 8 SATA port,

when it did not work, I thought it was due compatibility issues, but when it did not work with 3x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8

and again to reconfirm, it did not work with ATTO ExpressSAS H60F + SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 then I'm not certain there is a weird limitation with 16 SATA ports only.

 

Is that a Skylake limitation?

 

Is there any other method to go beyond the 16 port barrier?

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Does anyone know if the maximum limit by hardware limitation is 16 SATA drives?

Intel's AHCI 1.3 specification [1] states that an AHCI controller must support 32 devices.

The Supermicro support page for the AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 Linux driver source link [2] references a mv94xx. On my installation, "find / -iname mv*" returns a listing for an mvsas.ko, but no mv94xx. I don't how to determine version info for kernel modules to see if that module has proper support for your card.

 

Looking at your mainboard, out of the 4 PCI-E slots, only 1 & 2 are x8 link capable even though the slots are full x16 length. You state " the 3rd controller is basically not recognized by the BIOS." Since the storage HBA is PCI-E x8, might that be relevant to your troubleshooting?

 

Best of luck,

Tom S.

 

[1] http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... /ahci.html

[2] ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/Mar ... al_source/

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If the controller isnt recognised in the bios, maybe it cant allocate the resources to do so? eg IRQ, etc.

 

I had a similar situation where I was cascading several of the supermicro AOCs (the SAS one not SAS2) and got a message 'no resources available' at boot, so I went through the bios and disabled as much as possible (eg serial, parallel, unwanted USB, sound, etc) and that somehow freed some resources and all the cards were found.

 

my biggest HDD setup at the moment is a 20 bay, 2*MV8 and the 4 onboard, but I'm about to try and break that by adding another 4 port SIL card, will see what happens with resources and let you know

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Looking at your mainboard, out of the 4 PCI-E slots, only 1 & 2 are x8 link capable even though the slots are full x16 length. You state " the 3rd controller is basically not recognized by the BIOS." Since the storage HBA is PCI-E x8, might that be relevant to your troubleshooting?

 

the 3rd Controller is recognized, but most of the SATA ports are non functional, only the first 2 ports out of the 8 ports, but even when it does show up, it corrupts the controller info, as it will believe it's the 2nd controller, so 2 of the SATA ports between the 3rd and 2nd controller will overlap, which is what caused me to almost corrupt my data.

 

Similar issue when I tried to use the onboard SATA from the motherboard.

back then I thought it was just a compatibility issue, but now I know better, it was not, just a weird way how SATA enumeration is handled / recognized by the BIOS / POST level.

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If the controller isnt recognised in the bios, maybe it cant allocate the resources to do so? eg IRQ, etc.

 

I had a similar situation where I was cascading several of the supermicro AOCs (the SAS one not SAS2) and got a message 'no resources available' at boot, so I went through the bios and disabled as much as possible (eg serial, parallel, unwanted USB, sound, etc) and that somehow freed some resources and all the cards were found.

 

my biggest HDD setup at the moment is a 20 bay, 2*MV8 and the 4 onboard, but I'm about to try and break that by adding another 4 port SIL card, will see what happens with resources and let you know

 

Yup, I did that already, as I did read and still remember an old post of you talking about it.

So, I went ahead and disabled all the features from the motherboard, serial, parallel, SATA, sound, etc

only left the 2 Intel Ethernet on board.

 

I tried plugging the SATA controllers in different PCI-E slots hoping it might help, but still nothing.

 

I'm starting to believe maybe it's the motherboard, and I might have to end up using a less sophisticated motherboard with a lot less features, then maybe that might work

 

since now I'm using the ATTO 16 port in my main rig, I can experiment with the 3x Supermicro controllers on another motherboard to see if that works.... the problem is i don't have that many spare HDDs :razz:

 

 

Oh yeah, one thing I did forget to mention in my original post.

 

The problem will not get detected unless HDDs is physically connected to the controller.

 

When I initially started with the 3x Supermicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8, they all looked perfect

 

I was able to hook up like 4 drives per controller, and I assumed it was working great, the problem only appeared when all 24 ports were filled, and started getting the weird detection, or HDD not detected issues, then I started removing drives until it was down to 16 is when I knew, even when all the controllers are recognized, only 16 ports can be active, this was tested in both Linux and XPEnology.

 

I have a hunch it's those damn UEFI in the new BIOS and motherboards (I always set them to LEGACY mode), I'm trying to find an old motherboard to retry this, and get all 24 drives working.

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If you boot with 3*SAS cards with no drives attached, do you see the controllers own bios reset one by one (thats what my sas's do)

also (and I'm sure you have) edited the synoinfo.conf for 24 drives

 

Regarding drives being seen in the bios v seen in XPE/DSM, I recently got a mobo from china with 14 sata ports, interestingly only 2 are visible in the bios as boot options, but Windows, Linux and XPE/DSM sees up to 11, for some weird reason.

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I'm starting to believe this might have something to do with the problem I'm seeing.

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/88181/Int ... e-2_70-GHz

Expansion Options

Scalability 1S Only

PCI Express Revision 3.0

PCI Express Configurations ‡ Up to 1x16, 2x8, 1x8+2x4

Max # of PCI Express Lanes 16

 

but if that is true, then how did they managed to do those 40+, 50+ HDDs builds with XPEnology? :?:

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maybe with something like this, perhaps with the chipset etc embedded on the board or expansion chassis?

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PCI-e-Express ... 5d68b2ab8b

 

I got one a while ago and tested it with xpe/dsm with X1 intel and realtek nics and x1 syba cards and it 'worked'

 

In theory 16* 4 port X1 cards/channels = 64 drives?

 

btw, I also tested it with a AOC SAS2 card and an X1/X16 riser adapter and it worked too, all 8 drives :smile:

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