I'm looking at picking up an Intel RS25SB008 (a.k.a. OEM LSI 9286CV-8e). I am wanting to add CacheCade to it, which I see is done via the AXXRPFKSSD2 feature key. My question's are:
- Will the resulting version be CacheCade Pro 2.0? I don't know that there ever was a CacheCade 1.0 version available on this board, but I want to make sure that's not what I'm getting.
- These has been quite a bit of chatter about a newer version of CacheCade coming (some suspecting 2.1 or 3.0) that, most significant to me, would raid the size of the CacheCade virtual drive to something larger the current limit of 512GB (1 or 2TB in the rumor mill). Given that I have nothing solid to work from here, I am not asking for "commitments" but would welcome well-educated guesses as to whether or not Intel will have a new key once this is available?
- The above wouldn't matter if you could use the LSI branded CacheCade key with this board, but given my recent experience with an IBM OEM of the LSI 9260-8i (IBM M5014), I am betting it's going to be something unique and not cross-compatible.
- While I realize the implications of doing so (voiding warranty, etc...) does any one have an experience with the RS25SB008 and trying to cross flash it to LSI firmwares?
- Last, and this confuses me the most... if you look at the specs on this card in various places, you will see it listed at PCI-e 3.0 and PCI-e 2.0. This intel page refers to it both ways on the same page! (https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/servers/raid/raid-controller-rs25sb008.html Intel® RAID Controller RS25SB008) Very confusing...
Thank you in advance for any answers!
Intel RAID controllers are part of the server products group.
For your questions:
• Will the resulting version be CacheCade Pro 2.0? I don't know that there ever was a CacheCade 1.0 version available on this board, but I want to make sure that's not what I'm getting.
Intel's version is Intel® RAID SSD Cache 2.0. Intel® RAID SSD Cache 2.0 uses LSI MegaRAID CacheCade Pro* 2.0 read and write caching technology.
• These has been quite a bit of chatter about a newer version of CacheCade coming (some suspecting 2.1 or 3.0) that, most significant to me, would raid the size of the CacheCade virtual drive to something larger the current limit of 512GB (1 or 2TB in the rumor mill). Given that I have nothing solid to work from here, I am not asking for "commitments" but would welcome well-educated guesses as to whether or not Intel will have a new key once this is available?
Unfortunately we can't make forward looking statements.
• The above wouldn't matter if you could use the LSI branded CacheCade key with this board, but given my recent experience with an IBM OEM of the LSI 9260-8i (IBM M5014), I am betting it's going to be something unique and not cross-compatible.
We don't advise using LSI components (keys, firmware or software) with Intel branded RAID controllers. While Intel RAID controllers use LSI's MegaRAID technology there are changes done cross platform.
• While I realize the implications of doing so (voiding warranty, etc...) does any one have an experience with the RS25SB008 and trying to cross flash it to LSI firmwares?
See above. Yes you would void your warranty.
• Last, and this confuses me the most... if you look at the specs on this card in various places, you will see it
listed at PCI-e 3.0 and PCI-e 2.0. This intel page refers to it both ways on the same page! (Intel® RAID Controller RS25SB008) Very confusing...
At release the Intel® RAID Controller RS25SB008 was PCI Express* 2.0. A future engineering change is planned to upgrade the RS25SB008 to PCI Express* 3.0.
Thank you, John. That gets me a lot closer to understanding this. I did some more research based on your responses and came up with some things others might find relevant. I'm sure you (John) already knew them since you seem to be an Intel staffer :
- I ran across thishttps://qdms.intel.com/dm/d.aspx/57CE9388-CD05-4447-8DE2-24A54C88BAD3/PCN111439-00.pdf Intel PCN regarding implementing CC Pro 2.1 into the production pipeline and the part number for the key did not change. I also ran into this http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/ta_100901.pdf Tech Advisory that tells you that Intel support will swap out the key for one that supports 2.1.
- What's interesting to me is that is specifically says 2.1 in both documents. Is it really 2.1? I'd love to see a screen shot from the controller bios. I ask because the LSI firmware readme stated that a past webbios update (WEBBIOS-6.1-31-e_31-Rel) that's part of package 23.4.1-0028 added support to CacheCade 2.1 for 1TB CacheCade ["LSIP200211567 (DFCT) 1TB support in WebBIOS for CacheCade 2.1 volumes"]. The most recent firmware for the RS25SB008 seems to be based on 23.16.0.0018 [MR 5.7 P1] which should include that. I don't supposed someone has the time or equipment to test that? :-)
- In the most recent http://download.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/rs25sb008/sb/g46367001_rs25sb008_hwg.pdf hardware guide I could find, it echos the same statement about a future engineering change supporting PCIe 3.0.
- Page 1: "A future engineering change is planned to upgrade the PCI Express* from 2.0 to 3.0."
- Page 2: "The PCI Express* connector fits into an x8 or x16 PCI Express* slot capable of performance up to 5 Gb/s per lane. After the future engineering change is implemented, the PCI Express* slot will support version 3.0 and the performance will then reach up to 8 Gb/s per lane."
- Page 13: Block diagram shows PCIe 3.0 on the interface from the LSI2208 chip.
- The reason I bring this up though... this document is about 2 years old. Is that engineering change still planned? Seems less and less likely as time continues to pour on? It's made worse by the fact that the content in the document is inconsistent in other ways. It shows Sata II in some places, and Sata III (which we know it does support) in others. Not inspiring much confidence in the focus on this product...
Thanks for any assistance,
The PCIe 2.0 to 3.0 engineering change for the RS25SB008, RS25AB008, RS25NB008 and RS25DB080 controllers was cut in a year ago, see http://qdms.intel.com/dm/d.aspx/1E6F0BB2-36B7-4B00-9F48-1B44A47C3377/PCN111557-03.pdf PCN 111557 - 03. We'll get the user guides updated.
Awesome! Now we're making some progress! If we could just get to the bottom of this CacheCade versioning, I'd be all set.
The last question I guess I would have... I have seen the pages that list the combinations of hardware and raid controller for the Intel -> Intel combination. If purchased the retail version of the RS24SB008 along with the AXXRPFKSSD2 feature key, is the use of the card in a non-intel branded board supported at all? Meaning, would the first question I got from support always be "please give us the model of the system you have this installed in," and if the answer to that question was anything but what was on the supported list, I would be told they wouldn't look at the issue?
Intel wants to sell RAID controllers. We would support an Intel RAID controller in any system to the best of our ability. However our expertise, for obvious reasons, is with Intel products.
We do have 3rd party server boards that we have validated the RS25SB008 with. You can see that in the RAID controller http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/rs25ab080/sb/CS-033039.htm Tested Hardware & Operating Systems List.
I would highly recommend checking the board you might plan to install an Intel RAID controller to see if it is validated as compatible by the board manufacturer.
Ok, last questions, and then I think I'm going to have to buy one of these babies!
- In the PCN doc you quoted for the change to the RAID controller, it lists both a firmware update, and a stepping change to the ROC Controller. Does this part of the PCN mean that the MM# 917137 revision controllers won't support PCIe-3 even with the most current firmwares, and if you have the older revision, is there an exchange option?
"Stepping change to D1 of the ROC Controller to allow Gen 3 PCIe functionality"
- In the PCN I quoted above for the AXXRPFKSSD2 (which I just noticed has a bad link and I am fixing above and https://qdms.intel.com/dm/d.aspx/57CE9388-CD05-4447-8DE2-24A54C88BAD3/PCN111439-00.pdf here), it mentions they kept the model number the same, but the MM# changed from 915316 to 919499. When I buy mine, I will do my best to get the correct one, but if I am sold the older key, is there a charge to get it updated to the 919499 version?
Thank you very very much for all your great information!
Correct, the controller stepping and firmware update are required for Gen 3 PCIe functionality.
If your vendor gives you the old version, hopefully they don't have any left as the PCN was dated over a year ago, I'm pretty sure you could plead your case to Intel warranty and get one warrantied to the new version.
It would be much, much easier if you provided the required key part number to your vendor and your requirements for that specific version though. Just sayin'...
Thank you, john_s. You've answered everything I can think to ask! There are two sellers on eBay selling the controllers new for a great price, and I was looking at picking one up. But, I asked both of them which MM rev they were, and both were selling the old one. So... apparently they got a couple of lots of the leftovers and are clearing them out. Something just seems a little "wrong" with buying one of those, knowing that, and then calling support to get it swapped out...
Hopefully all this information will live on in the archives and someone will Google upon it and benefit from it!
In the previous message you indicated the 915316 to 919499 MM numbers which are for the AXXRPFKSSD2 Premium Feature Key. That's what I was talking about possibly working with warranty to get an update. The last email you indicate MM rev for "controllers". That to me is the RS25SB008. That may be a little harder to "upgrade" via warranty.