PERC - Dell PERC H200 and 6Gbps SAS HBA Features

Summary: Details of PERC H200 and 6Gbps SAS HBA features.

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Symptoms

This article provides information on the PERC H200 and 6Gbps SAS HBA features.
 

Table of Contents:

  1. Selectable Boot Device
  2. Reporting of Uncertified Drives
  3. Background Processes
  4. RAID 10 Support
  5. 6Gb/s Throughput, Maximum Link Speed, and Negotiated Link Speed
  6. Solid State Drive (SSD) Support
  7. Expander Support
  8. Firmware Package Versioning
 


Selectable Boot Device

The PERC H200 controllers offer the ability for the customer to specify any unconfigured Physical Disk or Virtual Disk as a Boot Device regardless of its slot location in the system.
In the SAS Topology screen in CTRL+C, a user can scroll down to either select the desired Physical Disk or Virtual Disk and assign that device as their Preferred Boot Device by pressing ALT+B. The Preferred Boot Device will then be marked as "Boot" under Device Information. ALT+B can be used to deselect a previously selected Preferred Boot Device as well. 
 
SLN156304_en_US__1icon When an unconfigured Physical Disk is selected as the Preferred Boot Device, the selection is associated with the slot that the drive resides in. If the drive is then moved to a different slot, the system will not be able to boot to the device anymore and an error message will be seen during boot.  
SLN156304_en_US__1icon When a Virtual Disk is selected as the Preferred Boot Device, the selection is associated with the device handle. If the volume is then moved to a different location in the system, the system will still be able to boot to the device

When a Preferred Boot Device goes missing, an error message will be seen on POST, requiring user action to continue. The error message will look as follows:
  • ERROR: Preferred boot device is missing, reconfiguration is suggested!
The user will then need to enter CTRL+C to investigate the problem and select another Preferred Boot Device if needed.

If no Boot Device is selected, the controller will boot to the first device discovered or its associated RAID volume. 
The message will look something like the following for a virtual disk assignment:
  • Current Boot Device set to volume at handle 79  
SLN156304_en_US__1icon Since this is not a user-selected Preferred Boot Device, it will not be marked as "Boot" under Device Information in CTRL+C. If this device goes missing, the next available device in the INT 13 chain will be selected as the Boot Device and a message will displayed stating which device has been assigned as the new Boot Device. 
 

Reporting of Uncertified Drives

The PERC H200 controllers will support Dell-qualified SAS and SATA hard disk drives (HDD), and solid-state drives (SSD) only.
Uncertified drives will be reported in CTRL+C and OpenManage Storage Service (OMSS), but there will be no blocking in place to prevent the users from selecting the drives.

To verify if a certain drive is certified in CTRL+C:
  1. Go to SAS Topology
  2. Select <ALT+D> to enter Device Properties.
 If the drive is un-certified, it will be clearly marked in this screen.


Background Processes

PERC H200 supports the ability to perform a full Background Initialization (BGI) and Consistency Check (CC), in addition to the rebuild process. 
  • Performances of these processes are significantly different from the rebuild process.
  • Background processes are serial and only one process can occur at a time.
  • Each background process has a priority in relation to the others.
Background Initialization
  • BGI is executed upon creation of a redundant RAID volume (RAID 1 or RAID 10).
  • BGI ensures that the data on the secondary drive matches that on the primary.
  • A volume is considered "fully initialized" when BGI completes.
  • Check pointing is supported with BGI. If a BGI is interrupted, it will continue from the last check-pointed location.
  • SAS 6 volumes migrated to PERC H200 will be marked as "Not Initialized" and a BGI will be scheduled.
  • During BGI, system performance will be sub-optimal.
  • If there is already a rebuild or a BGI in progress on another virtual disk when a new virtual disk is created, the BGI for the new virtual disk will be scheduled and the virtual disk given a status of "BGI Pending". The pending BGI will automatically start when the existing background processes complete.
Consistency Check
  • A consistency check can be invoked anytime on an optimal redundant RAID volume (RAID 1 or RAID 10) that has already undergone a full BGI.
  • The CC option will be grayed out if the volume is a RAID 0, if the volume is not optimal, or if the volume is undergoing a BGI.
  • Check pointing is supported with CC. If a CC is interrupted, it will continue from the last check-pointed location.
  • A CC can also be invoked automatically when a volume is roamed after an unclean shutdown.
  • If there is already a BGI or CC in progress on another virtual disk when a CC operation for a virtual disk is invoked, the CC operation will be scheduled and the virtual disk given a status of "ConChk Pending" in CTRL+C.
  • A CC will terminate when an entire volume is validated, if the volume state becomes non-optimal, or if the bad block table becomes full.


RAID 10 Support

Besides RAID 0 and RAID 1, PERC H200 now offers RAID 10 support.
  • A RAID 10 virtual disk offers the ability to stripe data across mirrored disks and offers high data throughput and complete redundancy.
  • RAID 10 is defined as PR 11, RLQ 0 in the DDF Specification.
  • A RAID 10 requires a minimum of 4 drives and a maximum of 10 drives. An even number of drives will need to be selected for any RAID 10 volume. 

6Gb/s Throughput, Maximum Link Speed, and Negotiated Link Speed

The PERC H200 and 6Gbps SAS HBA controller comply with SAS 2.0 and provide upto 6 Gb/s throughput.
  • For maximum supported throughput, ensure that the correct hardware is used. This includes hard drives, backplanes, enclosures and cables.
  • The negotiated link speed for all devices will be displayed in both CTRL+C and OMSS (3Gbps or 6Gbps).
  • In CTRL+C, the maximum link speed is displayed as well.
 

Solid State Drive (SSD) Support

In addition to Hard Disk Drive (HDD) support, the PERC H200 now offers support for SSDs.
  • SSD drives will be marked accordingly in CTRL+C and OMSS as SATA-SSD or SAS-SSD.
  • PERC H200 does not support the mixing of SSDs and HDDs in a RAID volume.

Expander Support 

The PERC H200 now offers Expander support in certain platforms.
  • Only 6Gb/s expanders are supported. 3Gbp/s expander will not be supported.
  • With expander support, the PERC H200 can now support upto 16 drives. 
SLN156304_en_US__1icon Only 14 configured drives can be supported. 
 

Firmware Package Versioning

For the SAS 6/IR, the controller’s Firmware version reflected the Firmware version concatenated with the BIOS version.
Example: 00.25.47.00.06.22.03.00

For the PERC H200, the controller’s firmware package now encompasses a 3rd component – the UEFI Boot Services Driver. A new Firmware Package version is now being used.
Example: Package 07.01.09.00

Sub-Components:
  • Firmware: 02.15.56.00-IR
  • BIOS: 07.01.06.00
  • UEFI BSD: 02.00.01.06
When  a Firmware Package update is applied, all 3 components will automatically be updated.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Servers

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021

Version

3

Article Type

Solution

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