Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8: DRIVER_TIMEOUT

I have been using the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 host bus adapter on quite a few Linux machines recently.  Supermicro/Marvell only provide stable drivers for Windows and a select few (outdated) Linux distributions.  I had to rely on the open-source support in the drivers/scsi/mvsas tree of the Linux kernel.

Running this card with 8 x 2TB hard drives on Fedora Core 13 (2.6.34.6-54.fc13.i686.PAE) was tricky to say the least, machines with identical hardware, booting from the same PXE boot image were behaving differently.  Machines with issues exhibited DRIVER_TIMEOUT’s trying to do anything with the connected drives, example:

XFS mounting filesystem sdb1
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1669:mvs_abort_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1608:mvs_query_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1669:mvs_abort_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1608:mvs_query_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1669:mvs_abort_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1608:mvs_query_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1669:mvs_abort_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1608:mvs_query_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1669:mvs_abort_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1608:mvs_query_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1669:mvs_abort_task:rc= 5
drivers/scsi/mvsas/mv_sas.c 1608:mvs_query_task:rc= 5
sd 4:0:1:0: [sdb] Unhandled error code
sd 4:0:1:0: [sdb] Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_TIMEOUT
sd 4:0:1:0: [sdb] CDB: Read(10): 28 00 74 71 7a eb 00 04 00 00
end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 1953594091

Regressing the system back to a supported configuration (Fedora Core 9) and using the proprietary driver solved the stability problem.  The controllers came shipped with the 3.1.0.15N firmware, however upgrading this to 3.1.0.18 or 3.1.0.21 didn’t resolve the issues using the open-source driver on modern kernels.

Rather than persist with an ancient configuration I opted to switch to a different HBA with stable Kernel support in drivers/scsi/mpt2sas; the LSI SAS 3081E-R host bus adapter.

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