[OmniOS-discuss] list of know-compatible motherboards?

Marion Hakanson hakansom at ohsu.edu
Sat Mar 21 01:23:04 UTC 2015


You can work around the "too many drives" problems by making the assumption
that you will never need to boot off of your external disks (the ones attached
to the SAS HBA's).  Then you enter each SAS HBA's BIOS config manager, and
disable booting for that HBA.  The motherboard BIOS will then no longer see
the drives attached to the HBA's.

I do this as a matter of course, because we have systems with as many as 120
drives attached via external SAS HBA's.  No BIOS copes well with so many
potential boot devices.



Subject: Re: [OmniOS-discuss] list of know-compatible motherboards?
From: Joseph Boren <jboren at drakecooper.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:15:44 -0600 (16:15 PDT)
To: Fábio Rabelo <fabio at fabiorabelo.wiki.br>
Cc: omnios-discuss <omnios-discuss at lists.omniti.com>

Sorry to dredge this old thread up, but I wanted to add my experience with
the Supermicro H8SGL-F motherboard, on the off chance someone is
considering using that motherboard and reads this thread.   And this is in
no way a criticism of Fábio, or complaint about his recommendations.  I
appreciate the advice and I'm sure his use case is just different enough
from mine that he didn't surface these issues.

This board has some limitations that may make it not a great choice
depending on your intentions for it.  First of all, the BIOS can see a
maximum of 12 attached HDs.  And for some strange reason it sees HDs
attached to HBAs before it sees HDs attached to the onboard SATA
connectors, so if you have 12 drives attached to HBAs you cannot use the
onboard SATA, BIOS can't see it (if you have 11 drives on HBAs you can see
1 local drive, etc).  In addition, if you have more than 12 drives attached
to HBAs, you can't boot from the drives higher than 12.   So I have 14
drives attached to 2 8port HBAs, I can only set any of the first 12 as boot
devices.  13 and 14 cannot be used.   Finally (i think), if you have 12 or
more drives attached to any HBA, on board SATA, whatever, you cannot boot
from a flash drive.  Even if you set it as the ONLY boot device it will
just skip it and complain that there is no bootable device.  If you only
have 11 drives you can boot from USB Flash no problem.  Interestingly, a
USB CDROM is unaffected by this.  You can select and boot from a USB CDROM
regardless of how many drives are attached.  Finally (actually this time I
think), it appears to be impossible to set up a mirrored syspool on this
motherboard, because there is only one slot in the Bios boot order menu for
Hard Disk.  So you can only choose one of the mirror pair as a boot
device.  There is no way to specify another HD as a second priority boot
device.  Now once you get OmniOS loaded it can see and make use of all
drives attached to the system, but you are very restricted in what you can
use for boot devices.

After the better part of 2 weeks of back and forth with Supermicro support
(who have been really nice and cooperative, but unable to do anything about
it), I'm going to have to eat cost of this board/cpu/memory and get
something else.  If your use case is 12 total drives or less, and no
mirrored boot, this board will work fine.  If you need more than 12 drives,
or mirrored syspool, it will not work.


*Joseph Boren*
. . .

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