adaptec 2120S report

Gary Stanley gary at
Fri Sep 19 01:57:16 PDT 2003

At 09:39 PM 9/17/2003, you wrote:

>After my failure to get the Serveraid-5i working, I have put in an Adaptec 
>2120S. This card has very similar features to the Serveraid card, with the 
>addition that it actually works in FreeBSD.
>After a couple of days of testing I can recommend this card.  I have 
>6x36GB IBM 10krpm drives running in RAID 50 configuration with FreeBSD 
>5.1-REL.  The only downside was I cannot get it working at Ultra-320 with 
>this IBM x345 hotswap backplane, but it is working great at Ultra-160.
>With my configuration, a quick test of file system sequential access speed 
>shows reads at 47mb/s and writes at 27mb/s.  The good news is, while the 
>array is degraded and rebuilding, read is 10mb/s and write is 6mb/s which 
>is still quite respectable. The box still feels fast enough while the 
>array is rebuilding. The downside is rebuilding the RAID5 containers took 
>5 hours - each.
>Two problems with this controller in FreeBSD 5.1:
>1. FreeBSD won't boot while the array is rebuilding. It hangs after 
>detecting aacd0.  I did not try waiting 5 hours to see if it continued 
>after the array rebuild finished.
>Workaround is to only hot swap drives while FreeBSD is running, and do not 
>reboot until rebuild is finished.  Alternatively, boot into the controller 
>BIOS and wait for rebuild to finish there.
>2. I could not get SMP kernel to work - its a Xeon 2.6ghz supporting 
>hyperthreading. SMP worked without the controller, but hangs during boot 
>with the controller.  Luckily this is not a big problem for us as we only 
>need a single CPU and hyperthreading is of minor/dubious advantage.
>Workaround is to simply not use an SMP kernel.
>Other than that, it seems to be working very nicely.  I look forward to 
>seeing the Serveraid / ips driver issues resolved in 5.2...

The issues you are having are something similar to what I experience. When 
installing FreeBSD 4.x/5.2 onto a building array, the machine panic's and 
then the background initialization restarts. (Building a 500GB RAID5 array 
takes me 12 hours, lol)

Issues #2 is something I'm not familiar with on 5, but with 4 I am using a 
2120S with SMP (Not hyperthreading)

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