MFI and passthrough

Borja Marcos borjam at
Wed Oct 31 09:44:45 PDT 2007

Hash: SHA1

On Oct 31, 2007, at 4:45 AM, Scott Long wrote:

> The passthrough interface is really only meant for doing management
> tasks like SMART monitoring and firmware flashes.  I've also seen it
> used for low-duty devices like tape drives.  I do not recommend  
> using it
> to directly control disks in a primary fashion.  However, since  
> this is
> open source, I won't prevent you from trying =-)  Try the following
> patch:

Thank you very much. It works, and very well indeed. I'm getting very  

What kind of problems could I expect from this setup?


> I do believe that Dell does sell a direct attached disk option for
> the 2950/1950 called the PERC5/e.  It's essentially an LSI MPT-SAS
> controller that directly replaces the PERC5/i card that you have now.
> It should be able to control all 6 disk slots, and can do both SAS
> and SATA.
> Scott
> Borja Marcos wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> Hello,
>> I'm trying to set up a machine with FreeBSD 7, using ZFS, and I'm  
>> running into problems.
>> The machine is a Dell Poweredge 2950, and includes a PERC/5i card  
>> and six disks. As I'm using ZFS I don't
>> need the array functionality at all, and it's actually causing  
>> problems if I just create six logical volumes.
>> I have seen that there is a "mfip" device that works as a  
>> passthough, so I have tried to destroy the six
>> logical volumes I had created. Using the GENERIC kernel I had  
>> installed with the distribution (which includes
>> the mfi driver) I've loaded the mfip module from the boot command  
>> line.
>> After booting, a "camcontrol devlist" shows the six disks, but  
>> only as "passthrough devices". How can I make
>> them be attached as disks? I've tried to use the "da" driver  
>> (using device.hints) but I have been unsuccessful.
>> Unfortunately Dell doesn't sell a non-array option for this  
>> machine supporting 6 disks. The non-array option, which
>> I think is based on SATA, supports only four.
>> Any ideas? The PERC/5i plain sucks for this purpose. I tried to  
>> unplug one of the disks (remember that I have a separate
>> logical volume for each disk) and the card renumbered the rest of  
>> the logical disks, making the ZFS pool unusable until
>> I rebooted, erased the PERC config, and recreated the six logical  
>> volumes.
>> Thank you very much,
>> Borja.
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