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Areca RAID controller ARC-1880ix-12 (firmware 1.50) hangs when on high load.

My setup is:
Chenbro 3U chassis
Intel S5500BC mainboard
Xeon 5603 CPU
16GB of RAM
12 Seagate SAS drives ST32000645SS (2 of them as hot spare, 10 as RAID10)
Mellanox Infiniband HBA card

This server is working as external infiniband storage for Xen VMs. When load is quite big Areca's firmware hangs - it becomes unreachable even from Areca's ethernet adapter. After resetting the server power it returns to normal operation.

While Areca is hanged I can confirm that it is powered (ethernet link is active) and Infiniband HBA works Ok.

Thanks in advance for any idea or suggestion where the problem might be!

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3 Answers 3

Your issue is the same issue I've been having for months. First an ARC-1220 and then an ARC-1260. Both were patched to 1.49 firmware.

I suspect latest firmware is buggy as both cards used to function fine. The ARC-1220 became flaky and the ARC-1260 would work but it would hang, even streaming an MP3 on a 1000 mbit hardlink would choke and hang.

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After deep investigation I finally resolved the issue with Areca hanging. The actual problem was NOT in Areca, but in software used (thanks to Chida's comment). I was using Infiniband with SRP protocol, which is provided by SCST driver. The issue was in that SCST driver - with having high load it did SCSI bus reset, which turned out to be the reason of Areca's firmware hanging. After migrating from SCST to simple iSCSI (IPoIB) the problem disappeared. –  Dave Sep 17 '12 at 8:02

Couple of things --

  • You seem to run an older firmware. Current firmware is 1.51 -- http://www.areca.us/support/download/RaidCards/BIOS_Firmware/release_1.51.txt

  • Install the Areca CLI and check the health of your drives and the controller.

  • See if you can take the server offline and run some IO benchmarks and observe data on sar.

  • If could be very well be something else than Areca -- check system logs for any kernel stacktrace or system/hardware errors. Check if server/motherboard BIOS release notes and if there is anything there.

Chida

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My Areca 1800IX-16-4G is also freezing and it seems to be a DRAM failure.

Check your event log and update bootrom, firmware, mbr0 to 1.52, then reboot, update bios to 1.52 then reboot again and upgrade SAS Expander via RJ-11 to COM cable (2 files) and Hyperterminal with:

FW : sas2xfwYYMMDD.fw
    Command to update,
    1)"fdl code 0" to update new fw file
    2)"reset"

MFG data : mfgdat6gMMDD.rom
    Command to update,
    1)"fdl mfgb 0" to update new data file
    2)"reset"

after boot,
cmd > rev
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