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Disk Controller

With OmniOS or Solaris, there are only a few very good options, some are ok and some are really bad:

Controller Brand

Most basic onboard Sata work in AHCI mode. If you have an additional Sata controller on your mainboard it will mostly not work.
With additional cards, its quite easy, use LSI HBA or rebranded, nothing else.

An Expander is connected to an SAS Controller and works like a multiport switch for SAS or Sata disks.

There are a lot of discussions around if you should use Sata disks with expanders.
I would say, with SAS disks, you can expect that it will work. With Sata disks it may or may not as you cannot
expect, that all options are tested. You should at least test a config under load and keep cable length
Expander - Sata disk below 80cm.

Sata, especially from current Intel chipsets in AHCI mode is perfect. Avoid other modes like IDE or Raid.
Non-Intel Onboard Sata: check, may not work.

special settings:
AHCI is basically hotplug capable but this is disabled per default:
To enable add the following line to /etc/system (OmniOS)

set sata:sata_auto_online=1

Sata Port Multiplier
Do not use, not a good option and not supported

SAS HBA (IT mode)
This is the preferred type of a disc controller for ZFS to connect SAS or Sata disks.
I would prefer LSI models like LSI 9207 (IT mode per default). For other LSI controllers like a LSI 9211 or IBM 1015 you can flash IT firmware (IT firmware is raidless, It offers pure RAW disk acess for ZFS). Prefer LSI for OmniOS and ZFS.

If you use LSI controller with P20 firmware:
There are reports about problems especially with fast SSD disks. It is recommended to downgrade to P19

SAS HBA  (IR fIrmware)
Such a controller like a LSI 9211 IR can be used but I would prefer to remove the raid functionality as the IR firmware use another driver than the more often used, more tested and less complex IT firmware. Prefer LSI for OmniOS and ZFS.

SAS Raidcontroller (Raid 5/6)
Avoid. Can be used if the controller offers a Raid-0 alike mode for single disks.
But again, do not use especially not with hardware Raid enabled as this will block the ZFS ability to repair detected checksum errors and will introduce the raid 1/5/6 writewhole problem that is otherwise fixed due the CopyOnWrite capability of ZFS.

napp-it 21.02.2017