The H680 is a PCIe card with dual external connectors, each connector supports four SAS drives. The H680 supports TLR which is needed for LTO-7 and LTO-8.
There are other models that can be used, like the H644 which has one external connector and one internal connector. Also the H608 which can be used with internal LTO drives.
With a regular SFF-8088 cable you can connect one LTO drive to each connector.
There are also 1 x SF-8088 to 4 x SF-8088 fan out cables, with these each connector can support four LTO drives. (No drop in performance)
Put the card in a Thunderbolt expansion like the Sonnet Echo Express SEL shown here
The H1280 card supports TLR and has two 12Gb ports. These ports connect to drives using SFF-8644 cables. The higher speed isn't required for LTO drives, but it is compatible. You can get 1 x SFF-8644 to 4 x SF-8088 or 1 x SFF-8644 to 4 x SFF-8644 fan out cables. So you can connect to both types of LTO drives.
The LTO drives in newer libraries like the Quantum i3 and i6 connect using SFF-8644 connectors.
All LTO drives are 6Gb speed regardless of the connector type, so with the correct cable either card can be used.
The ThunderLink SH 3128 is a Thunderbolt 3 adaptor that supports TLR and has two 12Gb ports. These ports connect to drives using SFF-8644 cables and work the same way as described above for the H1280.
If the drive has a Fibre Channel connection there are ATTO FC81 / FC82 / FC84 PCIe FC cards.
Use an FC81 card in a Sonnet Echo Express Thunderbolt3 chassis.
There are also more expensive TLFC-2082/2162 Thunderbolt2 and the TLFC-3162/3322 Thunderbolt3 to FC interfaces that will perform equivalently.
Note that the ATTO multipath driver does not support tape drives.
Download and install the latest Mac driver and card firmware from the ATTO website.
Keep the card updated using Fibre Channel HBA downloads.
To check that the Mac can see the ATTO and LTO hardware hold the alt key on the Mac keyboard, click the Apple Menu and select System Information...
If using an ATTO card inside the older MacPro, then select PCI from the left hand Hardware list. The ATTO H680 should be listed.
If using an ATTO card in an expansion chassis, then click Thunderbolt. Here the Sonnet Echo Express Pro is connected to the Mac.
Now select SAS or Fibre Channel from the Hardware list. Here the driver has not been installed so no devices are shown. On High Sierra the driver may also be blocked, see the next section.
If missing then download and install the Mac driver for the H680 from the ATTO website. Then reboot the Mac.
The first time after you install ATTO drivers on a new system, you will need to approve the new System Software. Also new installs of system software from YoYotta, OSXFUSE (developer is Benjamin Fleischer) and other drivers may need approval.
You will see a message like this saying System Extension Blocked
Open the Security & Privacy page in Apple System Preferences, unlock the padlock and click Allow to enable the System software to load.
You must click the Allow button directly on the Mac, clicking using remote screen sharing will not work.
If the Allow button is not shown then reboot your Mac, try again to use an LTFS tape (which will fail) and then check the Security & Privacy page again.
Also ensure that you have the latest macOS 10.13.6, 10.14.6 or 10.15
Now the driver is installed and the ATTO ExpressSAS device is shown. No tape drives are connected.
Make sure an LTO drive is connected and powered on, now a SCSI Target
Device @ 0 is shown. Here an IBM LTO-5 drive is connected.
YoYotta LTFS will now be able to control this drive.
The System Information page does not refresh automatically. Click File, Refresh Information or Command + R to refresh the hardware listing.
Here an HPE MSL4048 with three LTO drives is connected. SCSI Target Device
@ 0 has two logical units. The first is an LTO-5 drive, the second is the
library robot. If two logical units are not shown then the configuration
of the tape library needs to be set to allow external control. Check using the library browser interface the settings for the control path, which are normally in the partition settings.
SCSI Target Devices 1 and 2 are LTO-5 and LTO-4 drives.
This is a SAS library, check the Fibre Channel entry for a FC library.
YoYotta Automation will now be able to control this library.
The ATTO Thunderlink SH1068, SH2068 TB-SAS, ThunderStream SC4808 adaptors and the R680 or R644 PCIe RAID SAS cards do not support TLR, so there will be issues when controlling LTO-6, LTO-7 and LTO-8 drives.
These interfaces are not supported as they do not work with LTFS.
Files are written correctly, but when read back there are undetected soft errors. So the errors would be missed if the copy was not verified. If you get any verification issues, then check these settings.
The H680 and H1280 families of SAS cards ares not affected.
To reduce the errors, set the PHY link speed to 3Gb/s rather than Auto or 6Gb/s.
This is a temporary workaround until you replace the units with an ATTO H680 or H1280.
With the SH2068 use the Jan 2016 firmware, file name is osx_fls_tlsashbab_160129.dmg, do NOT use the newer Jan 2017 firmware.
To do this open the terminal app and type this to display the current R680 settings.
Or type this to display the current ThunderLink settings.
Then type one of the following to change the link speed.
/Applications/ATTO/ExpressSASRAID2/atsasnvr -k 3
/Applications/ATTO/ThunderLinkSASHBA/atsasnvr -k 3
Power cycle the ATTO and restart the Mac.
Then type the first command again to check the new settings they will show PHY Speed: 3 Gb/s
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