Installing ATTO SAS or FC interfaces

These ATTO interfaces add SAS or FC ports to the Mac enabling control of a LTO tape drive or library

ATTO H680 + H1280

The H680 is a PCIe card with dual 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, but this can only 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)

The H1280 card also 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 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.
Download and install the latest Mac driver and card firmware from the ATTO website.
The PCIe card can go inside the older MacPro or in a Thunderbolt expansion like the Sonnet Echo Express SEL shown here.

The Sonnet Echo Express SEL is a compact Thunderbolt enclosure that holds a PCIe card like the ATTO H680. A lot of our customers use this to connect to a desktop SAS LTO drive or tape library. Get the Thunderbolt 3 unit as this means that there is plenty of bandwidth for multiple LTO drives and also daisy chaining other Thunderbolt units. The Apple TB3 -> TB2 adaptor allows connection to older Thunderbolt 2 Macs. There are also other units that hold more than one card.

ATTO Thunderlink SH1068, SH2068 TB-SAS, ThunderStream SC4808 adaptors, R680 or R644 PCIe RAID SAS cards do not support TLR which is a required protocol. So they are not compatible with LTFS running on any operating system.
These interfaces are not compatible with tape drives as they do not support TLR protocol. As a temporary workaround when using with LTO tape drives with these interfaces the link speed should be set to 3Gb/s. However there may still be errors. See section at bottom of this page.

ATTO FC81 / FC82 / FC84

If the drive has a Fibre Channel connection then there are ATTO PCIe FC cards.
FC LTO drives have 8Gb/s interfaces.
Also there is the FC2082 Thunderbolt to FC interface.
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.
The PCIe card can go inside the older MacPro or in a Thunderbolt expansion like the Sonnet Echo Express SEL shown here.

Here are the recommended settings in the ATTO config.

  • Use the standard ATTO FC driver NOT the ATTO multipath driver
  • Enable Native Multipathing
  • Use Point to Point connection mode

Checking hardware devices

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...

Check for PCI devices

If using an ATTO card inside the older MacPro, then select PCI from the left hand Hardware list. The ATTO H680 should be listed.

Check for Thunderbolt devices

If using an ATTO card in an expansion chassis, then click Thunderbolt. Here the Sonnet Echo Express Pro is connected to the Mac.

ATTO Driver missing or blocked

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.

macOS 10.13 or newer System Security

The first time after you install ATTO drivers on a new High Sierra 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 and check the Security & Privacy page again.

ATTO Driver installed

Now the driver is installed and the ATTO ExpressSAS device is shown. No tape drives are connected.

LTO drive 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.

LTO library connected

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.

Adjust link speed for R680 and SH2068

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.
/Applications/ATTO/ExpressSASRAID2/atsasnvr -p

Or type this to display the current ThunderLink settings.
/Applications/ATTO/ThunderLinkSASHBA/atsasnvr -p

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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