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Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

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naimco
Occasional Visitor

Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

Hello.

 

We would like to attach a PCI-E v2 card, (fusion IO ioDrive2 Duo 2.4 TB PCI-E v2 x8 card) 

to a BL460c G6 blade, with Windows 2012 as the OS.  Is the only option using the HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade,  PN 448018-B21 ?

 

Does anyone know how this Expansion Blade is linked as a slave to the PCI-E bus of the controlling host ?.  Is this done through the C7000 chassis  configuration. I've read that the PCI expansion blade has to be side by side but I figure something else must be done ?

 

Our vendor compucom also told use that HP says that the fusion IO card will not work.  I don't see why not as it's a standard PCI-E v2 x8 card. ?    ( please share any experience you've had with using PCI-E card with the  PCI Expansion Blade

 

thanks

 

Naim.

 

7 REPLIES
Suman_1978
HPE Pro

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

Hi,

 

According to my understanding the PCIe Fusion-IO cards are not ment to be used within PCI Expansion Blade.

Click here to read the HP BladeSystem PCI Expansion Blade QuickSpecs.

 

For Blade Systems, HP has IO Accelerator in a mezzanine card form factor.

Refer to this link and QuickSpecs:

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/io_accelerator/index.html

 

One reason could be that, Fusion-IO cards has to be mounted directly onto the system board because of its speed and power requirements, but I dont have any documentation on that.

 

Thank You!
I am a HP employee.

Davy Priem
Regular Advisor
Solution

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

I have two hp fusionio cards (iodrive 160GB) in production in a pci expansion slot for almost two years in a BL460c G6. Never had any issues with it.

 

You don't need to do any configuration. Plug in the BL460 in a odd number slot and plug the expansion slot next to it (number +1). Link is though the c7000 backplane.

 

Please mind HP does not support HP PCI devices in a HP expansion slot.

Casper42
Trusted Contributor

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

If you need x8 mode for your Duo model, there is a BIOS option you can flip on the 460 blade if my memory is right that will disable one of the two PCIe ports and then double the bandwidth on the other giving you x8.

Otherwise both ports are active and only x4.

Good luck, and for next time remember that HP sells Blade based Fusion IO Mezz cards. Last I heard a few weeks back our stock on G6/G7 compatible cards is VERY low, but for Gen8 there are plenty. This wasn't an HP Decision but rather Fusion IO stopped making their G1 design which was what we used in the G6/G7 Mezz card model.
naimco
Occasional Visitor

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

Thank you Davy.

 

With your possitive feed back we went out and purchase the HP expansion board.  Installed our Dou2 2.4 TB MLC card in the expansion board.

 

Followed your instructions blade in Odd slot expansion board in even slot.  

 

Upon powering up the windows 2012 device manager saw the Mass storage devices. Installed the FusionIO device drivers and vola it works !

naimco
Occasional Visitor

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

Hi Casper42,

 

I looked at BIOS setting for antying related the PCIe port speed, found nothing.

 

Benchmarking the card attached to the 460c G6 we obtain 58% of the performance when the same card was benchmarked in a DL380 G8.  We are just using the card for one time operation, SQL database update with is  faster to execute on local storage vs an iscsi SAN. It takes hours on fusionIO card versus days on the SAN.

 

Given the benchmark results the card appears to be working at x4

 

A PCI trace does show a problem. (using HWiNFo64) 

 

It seems that the HP Expansion modual is  "IDT 89HPES12N3A 12 lane express switch"  Notice that it is PCI-E v1 device operating in x4 mode.  I could be wrong and the IDT 89HPES12N3A device might be part of the Fusion IO card but i don't hink so.  This entire setup is in a remote site so I was not able experiment and for example remove the fusionIO card only leaving the expand blade to see how HWinfo64 reports it.

 

A google search on "IDT 89HPES12N3A" returns this document  http://www.semiconductorstore.com/pdf/newsite/idt/idt89hpes12n3a_ds.pdf

 

Which clearly states that this PCI switch is version 1.1 and only supports a max of x4.  So I'm wondering if different hardware versions of the HP expansion blade are floating around with different hardware specs.

 

Our expansion card has firmware vers 2.10 not sure if updateing the firmware could change anything here.

 

Naim

 

 

 

 

The Fio-pci-check utility also shows the bandwith issue :

 

Root Bridge PCIe 12000 MB/sec needed max
Intel(R) 5520/5500/X58 I/O Hub to ESI Port - 3403
Bridge 00:03.00 (03-0a) (8086:340a)
Intel(R) 5520/5500/X58 I/O Hub PCI Express Root Port 3 - 340A
* Needed 4000 MB/sec Avail 1000 MB/sec
Bridge 03:00.00 (04-0a) (111d:8018)
PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge
* Needed 4000 MB/sec Avail 1000 MB/sec
Bridge 04:04.00 (06-0a) (111d:8018)
PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge
* Needed 4000 MB/sec Avail 1000 MB/sec
Bridge 06:00.00 (07-0a) (1aed:2100)
PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge
* Needed 4000 MB/sec Avail 1000 MB/sec
Bridge 07:05.00 (09-09) (1aed:2100)
PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge
Needed 2000 MB/sec Avail 2000 MB/sec
ioDrive 09:00.0 (2001) Firmware 110356
Fusion-io ioMemory VSL Device
Slot Power limit: 25.0W (25000mw)
Bridge 07:06.00 (0a-0a) (1aed:2100)
PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge
Needed 2000 MB/sec Avail 2000 MB/sec
ioDrive 0a:00.0 (2001) Firmware 110356
Fusion-io ioMemory VSL Device
Slot Power limit: 25.0W (25000mw)

LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

Just a thought...you could try to call FusionIO. Their technical support staff is top notch.

 

We have used the Fusion IO Gen1 cards in our BL460c G7s for two years now without issue. The only thing we had to do at initial startup was Flash the Fusion card to a new F/W. The new F/W allowed us to achieve the performance we were looking for.  Your problem is F/W related, maybe?

 

We are running the mezzanine version of the 640GB card. Good Luck!

Regards,

Louis

Casper42
Trusted Contributor

Re: Question about using HP BLc PCI Expansion Blade with 460c G6 blade

My apologies, I was confusing the PCI Expansion Blade with the WS460c G6 + Expansion Blade.

That model has a configurable Expansion cage but its very different than the model you were asking for help with.

The model you have is in fact limited to x4
1 card would get all x4
2 cards will share the x4 uplink