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Supported configuration of blades with different mezzanine card levels

chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

Supported configuration of blades with different mezzanine card levels

Aleksandar had a blade mezzanine adapter question:

 

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I have one inquiry regarding coexistence of blades with different amount of mezzanine cards in enclosure.

 

We have two identical enclosures with 7 ESX hosts inside, each consist of BL460c Gen8 and Flex-10 interconnects and VC FC.  Customer requested to have additional physical network separation between their VLANS and we have to add second row of Flex-10 modules in bays 5 and 6. This is supported configuration. The ESX hosts will have second mezzanine installed in slot 2 to connect to the new modules.

 

In the meantime, customer requested to fully populate the enclosure with blades that do not have this extra mezzanine in slot 2. I don’t have such deployment with mixed number of mezzanine cards so far, and I would like to ask if this configuration is supported and is there some issues that we might encounter when blades are installed (such as error in OA).

 

So in summary:

  1. Which mezzanine card will be best choice for the second row (the built-in one is HP Flex-10 10Gb 2-port 530FLB FIO Adapter               684211-B21         )?
  2. Is the configuration with blades with less mezzanines than the VC modules installed supported / prone to issues?

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Input from Vincent:

 

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Well, there's also the 552M (same Emulex chip as the 554, just with the storage functions FCoE/iSCSI disabled) but if you're going with the 530FLB, I think it makes sense to remain with the 530 for the mezz.

 

To answer your question, it's perfectly fine to have some blade servers without a mezz in slot 2. The VC modules in bays 5&6 will not complain if some of their downlinks are not connected to anything.

 

And finally, remember that you will need to put cables between the modules in 1&2 and the modules in 5&6 for stacking. All the Ethernet-capable modules in the enclosure must be connected via stacking links.

 

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Comments or questions?

1 REPLY
David_Schwartzs
Honored Contributor

Re: Supported configuration of blades with different mezzanine card levels

Just a comment because it's worth mentioning -

If you weren't previously using Mezz Slot # 2, it's very important to note that Mezz Slot #2 is only usable on a BL460c Gen8 when there's dual processors installed. This should be kept in mind not only for the servers you're installing the mezz cards into, but if it's even a possibility of adding mezz cards to the other set of servers in the future.

This issue can be a royal pain particularly when software licensing costs are figured in for servers where you may not have needed a second processor if not for necessary access to Mezz Slot #2.

It's worth noting that AMD based BL465c Gen8 does not have this limitation, and with its lesser cost and higher number of physical cores, really makes the AMD solution look more attractive.
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