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Some general questions about Superdome

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Ed Lawrence_1
Frequent Advisor

Some general questions about Superdome

A friend and I were discussing Superdome.
We on don't have one; we have an rp8400, which is supposed to be based on Superdome technology.
He was wondering:

1) How many domains can be set up on a Superdome?
2) To our knowledge, a domain requires a cell board and I/O. What constitutes I/O? Does each domain require an expansion I/O chassis, or is there a way to allocate specific I/O slots already on the system.

Luk Vandenbussche
Honored Contributor

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

You don't talk about domains on superdomes, that sun business
You have 32way (4 cell board), 64way(8 cell board), and 128 SD (16 cell board), in PA-RISC
See also

A superdome can consist multiple NPAR (HW paritions)
Each npar contains one or more cellboard, each with IO cards.
NPAR are electronicaly isolated.
On each cellboard you have 4 dual core CPU slots.

In each NPAR you can create multiple VPAR (software partitions)

Your rp8400 contains two cellboard, with 4 single CPU slots

I hope this gives a basic idea

Honored Contributor

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

All your doubts are cleared in system partition guide from the below link.


Attitude (not aptitude) determines altitude.

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

Each partition (nPar) must have at 1 or more cell boards and 1 or more IO cages - a cell board doesn't have to have an IO cage attached to it, as long as at least once cell board in the same partition does.

And the rp8400 can have up to 4 cell boards and 2 IO cages internally and an additional 2 IO cages if you buy a server expansion unit.

Of course there's more than 1 way to skin a cat - you don't have to use hard partitions on the superdome (or rp8400), you can also use virtual partitions (vPars). With vPars you basically allocate resources per CPU, per GB of memory and per PCI slot - where those CPUs/memory/IO cards happen to be within a hard parition (nPar) is not important.

If you're using Itanium processors, you can also run Integrity Virtual Machines - (think VMware for Superdomes) which will allow you to actually have seperate OS instances sharing hardware (CPUs and IO cards).




Jeff Schussele
Honored Contributor

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

Hi Ed,

If by domains you mean hard partitions (nPars), then the answer is:

Dual Cabinets:

Maximum 16 nPars # This would be single cell board with a single 6-slot I/O cage

With 12 slot I/O cages => Max 8 nPars

Single Cabinet:

6 slot I/O cages => 8

12 slot I/O cages => 4

Each nPar must consist minimally of 1 cell board & 1 I/O cage.

Of course nPars can be further sliced up by Virtual Partitions (vPars) and with these you can get granularity down to the slot level

See the following for configuration rules & further detail:


PERSEVERANCE -- Remember, whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger!
Ed Lawrence_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

Thank you for the fine responses.
The friend is a SUN person (as you all surmised), hence his use of the word 'domain'.
The info you all provided is greatly appreciated.
Ed Lawrence_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

Closing thread. Thank you.
Ted Buis
Honored Contributor

Re: Some general questions about Superdome

Just a word of caution when talking about Superdomes. There are pa-risc Superdomes and Integrity Superdomes that are Itanium based. Also, the rp8400 is based on the "Yosemite" chipset as were the first generation of Superdomes. Current Superdomes are based on the sx1000 ("Pinnacles") chipset which supports 1.5X the aggregate processor bandwidth and 2X the memory bandwidth. The rp8420 and rx860 also use the sx1000 chipset. The nPars and vPars still apply to all cell based systems. Each nPar needs an I/O path from one or more cells, so without the System Expansion (I/O) Unit, you can only have two nPars in the rp84x0 or rx86x0 units. Don't forget vPars. If the background is SUN, they have nothing at all like HP's vPars, so that is another alternative to nPars.
Mom 6