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M3 Blades SD support - Things to know before deployment...

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Collaborator

Hello "Neighbors" of the community!

I have lately seen how different users, partners and colleagues have been having troubles identifying if an SD card complies with all requirements to be supported for a blade server, so here is a checklist of items you need to check when you are planning to use SD cards.

{DISCLAIMER} ALL this information is from the release notes and configuration guides.  The idea is just to provide a checklist so that you do not have to look for all documents or open a TAC case to find out you are doing/deploying something unsupported.

  • SD cards are supported starting with UCSM 2.1(2a)
  • The PID is UCS-SD-16G and its size is 16GB (this is the only one in this moment)
  • The Flex Flash has ONLY 1 partition, unlike C series, this cards only has the HV partition:

From: http://tools.cisco.com/squish/e5C9C   The FlexFlash SD cards shipped with supported B-series servers only have an HV partition


  • http://tools.cisco.com/squish/e5C9C   this shows how to enable/disable the SD card 
  • Once the HV partition is enabled, UCSM will show it as a USB drive to the BIOS AND to the host OS, this also means that the SD card cannot be used like a portable datastore for ESXi (cause it is no supported) but can be used as a USB for a VM for example.

  • Hardware information and inventory data about the controller and SD cards is not collected.
  • Monitoring of the controller and SD card status or health is not supported. If FlexFlash controller or SD card fails, no faults or errors will be displayed in UCSM.

  • Formatting of the SD cards is not supported.
  • To manually boot from the HV partition, Local Disk should be present in the boot policy used in the Service Profile, and be launched from the BIOS boot menu (F6)

  • If a server is not capable of supporting SD cards or has an older CIMC version, the service profile association will FAIL.
  • If you disable the FlexFlash option in a supported server, a host reboot will be triggered and a reboot warning message displayed. << Be carefull with production environments and,  if possible, have your maintenance policy set to “User Ack” to avoid inconveniences.

  • Although 2.1 begins to enable mix between bundle software (Infrastructure and server bundle), enablement/support for SD card is an exception meaning you need the proper 2.1(2a) everywhere to enable the SD card

  • Be aware of the following known limitations in UCSM 2.1 (http://tools.cisco.com/squish/361fe), but since this is from the Release Notes, be sure to      check the bug directly or Release Notes of future releases:

*CSCug32086 The B420 M3 blade server with an SD card freezes after running for one day on ESXi 5.0 << This issue has no known workaround. 1st found in 2.1(2a)B

*CSCuf77316 Windows 2012 installed on SD flash running Cisco UCS Release 2.1(2a) fails MSFT certification <<This issue has no known workaround. 1st found in 2.1(2a)B

  • Even though the servers have 2 SD slots, it ONLY supports one card now, mirroring/dual SD cards on the M3 blades will be      supported in future releases.  This      is the same way it began on C-series servers so be a little patient, we are working on adding that

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS BUG ALSO: CSCui77602

I hope this helps you avoid a few headaches and love even more our UCS Data Center Solution.

Comments are always welcome!

-Kenny

5 Comments
Beginner

Hi Keny, We having issue where ESXi loss connectivity with SD Card, I have seen your post on it here, I tried to reset CMIC controller, but it doesn't help. After reboot, it loss all the confiugration, this is very frustrating. I have opened the case with Cisco. Any update when they are going to roll out fix for this ?

Collaborator

Hi Vasim,

Thanks for reading the blog.

The issue you are facing is also on a B series server or on a C series? As you saw in that post you mentioned, I said that we are currently working on that for C series. On B series we have seen that only in environments where one of the items I mentione above is not met; for example not the required UCSM firmware or old CIMC version, so we have not had a chance to see someone that is really deploying the SD card with all the required item and having issues.

Let me know what kind of server you have and I will see how I can help you , your case # in a private message might also help me

-Kenny

Collaborator

Vasim,

In the TAC case you opened, ask your Cisco Engineer to take a look at  CSCui77602

-Kenny

Collaborator

Hi All,

For those  of you following this thread, the release 1.5(3d) for C series includes the fix for this issue:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/release/notes/OL-28995-01.html

Release 1.5(3d)

Following defects were resolved in Release 1.5(3d):

CIMC

Symptom    C-series M3 intermittently losing access to flexflash and SD card.

Workaround   Reset the flexflash controller from WEBUI/CLI or reboot CIMC. (CSCuh33982)

Download it from here:

http://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=284296253&flowid=31742&softwareid=283850974&release=1.5%283d%29&relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=&reltype=latest

The patch for CSCui77602 (B-series server SD card bug) should be out shortly and it will be anounced soon, I will keep you all posted.

-Kenny

Collaborator

The issue with the SD cards on B series has been solved, see the thread https://supportforums.cisco.com/message/4118331#4118331 for the steps to solve this issue

-Kenny

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