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SD Cards not working in the B200 M3

rosenhan
Level 1
Level 1

We just bought and installed some B200 M3's.  We also purchased the SD Cards so that we could install ESXi on them.  We cannot see how to get the SD Cards to show up as a Local Disk option in the M3 servers...

Any help would be appreciated.

David

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

chaausti
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Cisco Flexible Flash will be added in a future release of UCSM.

See the Features and Benefits section under Cisco Flexible Flash:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps10265/ps10280/ps12288/data_sheet_c78-700625.html

When this is added it should be mentioned in the release notes:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10281/prod_release_notes_list.html

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23 Replies 23

chaausti
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Cisco Flexible Flash will be added in a future release of UCSM.

See the Features and Benefits section under Cisco Flexible Flash:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps10265/ps10280/ps12288/data_sheet_c78-700625.html

When this is added it should be mentioned in the release notes:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10281/prod_release_notes_list.html

It's a little frustrating that Cisco has the USB and the SD Card slots, but no support... they are a little behind Dell and HP on this.

Thanks for answering my question

What about the USB ports?  We can't see anything when we plug a USB drive into them either

For USB you will want to read over this:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd
=displayKC&externalId=1010574 

Basically VMware does not support booting from USB except when it is a configuration supported by the server vendor using purpouse built USB drives. Booting from a USB drive in the dongle is certainly not supported as the USB ports are meant for Keyboard/Mouse, and you would need a certified USB drive, since a normal USB drive will die due to getting worn out.

Even if you found a way to boot from USB, it would not be recommended for production.

You may want to look into iSCSI boot if you have the Broadcom or Cisco network adapters.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/sw/gui/config/guide/2.0/b_UCSM_GUI_Configuration_Guide_2_0_chapter_011101.html#concept_CFF6B18F18684915816935F89B62CCAC

VMware autodeploy might also get your servers booting without purchasing additional hardware:

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/01/understanding-the-auto-deploy-components.html

Any ETA on when the SD/FlexFlash support will be added to UCS Manager?

Booting from the usb DoK inside the B200 M3 works, I have deployed it at several customer sites.

This was confirmed to work with cisco TAC, the engineer I spoke to also said he will make sure the documantation is updated to reflect that it works.

The documentation is still correct, and the bug that was filed for you was changed into an enhancement shortly after it was created since booting from FlexFlash is still not supported yet. You can track it here: CSCua56947

Also, looking through the bug you can already configure the server to boot from the FlexFlash by rebooting the server and pressing F2 when prompted, to enter the BIOS configuration menus.

Please take care when useing unsupported features as you may experience problems because it was never officially added as a feature. It might work with no problems but support options may be limited if you have difficulties.

If you are configureign this, please be careful that using this with a BIOS policy or boot order in the service profile could overwrite your boot order and require changing the boot order back manually. If you make some changes to the service profiles, it may be a good idea to verify that the servers will still reboot back into your OS so you do not have any avoidable surprises.

Here are the part numbers for the USB drives:

UCS-USBFLSH-4GB=   (c260 only)

UCS-USBFLSH-S-4GB=

Also another issue you may run into is being unable to boot the server if you have any other USB drives installed anywhere in the server. For example if you had another USB flash drive inserted with the KVM dongle it might not boot.

We ended up using the USB drives and we bought some from Best Buy down the road.  No reason to buy the Cisco ones, most any USB 2.0 device will work

Thanks for all your responses to this.

Please be careful you don't buy USB drives that are too large to physically fit in the server. The location they are plugged in is rather small and not all USB drives will fit.

Please keep in mind that 3rd party USB drives are not supported by VMware unless the drives are approved by the server vendor. You may also find low quality USB drives quickly die due to wearing out the flash memory. Also, if you are building these for someone else, be extra careful that they don't believe they are getting Cisco parts so there isn't an unplesant surprise later if they try RMA them through Cisco, or learn they are not supported.

Understood, we bought some small form factor USB that are ScanDisk, we knew not to buy the cheap stuff because this is running ESXi on their UCS servers that need to stay up until the SD cards are supported...  They fit perfectly and they work well.  The customer knows all of this and is okay with it.

Thanks,

David

Any update on the SD support in 2.1? We have upgraded and cannot find this option in the boot policy, and ESX install cannot see the SD card.

I just checked the release notes for 2.1, no mention of Flexible Flash yet.... not sure why they didn't support this in the 2.1 code, a little irritating, but nothing we can do I guess.

dani_bosch
Level 1
Level 1

So it is clear that Flash SD Card is not yet available/supported in b-200m3, but I still have not clear whether USB

UCS-USBFLSH-S-4GB is?? Can I boot ESXi from that USB? Can I buy it after the blade has already been purchased?

Thanks

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