IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade II

IBM Redbooks Product Guide

Abstract

The IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II provide the capability to attach selected PCI Express cards on selected server blades. This capability is ideal for many applications that require special telecommunications network interfaces or hardware acceleration using a PCI Express card. They provide one full height, full length PCI Express slot and one full height, half length PCI Express slot with a 75 watt power supply for each slot integrating PCI Express card support capability into the BladeCenter architecture.

Changes in the last update:
* Updated supported servers table
* Updated supported PCIe adapters table

Note: The PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade, 46M6730, has been withdrawn from marketing and is no longer available for ordering from IBM. The PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade II is still available.

Contents


The IBM® BladeCenter® PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II provide the capability to attach selected PCI Express cards on selected server blades. This capability is ideal for many applications that require special telecommunications network interfaces or hardware acceleration using a PCI Express card. They provide one full height, full length PCI Express slot and one full height, half length PCI Express slot with a 75 watt power supply for each slot integrating PCI Express card support capability into the BladeCenter architecture. Figure 1 shows the IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade attached to an HS22 blade server.

IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade
Figure 1. IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade (attached to a HS22 blade server)


Did you know?

The unique stacking capability of the IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II allow you to connect up to four of them (depending on the attached server) to a single blade server providing up to eight PCIe 2.0 slots. In addition, you can still use a CFFh I/O expansion card adapter by installing it in the top-most expansion blade.


Part number information

Table 1. Ordering part number and feature code
DescriptionPart numberFeature code
IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade46M6730*9295*
IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade II68Y7484A247
* Withdrawn from marketing

These part numbers include the following items:
  • BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 I/O Expansion Blade or Expansion Blade II
  • Documentation CD that contains the Installation and User's Guide
  • Warranty information and Safety flyer
  • Important Notices document
  • Technical Update flyer

The only difference between Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II is cut-outs on the sides of Expansion Blade II, as shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2. PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II


Features

The expansion blades have the following features:
  • Support for PCIe 2.0 adapters in an expansion blade

    The expansion blade lets you install one or two standard form factor PCIe 2.0 adapter cards in a BladeCenter environment, enabling the use of specialized adapters or adapters that wouldn't otherwise be available to BladeCenter customers. Each of the two adapters can consume up to 75W.

  • Ability to stack up to four expansion blades on a single base blade

    You can attach up to two, three or four expansion blades (depending on the attached server), thereby maintaining the BladeCenter density advantage while still giving you the option to install PCIe cards as needed without the need for each server blades and the added complexity and cost that brings. The first expansion blade connects to the server blade using the CFFh expansion slot of the server blade. The second expansion blade attaches to the CFFh connector on the first expansion blade, and so on.

  • CFFh slot still available

    The CFFh expansion connector is accessible on the top-most expansion blade (see Figure 3), even with four expansion blades attached. This lets you maintain the integrated networking capabilities of the blade server when installed in a BladeCenter H or BladeCenter HT chassis.


The layout of the expansion blade is shown in Figure 3.

Expansion blade layout
Figure 3. Layout of the expansion blade


Specifications

The expansion blades have the following specifications:
  • 30 mm expansion blade, attaches to a supported server blade
  • Two PCI Express 2.0 slots:
    • Each slot x8 electrically, x16 mechanically
    • Each slot supports adapters up to 75W power consumption
    • Slot 1 supports full-length/full-height cards
    • Slot 2 supports half-length/full-height cards
    • Supported cards are listed in Table 4.
  • Up to four expansion blades can be attached to the base server, depending on the server they are attached to (see Table 2 for supported server and expansion blade combinations):
    • HS22: Up to four expansion blades
    • HS23: Up to four expansion blades
    • Single-node HX5: Up to three expansion blades
    • Two-node HX5: Up to two expansion blades
  • The CFFh slot remains usable on the top-most expansion blade, for use in BladeCenter H and HT configurations. Supported CFFh cards are listed in Table 5.


Supported servers

The IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II are supported attached to the IBM BladeCenter servers listed in Table 2.

Table 2. Supported servers

Expansion card

Part number

HS12 (8028)

HS21 (8853)

HS21 XM (7995)

HS22 (7870)

HS22V (7871)

HS23 (7875)

HS23E (8038)

HX5 (7872)

HX5 (7873)

JS12 (7998-60X)

JS23/43 7778

LS22 (7901)

LS42 (7902)

PS700/1/2 (8406)

PS703/4 (7891)

IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade

46M6730

N

N

N

Y

N

N

N

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade II

68Y7484

N

N

N

Y

N

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

N

The maximum number of expansion blades that can be attached is as follows:
  • HS22: Up to four expansion blades (total width will be 150 mm)
  • HS23: Up to four expansion blades (total width will be 150 mm)
  • HS23E: Up to four expansion blades (total width will be 150 mm)
  • Single-node HX5: Up to three expansion blades (total width will be 120 mm)
  • Two-node HX5: Up to two expansion blades (total width will be 120 mm)

The Expansion Blade attaches to the blade server unit through the CFFh connector on the system board of the server blade. The top cover of the blade server needs to be removed and the Expansion Blade attaches to it, forming a double-width blade server unit. Additional PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade can be attached up to the supported maximum for the server type. A supported CFFh adapter can be attached to the top-most Expansion Blade if the server unit is installed in a BladeCenter H or HT chassis.


Supported BladeCenter chassis

IBM BladeCenter chassis support is based on the blade server type in which the expansion card is installed. Consult IBM ServerProven to see which chassis each blade server type is supported at the following address:
http://ibm.com/servers/eserver/serverproven/compat/us/

Table 3 lists the supported chassis in which the IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade can be installed.

Table 3. Supported BladeCenter chassis

Description

Part number

BladeCenter S

BladeCenter E

BladeCenter H

BladeCenter T

BladeCenter HT

IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade

46M6730

N

Y

Y

N

Y

IBM BladeCenter PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade II

68Y7484

N

Y

Y

N

Y


Supported PCIe adapter cards

Table 4 lists the PCIe adapters that are supported in the PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II and the number of adapters supported.

Table 4. Supported adapter cards
Part numberFeature codeDescriptionPCI Express Gen 2
Expansion Blade,
46M6730
PCI Express Gen 2
Expansion Blade II,
68Y7484
46M08780097IBM 320GB High IOPS SD Class SSD PCIe AdapterSupported - 2Supported - 2
46C9078A3J3IBM 365GB High IOPS MLC Mono AdapterNoSupported - 2
46C9081A3J4IBM 785GB High IOPS MLC Mono AdapterNoSupported - 2
90Y4377A3DYIBM 1.2TB High IOPS MLC Mono AdapterNoSupported - 2
90Y4397A3DZIBM 2.4TB High IOPS MLC Duo AdapterNoSupported - 1

Consult IBM ServerProven to see the latest list of adapter cards that are supported in the Expansion Blades:
http://ibm.com/systems/info/x86servers/serverproven/compat/us/peu/46M6730.html
http://ibm.com/systems/info/x86servers/serverproven/compat/us/peu/68Y7484.html

Note: If the PCI Express adapter that you require is not on the ServerProven, web site use the IBM ServerProven Opportunity Request for Evaluation (SPORE) process to confirm compatibility in the desired configuration.


Supported CFFh expansion cards

Table 5 lists the CFFh expansion cards that are supported in the PCI Express Gen 2 Expansion Blade and Expansion Blade II.

Table 5. Supported CFFh expansion cards
DescriptionPart numberFeature codePCI Express Gen 2
Expansion Blade,
46M6730
PCI Express Gen 2
Expansion Blade II,
68Y7484
2/4 Port Ethernet Expansion Card (CFFh) 44W44795476
Yes
Yes
2-Port 40 Gb InfiniBand Expansion Card (CFFh)46M60010056
Yes
Yes
Broadcom 10 Gb Gen 2 2-port Ethernet Expansion Card (CFFh) 46M61680099
Yes
Yes
Broadcom 10 Gb Gen 2 4-port Ethernet Expansion Card (CFFh) 46M61640098
Yes
Yes
Brocade 2-port 10GbE Converged Network Adapter81Y16505437
No
Yes
Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter (CFFh) 49Y42355755
Yes
Yes
Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter Advanced (CFFh)49Y42752435
No
Yes
Emulex 10GbE Virtual Fabric Adapter II (CFFh)90Y3550A1XG
No
Yes
Emulex 10GbE Virtual Fabric Adapter Advanced II (CFFh)90Y3566A1XH
No
Yes
InfiniBand 4X DDR Expansion Card (CFFh) 43W44232991
Yes
No
Mellanox 2-port 10Gb E'net Expansion Card (CFFh)90Y3570A1NW
No
Yes
QLogic 2-port 10 Gb Converged Network Adapter (CFFh)42C18303592
Yes
Yes
QLogic Ethernet and 8 Gb Fibre Channel Expansion Card (CFFh)44X19405485
Yes
Yes

Consult IBM ServerProven to see the latest list of CFFh expansion cards that are supported in the Expansion Blades:
http://ibm.com/systems/info/x86servers/serverproven/compat/us/peu/46M6730.html
http://ibm.com/systems/info/x86servers/serverproven/compat/us/peu/68Y7484.html


Operating environment

This unit is supported in the following environment:
  • Temperature: 10° C to 35° C (50° F to 95° F)
  • Operating power: Approximately 200 watts
  • Dimensions: 24.5 cm x 5.9 cm x 45.7 cm (9.7 in. x 2.3 in. x 18.0 in.)


Related publications
For more information, refer to these documents:

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.

Profile

Publish Date
31 August 2010

Last Update
01 March 2013


Rating:
(based on 2 reviews)


Author(s)

IBM Form Number
TIPS0783