Cisco UCS Backplane Traces & Hardware Interoperability

After running around last week attempting to figure out whether the VIC 1280 was supported with 2104 FEX in the M2 servers and finding that some docs were contradicting others I decided to put together a reference guide for myself and coworkers.  Below you will find an output of most of my slides I generated with the backplane traces and the configuration supported with Gen1/2/3 hardware from Cisco.

I’ll start by saying all Gen1/2/3 hardware is backward/forward compatible with each other – although you might run into software features that are not available i.e. utilizing a 2208 Fabric Extender with a 6140 Fabric Interconnect – you will be unable to port-channel the those FEX-FI links.

Quick note about my diagrams – they all show the FEX Backplane links based on slot 0 (or 1 depending on how you look at the blade), its the top left.  You can do the math on what it looks like for the remaining slots 🙂

Halfwidth Blade with VIC1280:

Halfwidth Blade with 2104XP & VIC1280

Halfwidth Blade with 2204XP & VIC1280

Halfwidth Blade with 2208XP & VIC1280

Fullwidth Blade with VIC1280

Fullwidth Blade with 2104XP & VIC1280

Fullwidth Blade with 2204XP & VIC1280

Fullwidth Blade with 2208XP & VIC1280

Quick Notes on B200M3

  1. All ODD backplane traces are pinned to the mLOM adapter.
  2. all EVEN backplane traces are pinned to the mezzanine adapter.
    1. This explains why you cannot have only the mezzanine adapter populated with a 2104 FEX (The backplane trace isn’t populated for this functionality)
  3. Currently populating the mLOM AND mezzanine card slots (to future proof yourself) with a 2104 results in the blade failing discovery – this is a software bug; see point above.
  4. Currently populating the mLOM and mezzanine card with anything other than the VIC1240 Port Expander using the 2200 series of FEXs is not supported at FCS.  This means no support for the VIC1280, Non I/O Mezzanine cards, or 3rd party mezzanine cards right now.

NOTE: You will notice throughout some of my B200M3 slides I only utilize a single backplane trace for each fabric on the 3rd party mezzanine adapter – this may nor may not be the case – it will depend on the manufactures and what Cisco will support as to whether they will utilize 1 or 2 backplane traces to the FEX.

B200M3 Backplane Traces

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5 responses to “Cisco UCS Backplane Traces & Hardware Interoperability

  1. Nice work Brian, thanks.

    Can you confirm that the use-case of a B200M3 + 2208XP + VIC1240 (no PE), does use a port channel? I understand that this is the case when using a PE or with the VIC1280.

    Cheers.

    • B200M3, 2208, and VIC 1240 – Absolutely. You will have two backplane traces utilized from each IO Module (2208) to the VIC 1240 and those two traces will be port channeled automagically.

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