Cisco UCS B420 M3 High Performance Blade Server
This document describes how to install and service the Cisco UCS B420 M3 High Performance Blade Server, a full-width blade server meaning up to four of these high-density, four-socket blade servers can reside in a Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server chassis.
- Up to four Intel Xeon processor E5-4600 processor family CPUs, with up to 32 cores per server
- 48 DIMM slots for registered ECC DIMMs, with up to 1.5-TB memory capacity (using 32-GB LRDIMMs)
- 3 adapter connectors for up to 160-Gb/s bandwidth:
- Four hot-plug drive bays that support SAS or SATA SSD drives
- LSI 2208R controller that provides RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 with an optional 1-GB flash-backed write cache
Server LEDs indicate whether the blade server is in active or standby mode, the status of the network link, the over all health of the blade server, and whether the server is set to give a flashing blue beaconing indication.
Table 1 Blade Server LEDs
The Reset button is just inside the chassis and must be pressed using the tip of a paper clip or a similar item. Hold the button down for five seconds, and then release it to restart the server if other methods of restarting are not working.
The power button and LED allows you to manually take a server temporarily out of service but leave it in a state where it can be restarted quickly. If the desired power state for a service profile associated with a blade server or an integrated rack-mount server is set to "off", using the power button or Cisco UCS Manager to reset the server will cause the desired power state of the server to become out of sync with the actual power state and the server may unexpected shutdown at a later time. To safely reboot a server from a power-down state, use the Boot Server action in Cisco UCS Manager.
The console port allows a direct connection to a blade server to allow operating system installation and other management tasks to be done directly rather than remotely. The port uses the KVM dongle cable (N20-BKVM) which provides a connection into a Cisco UCS blade server; it has a DB9 serial connector, a VGA connector for a monitor, and dual USB ports for a keyboard and mouse. With this cable, you can create a direct connection to the operating system and the BIOS running on a blade server. A KVM cable ships standard with each blade chassis accessory kit.
Hard Drive Replacement
Each blade has up to four front-accessible, hot plug capable, 2.5-inch SAS or SATA drive bays. Unused hard drive bays should always be covered with cover plates (N20-BBLKD) to assure proper cooling and ventilation.
You can remove blade server hard drives without removing the blade server from the chassis.
The drives supported in this blade server come with the drive sled attached. Spare drive sleds are not available. A list of currently supported drives is in the specification sheets at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10280/products_data_sheets_list.html
Before upgrading or adding an HDD to a running system, check the service profile in Cisco UCS Manager and make sure the new hardware configuration will be within the parameters allowed by the service profile.
Each blade contains an LSI SAS 2208R RAID controller embedded in the motherboard that is not separately replaceable. The controller has 6 Gbps SAS connectivity and supports RAID 0/1/5/10.
If the drive being replaced was part of a RAID array, Cisco recommends using a new drive of identical size, model, and manufacturer to replace the failed drive. This recommendation comes from the industry standard practice of using drives of the same capacity when creating RAID volumes. If drives of different capacities are used, the useable portion of the smallest drive will be used on all drives that make up the RAID volume.
If you ever need to move a RAID cluster from one server to another, both the old and new servers for the cluster must use the same LSI controller. For example, migration from a server with an LSI 1064E controller to a server with an LSI MegaRAID controller is not supported. Similarly, migrating a RAID cluster from a B200 M3 to a B420 M3 is not supported.
For hard disk and RAID troubleshooting information, see the Cisco UCS Manager B-Series Troubleshooting Guide.
Removing a Blade Server DriveProcedure
Installing a Blade Server DriveProcedure
Step 1 Place the hard drive lever into the open position by pushing the release button. Step 2 Gently slide the hard drive into the opening in the blade server until it seats into place. Step 3 Push the hard drive lever into the closed position.
If you need to move a RAID cluster from one server to another, refer to the “Moving a RAID Cluster” section of the “Troubleshooting Server Hardware” chapter of the Cisco UCS Troubleshooting Guide.
Blade Server Removal and Installation
Powering Off Blade Servers Using the Power ButtonProcedure
You can also shut the server down remotely using Cisco UCS Manager. For details, see the Configuration Guide for the version of Cisco UCS Manager that you are using. The configuration guides are available at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10281/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_list.html
Removing a Blade ServerProcedure
Step 1 Turn off the blade server using either Cisco UCS Manager or the power button. Step 2 Completely loosen the captive screws on the front of the blade. Step 3 Remove the blade from the chassis by pulling the ejector levers on the blade until it unseats the blade server. Step 4 Slide the blade part of the way out of the chassis, and place your other hand under the blade to support its weight. Step 5 Once removed, place the blade on an antistatic mat or antistatic foam if you are not immediately reinstalling it into another slot. Step 6 If the slot is to remain empty, reinstall the slot divider (N20-CDIVV) and install two blank faceplates (N20-CBLKB1) to keep assure proper ventilation and cooling.
Installing a Blade ServerProcedure
Full-width Blade Servers are intended to run in the upper slots of the chassis, if the chassis will house both full-width and half-width servers. A chassis with four full width servers is fully supported.
Step 1 If necessary, remove the slot divider (N20-CDIVV) from the chassis.
- Simultaneously pull up on the left side catch and push down on the right side catch as shown in callout 1 of the following figure.
- Pull the slot divider out of the chassis as shown in callout 2 of the following figure. Keep the slot divider in case it is needed at another time.
Tip Step 2 Grasp the front of the blade server and place your other hand under the blade to support it. Step 3 Open the ejector levers in the front of the blade server. Step 4 Gently slide the blade into the opening until you cannot push it any farther. Step 5 Press the ejector levers so that they catch the edge of the chassis and press the blade server all the way in. Step 6 Tighten the captive screw on the front of the blade to no more than 3 in-lbs. Tightening with bare fingers only is unlikely to lead to stripped or damaged captive screws.
Secure Digital (SD) Card Access
Removing a Blade Server CoverProcedure
The air baffles (UCSB-BAFF-B420-M3=) shown below ship with this server; they direct and improve air flow for the server components. No tools are necessary to install them. Place them over the DIMMs and align them to the standoffs.
Cisco UCS-USBFLSH-S-4GB= is recommended, but if you use another USB drive it must be no wider than 0.8 inches (20 mm), and no more than 1.345 inches (34 mm) long in order to provide needed clearances to install or remove the USB drive. Third-party USB flash memory is allowed but not subject to support by Cisco and is at the user’s risk.
The flash-backed write cache feature is not supported at the initial server release.
This slot is shown in Cisco UCS Manager as “Adapter 1” but the BIOS lists it as “mLOM.” The VIC 1240 is a type of adapter with a specific footprint that can only be used in this slot.
This slot is shown in Cisco UCS Manager as “Adapter 2,” but is shown in the BIOS as “Mezz 1.” Mixing adapter types is supported.
The flash-backed write cache feature is not supported at the initial server release.
This slot is shown in Cisco UCS Manager as “Adapter 3,” but it is shown in the BIOS as “Mezz 2.” Mixing adapter types is supported.
- A squeeze-to-remove retaining clip is provided to secure the internal USB flash memory, the clip must always be securely fastened when the flash memory is in use. Third party memory that will not fit in the clip should not be used.
- Use of this server may require an upgrade to the FEX in the chassis. The 2104XP fabric extender is not compatible when any Cisco-certified adapter is installed in slot 1 or slot 2. If a VIC 1240 modular LOM card is installed, you will have connectivity through the mLOM but other adapters will not be recognized.
Diagnostics Button and LEDs
At blade start-up, POST diagnostics test the CPUs, DIMMs, HDDs, and adapter cards, and any failure notifications are sent to UCS Manager. You can view these notifications in the System Error Log or in the output of the show tech-support command. If errors are found, an amber diagnostic LED also lights up next to the failed component. During run time, the blade BIOS, component drivers, and OS all monitor for hardware faults and will light up the amber diagnostic LED for a component if an uncorrectable error or correctable errors (such as a host ECC error) over the allowed threshold occur.
LED states are saved, and if you remove the blade from the chassis the LED values will persist for up to 10 minutes. Pressing the LED diagnostics button on the motherboard causes the LEDs that currently show a component fault to light for up to 30 seconds for easier component identification. LED fault values are reset when the blade is reinserted into the chassis and booted, and the process begins from its start.
If DIMM insertion errors are detected, they may cause the blade discovery to fail and errors will be reported in the server POST information, which is viewable using the UCS Manager GUI or CLI. UCS blade servers require specific rules to be followed when populating DIMMs in a blade server, and the rules depend on the blade server model. Refer to the documentation for a specific blade server for those rules.
HDD status LEDs are on the front face of the HDD. Faults on the CPU, DIMMs, or adapter cards also cause the server health LED to light solid amber for minor error conditions or blinking amber for critical error conditions.
Working Inside the Blade Server
Installing a Motherboard CMOS BatteryProcedure
There is danger of explosion if the battery is replaced incorrectly. Replace the battery only with the same or equivalent type recommended by the manufacturer. Dispose of used batteries according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Statement 1015
Step 1 Remove the old CMOS battery: Step 2 Install a motherboard CMOS battery:
- Push the battery socket retaining clip away from where the battery fits in the housing.
- Insert the new battery into the socket with the battery’s positive (+) marking facing away from the retaining clip. Ensure that the retaining clip can click over the top of the battery to secure it in the housing.
- Replace the top cover.
- Replace the server in the chassis and power on the blade by pressing the Power button.
Removing a CPU and Heat SinkProcedure
You will use these procedures to move a CPU from one server to another, to replace a faulty CPU, or to upgrade from one CPU to another.
The CPU pick and place tool is required to prevent damage to the connection pins between the motherboard and the CPU. Do not attempt this procedure without the required tool, which is included with each CPU option kit.
Step 1 Unscrew the four captive screws securing the heat sink to the motherboard. See callout 1.
Loosen one screw by a quarter turn, then move to the next in the X pattern shown in the following figure. Continue loosening until the heat sink can be lifted off.
Step 2 Remove the heat sink (UCSB-HS-01-EP). See callout 2.
Remove the existing thermal compound from the bottom of the heat sink using the cleaning kit (UCSX-HSCK= ) included with each CPU option kit. Follow the instructions on the two bottles of cleaning solvent.
Step 3 Unhook the first socket hook, which has the following icon: See callout 3 in the following figure. Step 4 Unhook the second socket hook, which has the following icon: See callout 4 in the following figure. Step 5 Open the socket latch. See callout 5 in the following figure. Step 6 Press the central button on the provided CPU pick and place tool (UCS-CPU-EP-PNP=) to release the catch.
The CPU pick and place tool is included with each CPU option kit, or the tool may be purchased separately. Be sure to use the tool for the Intel Xeon E5-2600 Series processors.
Step 7 Remove an old CPU as follows:
Installing a New CPU and Heat SinkProcedure
- The CPU is supported for that given server model. This may be verified via the server's Technical Specifications ordering guides or by the relevant release of the Cisco UCS Capability Catalog.
- A BIOS update is available and installed that supports the CPU and the given server configuration.
- If the server will be managed by Cisco UCS Manager, the service profile for this server in Cisco UCS Manager will recognize and allow the new CPU.
Step 1 (Optional)If you are installing a CPU in a socket that had been shipped empty, there will be a protective cap intended to prevent bent or touched contact pins. The pick and pull cap tool provided can be used in a manner similar to a pair of tweezers. Grasp the protective cap and pivot as shown. Step 2 Release the catch on the pick and place tool by pressing the handle/button. Step 3 Remove the new CPU from the packaging, and load it into the pick and place tool as follows:
- Confirm that the pedestal is set up correctly for your processor. The pedestal ships configured with the markings “LGA2011-R0” facing upward, and this is the correct orientation.
- Place the CPU on the pedestal. The CPU corners should fit snugly at the pedestal corners and the notches should meet the pegs perfectly.
- Place the CPU pick and place tool on the CPU pedestal aligned with the A1 arrow pointing to the A1 registration mark on the pedestal.
- Press the button/handle on the tool to grasp the CPU.
- Lift the tool and CPU straight up off of the pedestal.
Step 4 Place the CPU and tool on the CPU socket with the registration marks aligned as shown. Step 5 Press the button/handle on the pick and place tool to release the CPU into the socket. Step 6 Close the socket latch. See callout 1 in the following figure. Step 7 Secure the first hook, which has the following icon: See callout 2 in the following figure. Step 8 Secure the second hook, which has the following icon: See callout 3 in the following figure. Step 9 Using the syringe of thermal grease provided with replacement CPUs and servers (and available separately as UCS-CPU-GREASE=, the only exceptions are Cisco UCS C220 M3 and C240 M3 servers which use UCS-CPU-GREASE2= instead), add 2 cubic centimeters of thermal grease to the top of the CPU where it will contact the heat sink. Use the pattern shown. This should require half the contents of the syringe.
Caution Step 10 Replace the heat sink. See callout 4.
Caution Step 11 Secure the heat sink to the motherboard by tightening the four captive screws a quarter turn at a time in an X pattern as shown in the upper right.
The Transferable Flash-backed Write Cache Module (TFM, Cisco Product ID UCSB-RAID-1GBFM) used by the RAID controller has the same form factor as a typical DIMM, and the installation instructions are the same. It goes in the dedicated slot as shown. The TFM is not supported at the initial product release.
Step 1 Open both DIMM connector latches. See callout 1. Step 2 Press the DIMM into its slot evenly on both ends until it clicks into place. See callout 2. The DIMM connector latches will snap into place.
Note Step 3 Press the DIMM connector latches inward slightly to seat them fully. See callout 3.
The DIMMs supported in this blade server are constantly being updated. A list of currently supported and available drives is in the specification sheets at:http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10280/products_data_sheets_list.html
The Cisco UCS B420 high-performance blade server contains 48 slots for installing DIMMs—12 for each CPU. Each CPU has 12 DIMM slots spread over 4 channels. This blade server needs at least one DIMM attached to all populated CPUs. DIMMs installed in slots for an absent CPU will not be recognized. For optimal performance, distribute DIMMs evenly across all CPUs. DIMM connector latches are color coded blue, black, and white, and we recommend that you install memory in roughly that order.
Table 2 UCS B420 M3 DIMM Slot Population
Bandwidth and Performance
- DDR3, 1600 millions of transfers per second (MT/s) across four Channels
- 12 DIMMs per CPU (48 DIMMs total)
- Maximum capacity of 1536 GB (using 32-GB DIMMs)
Installing a Modular LOMProcedure
The Cisco VIC 1240 is a specialized modular Lan on Motherboard (mLOM) adapter that provides dual 2 x 10 Gb of Ethernet/ or Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity to each chassis. It plugs into the dedicated mLOM connector only. It is currently the only card that can be plugged into the mLOM connector and it will provide connectivity through either a 2100 series or 2200 series IOM.
Step 1 Position the mLOM’s board connector above the motherboard connector and align the captive screw to the standoff post on the motherboard. Step 2 Firmly press the modular LOM’s board connector into the motherboard connector. Step 3 Tighten the captive screw.
To remove a modular LOM, reverse the above procedure. You might find it helpful when removing the connector from the motherboard to gently rock the board along the length of the connector until it loosens.
Installing an Adapter CardProcedure
The network adapters and interface cards all have a shared installation process and are constantly being updated. A list of currently supported and available models for this server is in the specification sheets at this URL:
Use of the adapters available for this server might require an upgrade to the FEX in the chassis. The 2104XP FEX is not compatible with any Cisco-certified adapter installed in slot 1 or slot 2. If a VIC 1240 mLOM card is installed, you will have connectivity through the mLOM but other adapters will not be recognized. Use of all three slots requires Cisco UCS 2200 series FEXes.
If you are switching from one type of adapter card to another, before you physically perform the switch make sure that you download the latest device drivers and load them into the server’s operating system. For more information, see the firmware management chapter of one of the Cisco UCS Manager software configuration guides.
The Cisco UCS 785GB or 365GB MLC Fusion-io Drive and LSI 400GB SLC WarpDrive have the same form factor as M3 adapter cards and can be installed and removed using the same procedures. Using these drives in a B200 M3 or B22 M3 blade server requires the presence of a VIC 1240 mLOM to provide blade I/O. They will not work in M1 and M2 generation Cisco UCS servers, and can be mixed with an adapter in the B420 M3 server. These drives appear in Cisco UCS Manager as regular SSDs.
Step 1 Position the adapter board connector above the motherboard connector and align the two adapter captive screws to the standoff posts (see callout 1) on the motherboard. Step 2 Firmly press the adapter connector into the motherboard connector (see callout 2). Step 3 Tighten the two captive screws (see callout 3).
Removing an adapter card is the reverse of installing it. You might find it helpful when removing the connector from the motherboard to gently rock the board along the length of the connector until it loosens.
Installing the Flash-Backed Write Cache and SupercapProcedure
The Flash-backed Write Cache (FBWC) is an intelligent backup solution that protects disk write cache data during a long term power loss on the RAID controller. It has two components, the TFM memory and the Supercap module, which provides emergency power. The TFM installs into a dedicated slot, but the installation steps are identical to installing a DIMM. The flash-backed write cache feature and its components are not supported at the initial server release.
Step 1 Using Cisco UCS Manager, perform a graceful shutdown of the server. Without a graceful shutdown, data can be permanently lost. Step 2 Remove the server from the chassis. Step 3 Remove the top cover from the server. Step 4 Remove the adapter in slot 2. Step 5 With a No.1 Phillips screwdriver, remove the four screws holding the top plate of the Supercap’s enclosure. Step 6 Angle the top plate up and remove the tabs from the slots at the rear. Set the plate aside. Step 7 Press the clip at the end of the Supercap’s wires into the clip attached to the enclosure. Step 8 Place the Supercap inside the enclosure. Step 9 Slide the tabs on the top plate into the slots at the rear of the Supercap enclosure. Step 10 With a No.1 Phillips screwdriver, replace the four screws and attach the top plate to the enclosure as shown below. Step 11 Replace the adapter, top cover, and the server in the chassis. Cisco UCS Manager reestablishes management of the server and the service profile.
Enabling a Trusted Platform ModuleProcedure
The Trusted Platform Module (TPM, Cisco Product ID UCSX-TPM1-001) is a component that can securely store artifacts used to authenticate the server. These artifacts can include passwords, certificates, or encryption keys. A TPM can also be used to store platform measurements that help ensure that the platform remains trustworthy. Authentication (ensuring that the platform can prove that it is what it claims to be) and attestation (a process helping to prove that a platform is trustworthy and has not been breached) are necessary steps to ensure safer computing in all environments.
A TPM is a factory-configurable option for this server. It is a requirement for the Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) security feature, which must be enabled in the BIOS settings for a server equipped with a TPM. A TPM can not be added later by customers, or moved from one server to another.
Step 1 Enable Quiet Mode in the BIOS policy of the server’s Service Profile. Step 2 Establish a direct connection to the server, either by connecting a keyboard, monitor, and mouse to the front panel using a KVM dongle (N20-BKVM) or by other means. Step 3 Reboot the server. Step 4 Press F2 during reboot to enter the BIOS setup screens. Step 5 On the Advanced tab, select Trusted Computing and press Enter. Step 6 Set the TPM Support option to Enable. Step 7 Press F10 to save and exit. Allow the server to finish booting.
For general troubleshooting information, see the see the Cisco UCS Manager B-Series Troubleshooting Guide.
Cisco UCS blade servers are intended to be configured and managed using Cisco UCS Manager. For details, see the Configuration Guide for the version of Cisco UCS Manager that you are using. The configuration guides are available at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10281/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_list.html
Physical Specifications for the Cisco UCS B420 M3
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