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Message ID: 15745     Entry time: Wed Dec 23 10:13:08 2020
Author: gautam 
Type: Update 
Category: CDS 
Subject: Near term upgrades 

Summary:

  1. There appears to be insufficient number of PCIe slots in the new Supermicro servers that were bought for the BHD upgrade.
  2. Modulo a "riser card", we have all the parts in hand to put one of the end machines on the Dolphin network. If the Rogue Master doesn't improve the situation, we should consider installing a Dolphin card in the c1iscex server and connecting it to the Dolphin network at the next opportunity. 

Details:

Last night, I briefly spoke with Koji about the CDS upgrade plan. This is a follow up.

Each server needs a minimum of two peripheral devices added to the PCIe bus:

  • A PCIe interface card that connects the server to the Expansion Chassis (copper or optical fiber depending on distance between the two).
  • A Dolphin or RFM card that makes the IPC interconnects. 
  • I'm pretty certain the expansion chasiss cannot support the Dolphin / RFM card (it's only meant to be for ADCs/DACs/BIO cards). At least, all the existing servers in the 40m have at least 2 PCIe cards installed, and I think we have enough to worry about without trying to engineer a hack.
  • I attach some photos of new and old Supermicro servers to illustrate my point, see Attachment #1

As for the second issue, the main question is if we had an open PCIe slot on the c1iscex machine to install a Dolphin card. Looks like the 2 standard slots are taken (see Attachment #1), but a "low profile" slot is available. I can't find what the exact models of the Supermicro servers installed back in 2010 are, but maybe it's this one? It's a good match visually anyways. The manual says a "riser card" is required. I don't know if such a riser is already installed. 

Questions I have, Rolf is probably the best person to answer:

  1. Can we even use the specified host adaptor, HIB25-X4, which is "PCIe Gen2", with the "PCIe Gen3" slots on the new Supermicro servers we bought? Anyway, the fact that the new servers have only 1 PCIe slot probably makes this a moot point.
  2. Can we overcome this slot limitation by installing the Dolphin / RFM card in the expansion chassis?
  3. In the short run (i.e. if it is much faster than the full CDS shipment we are going to receive), can we get (from the CDS test stand in Downs or the site) 
    • A riser card so that we may install the Gen 1 Dolphin card (which we have in hand) in the c1iscex server?
    • A compatible (not sure what PCIe generation we need) PCIe host to ECA kit so we can test out the replacement for the Sun Microsystems c1ioo server?
    • A spare RFM card (VMIC 5565, also for the above purpose). 
  4. What sort of a test should we run to test the new Dolphin connection? Make a "null channel" differencing the same signal (e.g. TRX) sent via RFM and Dolphin? Or is there some better checksum diagnostic?
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