Monday, January 5, 2009

IBM I/O Card Best Practices on the 3850/3950 M2

IBM has some similar restrictions for the 3850 M2 and 3950 M2. As stated in the IBM Red Paper on the product , the box contains two PCI bridges (Reference page 33 of 42 in the Red Paper, last footnote). IBM recommends that a limit of two "high speed" cards be used per PCI bridge. Bridge #1 is slots 1-4 and Bridge #2 is slots 5-8. A high speed card is defined as any card that can push 8GB or greater bandwidth. There is also an IBM Retain Tip (H192284) that states the same information.

I have spoken to a few people in IBM about this and here are a few more recommendations. In addition to the obvious 8GB+ cards (10G Ethernet, dual 4GB HBA, 8GB HBA), some other cards are also considered high speed. The quad 1GB NIC and the RAID card for that machine can also be considered high speed.

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