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Intel VROC on a Cisco C220M5 servers not supported?

DataTeam
Beginner
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Hello Community,

 

We have several Cisco C220M5SN servers installed with Western Digital SN840 NVME drives.

After looking into the servers we were forced to upgrade the servers to a suitable VROC version to support the WD SN840 NVME's.

 

Servers were upgraded to Cisco Firmware 4.2.2d which is the current "gold" firmware by Cisco for the servers.

Under this firmware version, the VROC version we got was 7.7.3.1004 which should support our configuration.

All servers are dual CPU  Intel® Xeon® Gold 6230 Processors.

 

We could not create a VROC RAID on servers,  under the BIOS is listed RAID key  = Intel-SSD-only

Is there ANY physical "Intel VROC Upgrade Key" to be plugged into the C220M5 motherboard?

 

Contacting Cisco we could not track any info to support the Non-Intel NVME's - WD SN840 configuration.

We do have several C220M5 operating with Intel NVME's working flawlessly. 

 

Kindly advise.

 

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BrusC_Intel
Employee
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Hello, DataTeam.


With the license being specifically for Intel branded SSDs, I'd say that you are correct regarding point 1, but regarding point 2, replacing the processor will not allow for support of other drives, as replacing the processor does not have any impact on the type of license included in the system.


Since you already reviewed this with CISCO directly, I'm afraid there are no additional options we can provide, as every manufacturer will customize and implement VROC on their own systems as they see fit.


If I can help with anything else, please let me know, but if that is not the case the thread will be closed on June 19th.


Regards,


Bruce C.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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BrusC_Intel
Employee
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Hello, DataTeam.


Thank you for posting on the Intel Community Support forum.


I received your ticket regarding the problem with your VROC configuration, and I will be reviewing this with you.


There are different VROC product keys (hardware) that allow slightly different functionalities depending on your needs, please review the article "What Are the Different Intel® Virtual RAID on CPU (Intel® VROC) SKUs?":

- https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000088089/memory-and-storage/datacenter-storage-solutions.html

  • Intel VROC Standard (VROCSTANMOD): Bootable RAID and RAID 0/1/10 support for Intel/third-party SSDs. Standard hardware key needed.
  • Intel VROC Premium (VROCPREMMOD): Bootable RAID and RAID 0/1/5/10 support for Intel/third-party SSDs. Premium hardware key needed.
  • Intel VROC Intel SSD Only (VROCISSDMOD): Bootable RAID and RAID 0/1/5/10 support. No third-party SSD support. Only functional with Intel brand SSDs. Intel SSD Only hardware key needed.



Now, the datasheet below (on page 36) indicates that your system comes with the VROC key preprovisioned in BIOS to support Intel SSD only, so I'm not sure if this means that you cannot physically install a different key or replace the existing one (Intel SSD Only) with a Standard or Premium key (to allow the use of third-party drives), this would be something that must be reviewed with CISCO directly:

- https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/servers-unified-computing/ucs-c-series-rack-servers/c220m5-sff-specsheet.pdf


If I can help with anything else, please let me know, and I will follow up on June 16th in case we do not hear from you.


Regards,


Bruce C.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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DataTeam
Beginner
1,425 Views

Hi Bruce,

 

Thanks for the info and prompt response.

We had addressed Cisco with this issue,  there in no physical option in order to place a "hardware dongle"  on the Cisco C220M5SN server mainboard, thus implementing an additional/different license is not an option.

We are familiar with the C220M5SN datasheet, as on page 36 noted: 

+ Intel® VROC is only supported with Intel drives

+ Intel® VROC enablement key factory pre-provisioned to BIOS - no additional licensing required.

 

Above is Cisco official claim for the VROC technology on the C220M5SN, this is the contrarily to Intel® VROC support on a third party NVME  drives as listed here: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/Intel-VROC-VMD-Supported-Configs.pdf

 

As for now, we are using a dual CPU  Intel® Xeon® Gold 6230 Processors on our servers, as you know it's a 2nd generation CPU's.

Using a 2nd-GEN CPU's limit the current VROC version installed 7.7.3.1004 to function as a lower version Intel® VROC 6.0, not supporting the SN840?

As we can understand the current situation, we are facing the following options:

1. Replace all servers NVME drives to INTEL mfg.

2. Replace servers CPU to a GEN-3 CPU, this option does not guarantee an SN840 NVME support to function as RAID. 

 

Kindly advise.

DataTeam

 

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BrusC_Intel
Employee
1,409 Views

Hello, DataTeam.


With the license being specifically for Intel branded SSDs, I'd say that you are correct regarding point 1, but regarding point 2, replacing the processor will not allow for support of other drives, as replacing the processor does not have any impact on the type of license included in the system.


Since you already reviewed this with CISCO directly, I'm afraid there are no additional options we can provide, as every manufacturer will customize and implement VROC on their own systems as they see fit.


If I can help with anything else, please let me know, but if that is not the case the thread will be closed on June 19th.


Regards,


Bruce C.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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BrusC_Intel
Employee
1,356 Views

Hello, DataTeam.


This post is to inform you about the thread closure.


I previously shared that since you already reviewed this with CISCO directly, there are no additional options we can provide, as every manufacturer will customize and implement VROC on their own systems as they see fit.


Since other questions did not take place and there is no additional assistance we can provide on this aspect, the thread will be closed right now and it will no longer be monitored by Intel support, but if you require any type of help from Intel in the future, just open a new thread, or contact us using any of the available support methods:

- https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/contact-intel.html


Best regards,


Bruce C.

Intel Customer Support Technician


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