Supermicro 216 solid red lights on all 24 bays

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darkconz

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Jun 6, 2013
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I recently acquired an used Supermicro 216, with the backplane BON-SAS-216A. Upon powering the unit, the front 24 lights remain solid red (no flashes).

Blue activity light blinks when there is activity but the red lights are bothering me. I thought maybe upgrading the firmware might help but I couldn't find any references to a 216A backplane, only for expander backplanes.

Anyone had similar issues that they were able to resolve?
 

itronin

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Nov 24, 2018
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Blue activity light blinks when there is activity but the red lights are bothering me. I thought maybe upgrading the firmware might help but I couldn't find any references to a 216A backplane, only for expander backplanes.
manual
maybe insightful sm led behavior thread here

the 216A is a pretty dumb backplane. SFF-8087 direct connect sas/sas2/sas3 lanes to drives.

do you have i2c or sgpio cable hooked up? jumpers in default setting?
 

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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I may be wrong, but I think that "A" series backplanes don't have any firmware? They're essentially passthrough.

What kind of cables are you using from the HBA/RAID Card? Do they have a Sideband Connector? How is jumper J84 set? SGPIO or I2C?

Edit: @itronin beat me to it...again :p
 
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itronin

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Nov 24, 2018
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Denver, Colorado
I may be wrong, but I think that "A" series backplanes don't have any firmware? They're essentially passthrough.

What kind of cables are you using from the HBA/RAID Card? Do they have a Sideband Connector? How is jumper J84 set? SGPIO or I2C?

Edit: @itronin beat me to it...again :p
hmmmmmmm ;)

LOLzzzz ! Always good to have confirmation @Markess !!!

edit an your edit beat my reply but I didn't see it.
 

i386

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I may be wrong, but I think that "A" series backplanes don't have any firmware?
Even dumb backplanes usually have some sort of management chip (temperatures, leds controlling) that is connected via sideband to hba/raid controller.
 

darkconz

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Jun 6, 2013
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manual
maybe insightful sm led behavior thread here

the 216A is a pretty dumb backplane. SFF-8087 direct connect sas/sas2/sas3 lanes to drives.

do you have i2c or sgpio cable hooked up? jumpers in default setting?
I may be wrong, but I think that "A" series backplanes don't have any firmware? They're essentially passthrough.

What kind of cables are you using from the HBA/RAID Card? Do they have a Sideband Connector? How is jumper J84 set? SGPIO or I2C?

Edit: @itronin beat me to it...again :p


Thanks for the info and I read through a few manuals today. Noticed there could be some cables missing.... What i2c or sgpio cables do I need and where do I connect it to? I have a H12SSL-i motherboard, replaced the old X9 motherboard with a newer one. But all cables that were plugged into the old motherboard was transferred to my new board. I think it's mainly the power, front panel, fan plugs and a black plug that went into JPI2C1 that were originally used and was transferred.

Is the black JPI2C1 plug the one you are saying? If it is, it's plugged in...

I have a LSI 9300 series IT mode card, currently using SFF 8643 to 8087 cables
 
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itronin

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I have a LSI 9300 series IT mode card, currently using SFF 8643 to 8087 cables
Was there a separate ribbon cable mixed in with the sas lane cables on the cable you have? Is it a SM 8643 to 8087 cable?

dunno if you are missing it or if something else is up. At the end of the day, if your drives are stably connected it could just be one of those things. Is it possible that your 216 is a chassis for some other computer vendor and that vendor had SM change the "normal" color LED's on that backplane to RED? IDK.
 

darkconz

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Jun 6, 2013
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I am just reading about J84 jumper settings.. can't check at the moment but wondering what is difference between I2C and SGPIO?

If I have the JPI2C1 plugged in, should the jumper settings be set to I2C?
 

darkconz

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Jun 6, 2013
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Was there a separate ribbon cable mixed in with the sas lane cables on the cable you have? Is it a SM 8643 to 8087 cable?

dunno if you are missing it or if something else is up. At the end of the day, if your drives are stably connected it could just be one of those things. Is it possible that your 216 is a chassis for some other computer vendor and that vendor had SM change the "normal" color LED's on that backplane to RED? IDK.
The cable is not a SM cable with the grey ribbon (one that looks like front panel connector) attached to it.

I got the cable from eBay and it's a generic cable.

I have another 216 and the cable does come with that grey ribbon. But the backplane on that one is a SAS2-216EL1 so I wasn't sure if it's because of the backplane or not...
 

Sean Ho

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JPI2C1 on the motherboard is the PMBus header; it goes to the PDB/PSU, not the backplane. Any sideband connection from your SAS HBA is going to be coming direct from the HBA and not via the motherboard. It should just be via the 8643.
 

itronin

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The cable is not a SM cable with the grey ribbon (one that looks like front panel connector) attached to it.

I got the cable from eBay and it's a generic cable.

I have another 216 and the cable does come with that grey ribbon. But the backplane on that one is a SAS2-216EL1 so I wasn't sure if it's because of the backplane or not...
if you can afford the system downtime and you are using a SAS2 controller (SFF-8087) you might try using the controller and SFF-8087 cable from your other system and see if the LED's are red when using that controller and cable.

Just curious do the sleds have the standard maroon lever coloror are they a different color: Blue, yellow, silver? The other colors might indicate this was a chassis manufactured for another system vendor and its just possible that vendor had SM change the color of the LED's - though red seems a bit odd (and old school) for an led color choice.
 

Markess

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@darkconz , I'm more new at this SAS stuff than a lot of folks here, so allow me to "fill in" some detail that was new to me and so may not be known to you:

Normally, your HBA/RAID Card (the LSI SAS 9300) connects to the backplane with SAS cables that include the extra wires for sideband signals. The sideband wires control the LEDs on the front. These wires are separate from the wires that carry the data to the drives. Generally, the backplane would be expecting jumper j84 to be set to SGPIO, as its the default set-up for sideband signals in the "A" or "T" or maybe also "TQ" backplanes via the cables. For those backplanes, the sideband wires have to be present for the LEDs to function correctly.

Even from Supermicro, Broadcom, etc. some SAS cables are intentionally manufactured to not have sideband wires (which makes them cheaper to make, easier to bend, etc.) for situations where they aren't necessary. Some generic cables lack the sideband wires simply because its cheaper to make. Supermicro and a few others use a different color/style wire for the sideband. I assume its because its a different gauge or something. I don't think they need to be as robust as the wires carrying data. For generic cables...who knows.

A last long-shot thing to check is the power connectors. Even if you are only putting a couple drives in the system, you have to have ALL the power connectors on the backplane plugged in. Your's has 6? Normally, a missing power connection would also give you an alarm, not just odd behavior. But if it came to you with the alarm jumper on silent....

Cheers!
 
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darkconz

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Jun 6, 2013
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JPI2C1 on the motherboard is the PMBus header; it goes to the PDB/PSU, not the backplane. Any sideband connection from your SAS HBA is going to be coming direct from the HBA and not via the motherboard. It should just be via the 8643.
Thank you, yeah the SAS cable does not have any sideband connections.

if you can afford the system downtime and you are using a SAS2 controller (SFF-8087) you might try using the controller and SFF-8087 cable from your other system and see if the LED's are red when using that controller and cable.

Just curious do the sleds have the standard maroon lever coloror are they a different color: Blue, yellow, silver? The other colors might indicate this was a chassis manufactured for another system vendor and its just possible that vendor had SM change the color of the LED's - though red seems a bit odd (and old school) for an led color choice.
The sleds are the standard SM maroon color ones. As an interesting fact, I kind of interchange all those sleds between my spares. The lights do light up even though there are no sleds in the slot.

@Markess thank you, I'll check the molex plugs tomorrow. Would changing the J84 jumper settings might correct this issue? Again, I am not sure what it's set to right now but just a thought a change might make a difference?
 

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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Would changing the J84 jumper settings might correct this issue? Again, I am not sure what it's set to right now but just a thought a change might make a difference?
I don't think so. AFAIK J84 tells the backplane what format to use for the sideband signals. But without the cabling to bring the signals in/out, it won't matter how its set.

If the lack of a sideband is the only issue, then your system will still work fine. You just won't have the LEDs to indicate status.