OEM vs. Mellanox Infiniband HCA

Hello everyone,

Just wondering is there’s any substantial difference between these two cards?

HP 452372-001 Infiniband PCI-E 4X DDR Dual Port Storage Host Channel Adapter HCA | eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HP-452372-001-Infiniband-PCI-E-4X-DDR-Dual-Port-Storage-Host-Channel-Adapter-HCA-/360657396651?pt=UK_Computing_NetworkCards_RL&hash=item53f8db23ab

Mellanox MHGH28 XTC Connectx Dual Port 20GB s Infiniband PCI E 4X DDR HCA Card | eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mellanox-MHGH28-XTC-ConnectX-Dual-Port-20Gb-s-Infiniband-PCI-E-4X-DDR-HCA-Card-/400502074417?pt=UK_Computing_NetworkCards_RL&hash=item5d3fc8ac31

There’s a £10 price differential per card, but outside of that it looks like the exact same thing. One is a Mellanox branded card, and the other has been OEM’d by HP.

The eBay seller is the same for both auctions as well.

I’m looking to purchase two of these so I can play with and configure direct connectivity between two HP Microservers (one is ZFS Storage, the other a VmWare ESXi 5.1 hypervisor) in my home environment.

Is there any functionality that I lose out on by going for the slightly cheaper HP OEM card over the other one? Can I still apply firmware upgrades etc?

Thanks for your help.

Physically, 448397-B21/452372-001 == MHGH28-X[T|S]C

Firmware feature wise, there appears to be a single difference.

All 3 of my HP MHGH28 (2 rev X1, 1 rev A3) came with DPDP enabled.

While on Mellanox MHGH28, only rev >= A4 appear to have it enabled.

DPDP = ability to run IB on port1 + 10GbE on port2 simultaneously.

So I’d say the HP cards have more functionality out of the box.

Sounds like you’re all set.

I’ve been buying CX4 cables from that same seller on eBay, and found him/her to be very good.

You might want to be careful of that specific item you’re bidding on though, as the text in the item description says that item will only be shipped to the US. (no idea why) That seller definitely has other items able to be shipped non-US though (definitely UK at least).

Hmmm, I’ve bought Sun and Dell OEM cards before from eBay (also MHGH28-XTC), then flashed them perfectly fine using stock Mellanox firmware. They’re working well, no issues at all.

With those HP ones, they seem like the same kind of thing. Two things to watch out for though:

  • HP also has some OEM mezzanine adapters. I’m not sure of the HP parts numbers, but you’d want to make sure these cards are not them and using the wrong photo’s.
  • Both of the cards you’re linking to use the same photo for the front PCB shot (with the heatsink), which confuses matters a bit.

If the HP part # doesn’t turn out to be for a mezzanine part, you should be fine.

As a useful seperate thought, you can get fairly cheap 1 metre CX4 cables from China for about US$14 each, not including postage. Much, much cheaper than most of the places here in the UK. If you need the link I can dig it up, or just do a search through this site.

Cool, that’s good info. Especially since the HP cards are cheaper on eBay atm.

With the DPDP capability, I wonder if some of the earlier MHGH28-X*C cards can successfully have that enabled by reburning them with with different .ini settings?

I might try it out later on, if I get up the courage to potentially kill a card.

Thank you for the response Justin, sounds like the HP branded card should be fine for my purposes.

I did find a HP Reference Guide which lists the above card as a PCIe Dual Port card. So I should be safe in assuming it’s not going to be a mezzanine adapter. For anyone else’s reference in the future:

HP IB 4X DDR PCI-e DUAL PORT HCA / 448397-B21 / 452372-001 / MHGH28-XTC

http://www.mellanox.com/pdf/products/oem/HP_Reference_Guide.pdf http://www.mellanox.com/pdf/products/oem/HP_Reference_Guide.pdf

I’m actually based in Australia and looking to buy the cards from the UK or US. Prices are much cheaper than here in Australia and shipping seems reasonable enough.

$25 AUD delivered for this 1meter Infiniband CX4 Cable doesn’t sound too bad:

Gore Infiniband 10GBS 4X CX4 TO CX4 Cable 1M 3 3ft SAS M M Latch Type Cable | eBay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GORE-Infiniband-10GBs-4X-CX4-to-CX4-Cable-1M-3-3FT-SAS-M-M-LATCH-Type-Cable-/261096347035?pt=US_Drive_Cables_dapters&hash=item3cca8e159b

Mellanox said doesn’t capable DPDP capability on OFED 1.8.1.

I think that is very curious.

OFED 1.8.1 can support Multi virtual vHBA function for SRP Initiator each IB port up to 8 vHBA.

But IPoIB was not on vSphere 5.x.

I’ll wait to launch next release OFED for vSphere…