1U Supermicro Server 6x 10GBE RJ45 X10SLH-LN6TF LGA 1150 H3 X10SLH-N6-ST031

Bert

Active Member
Mar 31, 2018
205
89
28
42
I'm really not sure right now. My early thinking is that it's more power than I want to devote to a router and my primary reason for buying was because honestly the case wasn't worth much less. My problem is a severe lack of 10GBaseT infrastructure - I've got a copper SFP+ on the way; right now its limited to gigabit - but I can work around that.
I don't mind the power usage because I want to dual purpose this as NAS and pfsense box.It can also work as a 10GB switch for my rack servers.

It seems like windows server has built in capabilities to work as a switch but I am not sure:

SDN with Windows Server 2016 » ADMIN Magazine

Btw, I completely get it I won't get agg speeds of 100Gbit/sec like a purpose build switch but I don't need that. 20Gb/s is probably the most I would need, even that is questionable since most of my data is on spindles.
 
Last edited:

Fritz

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2015
2,278
553
113
67
I don't mind the power usage because I want to dual purpose this as NAS and 10GB pfsense box.It can also work as a 10GB switch for my rack servers.

It seems like windows server has built in capabilities to work as a switch but I am not sure:

SDN with Windows Server 2016 » ADMIN Magazine

Btw, I completely get it I won't get agg speeds of 100Gbit/sec like a purpose build switch but I don't need that. 20Gb/s is probably the most I would need, even that is questionable since most of my data is on spindles.
Does a 10G PfSense box make sense?
 

crazydane

New Member
Apr 23, 2020
1
0
1
Sure it does. I have dual 1G WAN connections and will be using this box to load balance them and then have a 10G link to my core 10G switch. This way my 10G connected clients can enjoy 2000/2000 Internet speed (yes I realize not everything will properly load balance across both WAN connections).

I ordered mine last Friday and it is now Thursday and he hasn't shipped yet. I was under the impression that he ships on Wednesdays but I guess maybe he's busy clearing the BIOS passwords on all his remaining inventory before he starts shipping again?

EDIT
I just received the following response from Justin:
--- cut ---
Because of the COVID Situation, we had to limit how many staff can be present at work at a given time in our offices, this has delayed our production about 3-5 days additionally, we are trying out best to get the orders shipped out as soon as we can, once shipped we will issue the tracking number. we thank you for your patience, and hope you stay safe. If you have any other questions please let us know.

I am estimating we can ship this out Friday or early next week

--- cut ---
 
Last edited:

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
3,005
1,309
113
Does a 10G PfSense box make sense?
No, it doesn't. And yes, it does.

Netgate acknowledges that PFSense as written bottlenecks when processing at/near 10G speeds - even on advanced CPUs. There is just too much bit-copy going on in the BSD network stacks and the BSD Packet Filter (BPF, the "PF" of PFSense...). Thus their decision to develop and push TNSR for higher performance. So no, a multiple 10G PFSense that is doing a lot of bridged switch emulation between links doesn't really make a lot of sense.

However, for the application being discussed here - a lab situation, cost managed 10G, with few if any bandwidth critical applications it can do just fine. Also, for speeds between 1G and 10G it can do just fine. Much better, in fact, than link agg or ECMP across multiple 1G links. So yes, in limited cases, it does indeed make sense.
 

Bert

Active Member
Mar 31, 2018
205
89
28
42
Sure it does. I have dual 1G WAN connections and will be using this box to load balance them and then have a 10G link to my core 10G switch. This way my 10G connected clients can enjoy 2000/2000 Internet speed (yes I realize not everything will properly load balance across both WAN connections).

I ordered mine last Friday and it is now Thursday and he hasn't shipped yet. I was under the impression that he ships on Wednesdays but I guess maybe he's busy clearing the BIOS passwords on all his remaining inventory before he starts shipping again?

EDIT
I just received the following response from Justin:
--- cut ---
Because of the COVID Situation, we had to limit how many staff can be present at work at a given time in our offices, this has delayed our production about 3-5 days additionally, we are trying out best to get the orders shipped out as soon as we can, once shipped we will issue the tracking number. we thank you for your patience, and hope you stay safe. If you have any other questions please let us know.

I am estimating we can ship this out Friday or early next week

--- cut ---
Yeah he is very slow on shipping but he eventually does it.

What software will you put on it? PFSense on ESXi? I think PFsense as firewall/vpn server/network security software so I probably don't need 10G. PFSense will probably burn lots of CPU to analyze packets.

On the other hand, I want to put a software that will run as switch here. I know Windows Server has built-in networking features and can act as a switch software but I wonder if there is any other free software out there specialized for quick packet switching, something like DD-WRT for PCs. I know windows server solution is pretty optimized as it needs to support VMs and some SDNs but again a custom switch software may be even better.
 
Last edited:

Wolfstar

Active Member
Nov 28, 2015
156
81
28
45
Yeah he is very slow on shipping but he eventually does it.

What software will you put on it? PFSense on ESXi? I think PFsense as firewall/vpn server/network security software so I probably don't need 10G. PFSense will probably burn lots of CPU to analyze packets.

On the other hand, I want to put a software that will run as switch here. I know Windows Server has built-in networking features and can act as a switch software but I wonder if there is any other free software out there specialized for quick packet switching, something like DD-WRT for PCs. I know windows server solution is pretty optimized as it needs to support VMs and some SDNs but again a custom switch software may be even better.
You want to look into VyOS, or DANOS, its successor. That said, you will not get hardware-level performance out of even that. You'll likely come close enough with the right tweaks/configuration for a home lab environment, but don't expect multiple line-rate full-speed transfers with next-to-no latency.
 

Schut

New Member
Apr 13, 2020
9
2
3
My unit has just been marked as shipped, and in prior Ebay correspondence vendor indicated he would be updating my bios and clearing the password.
 

tommybackeast

Active Member
Jun 10, 2018
283
98
28
You want to look into VyOS, or DANOS, its successor. That said, you will not get hardware-level performance out of even that. You'll likely come close enough with the right tweaks/configuration for a home lab environment, but don't expect multiple line-rate full-speed transfers with next-to-no latency.
DANOS

Had never heard of DANOS before - neat read (don't understand most of it, but interesting)
 
  • Like
Reactions: compuwizz

Wolfstar

Active Member
Nov 28, 2015
156
81
28
45
Has anyone gotten word on a stock BIOS without a password, or a way to remove the password from the BIOS yet? It doesn't bother me that it's there all that much, but it IS annoying that it requires the password in order to boot from something other than the default configuration.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bert

Erlipton

Member
Jul 1, 2016
74
9
8
33
Got mine today. No BIOS password.
Well packed and in good condition.
Noise is not bad for a 1U case. Let's see once it is in use.
One thing I'm dying to know is whether that PCIe slot with the riser supports bifurcation.... can you check quickly? Cheers
 

techtoys

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
182
47
28
55
I'll keep looking when I get time but I remember the basic idea. You need to mod your bios to add the feature. This is not as scary as it sounds. But it is scary. BIOS manufacturers don't always write new code to implement a feature for every motherboard. The BIOS essentially works by programming registers on a chipset. I am NOT a BIOS programmer. But in my younger days I designed chips in chipsets. The BIOS is more generic than you think. You can get a program that turns features in the BIOS on or off. This can work if the underlying hardware (chipset) supports the feature.

Just turning things on/off does not mean it will work. If it was that simple a BIOS update would be trivial. You have to know that the feature is supported and then test it. This takes time. But anyone can flip a switch and hit a register on a chipset. It may work.

If one of my other motherboards supports this there is reasonable chance it should work. I have other variants of this board with the same chipset and an upgraded BIOS. If those boards support bifurcation there is no reason this board should not support the feature. But its not a simple bios upgrade.
 

techtoys

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
182
47
28
55
Modding a BIOS. This is not a how to. You can look around for those.
Link to manufacturer describes BCP. You have to find BCP and load it up.
Then you have to turn the feature on/off and create your own custom BIOS.

I have done this before but not for bifurcation. I used this method to enable virtualization features on a proprietary (cheap used) inventec motherboard.
 
Apr 26, 2018
74
53
18
iowa
ezsolutions.us
Sure it does. I have dual 1G WAN connections and will be using this box to load balance them and then have a 10G link to my core 10G switch. This way my 10G connected clients can enjoy 2000/2000 Internet speed (yes I realize not everything will properly load balance across both WAN connections).

I ordered mine last Friday and it is now Thursday and he hasn't shipped yet. I was under the impression that he ships on Wednesdays but I guess maybe he's busy clearing the BIOS passwords on all his remaining inventory before he starts shipping again?

EDIT
I just received the following response from Justin:
--- cut ---
Because of the COVID Situation, we had to limit how many staff can be present at work at a given time in our offices, this has delayed our production about 3-5 days additionally, we are trying out best to get the orders shipped out as soon as we can, once shipped we will issue the tracking number. we thank you for your patience, and hope you stay safe. If you have any other questions please let us know.

I am estimating we can ship this out Friday or early next week

--- cut ---
They didn't clear the bios passwords. They obtained newer bios from IBM and just flashed them. We asked if they could share, but unable to. So we did the needful, and ordered bios made with no password and updated everything else. It will be shared when completed.
 

Markess

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2018
616
298
63
Could you show which thread that is?
The Intel spec for Gen 8 Chipsets (this board should have a C226) shows the "server" chipsets (C222,C224, & C226), plus Z87, have support for bifurcation of the PCIE Express Graphics (PEG) slot (the x16 slot). Supported configurations are 1x16, 2x8, 1x8, or 2x4. For the Consumer/Business chipsets this slot is fixed at 1x16. See page 56: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/w...datasheets/8-series-chipset-pch-datasheet.pdf

I believe that the motherboard may already have this slot fixed at x8 (to have enough lanes for a second slot to be x8 electrically?). So, presumably, splittng it to 2x4 would be the easiest option, assuming it can be done.

As @techtoys menitions, knowing if its supported in the hardware itself is the first step, I think you're good there, if you stick to the PEG slot. Unlike the C6xx chipsets that support bifurcation of multiple slots, the C22x only support bifuration of the one slot.

As for a guide on modifying the BIOS to enable bifuration: I've not seen anything specific to enabling bifurcation on the C22x chipsets, but I've seen this guide on the Win-Raid forums, which is focused more on X99/C6xx, but may be of help.

BIOS Modding Guides and Problems » [Guide] - How to Bifurcate a PCI-E slot

There's an NVME boot BIOS mod thread on the forums here that also mentions bifurcation I believe. Its for the prior generation chipset, but has some good information on BIOS mods in general: https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/nvme-boot-with-supermicro-x9da7-x9dri-f.13245/

There's a Win-Raid thread mentioned in the post above that, while its focused on BIOS mods for NVME booting, is very detailed on the BIOS mod process and may be useful in understanding the process as a whole:

[Guide] How to get full NVMe support for all Systems with an AMI UEFI BIOS
 
Last edited: