any opinions and experiences with SuperServer E200-9A or E200-9B

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by BLinux, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    I'm in need of something very quiet to serve as a firewall/router device. Only doing 4 1Gbps connections and not using pfsense so I don't care that much about AES-NI.

    I'm looking at:

    Supermicro | Products | SuperServers | Mini 1U | E200-9A

    or

    Supermicro | Products | SuperServers | Mini-ITX | E200-9B

    The "A" is Atom C3000 based, uses DDR4 (very expensive), and is about $410 base + RAM.

    The "B" is N3700, uses DDR3 (cheaper), and is about $350 base + RAM.

    The "A" can take up to 128GB of RAM, while the "B" is limited to 8GB. While 8GB is enough for what i need, I some times think about the "what if I want to do X with this in the future"... probably doesn't really matter as it'll be obsolute by then...

    What matters more to me is noise level. I assume these are both fairly quiet, but what I'm replacing was completely silent. Basically, I had a similar machine that was completely silent fail on me on Friday afternoon (why always Fridays?) - just shut itself off and would never power on again. I had a spare SYS-5018A-FTN4 laying around so I replaced it temporarily with that. And as quiet as the SYS-5018A-FTN4 is, I was spoiled by the total silence of the previous machine that I'd like to find another silent replacement.

    So, has anyone used of these machines? The "B" looks like it is fanless... not sure though. The "A" definitely has 2 fans...

    Thoughts?
     
    #1
  2. CookiesLikeWhoa

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    I use the older version of what you're looking at (A1SRM-2558F) as my pfSense router. It needs a couple of system fans to run.

    I haven't used the other model you have listed (B), it has a super low TDP which would lead me to believe it could be passively cooled. But that is a really low power system.
     
    #2
  3. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the temporary replacement is a A1SRM-2758F, so very similar to what you have. It works, but isn't as quiet as I hoped; use to the dead silence of the previous machine.

    The N3700 should be plenty... the machine that died had a N2930 and it was more than enough, so I don't imagine the N3700 being insufficient to do everything I need it to do.
     
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  4. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    Save money today is what I am reading from your description. N3700 it is.
     
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  5. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    Do you know if that machine is fanless / dead silent?
     
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  6. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    #6
  7. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    I'm not sure if it's the form factor you're looking for but I'm happy with my Jetway 375-533; passively cooled albeit with a semi-old-hat J1900 chip in it, it's about £300 rightpondian, and you can't get much quieter than fanless.

    They have many other passively cooled chunks doing the same sort of thing (I've used the comparatively cheap 323 for pfsense rollouts) but the non-Atom models can get expensive quickly.
     
    #7
  8. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    I am open to suggestions, and in this case, IPMI is not that important. That HP T620 Plus does sound interesting. Are both the T620 and the T610 you have require a fan? I thought I saw some passive heatsink system... or was that an extra option?

    Will any standard Low Profile HHHL quad-gigabit card fit? Which card did you go with?


    Actually, the machine that died on Friday was a Jetway. As much as I really liked the unit while it was working, the fact that it failed so completely right after the warranty period (i'm at 25 months since purchase) just makes me hesitate to go with Jetway again... it was completely silent though...
     
    #8
  9. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    I know the feeling - I've been looking to see if anyone in the UK or EU was selling any of ASRock's tempting looking "industrial" kit in NUC-alike or 3.5" SBC format so I'd have an alternate vendor for that sort of stuff (although of course the crappy failure rates of the atoms due to the AVR bug hasn't exactly filled me with confidence), but so far no joy.

    Are platforms like xeons in a fanless heatpipe-cooled passive case feasible, or out of the window due to budget? I toyed with putting a mITX board into an Akasa Galileo, but then I retired once of my HTPCs (which lived in a Streacom fanless case) and used that instead. But suspect you're looking at a $200 minimum spend just for the chassis in that scenario.
     
    #9
  10. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    Did you look at the Fitlet X-LAN listed here on FS threads by fellow STH member. looks interesting I think it has all the stuff you are looking for.

    I'll have to check and confirm the Fan question. In any case It was near silent. If you go HP thin client route, make sure you select the Plus model. Regular one does not have PCI slot.

    T610+ takes a standard profile card. I use an Intel Pro/1000 quad (IBM OEM) card. Only using two ports though one for WAN another for LAN. It also takes standard SATA drive. They usually come with 16GB ADATA SATA card. I killed it with snort or pf-blocker in log mode. Wasn't even using them. just playing around. So I put a S3500 80GB. kinda overkill but that's what I had on hand.

    I recently picked up a T620+ for eventual AES-NI support but have not moved my pfSense over yet. Notable diff: only takes LP PCIe card. m2 or mSATA (need to confirm).
     
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  11. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    @nthu9280 you pointed me in a direction and I've gone down the rabbit hole!! And now the Fitlet X-LAN??? you bad, bad person... really appreciate the great options you've provided.

    I've been researching the HP Thin client options, from the T610 you have, to the T620 Plus, and the later T730 as well. They all seem like pretty good options, although I think the T610 is a little under powered for me.

    So far, this is my comparison:

    Code:
    Option       Cost     TDP     Power Cons     Passmark    Fan/Acoustics    RAM        Network
    E200-9B      $350     6W      11.6~21.7W     1839        passive?         8GB DDR3   4x Intel 1G
    T610         $105     18W     ???            786         ???                         1+4x Intel 1G
    T620         $126     25W     20.34W         2299        17.2dBA~24dBA    16GB DDR3  1+4x Intel 1G
    T730         $266     35W     25.49W         4250        ???              16GB DDR3  1+4x Intel 1G
    
    The cost takes into account the 4-port 1Gb NIC I have to add. I've also added 5W to the power consumption for the 4-port NIC as well. The cost of the HP Thin Clients is for used on ebay. The Supermicro would be brand new as I don't find any used available.

    Based on passmark score, I think I'm going to exclude the T610. Even my dead N2930 had passmark=1633 > 786. The most expensive is option is now the Supermicro E200-9B.

    I'm not sure I have the power consumption data correct... i got it from HP's documentation for energy star testing, but I suspect that's under load? not really sure... and I added 5W for the 4-port NIC. The power consumption numbers also don't really correlate with the CPU TDPs... granted, I know they are not exactly related, but if max power consumption for the Supermicro 7W TDP is 21.7W, and the T620 with 25W TDP is 20.34W... just makes me unsure.

    Right now, the T620 is looking very tempting. I could get 2 of them for the cost of the Supermicro and have a spare just in case something dies on me again. The HP Thin Clients also get me an extra 1Gb NIC, which I think is Realtek based though... I will get a 4-port Intel NIC anyway...

    I do suspect that the Supermicro with N3700 is totally passive so silent. The T620 Fan/Acoustic data is from HP's documentation. I think 24dBA is pretty quiet, but silence is better than 17.2~24 dBA.
     
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  12. brianmc

    brianmc New Member

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    T620 is going to be plenty. If you get one, and it goes bad, you can get something else with money left over, right?
     
    #12
  13. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    yeah, i was thinking of just getting 2 of them and have one as a backup/spare that i can play with while still being a spare.
     
    #13
  14. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    @nthu9280 since you have a T620 on hand, can you check something for me? Looking at the pictures, it's hard to tell how much space there is. But, the PCI-E slot in the back looks a little recessed. If you put a 4-port NIC in there, and insert some network cables, will it be hard to reach the tab to pull them out? Can you try it, maybe take some photos to share?
     
    #14
  15. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    :) Yes that is a pain to deal with. I use small flat head screw driver to press/release the RJ45 clip especially if they have snagless boots on them. Having trouble uploading a pic. let me try again

    T620Plus with Quad NIC
     
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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  16. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    @nthu9280 Thanks man. That actually doesn't look as bad as I thought it might be. There's still some room above the PCI card.

    One more thing, if you have a kill-a-watt, or something similar, can you measure your unit's power consumption at idle vs under load (run any benchmark)? I'm just not sure about those numbers i found on HP's website....
     
    #16
  17. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    I'll try to test the power consumption later tonight and post the results for T620.

    I recall T610 with Quad NIC was pulling ~24 idle and 29 under load. I think was running "openssl speed" or "openvpn --test-crypto". I'm sure the old IntelPro/1000 isn't that power efficient. But then for my use T610 is plenty enough and cost / benefit wasn't there for me with most of those low wattage devices costing $300 vs $100 all in for my T610. Here are my notes on 610

    Code:
    $:sudo /usr/bin/openssl engine -t -c
    
    $: openssl speed md5 sha1 sha256 sha512 des des-ede3 aes-128-cbc aes-192-cbc aes-256-cbc rsa2048 dsa2048 | tee /tmp/sslspeed
    
    OpenSSL 1.0.1s-freebsd  1 Mar 2016
    built on: date not available
    options:bn(64,64) rc4(8x,int) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) idea(int) blowfish(idx)
    compiler: clang
    The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed.
    type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes
    md5              13634.89k    47720.56k   132690.38k   239650.47k   314997.16k
    sha1             13180.29k    39880.19k    82892.26k   112899.75k   126317.91k
    des cbc          30006.13k    31597.38k    31981.91k    32189.64k    32129.02k
    des ede3         11572.51k    11835.13k    11891.27k    11898.12k    11914.89k
    aes-128 cbc      33323.80k    35637.64k    36469.93k    92639.51k    94585.39k
    aes-192 cbc      28163.42k    29828.61k    30389.93k    78541.26k    80061.22k
    aes-256 cbc      24378.69k    25606.14k    26049.96k    68326.06k    69393.16k
    sha256           14028.45k    31970.77k    54746.00k    66328.23k    70808.92k
    sha512           10568.77k    42431.74k    68338.49k    96909.09k   110530.31k
                      sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
    rsa 2048 bits 0.004833s 0.000175s    206.9   5727.4
                      sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
    dsa 2048 bits 0.001496s 0.001544s    668.3    647.8
    
    
    $: openvpn --genkey --secret /tmp/secret
    $: time openvpn --test-crypto --secret /tmp/secret --verb 0 --tun-mtu 20000 --cipher aes-256-cbc
    49.917u 0.047s 0:50.08 99.7%    746+177k 0+0io 0pf+0w
    
    $: time openvpn --test-crypto --secret /tmp/secret --verb 0 --tun-mtu 20000 --cipher aes-128-cbc
    46.626u 0.078s 0:46.80 99.7%    746+177k 0+0io 0pf+0w
    
    This generates a temporary key (it won't mess with your primary key configs), and then asks OpenVPN to run a shedload of packets thru the OpenVPN app - see the note below...
    
    Then to give the execution time in seconds a real-world meaning:
    
    ( 3200 / execution_time_seconds ) = Projected Maximum OpenVPN Performance in Mbps
    
    The projected speed should be an upper limit under optimum conditions...
    
    The magic number of 3200 comes from summing 1 to 20000, multiply by 2 for encrypt and decrypt and by 8 bits/byte and divide by 1,000,000 for a result of Mbps
     
    #17
  18. nev_neo

    nev_neo Member

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    Fitlet X-lan user here. Its fan less and sips power ~15watts max i think.
    Haven't been able to make it sweat with gigabit FIOS. It maxes out my VPN to my colo ~540mbps up and down.
     
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  19. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    T620 is also drawing the power about the same as T610 - 18W idle and 25W under load.

    Openvpn estimate ~ 130mbps (3200/23.95)

    Code:
     time openvpn --test-crypto --secret /tmp/secret --verb 0 --tun-mtu 20000 --cipher aes-256-cbc --ncp-disable
    23.849u 0.023s 0:23.95 99.6%    838+177k 0+0io 19pf+0w
    
     
    #19
  20. BLinux

    BLinux Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that! I guess the 20.34W was close... considering I don't expect it to be under heavy load all the time, I think it would be reasonable to think of 20W as a good average.

    Wait, isn't that slower than your T610+ ?

    Well, I got impatient and I ended up pulling the trigger on a pair of T620+ units for $80 each + $17 for the 4-port Intel I340-T4 based NIC. Shipping was about $9 for each unit so total will be $106 each. That's less than 1/3 the price of the Supermicro, draws a little more power, but should be faster than the N3700. I can re-use the 8GB SO-DIMM and mSATA SSD+USB drive from the failed Jetway N2930 system.

    Have to say, I'm not that impressed by Jetway. Went back and forth with them in email today to confirm the motherboard for the N2930 i have is dead. I know my unit was just a month or so out of warranty, but it would have been nice if they took care of a customer. I'm not impressed that their motherboard died all of a sudden too.... The replacement motherboard would have cost me more than the T620+, so the choice was obvious.
     
    #20
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