Atom C3000-series: SuperMicro A2SDi-4C-HLN4F

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antioch18

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Dec 17, 2018
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I'm using a long-in-the-tooth Atom D525-based SuperMicro board for a low-power FreeNAS build and I'm finally ready to upgrade. Since last year I've been eyeing the Atom C3000 Denverton chips as a huge upgrade, but I have some questions.
  • I have been looking at the C3558-based SuperMicro A2SDi-4C-HLN4F board, but it's not really stocked by the major retailers any more. Why is this? Is there something better that's out now which I should be looking at?
  • Searching around I've found listing for A2SDi-4C-HLN4F-O and A2SDi-4C-HLN4F-B models, but I haven't found any information about the differences on the SuperMicro homepage. Does anyone know what they are? (Assuming the images on the product listings are correct, it seems like the O has only 2xRAM slots and 1xSATA SoC plug, while the B has 4xRAM slots and 2xSATA SoC plugs)
To satisfy your curiosity, I haven't completely figured out what the new software setup on the server will be. Considering jumping ship to OpenMediaVault with ZFS on Linux plugin, or running ProxMox with FreeNAS for ZFS (I know ProxMox has ZFS GUI now, but it still doesn't have all of the extra monitoring and alerts I'd like) and LXC with a docker platform in another. I may throw in PiHole if I feel like consolidating further. I'll likely spin up a different thread to gather feedback on the software side, but this leads to another hardware question:
  • Will ProxMox be able to pass-through the HBA on this board without issue?
If there's anything else pertinent you think I should know, please let me know! Thank you! :)
 

nthu9280

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Feb 3, 2016
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The standard nomenclature.
O - is retail box
B - Bulk package - Just the MB, not sure if IO shield is even included.
If that is the only difference in the part#, there should not be any differences in the MB features.
 
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PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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On the “out of stock” thing: most SM resellers these days have a direct order/drop ship. So if you order it they place an order with SM and SM ships it directly to you on their behalf. Some resellers show these as “in stock”, some are more honest and will show “out of stock” but allow orders.

It usually takes 7-21 days to receive it.
 
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am4593

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Feb 20, 2017
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Ive actually been looking at ordering this exact same board from superbiz. If you contact them directly they will setup an order for you manually. I have only been holding off though because i'm trying to decide if I want the 8 core A2SDI-8C-HLN4F instead. I tend to like overkill, and some future proofing but I cant decide is the extra 150$ is worth it for 4 more cpu cores and slightly better quick assist. I use openvpn so the low clock of these atom boards will hurt since openvpn is single threaded but if it becomes a real problem i'll just run openvpn on a high clock VM behind the firewall. so yeah. I"d like to run pfblocker and a few other of the pfsense add's which could benefit from the extra 4 cores.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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Re: the openVPN thing, are you planning on having this run as a file server or a router...? From the sounds of it you're already running openVPN on your D525 - the C3000's are far faster than this so if your current setup works you'll have plenty of headroom. I'm more of an IPsec guy (and have the VPN terminate in a DMZ) myself but you should easily be able to get 50Mb/s plus out of a C3000 on openVPN - the relatively wimpy CPUs in most openwrt-capable routers were capable of exceeding that some years ago.

I also use the A2SDI-8C-HLN4F for file serving duties (although under linux not freeNAS), if you don't need a huge amount of discs the plethora of SATA ports are a great way to save on the expense/heat of running an HBA (assuming you don't need/want SAS or SGPIO).
 

am4593

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Feb 20, 2017
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Re: the openVPN thing, are you planning on having this run as a file server or a router...? From the sounds of it you're already running openVPN on your D525 - the C3000's are far faster than this so if your current setup works you'll have plenty of headroom. I'm more of an IPsec guy (and have the VPN terminate in a DMZ) myself but you should easily be able to get 50Mb/s plus out of a C3000 on openVPN - the relatively wimpy CPUs in most openwrt-capable routers were capable of exceeding that some years ago.

I also use the A2SDI-8C-HLN4F for file serving duties (although under linux not freeNAS), if you don't need a huge amount of discs the plethora of SATA ports are a great way to save on the expense/heat of running an HBA (assuming you don't need/want SAS or SGPIO).

while i've been looking at both the A2SDI-4C and the A2SDI-8C for a new pfsense box, i've also beening looking at the A2SDI-8C for a new freenas box as I contemplated getting out of DDR3 since DDR4 no longer is crazy expensive. My understanding with these boards though is that the number of SATA ports available is assignable and depends on the number of pci E lanes that you give the 1 pci e x4 slot. My understanding is also that CIFS, or SMB, whatever they want to call it now, is also single threaded like openvpn.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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while i've been looking at both the A2SDI-4C and the A2SDI-8C for a new pfsense box
Personally I just use small non-server machines without IPMI as a) they're cheaper and use less power and b) IPMI is a security risk if exposed to t'interweb (and this can happen accidentally). If you did use one of the IPMI boards I'd suggest using a PCIe NIC for the WAN interface to remove any chance of IPMI being exposed externally (although some might think that overly paranoid).

My understanding with these boards though is that the number of SATA ports available is assignable and depends on the number of pci E lanes that you give the 1 pci e x4 slot.
Not the case as far as I'm aware, the SATA controller feeding these lives on the SoC itself and I can't find anything in the manual referring to this.

My understanding is also that CIFS, or SMB, whatever they want to call it now, is also single threaded like openvpn.
CIFS is just an alternative name for SMBv1. Threadedness depends a lot on implementation; IIRC Samba runs a single-process per user and will throw up as many processes as needed. In any case, CPU requirements for basic CIFS are quite low.