AVOID - 4U, 2x Node, 4x E5 V3/V4, 56x LFF SAS3 3.5" bay - $299 - CISCO UCS C3260

eduncan911

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This offer has expired. Even though the seller, deals2day-364, is selling more wither other configurations, AVOID THIS SELLER AT ALL COSTS!
  • They have shipped units completely mis-configured, and missing many drives. Seller has completely ghosted ANYONE who bought a custom build and has NOT resolved ANY cases.
  • Seller constantly changes the deals. Especially after they read your bad review, they change the deal and make you pay more - often holding your merchandise as ransom.
  • Seller offers a 30-day warranty; but, they will not honor it (many users in this thread are still waiting on replacement parts - 1/2 year a later!)
  • Seller changes the return deals, again, if they read a bad review.
Just avoid anything from this seller, deals2day-365.

Below is the original post for archiving this nightmare for everyone... And I apologize for bringing it to light in the first place. :(

$300 shipping though (freight)... Thought about contacting them to see if they would use my UPS account number. Yikes. $300 is for standard eBay Freight (which the seller has no idea how to fix). However, they can ship 1 unit via normal fedex/ups if you contact them direct. Nope, this seller negates on any shipping savings now.

Each node has dual Intel C612 chipset (E5 V3/V4 CPUs and DDR4 ECC). Oddly, the spec sheet says its noise level is 38dB. That's... Really really quiet!? EDIT: confirmed the low-quiet, as long as you have the right HDDs and SSDs that are in the firmware specs - if you use a different drive it doesn't know, ALL FANS RUN ON HIGH.

There doesn't seem to be much "gray market" usage info about this. There was a STH thread started asking for more info, but crickets. I really would want to get my hands on one to document what options and specs it has. Like, are those FC, QSPF+, or even 100 Gbps ports on the back? Nevermind! Turns out the Cisco firmware only allows certain drives from certain manufacturuers. It's a wide range of drives and models. Basically, stick to anything HGST SAS (and SATA) and Enterprise-grade SATA SSDs for the boot and NVMe drives, like Samsung PM883.

AGAIN, AVOID THIS SELLER. Here's the original listing...

 
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eduncan911

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The seller also has those $99 10TB SAS disks for sale.

He has a built version of this chassis with 10x 10TB SAS3 HDDs, 4x E5-2620 V4 CPUs, 64GB ram - for $2199. That's actually about right with used parts.
 
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Aestr

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Keep in mind they charge $1060 rather than $299 if you want trays. Shipping goes down to $250 strangely though…

Cool setup but like you I’ve got enough to work with for now. I also prefer my bill drive in a JBOD for the flexibility.
 

eduncan911

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Keep in mind they charge $1060 rather than $299 if you want trays. Shipping goes down to $250 strangely though…

Cool setup but like you I’ve got enough to work with for now. I also prefer my bill drive in a JBOD for the flexibility.
No trays?! Lol, their pics show the trays! I already emailed them asking about trays too. Yikes.
 
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firworks

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Also I think that server is V1/V2 not V3/V4 and DDR3. The listing says as much and it matches the Cisco datasheet.

I've got a mystery Dell XS23-TY I'm currently messing with but I wish I had this Cisco instead if looks a lot more interesting for a 4 node system.
 
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tjk

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I think the C3160 is from the M3 model lineup, which requires flash for out of band. I'm replacing some older M3's that are running just fine due to this. There is a hack to have a specific url to launch java IPKVM, but the rest of cimc management requires flash on anything M3 or earlier.
 

eduncan911

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Also I think that server is V1/V2 not V3/V4 and DDR3. The listing says as much and it matches the Cisco datasheet.

I've got a mystery Dell XS23-TY I'm currently messing with but I wish I had this Cisco instead if looks a lot more interesting for a 4 node system.
Humm, they are selling a built server with E5-2620 V4s in it.


Maybe we are looking at two different data sheets (as I have no idea on Cisco's naming conventions).
 
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firworks

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I found a document from Cisco about it. There are several compatible nodes that could be in it. Like tjk said above the 300$ one has the M3 nodes in it, but there are also M4 nodes and M5 nodes that are V3/V4 and Xeon Scalable V1 respectively. However, if they have two seemingly identical systems up and one has M3 nodes and one has M4 then it seems somewhat likely they are C3260s (or S3260??) and not C3160s since it doesn't look like the C3160 can support M3 nodes? This document answers some questions but raises others.

1649037394721.png

Looking at it more the seller is playing fast and loose and those pictures might not even be of the actual server. Since some of them have that Content Delivery Engine badge and a CDE 6032 on the front and others say Cisco UCS C3160 (might even say C3260 it's so tiny). So it's probably a gamble what you even get but it still could be cool/a good deal whatever it is.

Both of these photos are on the listing.
1649037884226.png
1649037928616.png
 

eduncan911

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I think the C3160 is from the M3 model lineup, which requires flash for out of band. I'm replacing some older M3's that are running just fine due to this. There is a hack to have a specific url to launch java IPKVM, but the rest of cimc management requires flash on anything M3 or earlier.
What about IPMI CLI tools? To talk to the management remotely?
 
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nickf1227

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I've been buying M3s like hotcakes for various projects because everyone else is offloading them for this reason...

Just need a browser that has flash enabled...lol
 
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Indecided

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We still have a large number of M3s in production, and either use the hotlink to get to KVM, or a older portable version of Maxthon Browser that still supports flash (v4.95.1000 is what we use).

We have a couple of M3s with Ironport/etc/purpose-built Cisco appliances which are just slightly customized versions (mostly) of the respective retail server model, which would likely be the case with these units as well. Do note that there are some differences in the BIOS string for the appliance-type deals which prevent upgrading using the HUU ISO method (all-in-one upgrade-everything method). You would have to extract the respective firmware from the ISO and manually update the CIMC and BIOS (other related firmware can be extracted after decryption too, but I've found it a fair bit of pain to upgrade the other items besides CIMC and BIOS manually).

As for the $299 listing, the front of the chassis is definitely M4 style, and the nodes in the picture are M4 nodes (M3 nodes have the KVM and UID/buttons together in the center of the node, M4 nodes are split out). Pictures enclosed below.

Even if they were were M3s vs M4, that should be pretty decent for most storage head node needs.

Anyone willing to take a gamble? And has anyone looked to see how the 60 bays are split out or dually accessed by the nodes? If it could function as a dual head HA ZFS cluster, that would be pretty neat.

Drowning in work, so this is as far as I can go for now. Also, trying to avoid going down that rabbit hole of buying more equipment; I'm already 4 disk shelves deep (no pun intended) and certainly cannot afford to tinker with yet another one.

1649055742590.png
1649055756427.png
 
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eduncan911

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We still have a large number of M3s in production, and either use the hotlink to get to KVM, or a older portable version of Maxthon Browser that still supports flash (v4.95.1000 is what we use).

We have a couple of M3s with Ironport/etc/purpose-built Cisco appliances which are just slightly customized versions (mostly) of the respective retail server model, which would likely be the case with these units as well. Do note that there are some differences in the BIOS string for the appliance-type deals which prevent upgrading using the HUU ISO method (all-in-one upgrade-everything method). You would have to extract the respective firmware from the ISO and manually update the CIMC and BIOS (other related firmware can be extracted after decryption too, but I've found it a fair bit of pain to upgrade the other items besides CIMC and BIOS manually).

As for the $299 listing, the front of the chassis is definitely M4 style, and the nodes in the picture are M4 nodes (M3 nodes have the KVM and UID/buttons together in the center of the node, M4 nodes are split out). Pictures enclosed below.

Even if they were were M3s vs M4, that should be pretty decent for most storage head node needs.

Anyone willing to take a gamble? And has anyone looked to see how the 60 bays are split out or dually accessed by the nodes? If it could function as a dual head HA ZFS cluster, that would be pretty neat.

Drowning in work, so this is as far as I can go for now. Also, trying to avoid going down that rabbit hole of buying more equipment; I'm already 4 disk shelves deep (no pun intended) and certainly cannot afford to tinker with yet another one.

View attachment 22315
View attachment 22316
Awesome post!

Mind if we pick your brain for a few questions?

1. is there some propietary cable needed to connect a KVM via those ports you show?

2. where could one find the information on what Network Modules model numbers and options are?

On a few of the built listings, they list the network module as a dual 10Gbps. However, closeup pics doesn't show an SFP+ cage but more something that looks like a QSFP+ cage.

Personally, the network module is critical to me, as I just installed a 40 Gbps switch and have 40 Gbps to the other servers that matter. And the fact that these machines have "No expansion slots."

If it could function as a dual head HA ZFS cluster, that would be pretty neat.
That's how this Supermicro 2U dual node chassis with 24x 2.5" SFF bays is I have here. The SAS backplane is dual port, and accepts dual port SAS drives. You can assign the drives to each node. It's kind of funky how two machines can access one drive and I never really dove into it as the machine is a screamer that no IPMI tools could quiet down.

What's really cool about that particular Supermicro chassis is that there is a shared 100 Gbps Inter-connect between the nodes internally. The Windows way of getting it to work seemed kind of quirky. Thank goodness I am all Linux, which seems the 100 Gbps link as just a standard NIC.

I wonder if this Cisco chassis has such an Inter-connect between the nodes.
 
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eduncan911

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Isn't Cisco known for locking transceivers, cards, ports, etc to their Cisco brand? Regardless of SFP+ or QSFP+, I wonder if the ports are the back are locked?

I only have experience with Brocade fiber optics.
 
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