Beware of EMC switches sold as Mellanox SX6XXX on eBay

Notice: Page may contain affiliate links for which we may earn a small commission through services like Amazon Affiliates or Skimlinks.

Mithril

Active Member
Sep 13, 2019
355
106
43
I've been sending the files to most of the people who's been asking, might as well throw it here instead.

IMAGE

GUIDE

So, I've been thinking about picking one of the SX6012 up and doing the conversion to use it as an ethernet switch, I've skimmed a good deal of the thread and my understanding is that you need "the guide" and "the firmware". Between the 2 links you provided, would I need to find/download anything else (besides the various tools for linux, like a TFTP server)?

Also, seems like people are seeing 40-50W power consumption partially populated, and the stock fans are a significant percentage of that? Not worried about power bill so much as UPS runtime :)


EDIT: @Necrotyr Ok, so I think I found the right "other" file needed, MD5 is 45bd7dd8baf2dd49f27a348c541318e1 is that correct or am I getting too old of a file? The end result I am looking for is using the switch for ethernet mixed 40/10GB, I don't really need 56GB or IB, if they work cool, if not no skin off my back. Assuming I follow the linked guide and I have the correct "other" file, and I don't screw up a step?

EDIT2: Has anyone had any luck finding a suitable rail/rackmount solution that doesn't cost as much as the switch itself? I can put this on one of my rockmount shelves if I need too, but I'd prefer to mount it correctly.

EDIT3: Has anyone converted the 2nd power supply to DC in? (either bypass or having a buck/boost DC-DC) Not super important, but having a single conversion when running on UPS (DC-DC) is less loss than DC-AC-DC

EDIT4: Dumb question but, does this switch support breaking out the QSFP to 4x 10G ports (either via DAC or a QSPF module that itself supports breakout)?
 
Last edited:

Necrotyr

Active Member
Jun 25, 2017
206
52
28
Denmark
You need the image and firmware I can't remember if the firmware is in the image I've linked, but otherwise follow the steps in the guide to extract the firmware.

To answer your edit 4, yes it supports breakout cables.

EDIT: firmware, files that should be replaced and base image is included in the zip file I've linked.
 
Last edited:

Mithril

Active Member
Sep 13, 2019
355
106
43
You need the image and firmware I can't remember if the firmware is in the image I've linked, but otherwise follow the steps in the guide to extract the firmware.

To answer your edit 4, yes it supports breakout cables.

EDIT: firmware, files that should be replaced and base image is included in the zip file I've linked.
I found the .img file with the MD5 I gave, is that the right image file? There is a folder in the zip file called 6012 firmware with msx62012.bin in it, so sounds like it is there?

So in theory, buy the switch, follow the directions, and everything works including ethernet mode without needing to track anything else down like licences?

Good to know on breakout cables, does that cover both DAC and optical (assuming the qsfp module itself supports it)?
 

Necrotyr

Active Member
Jun 25, 2017
206
52
28
Denmark
The .img is the base image you create early in the guide, which you need, the .bin is the firmware.

I would guess the breakout works with both optical and DAC, I use DAC breakout with my switch.
 

Mithril

Active Member
Sep 13, 2019
355
106
43
The .img is the base image you create early in the guide, which you need, the .bin is the firmware.

I would guess the breakout works with both optical and DAC, I use DAC breakout with my switch.
Ok, I'll try to do a "dry run" by follwing the instructions for the files themselves without having a switch yet and see if it all makes sense. Can you check the MD5 of the firmware you have and see if it matches? Thanks! :)
 

Necrotyr

Active Member
Jun 25, 2017
206
52
28
Denmark
Here are the MD5 hashes for the files in the ZIP I've linked.

Code:
HPE image for step 1 (image-PPC_M460EX-3.6.1002.img) MD5 hash = 45BD7DD8BAF2DD49F27A348C541318E1
Linux image created in step 2 (MLNX-bare-jffs2) MD5 hash = D6B3D56498EC92E3F44D1E002540F88A
Mellanox firmware (MSX6012.bin) MD5 hash = 1F4738CBEA6F45BEC42AA3432091C7C0
 
Last edited:

Mithril

Active Member
Sep 13, 2019
355
106
43
Here are the MD5 hashes for the files in the ZIP I've linked.

Code:
HPE image for step 1 (image-PPC_M460EX-3.6.1002.img) MD5 hash = 45BD7DD8BAF2DD49F27A348C541318E1
Linux image created in step 2 (MLNX-bare-jffs2) MD5 hash = D6B3D56498EC92E3F44D1E002540F88A
Mellanox firmware (MSX6012.bin) MD5 hash = 1F4738CBEA6F45BEC42AA3432091C7C0
Cool, thanks. So, did I not need to track down the PPC_M460EX image download? Sorry for all the questions, I don't want to be missing/wrong on what I need before buying one nor do I want to be halfway through and realize I don't have what I need and can't go back :) I really appreciate you answering my constant questions :D

Edit: Looks like at least one person confirms optical breakouts can work: https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...lanox-sx6xxx-on-ebay.10786/page-2#post-183975
 

Mithril

Active Member
Sep 13, 2019
355
106
43
So I started assembling the "shopping list" and... well I'd end up spending more on "accessories" than the switch. I can find DAC breakouts for a reasonable price, but getting optical breakouts is ~14 for the QSFP optics and around 40 for the MPO to LC, plus LC to LC couplers...
 

Mohsin

New Member
Jun 21, 2019
1
0
1
Finding an EMC branded 6036 is supposed to be extremely rare. If what you have is actually a regular 6036 (mlx/hp/dell/Lenovo, running plain old mlnx-os) - don't try following the guide.
There is a different set of steps for those. PM me for hints.
I have been trying to PM you, but don't know how to PM. Can you please send me hints. Thanks.
 

Psycho_Robotico

Active Member
Nov 23, 2014
111
39
28
In step 5, when doing "mddbreq -c /mnt/config/mfg/mfdb set modify - /mfg/mfdb/cluster/config/enable bool false" I get "-/bin/sh: mddbreq: not found". Any ideas? :( Or am I supposed to reboot before proceeding with this step?
 

Psycho_Robotico

Active Member
Nov 23, 2014
111
39
28
Your in the wrong directory probably or your mount points are off..check those first.. (sorry not at PC to look into path deeper)
Thank you! :) The directory is definitely correct, however using the full path to call mddbreq works. As I'm copying from the guide, a typo regarding mount points is also unlikely. Let's see how this works out.

Edit: Well now I'm stuck at using flint to get the .bin via IB onto the switch. For one the IB link doesn't come up (according to ibstat) when connected to a connect-x3 card via an original Mellanox cable. Plus I've never before used IB and don't have a clue how to determine the "lid" (as needed in "flint –-allow_psid_change –d lid-0x<yourswitchlid> -i ./MSX6012.bin b").
 
Last edited:

Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
6,632
1,767
113
mst status

Edit:
actually with that you get the device name which you need for the local flashing command

thats not the same as the remote command you can't use since IB does not come up;)

See Step8
 

Psycho_Robotico

Active Member
Nov 23, 2014
111
39
28
Thanks to this thread I can report another successful conversion :D

However two issues remain. For one, the switch doesn't boot into mlxlinux by itself, even after entering these commands in UBoot:
Code:
setenv rootdev /dev/mtdblock7
saveenv
run mlxlinux
After a restart I'm dropped into this environment:
----------------------------- Board Info -----------------------------
* Chasis Type : DINGO
* Number of Ports : 12
* U-Boot Revision :U-Boot 2009.01 SX_PPC_M460EX SX_3.2.0330-82-EMC ppc (Feb 27 2013 - 12:13:42)
* Firmware Revision : 9.3.8170
* INI file Revision : 0x00000000
----------------------------------------------------------------------
BUILD INFO UTILITY

GET_PROJECT_CVS_COMMIT_LEVEL..=1.395
GET_BUILD_BASE................=
GET_BUILD_SIGNATURE...........=0025b50070fd,2015-05-11,15:49:18,26896
GET_BUILD_PATH................=/emc/tdowning/ppc460_release/may_11_2015
22:33:59 12/17/2019
Also, activating inband management doesn't work (https://community.mellanox.com/s/ar...band-management-on-mellanox-ethernet-switches). The "interface vlan 1" command gets always rejected.
 

Terry Wallace

PsyOps SysOp
Aug 13, 2018
197
118
43
Central Time Zone
If you do a printenv look for the default bootcmd and compare it to the mlxlinux command. (The whole boot shell is just a long list of string substitutions. Figure out which defaultboot block is getting run.
then correct and and saveenv again.
If you can't get it...paste your printenv here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Psycho_Robotico

Psycho_Robotico

Active Member
Nov 23, 2014
111
39
28
If you do a printenv look for the default bootcmd and compare it to the mlxlinux command. (The whole boot shell is just a long list of string substitutions. Figure out which defaultboot block is getting run.
then correct and and saveenv again.
If you can't get it...paste your printenv here.
Thanks, this really helped - I'm not used to fiddling around with UBoot:confused:
Just for future reference, theis is what needed to be entered into UBoot:
Code:
setenv bootcmd run mlxlinux
saveenv
Now I only need to figure out why setting up inband management (by following the manual) fails:
Code:
MX6012A [standalone: master] (config) # vlan 10
MX6012A [standalone: master] (config vlan 10) # exit
MX6012A [standalone: master] (config) # interface vlan 10
% Unrecognized command "10".
Type "interface vlan ?" for help.