cheap Supermicro 836 chassis $135+S&H

Discussion in 'Great Deals' started by BLinux, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. BLinux

    BLinux cat lover server enthusiast

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    there was a deal like this a little while ago that ended. but here's another one:

    Dell Compellent SC030 CT-SC030 Storage System Controller Server M4WJP 0M4WJP | eBay

    The internals are probably useless, but the chassis is a nice 16-bay Supermicro 836. The backplane is the "TQ" direct attached, not the most sophisticated backplane, but due to being direct attached, pretty much works at any speed your HDD and HBA/RAID card will negotiate. These were usually used as Compellent "head units", and the HDD trays were usually empty so the trays are likely in pristine condition.

    Also comes with rails, which alone would be worth $60-70 by itself.

    For me in SoCAL, the shipping is about $50, so total is like $185 for me. Take away the cost of the rails, the chassis is $125. I've been eyeing this for a while, but I really don't need it, nor do i have room for it at the moment. I've been meditating on it and I think i'm coming to the end of my self-discipline. I need you guys to buy these out to remove my temptation. (BTW, I'm not affiliated with the seller in anyway)
     
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  2. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    I bought one of these earlier. Does anybody know what the heck that add-in card is? It has 2 RJ45 ports but doesn't look like any NIC I've ever seen.
     
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  3. StevenDTX

    StevenDTX Active Member

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    I’m pretty sure that’s the old Remote mgmt add on card (like IPMI).
     
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  4. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    Is it proprietary ?
     
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  5. gregsachs

    gregsachs Active Member

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    #5
  6. mb300sd

    mb300sd Active Member

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    #6
  7. Samir

    Samir Active Member

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    Probably, but I couldn't find any specs on it to see what it can be.
     
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  8. BLinux

    BLinux cat lover server enthusiast

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    I have one of those cards pulled from a Compellent SC-040. I never figured out what it was, and eBay sellers seem to be confused about it too, often listing it either as a RAID card, network card, or something else.

    If anyone wants it to play with, I'll send it to you for the cost of shipping.
     
    #8
  9. Samir

    Samir Active Member

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    Tempting. Does it have that cache memory and battery thing too? Definitely a head scratcher.
     
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  10. BLinux

    BLinux cat lover server enthusiast

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    yes. the battery thing on the metal bracket is actually a supercapacitor i think.
     
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  11. gregsachs

    gregsachs Active Member

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    #11
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  12. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    After all these years it's still a mystery card.

    Google doesn't even know what it is.
     
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  13. Samir

    Samir Active Member

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    #13
  14. Markess

    Markess Active Member

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    Okay, I love a mystery and a challenge! I'm retired, so I have some time to search, and my Google-fu isn't too bad. But I sure couldn't find much.

    The "Storage CenterTM CT-SC040 and SC8000 Connectivity Guide" Refers to a Cache Card - CHA3. Googling "Dell CHA3" brings up a couple different cards, but most of the hits look like the mystery card. The IO Card chart on page 11 says the Cache card has no "Speed in GB" and no usable "Ports", which makes me think the RJ45s aren't used in this implementation.

    ftp://ftp.compellent.com/DOCUMENTS/680-027-013.pdf

    I found threads where people asked what the jacks were for, and two people running these in production said they function as a cache, and nothing else, with the Compellent OS. One of them put one in a Windows Server and it wasn't recognized, so they assumed that without the Compellent OS, it probably wouldn't work.

    In one string someone asked their Dell service folks what the jacks were for and the tech said they didn't know, and had never seen anything connected to them.

    Maybe the PCB was originally for a NIC, or something else with RJ45s, was later modified for use as a cache and manufacturing didn't bother to omit the jacks when they produced them for Compellent Technologies? Or perhaps they were for future features that never got implemented because technology passed them by?
     
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  15. canta

    canta Well-Known Member

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    if I remember correctly, it was for serial port for debugging/low-level firmware update.
    or could be wrong
     
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  16. Samir

    Samir Active Member

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    Interesting. did the pweron that put them in a windows box look up the pci ids/etc to see what came up? That's the route I was thinking about to find out more about the card.
     
    #16
  17. nthu9280

    nthu9280 Well-Known Member

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    If you have the unit and it's Dell Service Tag, it may have more info about the card on support.dell.com
     
    #17
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  18. Thomas H

    Thomas H Member

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    What upgrades would I need if I want to turn this into a FreeNAS or Proxmox ZFS server? For storage, I am thinking of two ZFS pools. A fast pool for VMs using 4X HGST Ultrastar SSD1600MR 12Gb/s SAS SSD and capacity pool for media storage using 12X HGST / WD 6Gb/s SATA HDD. What motherboard and HBA cards? Do I need a new backplane?
     
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  19. BLinux

    BLinux cat lover server enthusiast

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    Probably the most significant upgrade you need is a systemboard/cpu/ram. what is included in this box is ancient and i personally consider mostly obsolete. i posted this deal because i think the price is great for the chassis alone.

    if you're on a very tight budget, I would look at Westmere generation stuff, but that will limit your SAS-3 with PCIe 2.0 only. If you can spend little more, then at least go with IvyBridge generation stuff for the PCIe 3.0. Recently, haswell generation stuff is coming down in price too, comparable to IvyBridge stuff except perhaps the DDR4 vs DDR3. If money is no concern, then just get whatever you want.

    i would just keep the backplane. the TQ is direct attached, and the main "negative" thing about it is that cabling is cumbersome as you need a SATA connection to each bay and LED activity behavior is different. If you're going to run SAS-3 and SAS-2 stuff, you might want separate controllers for each. A SAS3008 or newer card for the SAS-3, and SAS2008 or SAS2308 for the SAS-2 stuff.

    EDIT: one more add, I would replace the PSUs with something more modern that is at least Platinum rated and perhaps from the "SQ" series.
     
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  20. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    I made a low power storage server out of mine. Used an LSI 9201-16i and a couple of Platinum PSU's. A Supermicro X8SIL-iF MB and a X5460 CPU, total cost for this combo was less than 50 bucks. It's all I need since performance is not critical but ipmi is.

    The chassis is in excellent condition so well worth the price.
     
    #20
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