Dell 3-Node AMD DCS6005

Patrick

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Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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I saw these the other day. Just looked at the datasheet for the motherboard listed in the auction: http://www.tyan.com/datasheets/d_S8208.pdf

It says there is IPMI onboard the Tyan S8208. Some designs use a LAN port and have a MAC for the IPMI and one for normal LAN. Less prevalent today but was more common a few years ago. Also says these use Opteron 2300 / 2400 series processors
 

Xeppo

New Member
Nov 13, 2013
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After a little more research, here's what I've found:

http://www.tyan.com/Motherboards_S8208_S8208GM2NR [BTO]

It's also likely using the Opteron 2419 or Opteron 2419 EE, since those are the only 6-core, 2300/2400-series AMD processors that are clocked at 1.8 Ghz.

Here's the only benchmark I could find (for the 2419): PassMark - [Dual CPU] AMD Opteron 2419 - Price performance comparison

Looks like it's going to be (approximately) half the speed of the L5639, and about 3/4 the speed of the L5520, at around the same overall power consumption under load. Looks like it also needs DDR2 ram.

Given the price right now, I could build a pretty good use case for highly available low-power edge routing. I'll need to check and see which version of the 2419 it is using...
 

javi404

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Jan 24, 2014
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I just purchased one of these from a seller on ebay.

I can confirm it has crappy IPMI (american megatrends, MegaRAC) and Opteron 2419EE installed (which is nice since the server draws little power)

Mine has 48GB Ram in each node, 12, cores @ 1.8.

There is almost zero documentation on them even from Tyan on their board, model number S8208GM2NR

I installed esxi on 2 of the nodes and am fumbling with the 3rd node (which i think i just bricked last night, trying to flash the BMC)

The sticker on the chassis says its a DELL DCS6005.

I have had trouble finding any info on the system but I have been doing research all week on this box as I have been setting it up.
I found a post on dell about the NICs not liking certain switches. I had to plug mine into a crappy 8port d-link gigabit switch. It didn't like my crappy trendnet 24 port gigabit managed switch. Still working on that issue.

I would like to share as much info as I have on these boards and find out even more, especially resolving my bricked node.
I can figure out the switch issue later but it seems there is at least one other person with that issue.

Note if you will install esxi, research the kernel parameter: ignoreHeadless=TRUE
That was only issue I ran into setting up ESXI.
I purchased a few micro usb sticks and used the internal header on the boards so that I could install esxi on to them, freeing up the 2 usb slots in the back of each node.

Any other info about these systems is greatly appreciated.
Feel free to ask me about my experience with mine so far.
 

adjag007

New Member
Jan 26, 2014
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I have purchased two of these off of eBay (probably from the same seller as javi). Both configurations were similar:

- Dell C6100/DCS6005
- 3 nodes
- Each node has 2x AMD Hex-Core CPUs & 48GB RAM
- One unit had 8 x 1TB drives and one unit had 9 x 1TB drives

I successfully installed Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 on each of the nodes in the 1st server and it is doing a great job of running multiple VMs for me. As my VMs are not very resource-intensive (small numbers of users), this configuration works beautifully.

HOWEVER, I attempted to run the same configuration on the 2nd server and have run into a disaster. It looks like the 2nd server either has a custom version of the BIOS or some other non-standard configuration that prevents the on-board GB NICs from working. I have tried almost everything... from loading fail-safe default BIOS settings to trying to install Intel GB NIC drivers... and the only thing left to do is to try to flash the BIOS. However, since I'm still within my warranty return period, I'm thinking about just returning the unit.

Has anyone else run into this issue... NICs don't work and are not recognized by OS?
 

javi404

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Jan 24, 2014
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Interesting. My nics are all recognized, just that they don't like my main switch (crappy trendnet 24port gige)
What switch are you using? What bios firmware versions do you have just out of curiosity?
 

Jeggs101

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2010
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What BIOS settings related to NICs do you have? I'd try turning off as much as I can, especially with BMC involved sharing a physical port.
 

cazbar

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Jan 27, 2014
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Interesting. My nics are all recognized, just that they don't like my main switch (crappy trendnet 24port gige)
What switch are you using? What bios firmware versions do you have just out of curiosity?
As far as I can tell the BIOS should be AMI ver. 1.09 and the BMC/ipmi ver. 103
 

adjag007

New Member
Jan 26, 2014
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Javi404 & switches

Interesting. My nics are all recognized, just that they don't like my main switch (crappy trendnet 24port gige)
What switch are you using? What bios firmware versions do you have just out of curiosity?
Javi,

In my case, the switch doesn't matter. One the server that is working, I can plug into D-Link, Dell, Trendnet, TP-Link... all without issue. On the server where the NICs don't work, I run exactly the same tasks and nothing works. In fact, the left NIC light will light green but the right NIC light never comes on.

As the behavior happens on all three nodes (of which 1 has Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 installed, 1 has Windows Server 2008 R2 installed, and the last node has nothing installed), I'm almost certain it is the BIOS. Also, I do not use BMC or IPMI, so I'm not sure what I could do to disable them and what impact it would have.

All I want is a fully functional, fully operational node where all of the hardware works. I can take it from there.
 

adjag007

New Member
Jan 26, 2014
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What BIOS settings related to NICs do you have? I'd try turning off as much as I can, especially with BMC involved sharing a physical port.
Been there... done that. I started with fail-safe BIOS defaults (no dice). Then, I started disabling everything I possibly could one painful step at a time (no dice). The only thing I can think of is that the schmuck "asset management" firm that supposedly wiped the hard drives and factory reset the server didn't really factory reset the server and there is some legacy BMC configuration where the NICs are tied to the BMC and are not otherwise available for use. Since this is a DVS6005, it doesn't have a dedicated management port.

Regardless, this is an awfully screwy configuration that I'm working with. I've never had such significant problems with a server (I've dealt with Dell, HP, IBM, custom, etc.).
 

MikeC

Member
Apr 27, 2013
59
11
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UK
I had this problem with a Tyan motherboard some time ago. It turned out to be corrupt / missing eeprom data in the NIC. I proved this with bootutil.exe which was in the Intel preboot package for the NIC (downloaded from Intel.com). This utility shows an EEPROM checksum failure. I managed to download the eeprom data from another motherboard with the same network controller using the preboot utilities and re-flashed the Ethernet controllers. All was then OK!
 

cazbar

New Member
Jan 27, 2014
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Javi,

In my case, the switch doesn't matter. One the server that is working, I can plug into D-Link, Dell, Trendnet, TP-Link... all without issue. On the server where the NICs don't work, I run exactly the same tasks and nothing works. In fact, the left NIC light will light green but the right NIC light never comes on.

As the behavior happens on all three nodes (of which 1 has Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 installed, 1 has Windows Server 2008 R2 installed, and the last node has nothing installed), I'm almost certain it is the BIOS. Also, I do not use BMC or IPMI, so I'm not sure what I could do to disable them and what impact it would have.

All I want is a fully functional, fully operational node where all of the hardware works. I can take it from there.
Javi Have you installed the correct drivers for the intel 82576 drivers.....as I have found no manual on these check the jumpers on the board and see if they are in the same positions as with the working server boards.
Doing my research I stumbled across Dells bios release note which are on a unsecure ftp at Dell which actually has all the bios revisions and bmc firmware used snatch it up whilst you can. ftp://143.166.198.66/customerftp/msbak/platforms/uranium/bios/
Also neither Tyan and or dell are supporting this machine as sevice tags bear no fruit.....
 

adjag007

New Member
Jan 26, 2014
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Javi Have you installed the correct drivers for the intel 82576 drivers.....as I have found no manual on these check the jumpers on the board and see if they are in the same positions as with the working server boards.
Doing my research I stumbled across Dells bios release note which are on a unsecure ftp at Dell which actually has all the bios revisions and bmc firmware used snatch it up whilst you can. ftp://143.166.198.66/customerftp/msbak/platforms/uranium/bios/
Also neither Tyan and or dell are supporting this machine as sevice tags bear no fruit.....
Casbar/Javi/All:

After much pain, I FIXED THE ISSUE WITH THE GB NICs. Unfortunately, these DCS6005 units do come with custom BIOS configurations. For reasons I do not understand, there are certain settings in the BIOS that MUST NOT be touched including very specific settings in the Chipset configuration. In fact, setting values to "Auto" rather than selecting specific values will result in disabling components (such as NICs), as I discovered the hard way. After going through each setting one at a time (including the GPP3a Core settings - anyone know what this is or does???), I was able to get my GB NICs to work again. As a result, I validated that this IS NOT an Intel driver issue but, instead, a BIOS configuration issue.

Ultimately, I think my NIC issue was the result of a specific configuration that Dell built for a customer where the BMC & IPMI were using the NICs and were not allowing the NICs to be used for any other purpose (i.e. locking them in place). Since the IPMI in these units absolutely sucks (it isn't worth the time & effort to set up this crap), I typically start configuring a new server by clearing out any custom BIOS entries and starting with a baseline configuration. While most competent asset management firms will do this before selling a used or refurbished server off of eBay, unfortunately the eBay seller that I purchased my server from (loc: New Hudson, MI) either forgot to or purposefully did not clear the custom BIOS configuration for this server. The result: 2 full days of pain.

When I have more time this weekend, I will post pics and describe the BIOS configuration settings that I changed in order to get the server to work properly. I will say that, once you get through the pain, running Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 on this server is a beautiful thing. It just takes a lot of time to get there.
 

adjag007

New Member
Jan 26, 2014
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0
0
I had this problem with a Tyan motherboard some time ago. It turned out to be corrupt / missing eeprom data in the NIC. I proved this with bootutil.exe which was in the Intel preboot package for the NIC (downloaded from Intel.com). This utility shows an EEPROM checksum failure. I managed to download the eeprom data from another motherboard with the same network controller using the preboot utilities and re-flashed the Ethernet controllers. All was then OK!
Mike,

Thanks for following up. I did find the EEPROM update from Dell but ultimately didn't have to use it. In my case, the BIOS settings were the issue and I was able to get the NICs to work after modifying some BIOS settings.
 

kdh

New Member
Feb 6, 2014
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ESXi & Raid Question

What version of ESXi were you able to get running? I've had trouble with 5.5 but 5.1 seems to have gone well.

Anyone have a suggestion for a RAID controller that will fit in the confined space available?
 

javi404

New Member
Jan 24, 2014
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javi404

New Member
Jan 24, 2014
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@Cazbar, Thank you for this info. How ever did you find it?

Anyway I downloaded the whole uranium folder and will analyze it later.

Have you tested any of this firmware on that ftp?