Dell C6100 XS23-TY3 2U 4-Node (8 CPU) Cloud Server

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Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
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Looking to buy another chassis for in house hopefully today, and possibly another one in the next few weeks to try open stack.
Guessing you are buying the $800 ones with 24GB/ node Dell PowerEdge C6100 XS23 TY3 2U 4 x Nodes 8 x QC L5520 96GB 4 x HDD Trays Rails | eBay

And not getting $1400 ones with 48GB/ node right? Dell PowerEdge C6100 XS23 TY3 2U 4 x Nodes 8 x 2 26GHz L5520 192GB RAM Rails | eBay

Just wondering since I ended up buying the 24GB ones then added additional RAM myself.
 

swflmarco

Member
Mar 28, 2013
39
0
6
Fort Myers, FL USA
Patrick,
I was in a huge bind, I needed the 2x existing ones on the quick, and bought the 48gb versions that you linked... Had to get them in, install ESXi and drive 600 miles same day to deploy in Colo....
The ones i'm looking to order, i have some time. Don't need them as urgently. Are you using 4gb or 8gb modules? You came out ahead $ wise?

-marco
 

dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,477
184
63
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
You inspired me to check the service tags on my c6100s. The info is in the BIOS, so when I booted one of them this morning, I wrote down the service tag string.

Checking on the Dell web site, I have next-day warranty through 10/2014 - another nice bonus on top of the free SAS cards! I initiated the transfer process, entering "unknown" as the previous owner. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Nice! Visit the Dell web site and try to perform a tag transfer for your servers.
 
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swflmarco

Member
Mar 28, 2013
39
0
6
Fort Myers, FL USA
You inspired me to check the service tags on my c6100s. The info is in the BIOS, so when I booted one of them this morning, I wrote down the service tag string.

Checking on the Dell web site, I have next-day warranty through 10/2014 - another nice bonus on top of the free SAS cards! I initiated the transfer process, entering "unknown" as the previous owner. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Nice! I checked on mine earlier, the service tag came up as invalid on the few nodes i had checked... :/
 

azev

Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2013
769
251
63
I have been eyeing one of this to upgrade my home esx lab and would like to get recommendation from those who have purchased this system allready. I noticed that there are 2 ebay sellers that most forum members purchased theirs from;
pdneiman, and mobile_computer_pros. I want to make sure I get the one that has bios that can be updated. I'd like to keep this system for a while and would love to stay up on the latest bios releases.

Thanks
 

Smalldog

Member
Mar 18, 2013
62
2
8
Goodyear, AZ
Does anyone have a source for the screws for the 3.5" trays; Dell part # 8TV68? I tried a few local hardware stores today, but nobody had the right size that was undercut.

I dissected all of the blank trays to use the screws from them until I can find more. Could stand to get about 120 or so. I've seen some that claim they might work, but looking at the pictures vs what I have in my hand, the heads online look too thick even though thy're undercut.

Jeff
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
12,512
5,800
113
You inspired me to check the service tags on my c6100s. The info is in the BIOS, so when I booted one of them this morning, I wrote down the service tag string.

Checking on the Dell web site, I have next-day warranty through 10/2014 - another nice bonus on top of the free SAS cards! I initiated the transfer process, entering "unknown" as the previous owner. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Ok I did one not yet in the rack. 7/2015 2.5" version
 

mulder

New Member
Feb 9, 2013
31
0
0
<snip> I want to make sure I get the one that has bios that can be updated. I'd like to keep this system for a while and would love to stay up on the latest bios releases.

Thanks
New updates for the C6100:
(1) Bios update 1.70 released 3/21/2013
(2) System Fan Controller Board Firmware 1.20 released 3/27/2013
(3) SAS Physical Disk Firmware Version Report A02 released 3/14/2013
(4) SATA Physical Disk Firmware Version Report A02 released 3/14/2013

C6100 Drivers & Downloads | Dell US
 
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cdoe

New Member
Mar 30, 2013
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0
0
Based on the review and comments here, I'm thinking of getting one of these boxes, but I would co-locate it in Europe and would thus take it as luggage on my next flight. Before ordering it, can someone please give me an estimate of the weight of a node and the empty chassis? Can the outer chassis be disassembled into smaller pieces to make it a bit more compact?
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
I have been eyeing one of this to upgrade my home esx lab and would like to get recommendation from those who have purchased this system allready. I noticed that there are 2 ebay sellers that most forum members purchased theirs from;
pdneiman, and mobile_computer_pros. I want to make sure I get the one that has bios that can be updated. I'd like to keep this system for a while and would love to stay up on the latest bios releases.

Thanks
I bought mine from pdneiman. The server was really good packed and I can only say good things about the seller. He said that he updates the Bios to the latest versions before shipping. Mine arrived with the 1.69 bios.

The only issue was that some e5520 servers where mixed in with the L5520's, i got one of those e5520's, he sent me 8xL5520 but they arrive some time next week.
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
New updates for the C6100:
(1) Bios update 1.70 released 3/21/2013
(2) System Fan Controller Board Firmware 1.20 released 3/27/2013
(3) SAS Physical Disk Firmware Version Report A02 released 3/14/2013
(4) SATA Physical Disk Firmware Version Report A02 released 3/14/2013

C6100 Drivers & Downloads | Dell US
From where can you obtain what system fan controller firmware a C6100 currently uses?
Also whats the physical disk firmware used for?
 
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dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,477
184
63
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
I was able to update the BIOS to version 1.70 in a test c6100 node, but I was not able to get fan controller firmware version 1.20 to complete - I'm on 1.19. The 1.20 update seems to fail one of the pre-checks. Has anyone else tried the March 2013 updates below?

I also ran the SAS LSI2008 Mezzanine card firmware updater. It updated, but it's still only LSI P11, circa 2011, while LSI itself is up to P15. I haven't had any issues so I'll stick with the Dell version, but they should really try to catch up.

New updates for the C6100:
(1) Bios update 1.70 released 3/21/2013
(2) System Fan Controller Board Firmware 1.20 released 3/27/2013
(3) SAS Physical Disk Firmware Version Report A02 released 3/14/2013
(4) SATA Physical Disk Firmware Version Report A02 released 3/14/2013

C6100 Drivers & Downloads | Dell US
 
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mulder

New Member
Feb 9, 2013
31
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0
I was able to update the BIOS to version 1.70 in a test c6100 node, but I was not able to get fan controller firmware version 1.20 to complete - I'm on 1.19. The 1.20 update seems to fail one of the pre-checks. Has anyone else tried the March 2013 updates below?<snip>
Hi Dba,
I was able to update the FCB to 1.20. How I updated my setup. <disclaimer>Any update, no matter how minor could potentially make your system unusable & cannot guarantee this will work for your system.</disclaimer>

PREP:
(1) create a bootable usb
(2) after bootable usb is done create a folder on the usb drive called fcb (or whatever)
(3) extract the contents of the update (double click the file)....will extract to c:\temp
(4) copy the contents of the \dos directory (fcb.bat, fcbflash.exe) & v120.bin into \fcb
(5) edit the fcb.bat file to remove the path statement & save:
original: FCBFlash -o ..\v120.bin
updated: FCBFlash -o v120.bin
(6) put the bootable usb in an available usb slot in the node you are updating (there are only two)
-if both are being used: for the update you only need the bootable usb & usb keyboard which takes up both slots

SERVER:
(01) reboot node one (I always start with node 1) & hit 'f2' to get into the bios
(02) go to 'boot' menu item & enable 'force usb first' (my setup has this disabled by default)
(03) go to 'server' menu item & disable 'IPMI detection' (my setup has this enabled by default)
(04) save settings & reboot
(05) node will boot using the bootable usb (shows up as a hdd)
(06) after you boot into the usb change directory to \fcb.
You may see a 'd:\' prompt, but need to go into 'c:\' using following cmd:
cd c:
cd fcb
(07) run following command: fcb.bat
(08) after updating the firmware reboot the node (ctrl-alt-del)
(09) go back into the bios (hit 'f2')
(10) go to 'boot' menu item & disable 'force usb first'
(11) go to 'server' menu item & enable 'IPMI detection'

Unlike a bios update which needs to be installed on each node, a FCB firmware update is only needed to be installed once.

Bios: Force USB
Bios: Disable IMPI detection
After updating the FCB
 
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dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,477
184
63
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
I used the Windows updater, which failed. I'll try the bootable USB version since that worked for you.

Hi Dba,
I was able to update the FCB to 1.20. How I updated my setup. <disclaimer>Any update, no matter how minor could potentially make your system unusable & cannot guarantee this will work for your system.</disclaimer>

PREP:
(1) create a bootable usb
(2) after bootable usb is done create a folder on the usb drive called fcb (or whatever)
(3) extract the contents of the update (double click the file)....will extract to c:\temp
(4) copy the contents of the \dos directory (fcb.bat, fcbflash.exe) & v120.bin into \fcb
(5) edit the fcb.bat file to remove the path statement & save:
original: FCBFlash -o ..\v120.bin
updated: FCBFlash -o v120.bin
(6) put the bootable usb in an available usb slot in the node you are updating (there are only two)
-if both are being used: for the update you only need the bootable usb & usb keyboard which takes up both slots

SERVER:
(01) reboot node one (I always start with node 1) & hit 'f2' to get into the bios
(02) go to 'boot' menu item & enable 'force usb first' (my setup has this disabled by default)
(03) go to 'server' menu item & disable 'IPMI detection' (my setup has this enabled by default)
(04) save settings & reboot
(05) node will boot using the bootable usb (shows up as a hdd)
(06) after you boot into the usb change directory to \fcb.
You may see a 'd:\' prompt, but need to go into 'c:\' using following cmd:
cd c:
cd fcb
(07) run following command: fcb.bat
(08) after updating the firmware reboot the node (ctrl-alt-del)
(09) go back into the bios (hit 'f2')
(10) go to 'boot' menu item & disable 'force usb first'
(11) go to 'server' menu item & enable 'IPMI detection'

Unlike a bios update which needs to be installed on each node, a FCB firmware update is only needed to be installed once.

Bios: Force USB
Bios: Disable IMPI detection
After updating the FCB
 

Smalldog

Member
Mar 18, 2013
62
2
8
Goodyear, AZ
I used the Windows updater, which failed. I'll try the bootable USB version since that worked for you.
The Windows updater failed for me as well, but when I updated it from a DOS bootable USB stick, it updated without issue.

I created a bootable USB stick with all 3 updates on it (FCB, BMC and BIOS) and just use that to update all of the nodes/chassis now.

If you are using jviewer via IPMI to run the FCB update, it will appear as it it's hung. I did this because I was too lazy to move over to the physical console, and thought it was hung, but when looking at the physical console, I could see that it was doing the update. I think the BIOS and BMC updates worked fine via jviewer as far as showing all of the read/erase/verify steps.

Jeff
 

azev

Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2013
769
251
63
have anyone tried 16GB memory stick on this server ? If so which kind ?
 

mulder

New Member
Feb 9, 2013
31
0
0
From where can you obtain what system fan controller firmware a C6100 currently uses?
Also whats the physical disk firmware used for?
Hi Legen,
Click on the C6100 link to get drivers & firmware updates.

Dell PowerEdge C6100 Drivers & Downloads Link | Dell US

To download the FCB firmware click the 'ECM' link when you go to the above link. The physical disk firmware report will compare the current running firmware against a list of current firmware for shipping and legacy Dell drive models. That link is under 'SAS Drive' (for SAS drives) & 'Serial ATA' (for SATA drives).

If you are updating your system you should update in this order:
(1) ESM under the 'ESM' link above (latest version is 1.29) (2) FCB under the 'ESM' link above (latest version is 1.20) (3) Bios under the 'Bios' link above (latest version is 1.70).

The reason why you leave the bios last is because you need to reboot your system after a bios update. The bios update has to be performed on every node (has to be done four times). The FCB only has to be performed once and I believe that is also true for the ESM update.

What the acronyms stand for:
ESM: Embedded server management. Prior Dell's I believe use to call this the BMC (Baseboard Management Controller)
FCB: Fan control board
BIOS: Basic Input/Output System

Edit: Legen, I may have misread your initial post. To verify the FCB version currently running on your system go into the bios and look under 'Main'. See the link below after I updated my system.

Dell PowerEdge C6100 Bios - Main
 
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