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

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PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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For those who have done the FCB/ESM updates: what advantage, fixes or features do you see from the updates?
 

Smalldog

Member
Mar 18, 2013
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Goodyear, AZ
For those who have done the FCB/ESM updates: what advantage, fixes or features do you see from the updates?
I can't speak for the FCB, but I think it was documented somewhere. The ESM/BMC is now branded as Dell instead of SuperMicro. I think it looks pretty much the same though.

Jeff
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
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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
Thanks for the info! :)
 

Tsmooth3

New Member
Mar 31, 2013
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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 this ebayer: lextecny2012

It seemed to be the best value (4 node, 96GB ram total, 8xL5520, 4x250GB drives), free shipping and came with 60 day warranty. I got several friends to go in together on an order of 6 and we got a slight discount. One server was damaged during shipment, but the return/replace process is going smoothly. They were delivered in generic boxes with a jumble of bubble wrap/foam/paper inside. He said they ordered custom boxes for new shipments and the replacement will be well packed.

I haven't tried the BIOS update yet, but plan to try soon following the help provided in this thread.
 

Tsmooth3

New Member
Mar 31, 2013
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Blank drive caddies

I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but the blank drive caddies that came with the server can be used with 3.5" drives. Just unscrew the plastic tray, and screw in your hard drive. You don't get the activity lights, or the lock, but it would be fine for a home lab. The front of the blank doesn't have as many vents to pull air through, but that could be taken care of with a Dremel if you wanted to.


And the activity light could possibly be dealt with if you get crafty with one of these:


I'm also going to try and modify one of the blank plastic drive trays to see if I can get a 2.5" drive mounted in there. Anyone try that yet?
 

Patrick

Administrator
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Dec 21, 2010
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I bought mine from this ebayer: lextecny2012

It seemed to be the best value (4 node, 96GB ram total, 8xL5520, 4x250GB drives), free shipping and came with 60 day warranty. I got several friends to go in together on an order of 6 and we got a slight discount. One server was damaged during shipment, but the return/replace process is going smoothly. They were delivered in generic boxes with a jumble of bubble wrap/foam/paper inside. He said they ordered custom boxes for new shipments and the replacement will be well packed.

I haven't tried the BIOS update yet, but plan to try soon following the help provided in this thread.
That is a pretty decent deal since it comes with 250GB drives (assuming you trust drives that are likely 2+ years old.) Did that come with rails? One or two power supplies?

Also on the USB front, maybe we should try adding that stuff to the discussion here: http://forums.servethehome.com/processors-motherboards/1638-c6100-extender-board-usb.html
 

Tsmooth3

New Member
Mar 31, 2013
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That is a pretty decent deal since it comes with 250GB drives (assuming you trust drives that are likely 2+ years old.) Did that come with rails? One or two power supplies?

Also on the USB front, maybe we should try adding that stuff to the discussion here: http://forums.servethehome.com/processors-motherboards/1638-c6100-extender-board-usb.html
Rails and one power supply were included.

Didn't realize there was a separate thread for the USB stuff. My apologies for not looking (this thread is getting quite long I suppose). I'll hop over there and catch up. Thanks!
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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Rails and one power supply were included.

Didn't realize there was a separate thread for the USB stuff. My apologies for not looking (this thread is getting quite long I suppose). I'll hop over there and catch up. Thanks!
No worries. Figured this thread is getting long and that is some great info.

Will move some posts over.
 

intellilogic

New Member
Apr 2, 2013
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How to do this through the remote card / mounting? I am going to attempt this after this post, see if I can figure it out.

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
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
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
So i tried updating the FCB using your method. However i get the error:
"The FCB is no the PIC18 FCB, Please check your Fan Board type."

So my question is, how can i check this? DId i get some special version of the C6100?

Heres a image of the FCB board:
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/716/20130402202153.jpg

I also noticed that while you guys have 6-pin fan connectors I have only 5 pin, are there two different versions of the C6100 FCB?

Confused :S

Edit: My PIC firmware is 0104 in bios.
Edit2: The picture above shows a small note stating:pIC 1.04, does that mean that i have some kind of hard-coded FCB circuit?
 
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mulder

New Member
Feb 9, 2013
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So i tried updating the FCB using your method. However i get the error:
"The FCB is no the PIC18 FCB, Please check your Fan Board type."
<snip>
Hi Legen,
If you go into your bios and click the 'Main' menu item does 'PIC Firmware' show [0104]?

Try this:
(1) Go to the Dell download site:
Drivers & Downloads | Dell US

(2) Click 'ESM' to expand the tab. Below the FCB '1.20' firmware version you should see 'Previous Versions'.

(3) Download version 1.18 on the next page to see if it will work on your system.

Click 'ESM' to expand the tab
Click version 1.18 link

Edit: IIRC I was able to update my system with this version (1.18) in windows through a dos prompt.
 
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mulder

New Member
Feb 9, 2013
31
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0
C6100 ESM/BMC Firmware Update 1.30
Released: 4/1/2013
Under 'ESM' tab: PowerEdge C6100 Drivers & Downloads | Dell US

Fixes:
1. Unable to send ctrl-break on C6100 through SOL (serial over lan).
2. Improve IPMI LAN session security strength and eliminate potential vulnerability.

Edit: Just installed the update & each node has to be done separately. No reboot required.
 
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legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
Hi Legen,
If you go into your bios and click the 'Main' menu item does 'PIC Firmware' show [0104]?

Try this:
(1) Go to the Dell download site:
Drivers & Downloads | Dell US

(2) Click 'ESM' to expand the tab. Below the FCB '1.20' firmware version you should see 'Previous Versions'.

(3) Download version 1.18 on the next page to see if it will work on your system.

Click 'ESM' to expand the tab
Click version 1.18 link

Edit: IIRC I was able to update my system with this version (1.18) in windows through a dos prompt.
Hello again!

Tried the 1.18, when updating using a bootable USB it says:
"FCB Board type: Pic-16 FCB Board detected!"

"This package can only be used to update an FCB with PIC-18"
"Please download the correct package!!!"
"FCBFlash PIC16FW.bin"

I guess i need to try 1.17 or 1.16 or something first? However i can only find 1.18 and 1.20 on the dell webpage.
 
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dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,477
184
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San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
"PIC" likely refers to the type of controller chip in the FCB. PIC16 and PIC18 are two different chips from Microchip Inc:

Microchip Technology Inc

I wonder if there are multiple versions of the FCB hardware and the updater is not compatible with yours?

If that ends up being the case, I have a fan control board up on eBay. It's listed for $20 but I'll lower it to $2 for you if you want it - just enough to cover the eBay fees. I was going to just recycle it, but then I figured that it might come in handy for someone. I was also annoyed that others were trying to sell these for shockingly high prices. This FCB is from a c6100 built in 2012 so it is a very new version of the board I am sure.


Hello again!

Tried the 1.18, when updating using a bootable USB it says:
"FCB Board type: Pic-16 FCB Board detected!"

"This package can only be used to update an FCB with PIC-18"
"Please download the correct package!!!"
"FCBFlash PIC16FW.bin"

I guess i need to try 1.17 or 1.16 or something first? However i can only find 1.18 and 1.20 on the dell webpage.
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
"PIC" likely refers to the type of controller chip in the FCB. PIC16 and PIC18 are two different chips from Microchip Inc:

Microchip Technology Inc

I wonder if there are multiple versions of the FCB hardware and the updater is not compatible with yours?

If that ends up being the case, I have a fan control board up on eBay. It's listed for $20 but I'll lower it to $2 for you if you want it - just enough to cover the eBay fees. I was going to just recycle it, but then I figured that it might come in handy for someone. I was also annoyed that others were trying to sell these for shockingly high prices. This FCB is from a c6100 built in 2012 so it is a very new version of the board I am sure.
Im definitely interested, can you PM me the ebay auction :)?

Looking at your auction i can see that your FCB is very different from mine. For instance i have "standard" 4-pin connectors on mine while you have 6 pin.
 
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dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,477
184
63
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
Which version of the c6100 do you have? 54xx or 55x/56xx CPUs? Yours might be the old one.

I see that you bought the FCB on eBay. Don't pay yet. If it turns out that the board won't work, we can just cancel the auction.

Im definitely interested, can you PM me the ebay auction :)?

Looking at your auction i can see that your FCB is very different from mine. For instance i have "standard" 4-pin connectors on mine while you have 6 pin.
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
Which version of the c6100 do you have? 54xx or 55x/56xx CPUs? Yours might be the old one.

I see that you bought the FCB on eBay. Don't pay yet. If it turns out that the board won't work, we can just cancel the auction.
When i bought it from pdneiman it was equipped with E5520 CPU's. He sent me 8 new L5520 and i am running them now. Am i the only one that has this non-standard 4-PIN FAN FCB?:eek:

Edit: Theres really something fishy about my C6100. I attempted the BMC update from windows, it returned an error that BMC was in update mode or something. Will attempt using DOS to update it instead.

Edit2: So this was kinda scary, thought i had bricked the unit at first, basically had to use SOCFlash (http://forums.servethehome.com/processors-motherboards/1448-dell-c6100-anyone-brick-board-yet-2.html) to be able to finish the update. But now its BMC 1.30 :)
 
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mulder

New Member
Feb 9, 2013
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0
Hello again!

Tried the 1.18, when updating using a bootable USB it says:
"FCB Board type: Pic-16 FCB Board detected!"

"This package can only be used to update an FCB with PIC-18"
"Please download the correct package!!!"
"FCBFlash PIC16FW.bin"

I guess i need to try 1.17 or 1.16 or something first? However i can only find 1.18 and 1.20 on the dell webpage.
Hi Legen,
The following Dell site is dedicated to their cloud servers & does keep multiple firmware versions:
Dell PowerEdge C | Latest Firmware

Regards,
 

legen

Active Member
Mar 6, 2013
213
39
28
Sweden
Hi Legen,
The following Dell site is dedicated to their cloud servers & does keep multiple firmware versions:
Dell PowerEdge C | Latest Firmware

Regards,
No luck, i got the same error message. I obviously have the PIC-16 FCB, and there are no updates for that older board it seems. I found a mail thread here:
[Poweredgec-tools] tool for fcb version

Looks like i will be buying that PIC-18 FCB from dba

Edit: managed to confirm the FCB version.
"192.168.1.122 (shd,dhcp) | XS23-TY. 2 | power on : 636 W | BIOS: 1.70 | BMC: 1.30 | FCB: 1.04 (PIC16)"
 
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