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

benso37

New Member
Jun 25, 2013
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At 35 days most reputable sellers will still honor it. You should contact them...
Lucky for me, my seller sent me a replacement board. I thought that was very nice of them since I was out of the 30 day warranty.

HOWEVER, I'm absolutely shocked that no one has mentioned any direct complaints to Dell about why going into the IPMI settings to change from DHCP to static bricks the board. I don't think this is acceptable at all. The feature is there to be used so I wonder why changing this trivial setting causes a board to stop working. I wish my Dell warranty on my unit was still valid. At least I would have been able to call Dell to get some insight on the issue.

Anyway, thanks again for your help.
 

shindo

New Member
May 7, 2013
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WI, USA
I don't believe that changing the setting bricks anything, at least not all the time, as I'm running all of my nodes set to static. I suppose I should switch all my statics to DHCP reservations at some point...
 

dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,478
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San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
If there is a problem with the boards, it is decidedly intermittent. I changed a total of 20 c6100 nodes to static IP addresses, using the BIOS, with no issues.

Lucky for me, my seller sent me a replacement board. I thought that was very nice of them since I was out of the 30 day warranty.

HOWEVER, I'm absolutely shocked that no one has mentioned any direct complaints to Dell about why going into the IPMI settings to change from DHCP to static bricks the board. I don't think this is acceptable at all. The feature is there to be used so I wonder why changing this trivial setting causes a board to stop working. I wish my Dell warranty on my unit was still valid. At least I would have been able to call Dell to get some insight on the issue.

Anyway, thanks again for your help.
 

NetWise

Active Member
Jun 29, 2012
603
133
43
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Static here as well, no issues. Well other than some IPMI_SI_DRV startup issues after a wakup from suspend (and then on reboot until I reset the entire chassis) for ESXi v5.x. VMware suggested I upgrade the BIOS/Firmware. After upgrading from v1.22 to v1.32 on BMC firmware, the IPMI web page is a little flakey (havent' reset the chassis). BIOS update says I have an "A" version which is not compatible with the "B" version for v1.70.

Anyone do any BIOS/BMC/FCH upgrades on these? Any issues? Tips or tricks? Use the DOS USB flash method or something else?
 

acesea

New Member
Oct 7, 2011
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Is there any risk in getting older nodes running older bios versions that don't recognize 5600 cpus? Or were 5600 always recognized? Thanks as I haven't found a good historical source for a list of all the firmware release notes.
 

seang86s

Member
Feb 19, 2013
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Is there any risk in getting older nodes running older bios versions that don't recognize 5600 cpus? Or were 5600 always recognized? Thanks as I haven't found a good historical source for a list of all the firmware release notes.
I had a C6100 whose firmware was old enough that it did not recognize 5600 series processors. I put a 5520 in, flashed it to the latest and then installed a six core 5600 without a problem.
 

PimpSmurf

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Aug 4, 2013
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Thanks 1000x over for this thread. Great reading all the way through! :)

How can I tell if my nodes have the "mounting tabs" for the SAS raid card? I see I need the riser adaptor as well, but I was unclear on the mounting tabs. Hopefully the machine makes it here this week!

I am very excited to get this guy here! It's going in a server closet (I'm a student) so I need to rig some way to have it hang drives-down and be able to swing out 90 degrees and lock so I can remove drives if need be. I think I'm going to build something to make it happen unless I can find something designed for this purpose. I don't have enough room to have it sit in the closet.
 
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Clownius

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Aug 5, 2013
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The whole riser and a corner or the motherboard sled is removed with 4 screws. Plug the card in and one screw fastens it to this piece. Put in back into place and screw in. Its very secure.

As for hanging it and swinging it 90 degrees im not sure your aware just how heavy these things are. Once loaded with drives i struggle to lift mine. They weight a bloody lot. Your going to need a hell of a good hanging point and im not sure the case really has a good point to attach to unless your planning on welding stuff on. If you do come up with a solution i want pics. it should be interesting.

Oh an hi everyone im working with one of these myself at the moment for a site. Serious overkill for what i needed. But for the price :) Im tempted to get a second just for home. Its currently balance on top of my desktop tower where i have been working on it. Work has been slow as parts trickle in from all over the world. Im in Australia and server class gear here is horribly expensive.

4 Nodes with 12x3.5" bays from pdneiman. At time of purchase i paid around a $1k plus $400 to ship it to Australia.

L5520's all around
Added Redundant Power Supply
LSI 9260 or 9261 per Node
96GB (12x8GB) RAM one Node
48GB (12x4GB) RAM another
24GB (12x2GB) the last two

With some cable management magic the 96GB node has 6x 73GB SaS 15k drives hooked up and the other 3 Nodes have 2 x 73GB or 147GB SaS 15k Drives.

One thing i have considered is can you stick a 6220 Node into one of these if you needed a bit more punch? Or something of the same form factor like a Supermicro 2+2

Edit: I have to give a huge thanks to you guys. I have gleaned a lot of info during the build process from this forum. I owe a lot of people a beer if your ever down under :cool:
 
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dba

Moderator
Feb 20, 2012
1,478
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San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
...

How can I tell if my nodes have the "mounting tabs" for the SAS raid card? I see I need the riser adaptor as well, but I was unclear on the mounting tabs...
Check out this image:



The two metal brackets are used to mount the SAS mezzanine card. The larger one attaches to the rear of the sled while the smaller one attaches to the side. Check your motherboard sleds to see if you have these two brackets already, otherwise you'll need to scrounge them up from somewhere. Unfortunately, they are not sold separately. The original Dell SAS and IB mezzanine cards included brackets, but most eBay sales of these parts do not.
 
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PimpSmurf

New Member
Aug 4, 2013
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Thanks for the pictures!! :)

I'm a member of the SubProto hacking collective. I can totally 3d print some brackets if it doesn't come with them! :)

I'm well aware this girl is going to be ridiculously heavy. I plan to use the rails to attach a frame and build a frame to swing it out of the closet door for access to the front. It will be all SSD, but I still expect it will be quite loud. I hope I can figure something out because I don't like the idea of having it sit on it's side, which would be the only other option.
 

Clownius

Member
Aug 5, 2013
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Sounds like you have this well planned. I hope to see Pics :)

If i decide to get a personal one my main aim will be to silence the bloody thing lol. I saw a thread around here somewhere on it.

It may actually be cheaper to buy and ship another C6100 over buying a different single node 1U or 2U server locally. Plus im comfortable and very happy with the hardware.
 

PimpSmurf

New Member
Aug 4, 2013
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Sounds like you have this well planned. I hope to see Pics :)

If i decide to get a personal one my main aim will be to silence the bloody thing lol. I saw a thread around here somewhere on it.

It may actually be cheaper to buy and ship another C6100 over buying a different single node 1U or 2U server locally. Plus im comfortable and very happy with the hardware.
I'm always happy to share pics. The thought of making it quiet never occurred to me. I like the idea of a server closet. It already has power and ethernet. :)

Oh my 6gbps raid cards can be expensive!

What less expensive cards are you guys using for this?

Will this work? http://www.ebay.com/sch/items/?_nkw...udhi=&_sop=12&_fpos=&_fspt=1&_sadis=&LH_CAds=
 
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Clownius

Member
Aug 5, 2013
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So far i have stuck with LSI Megaraid 9260 8i's. The 9261 will fit at a stretch but there are clearance issues with the second CPU's heatsink as it has the ports at the back instead of the top of the card. Plug the cables in before you screw the cards in and you can make it work if desperate. The 9261's can be cheaper. I also got a 9280 8e for another server. it would happily fit.

MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i

Expensive buggers at $300+ each but very easy to deal with.

In the case of my current C6100 its going to be a production server for a website with close to 300k members so i decided on the professional approach in the end and dropped the $$'s. In particular the two blades dealing with mySQL are going to cop an absolute thrashing. Software raid didnt cut it and until this hits the Colo we are living on backups and prayers. Software Raid 0 actually bogged everything down on the current server.

I went through 4 HP P400's before i gave up on those as not worth the stress. They either never worked or failed in weeks. They never even got out of testing. The postage was worth more than the cards.

Avoid any of the rebranded HP versions of the LSI cards. The firmware is just horrible. I do have a reflashed to LSI firmware IBM branded one and thats fine. The HP's end up crippled even after flashing.

I cant find the 9201 on LSI's website. Maybe a custom job made up for someone?

Looks like a HBA with some limited Raid Support. Closest thing i could find on the LSI website was the 9210 or 9211.

LSI SAS 9211-8i

Dimensions look too big if the eBay guys is to be believed. Cards that i have are all 2.6"x6.6" and only just fit. He has dimensions listed as 8.0' x 10.25' x 2.5' but that may be the whole box?

The 9240's go reasonably cheap if your trying to keep within a budget?
 

PimpSmurf

New Member
Aug 4, 2013
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Yes the 9201's are out. I just saw them mentioned here and wondered because they were so cheap. They are the same as the 9201-16i, except 8 ports.

Yes I am on a budget of sorts. I wanted to run Raid 6 on 5 SDD's with 1 hot drive. It looks like the 9240's will be the way to go unless I can get a deal on a raid 6 card for my cloud controller server. :(

So I guess raid 5 will have to do. I don't want to go raid 50 because I will lose my hot-spare and will be using 2nd hand disks.

Also the server closet is out. I'm going to be building a low-profile, rolling server rack for the cluster with thick MDF and sound proofing. The front will have a triple-pane window and the back will have a sealed door. Air ducts will sound deaden intake and exhaust. I hope I can pull this off because I'm not OK with loud. My server closet is a bust because there isn't enough clearance through the door to have it swing out. :(

I should be able to fit another C6100 in when I have need. I'll do some freaking peltiers on heatsinks if I have to.
 

Clownius

Member
Aug 5, 2013
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You may be able to get quieter fans too. The ones in mine are not all that good air movement wise for the noise they make. I hevent investigated because this ones headed for a colo and i dont care how noisy their server room is lol

At least with LSI it looks like Raid 6 means stepping up to a 9260/1. A lot of rebranded and reflashed cards may consider this an extra feature too :( The OEM's love charging extra to unnerf the cards that cost more than the ones the rebranded.
 

BThunderW

Active Member
Jul 8, 2013
237
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Canada, eh?
www.copyerror.com
Got my C6100's today. Good news, the Service tags are valid on the Dell site, so BIOS update should be possible. For reference this is the seller that seems to be selling upgradeable C6100's.
eBay My World - mobile_computer_pros

Edit: Upon closer inspection, they look like Intel made servers. The Caddies, power supply and even the chassis cover all look like Intel servers. Even the crappy rails. In fact, the C6100 could be the 4 node sibling to the Intel SR1680MV 2 node systems. I'm running a pair of the SR1680's and there's a lot of similarities between them.
 
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BThunderW

Active Member
Jul 8, 2013
237
25
28
Canada, eh?
www.copyerror.com
Has anyone gotten iSCSI boot working on these servers? I can't seem to get it to work. Even during boot it doesn't look like the network interface is properly activating the IP address as the target can never ping the initiator.
 

PimpSmurf

New Member
Aug 4, 2013
23
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THESE THINGS ARE LOUD!!

:)

Seriously though... jeez. The cabinet I envisioned is going to work perfectly, but I definitely need to replace these fans.