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

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by Patrick, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Dragon

    Dragon Banned

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    That's interesting, since when did Dell start using standard parts?
    So it might be possible to "steal" more HDD slots for one of the nodes, hmm...
     
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  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Very much so. Adding 3x more drives for a system would be fairly easy.
     
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  3. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    I agree. Wiring 6 drives to one MB would be incredibly simple. In fact, the '6-sata cable' dell bundle purpose built to wire all 6 on-board SATA ports to the interposer board is readily available from several surplus resellers (both eBay and direct). I would guess these were pulled from the 2.5" chassis where wiring 6 drives per MB is standard. It really is a good idea to get this cable rather than running your own SATA cables as it is cut to exactly the right length, uses thin wiring and low-profile connectors making it easier to run without disrupting the airflow too much.

    One correction to dba's post above. The SFF-8087 cable from the SAS mezzanine card is also a forward breakout cable, not reverse, as it goes from the HBA as 8087 to the interposer board with SATA. My 'barebones' from Justin came with SAS cards on each MB and these cables installed. I guess it was just a bonus...
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  4. dba

    dba Moderator

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    Thanks, you are of course correct - I updated my post. By the way, did you get SAS1068 or SAS2008 controllers on your 'mez cards? Also, do you have the part number for the Dell six-disk cable(s)?
    Jeff

    Update: I found this information on eBay and elsewhere:

    Backplane to Midplane breakout cables:
    1) Cable for two drives - part number is 334VV.
    2) Cable for three drives - part number is 3R7FF or 3T15J
    3) Cable for four drives - part number V91FW.

    The standard four-node C6100 has four three-drive cables. You can re-allocate drives by swapping in different cables from the above with the caveat that the largest number of drives per node is six, which is achieved with one four-drive and one two-drive cable - not two three-drive cables.

    Motherboard to Interposer cables:
    1) Three-drive harness - part number ?
    2) Six-drive harness - part number 6J3R2
    3) Six-drive harness for SAS mezzanine card - part number HYJ6F

    The standard four-node C6100 has four of the three-drive cables. To add drives you need to switch to one of the six-drive cables. You can of course use off-the-shelf cables instead, but be aware that the routing is very tight, there is little room to snake excess cabling, and that one of the cables must be a right-angle cable or else it blocks access to the PCIe slot.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  5. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    6 Sata cable is 6J3R2. At least I hoe that's right or I have the wrong cables on the way!

    Unfortunately, the cards SAS cards are 1068e. If they were 2008s I would be quite excited...
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  6. Dragon

    Dragon Banned

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    Well this just keeps getting better and better, the 6 drives node can run a properly-cached/redundant/multi-TB ZFS pool, while the other 3 minions do their own magic with 2 mirrored SSDs each. When the pool gets full just plug the 9202-16e in and keep going, and with the infiniband module I don't even have to use local cache on the other nodes to reduce latency.

    This box is perfect, for years I've despised Dell for all its custom BIOSes and deformed sockets, that perception may change soon. :rolleyes:
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  7. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Might sound dumb... but doesn't it look similar to two of the three drive cables?
     
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  8. dba

    dba Moderator

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    Similar, I'm sure, but I imagine that Dell would have bundled up all six in a nice flat package for easier routing down the side of the motherboard.

     
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  9. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    Not dumb at all. The reason isn't at all obvious.

    Since I didn't get any of the three-drive sata cables with my chassis I can't confirm, but from pictures it seems that one of the sata cables in the three-drive bundle comes with a right-angle connector so that it fits snugly under any card plugged into the PCIe riser slot. You can't just use two of these to wire 6 sata drives because the other three sata ports sit behind the riser and you can't fit a right-angle connector in there.

    What you need is a bundle of 6 sata cables, exactly one of which has a right angle connector on the end. That is what you get with the 6-cable bundle.
     
    #89
  10. dba

    dba Moderator

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    So to re-allocate disks, say if you want two nodes to have four disks and two to have two, you need to shell out $180 plus shipping for six cables. Ouch!

     
    #90
  11. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    I think you could get them for much less. I found the six sata bundles for less than $20 each at TXsurplus. You only need two of these bundles to have two nodes with > 3 drives so $40 total. I had 8087 forward breakouts in my parts cabinet.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  12. Dragon

    Dragon Banned

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    Wtf? Those guys are charging like $30+ for EACH empty HDD tray, so that's why most C6100 photos are missing lots of them. And I was beginning to like Dell.

    May I recommend the high tech rustproof shock resist bi-directional SSD hot swap tray that costs a whopping US$0.20 each.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  13. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Don't get those! They place the drive in the middle of the 3.5" spot. It will not fit the C6100 as the 2.5" drive becomes offset from the normal SATA position when you use them.

    I have made this mistake.
     
    #93
  14. Dragon

    Dragon Banned

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    Damn it, how about empty trays from other server chassis? I just can't get over the fact that 12 empty Dell 3.5" trays actually worth 1/3 of the server that has a 1100w PSU/4 motherboards/8 CPUs/96G RAM in it.
     
    #94
  15. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    Yeah - you have to accept that market pricing often bears little relationship to cost (or sometimes even to value). If you forget this truth just try figuring out airline pricing (like why a one-way ticket SFO to London costs $1,800, but a round-trip on the same airline with the same first leg costs $1,050...).

    In any case - Patrick - could you share some info on the 3.5" to 2.5" carrier you used to fit the SSDs into the Dell drive cages?
     
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  16. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    So... here's an interesting note. You can just manually insert SSDs on the bottom row of connectors (1 per). That seems to work well. I think dba has a line on 3.5" converters.

    You are right though... pricing is somewhat annoying.
     
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  17. Dragon

    Dragon Banned

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    Errr, they do that? What is stopping people from just ordering round-trip tickets anyway?


    I am not sure if the SSD may pop out in some random month a year down the road due to fan vibrations...

    How did you fit yours? Seems many would like to know :rolleyes:

     
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  18. dba

    dba Moderator

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    I have a name for one method of inserting a 2.5" drive into a 3.5" chassis - it's called using a "DST Bracket" - double sided tape.

    Dell sells some simple adapters. Do an eBay search for 'DELL 2.5" Adapter Bracket'. They cost around $12, and are worth around $2. Here's another option that I have used, solid but even more expensive: Icy Dock MB982IP. The Icy Dock has room for two 7mm SSD drives, one active and one just sitting there not plugged in. I use the extra space to keep a cold-spare boot drive in one of my servers.

     
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  19. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    This.

    Also on the Icy Dock thing, I had those recommended to me as well. Look like awesome units.
     
    #99
  20. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    Hmmm. Was thinking you had done something more elegant!

    I prefer sticky back velcro to double sided tape. Easier to remove things later for upgrade or repair.
     
    #100
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