free mystery Compellent PCIe card for the cost of shipping

BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
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I got this out of Compellent CT040 which is just Supermicro 836 with a X8DTH-iF. I don't know what it is, others have speculated that it's some sort of remote access card, or some sort of cache acceleration card, or it's just a mystery. The battery looking thing is actually a capacitor. This is going to e-waste, but before i do that I thought I'd see if someone wants to play with this thing. Free for the cost of shipping. It's not heavy, so I can probably ship it in a box 1st class parcel for less than $5 (estimate). Google wallet or Zelle preferred.

IMG_20190728_152405097.jpg IMG_20190728_170911466.jpg
 

mobilenvidia

Moderator
Sep 25, 2011
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Got one of those with my US$160 SC8000, in the end pretty useless unless you need to replace one
Requires special SW to work, as it doesn't show at all in Server 2k9 device manager
Was going to list it, but so specialised not really worth it.
 

Samir

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2017
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I had to buy an ultra capacitor for a project once--those things used to be super expensive and I had to buy 5 of them. :(

Someone should take this thing and get it to where it may be used--it's a waste to turn it back into raw materials if it can be used somewhere...
 

linuxmanbg

New Member
Jun 23, 2016
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So no usable this card under Linux , do you know a driver?
I have a card.
 
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cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
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The Intel nic was never used by Compellent afaik outside of a service port possibly. These cards were used by the Compellent's for write caches. Not sure about linux drivers, but the Compellent code runs on top of FreeBSD.

A number of commercial arrays still use NVDimms on their systems but most have moved away from the PCIe slot in favor of a DDR4 memory slot.

If anyone wants any, i have a few as well laying around.
 

Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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It would be interesting to see if FreeBSD uses these in any way. Seems like several people have these cards. :eek:
 

mobilenvidia

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Sep 25, 2011
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There is another version of this card with Dual FC ports
Dell F4YMD Compellent SC8000 Intelligent Cache Adapter Card | eBay

My SC8000 with the Bootable SD card boots to a 'Fluid' screen
Doesn't do anything else, all else must happen in the background, using the system memory for read cache and the PCI card for write cache as far as I can gather
No idea what the 512MB cache controller could possibly add that the 2640's with 64GB can't, as everything has to still go in/out via FC and SAS HBA's
As the SC8000 does nothing else

The Sc8000 is a bargain as just a driveless R720 with in my case 2x 16Gb FC HBA's, a couple of LSI 9206-16e's and this cache card, 64GB and a couple of E5-2640's
 
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mobilenvidia

Moderator
Sep 25, 2011
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Card has me intrigued now
From what I can gather:
2x SC8000 acting as redundant SAN storage controllers, these come with FC HBA's for serves to connect to and SAS HBA (or possibly RAID) controller to directly control Storage boxes
SC8000 FC HBA's to FC switch
Attached to the switch are at least 3x servers each with a Dell SSD acting as local cache, also running Fluid Software

So these cards are in the SC8000 (well one is)
The SC8000 boots to the Fluid SD card, all it must do is take the FC HBA links and pumps them out to the SAS Ports
Along the way use the 64GB of system RAM as read cache and the Flash backed cache on the card as write cache
The SC800o comes with the redundant SD slots but you only get 1x Fluid SD card, seems a little cheap as these server setups would have cost $100k+

Did try to boot the Fluid SD on my laptop but just get a flashing cursor so the Cache Card is needed to boot
 
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YardBouncer

always yield to the hands-on imperative
Jul 13, 2019
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If you're going to bin it at least keep the ultracap. They're useful for all sorts of things. Between those things and small (1"x2") solar panels I haven't had to change clock or smoke alarm batteries for over a decade.
I readily admit solutions like that have a low wife acceptance factor however.
 
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Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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Let me know before you chunk it. If it's just $5, it will be neat card to see in person.
 

e97

Active Member
Jun 3, 2015
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The cap and the Xilinix FPGA are worth it if you got the time and need
 
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