GIGABYTE HPE R281-N40 CL2200

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gb00s

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Jul 25, 2018
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CyklonDX

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Nov 8, 2022
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just opinion but i don't think its good deal unless you go with QS/ES cpu's. Performance wise even offroad aws xeon platinum 18c looses to ryzen 5900x in performance. (One pro is avx512.)

~ if you were to go with zen2/3 threadripper/epyc with ~32c it may even be cheaper at the end of the day while having big performance edge.
 

gb00s

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Jul 25, 2018
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just opinion but i don't think its good deal unless you go with QS/ES cpu's. Performance wise even offroad aws xeon platinum 18c looses to ryzen 5900x in performance. (One pro is avx512.)

~ if you were to go with zen2/3 threadripper/epyc with ~32c it may even be cheaper at the end of the day while having big performance edge.
Look, I like cheap ECC RDIMM/LRDIMM memory, a lot and I like that its widely available. I like Optane a lot and I like that you get 128GB (50-75 EUR) or 512GB persistent memory sticks for 250EUR atm. . I'm starting to like NVDIMM-N for storage purposes which does not work well for me with AMD here. I believe OCP 3.0 will play a role in the future and so on. All things a Ryzen 5900X will never give me ... You may never love the most beautiful girl, but the girl that helps you to go through life ;)

EDIT: But yes, pure performance wise, you may are better with Ryzen 5900X, but not cheaper.
 
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Egon

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May 30, 2022
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Some note about this iron, some good, some not good:

- works well with P-8124, 8171M cloud CPUs, but no CPU carrier added to the heatsink :(
- only 2666MHz RAM or over is supported, can't work with 2133MHz
- NVME OCP card missing, called CNVO124, very exotic, out of the box only 2 SATA drive can be used
- internal cabling ends in Mini SAS, but the MB has slim SAS connectors, so you have to buy a RAID card with Mini SAS connector, or change the cables to slimSAS - slimSAS type, however I don't find 80cm long on ebay, only shorter
- BMC so old, I found a most recent on HP site, without the update, FANS go crazy and always run on 50%

Still good for that price, but need to upgrade with some stuff to get usable.
 

Jaket

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Jan 4, 2017
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We bought a few of these when first listed shipping was half the price and our orders got cancelled no communication from the seller.

Good note about the nvme card missing that would have been a real piss off getting those as that is what our plan was to use nvme drives only. OCP support is nice to have.
 

Ezy

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Mar 4, 2023
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Bought 2 of these servers a year ago when everything else was on short supply, especially epyc.
Packaging was excellent (double boxes by hpe) and shipping very fast (within slow Europe).

Can’t say why but the first one came with the NVMe kit included:
- the nvme ocp card (aka CNVO124) works very well
- absolutely no problems adding intel VROC
- BUT adding more than 2 drives increases the fan speed significantly

Note for all missing the NVMe kit:
- the backplane is modular so even with the NVMe kit missing you can still use all drive bays for SAS or SATA
- BAD PART: hpe made the expander board an option too and therefore it is NOT included
- the cables included are for mini SAS HD SFF-8643, so a Broadcom 9460-16i controller makes an excellent addition


BTW some info on flashing it from hpe to gigabyte would be appreciated.
 

da.bernde

New Member
Apr 20, 2023
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Hi there.

some notes on the CL2200.
Flashing to Gigabyte Bios (current R23) is simple. Just update the BMC to the latest version used by HP (1.18) and go from there. Did it myself a couple of weeks ago.
Been happy since.
It runs with two 8175M with no problems. Also the Gigabyte Bios enables 2133 RAM. Had a couple of sticks for testing inside. Works like a charm.

However I did not have success reflashing the BMC. Gigabytes latest version is from December 2022, whereas HPE version is from 2020. As HPs version is also restricted in some way (not all features included), It would be highly appreciated if you guys have any ideas.

But:
I'm currently looking for the nvme - bypass - boards and the sas expander board (as Ezy states, this thing has a modularized backplane with multiple inserts. if gigabytes website is correct). It seems nobody does know where to get these :-(
Does anybody here know how to get these? Even used? It seems some dealers in US have these in stock. But in EU it is nowhere to be found...backplane.png880.png
 
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kellenw

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Jan 15, 2022
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However I did not have success reflashing the BMC. Gigabytes latest version is from December 2022, whereas HPE version is from 2020. As HPs version is also restricted in some way (not all features included), It would be highly appreciated if you guys have any ideas.
I was able to get both the BMC and Bios flashed to Gigabyte's most recent, but it was a while ago. I did not use the update inside the BMC interface, as that would appear to work but didn't actually. I had to use the Gigabyte flash utility (I can't remember what they call it). Once you have both of these flashed over, you have some nice fan control features, Gen 2 CPU support, support for several CL versions of CPUs (not all of them though) and some other nice stuff. I will be flashing another one of these systems in a week or two, so I'll update then if you don't find the solution before that time. Just know, it is definitely possible, and really improves these things greatly once you do.

I'm currently looking for the nvme - bypass - boards and the sas expander board (as Ezy states, this thing has a modularized backplane with multiple inserts. if gigabytes website is correct). It seems nobody does know where to get these :-(
Does anybody here know how to get these? Even used? It seems some dealers in US have these in stock. But in EU it is nowhere to be found...
I'm in the US, and have found similar issues regarding availability of the NVME enablement kits. I have reached out to HPE and Gigabyte directly without success. I also worked with a couple of resellers without success also. Resellers that show them in stock in the US seem to simply be incorrect or outdated. It's a shame. This system is quite crippled as far as storage capacity goes without the NVME enablement kit. Regarding SAS controller, standard PCIE SAS controller cards (with proper connectors) should work for the hotswap SAS/SATA drives though, without any backplane expansion boards. Based on the manual, that's just a direct cable connection to a typical PCIE SAS card.

If anyone has success tracking down the NVME enablement kits, PLEASE share your source here. Lots of us would benefit greatly from the info. :)
 
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da.bernde

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Apr 20, 2023
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@kellenw

Thanks mate, that was really helpful information :).

I will try your method and update any progress. It will take some days though, as I can't power down the unit atm. Probably on weekend.

Concerning the NVME-Boards: I maybe onto something in the meantime. Will report also, if I get substantial information concerning this pixie dust.
The SAS/SATA - Backplane as is works fine. Because I have no sas expander cards from any brand atm, i'm running 3 IBM ServeRaid M5210 - Controllers with cache/bbu. Works also like a charm. Only booting the unit takes a long time compared with only 1 controller...
As I said, NVMe would be nice, because I have some enterprise drives to play with. And I'm not into the hassle with these adapter-boards for U.2 drives.


Cheers,
B.
 

da.bernde

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Apr 20, 2023
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Tried the BMC - Update as mentioned.
It does work best, if you boot from linux (ie live CD) and flash it from there with the gigaflash tool provided with the download package from their website.


Did I mention, Gigabyte has some ridiculous support?
I asked them, if they could provide part numbers for their addon - cards, to research at suppliers myself. They told me, these informations are "classified". So classified, some of them are even listed on their product page.
 
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kellenw

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Jan 15, 2022
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@da.bernde - Unfortunately, my experience with their customer support/service has been very similar to yours. Gigabyte makes some really good stuff in many cases, but their support just doesn't inspire much confidence.
 

Jonasz

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Sep 3, 2023
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Hey guys,

I currently own a unit from HPE, CL2200 G10, unfortunately it does not come with the CNVO124 card.

the gigabyte version of the server is the R281-N40 and apparently it comes with the card.

The correct kit from HP is P01510-B21 and it includes the following parts

P02176-001, P02177-001 and P02178-001 corresponding to NVMe-CNV0124 OCP CL2200, NVMe Bypass-CEPM080 CL2200 and Power/Slimeline NVMe CL2200 cable kit.

Has anyone had any success in sourcing this parts?
Thanks
 

kellenw

New Member
Jan 15, 2022
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Hey guys,

I currently own a unit from HPE, CL2200 G10, unfortunately it does not come with the CNVO124 card.

the gigabyte version of the server is the R281-N40 and apparently it comes with the card.

The correct kit from HP is P01510-B21 and it includes the following parts

P02176-001, P02177-001 and P02178-001 corresponding to NVMe-CNV0124 OCP CL2200, NVMe Bypass-CEPM080 CL2200 and Power/Slimeline NVMe CL2200 cable kit.

Has anyone had any success in sourcing this parts?
Thanks

I had the same unfortunate issue. I bought 4 of the CL2200 units only to find them lacking the NVME enablement kit. Very frustrating and super hard to find. I found the backplane mezzanine card (CEPM080) on ebay here: Gigabyte CEPM080 8-Port Mezzanine Card Tested Working | eBay. I bought 4 of the 6 available last week, so there are still 2 up for grabs. In theory, the OCP card (CNV0124) is just a 4x4 pcie to nvme breakout board (just in OCP format). My plan is to try one of these or one of these to feed the CEPMO80. Fingers crossed. haha. Hope this might help you as well Jonasz. Good luck! :)
 
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Jonasz

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Sep 3, 2023
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Thank you so much, I will order one. What about cables? Which ones are you planning to use?

cheers
 

da.bernde

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Apr 20, 2023
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Hi,

it's not worth the hassle. In the time between my original post and now I did indeed find both kits for the server (SAS and NVMe), but it took several months of research and luck. And they were used parts. Paid 200$ for each kit.

Most of the HP resellers I contacted never heard of these kits let alone part numbers.

I think you'd better of with PCIe-Cards. I think these OCP-Cards are indeed some simple NVME-breakouts. But another card like the og pcie-adapter cards doesn't do you any good without the mezzanine card on the backplane, which is a b**** to find.

As for cabling. If you have the Mezzanine card on the backplane, you need slimsas-cables. 4 short ones from the card to the backplane and 4 long ones from the card to the adapter.
If these adapters work, you could use the origiinal cables, which fit on both sides (backplane and adapter) but you still lack 4 short ones.
 

Jonasz

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Sep 3, 2023
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This is so frustrating… can’t even purchase at eBay from the EU, too much hassle.

I have a Broadcom 9400i-16i available and tried to connect it to the backplane using the x8 Sff-8643 cable included with I’m the cl2200. The u2 drivers are not recognized. Apparently Broadcom Tri-Mode HBAs require special cables for NVMe U2 This is because the NVMe pinout and SAS pinout aren't compatible. The card uses the SAS pinout, so I will need a cable to convert it to the NVMe pinout.

On the Broadcom user guide https://docs.broadcom.com/doc/12354774 they refer to the cable 05-50063-00, which is a x8 sff-8643 to two x4 sff-8654 slimline. Problem is that the backplane will only have x8 to manage 4 u.2 disks plus 4 SAS /Sata disks…

Any suggestions?

Thanks
 
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