iLO/DRAC card for home server (TrueNAS headless without GPU)

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EngChiSTH

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Jun 27, 2018
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running Trunas on a home built server with Ryzen 1700X without a GPU (headless)
from time to time I do need to see what is happening (if server gets stuck) so it is a procedure to find spare GPU in the parts bin, locate monitor and bring it to the home lab area etc so I was wondering if there is a better way.
- what can you recommend (if anything) for any 'card' that I can install to Asrock X370 motherboard that could give me 'console' and some basic iLO type functionality?
- or am I better off finding the lowest power consumption discrete GPU that TrueNAS could support , put that in, put KVM switch and forget about this?

This is homelab so multi hundred $$ solutions are probably beyond budget.

*edited for existing machine spec - Asrock X370 Taichi + Ryzen 1700X CPU + 64 GB RAM (non ECC)

Thank you for your help
 
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alaricljs

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Jun 16, 2023
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Unfortunately Asrock's own solution is rare and expensive: Paul

Other than that the answer is typically some bottom-barrel discrete GPU and a PiKVM. For 1 system it's not cheaper unless you have most of the parts and DIY it. For multiple systems you can add a KVM switch, but then you don't get power control without DIYing something.
 

EngChiSTH

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Jun 27, 2018
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Unfortunately Asrock's own solution is rare and expensive: Paul

Other than that the answer is typically some bottom-barrel discrete GPU and a PiKVM. For 1 system it's not cheaper unless you have most of the parts and DIY it. For multiple systems you can add a KVM switch, but then you don't get power control without DIYing something.

my "server" is already built and has been running for two years so I am comparing net additional costs to each other (vs new motherboard built). I will also update my post to provide hardware spec if that would help.. DYU 'server' is Asrock x370 Taichi + Ryzen 1700X CPU

what about e-bay IDRAC ? do these work with DYI or need Dell "server magic" to work? HP iLO cards? ebay is full of various out of band management cards but I am not sure if they do or do not (i expect they do not work)
 

mrpasc

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Jan 8, 2022
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Those iDRAC and ILO cards do not have any BCM components on it. They are just some proprietary cards which mostly offer a dedicated network port (and sometimes a needed to activate a license).
The base BMC and IPMI is always already soldered to the motherboard.
So no, they aren’t any useful for your goals.
 
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oneplane

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Jul 23, 2021
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would you be able to recommend any ? TinyPilot seem to be $400 which is too rich for me for homelab need. piKVM seem to be significantly cheaper , major difference in functionality?
There are a bunch of reviews, but also threads like this: https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/pikvm-v3-0-blikvm-v2-2-build.37514/ and this: https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...-similar-remote-kvm-suggestion-request.38796/

There might even be a video review from either STH or Jeff Geerling IIRC.
 

alaricljs

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The PiKVM is by the guys that made the software that TinyPilot uses. If you're able, DIY of a PiKVM is even cheaper. There's also BliKVM which is just some Chinese knockoff but with fun benefits like being built into a PCI slot form factor.
 

nexox

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May 3, 2023
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If you mostly want a remote console all you really need is a serial port and something to connect it to the network, any Pi or similar hardware, possibly with a USB serial adapter, should manage that just fine. Since you mention a KVM it sounds like you could already have a machine that can connect to your headless server within serial port range.
 

UnknownPommes

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Aug 28, 2022
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+1 for pikvm specially since prices and availability is better again, you can get a pi3b or similar, cheap usb hdmi / vga capture card (10$), total probably 70-80$

that being said the other point is you need sth to render your video output since your ryzen doesnt have an igpu, this is a completely separate thing, on most datacenter servers a low end gpu is embeded somewhere on the mainboard for that reason (however this has nothing todo with the ilo / impi) Also from my experience most consumer boards wont even boot if there is no gpu (integrated or pcie) installed.
Just get sth cheap and low power like a gt410, gt710, gt730, they should be like 20-30$ or
another option would be to get a more decent gpu like a p4 or p2000, bc you could use that for many things in a server, video encoding, virtual desktop, ai stuff, rendering stuff, person recognition for your surveillance cameras and many other things, and the arent that power hungry too.
 

redeamon

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Jun 10, 2018
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Perhaps buy a real server? You can easily get a Dell rx20 (i.e., 320, 330, 620, 720) /w free shipping for dirt cheap these days. Check eBay.

V3 xeons (i.e., e5-2640 v3- $6 on ebay) and DDR3 memory are dirt cheap or you can go with the rx30 series (i.e., 330, 630, 730) and use V4 xeons (i.e., e5-2640 v4 - $8 on eBay) and DDR4 - still dirt cheap.

You can literally get cpus that were thousands of dollars 5-7 years ago for $15 today...

In the end you'll spend maybe $200-250 and have all the functionality of a real server with the hardware that was designed for the purpose you seek. Is saving $200-250 really worth the headache of trying to make random setup a semi-functional server?
 
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UnknownPommes

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Perhaps buy a real server? You can easily get a Dell rx20 (i.e., 320, 330, 620, 720) /w free shipping for dirt cheap these days. Check eBay.

V3 xeons (i.e., e5-2640 v3- $6 on ebay) and DDR3 memory are dirt cheap or you can go with the rx30 series (i.e., 330, 630, 730) and use V4 xeons (i.e., e5-2640 v4 - $8 on eBay) and DDR4 - still dirt cheap.

You can literally get cpus that were thousands of dollars 5-7 years ago for $15 today...

In the end you'll spend maybe $200-250 and have all the functionality of a real server with the hardware that was designed for the purpose you seek. Is saving $200-250 really worth the headache of trying to make random setup a semi-functional server?
yeah, but this really depends on where you live, bc here in europe you cant find dell x30 stuff at that price (besides 330 maybe) and the other thing is power draw, from my experience a 730 base system can easy draw 100w at idle on the other hand i was able to get ryzen systems like this down to 25w idle (+ both obviously plus add in cards / hdds).
If you are paying 50c/kwh like some people here (and i have even seen some approaching 1€) this can really matter, also if noise is a concern you might be better of with a ryzen diy too.
 

redeamon

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Jun 10, 2018
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I see. EU prices are typically higher but you guys get cool warranty right?

On the power end, there are many ways to get that idle power down if that's your concern.

730's have dual cpus and are typically using a 12-15w sas controller (perc) and a 5-7w sas expander (do you need sas?). You can go with the L version of Intel E5's cpus (little more expensive, but far less idle power draw) then turn down the fans with IDRAC (if you have a low heat system, you can make the fans draw very little power and nearly inaudible), run 1 p/s and you should be able to get a 730 down to around 45w not to mention a 730 is probably overkill.

If power is your main concern, go with a single cpu setup (perhaps r330?), no sas, 1 p/s and you'll be sub 35w.

At the end of the day, what you really need is iDRAC or ilo or something equivalent- getting a video card won't really help- b/c now you need another part to see the video output and control the machine. You still can't do remote iso mounting, etc. So fixing a remote system in this manner is a huge hassle.
 

UnknownPommes

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Aug 28, 2022
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At the end of the day, what you really need is iDRAC or ilo or something equivalent- getting a video card won't really help- b/c now you need another part to see the video output and control the machine. You still can't do remote iso mounting, etc. So fixing a remote system in this manner is a huge hassle.
yeah, btw pikvm can mount isos now!
 

EngChiSTH

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Jun 27, 2018
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yeah, but this really depends on where you live, bc here in europe you cant find dell x30 stuff at that price (besides 330 maybe) and the other thing is power draw, from my experience a 730 base system can easy draw 100w at idle on the other hand i was able to get ryzen systems like this down to 25w idle (+ both obviously plus add in cards / hdds).
If you are paying 50c/kwh like some people here (and i have even seen some approaching 1€) this can really matter, also if noise is a concern you might be better of with a ryzen diy too.
I use HP S01-pf1013w as compute node for my proxmox mini cluster and it is <10 W on idle.. cheap when Walmart was getting rid of these for $75 new. Added i7-10700 CPUs to each node and that is my 'server'.. my hope was to get a solution for Truenas machine in terms of storage needs (Proxmox using it for network storage, Plex using it for media library, other machines are backing up to it) so I do need to keep this machine/nas/'server' up or understand why it went down... let me know if you have any questions, any suggestions are welcome
 

mrpasc

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Jan 8, 2022
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You can go with the L version of Intel E5's cpus (little more expensive, but far less idle power draw)
Sorry, that’s an urban myth. The „L“s do have a lower TDP so they do not consume lot of power under load. But they are only produced for space constrained systems which can not provide adequate cooling. They do not run with lower idle power. And as they do not go that high frequency chances are great that those parts are fallen off from production testing not reaching full specs.
Marketing: „give them an L(ow power) sign and sell them anyway instead throwing into the waste bin…
 
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