Riverbed CX-770 $30BO

hmartin

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Sep 20, 2017
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I was expecting what was pictured above
Sigh, no one reads. I said the photo was from a CX-255, which is a cost-down version of the motherboard.

Sucks that you didn't get storage in your unit, I guess "Tested for key functions" is fungible.

Does the Xeon E3-1125C v2 support registered ecc or only unbuffered?

The E3 series only supports ECC unbuffered. You have to move up to the E5 series (LGA2011) if you want Reg ECC.
 
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hmartin

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It seems there are several firmware versions floating around. My CX-255 came with 3250E022 dated 05/24/2013.

The CX-770 appears to come with 3250E118 dated 02/12/2014.

The main difference between them is that 3250E118 has a much nicer fan curve, they actually spin down to ~2800RPM instead of staying at 5000RPM.

To anyone curious, you can flash the CX-770 firmware onto a CX-255 and it will boot.

The BIOS is a 64MBit (8MB) chip, SOIC16, socketed beside the CMOS battery and between the CPU and chipset heat sinks (gray clamshell socket).

Here are the microcode versions present in 3250E118:

Code:
╔═════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗
║                                      Intel                                      ║
╟────┬───────┬──────────┬──────────┬────────────┬──────┬────────┬──────────┬──────╢
║ #  │ CPUID │ Platform │ Revision │    Date    │ Type │  Size  │  Offset  │ Last ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 1  │ 306A9 │ 12 (1,4) │    19    │ 2013-06-13 │ PRD  │ 0x3000 │ 0x460060 │  No  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 2  │ 306A8 │ 12 (1,4) │    10    │ 2012-02-20 │ PRD  │ 0x2800 │ 0x463060 │ Yes  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 3  │ 306A5 │ 12 (1,4) │    7     │ 2011-09-09 │ PRD  │ 0x2400 │ 0x465860 │  No  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 4  │ 306A4 │ 12 (1,4) │    7     │ 2011-09-08 │ PRD  │ 0x2400 │ 0x468060 │ Yes  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 5  │ 306A2 │ 12 (1,4) │    8     │ 2011-05-18 │ PRD  │ 0x2000 │ 0x46A860 │  No  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 6  │ 206A7 │ 12 (1,4) │    29    │ 2013-06-12 │ PRD  │ 0x2800 │ 0x46C860 │  No  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 7  │ 206A6 │ 12 (1,4) │    28    │ 2010-09-15 │ PRD  │ 0x2400 │ 0x46F060 │ Yes  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 8  │ 206A5 │ 12 (1,4) │    7     │ 2010-07-22 │ PRD  │ 0x1C00 │ 0x471860 │ Yes  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 9  │ 206A3 │ 12 (1,4) │    8     │ 2010-05-26 │ PRD  │ 0x2400 │ 0x473860 │  No  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 10 │ 206A2 │ 12 (1,4) │    26    │ 2010-02-17 │ PRD  │ 0x2400 │ 0x476060 │  No  ║
╟────┼───────┼──────────┼──────────┼────────────┼──────┼────────┼──────────┼──────╢
║ 11 │ 206A0 │ 12 (1,4) │    24    │ 2009-08-26 │ PRD  │ 0x1000 │ 0x478860 │  No  ║
╚════╧═══════╧══════════╧══════════╧════════════╧══════╧════════╧══════════╧══════╝

I tried using MMTool to update the CPU microcode to the latest versions, but after reflashing and booting, it didn't work.
2022-07-23-162704_611x550_scrot.png
 

NachoCDN

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Anyone have an image of the OOB management card in action? Wondering about headless operation for esxi..
 
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hmartin

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Anyone have an image of the OOB management card in action? Wondering about headless operation for esxi..
Sure do. You need to reconfigure it using ipmitool to DHCP and access on (access is shared on PRI network port).

The BMC functionality is quite basic. There is no VGA or serial console redirection support. It's strictly for remote power on/off and health monitoring.

unknown.png
bmc_webif.png
 
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hmartin

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Could it be possible to flash the bmc and get console/vga? Anyone know how to try that?
No. The remote management board is based on the Aspeed AST1050, which does not support VGA.

Serial console redirection would depend on whether Riverbed routed a UART to the BMC. Even if that were the case, you would still need to modify the BMC firmware to support serial console redirection.
 
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mrseth1

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Apr 19, 2016
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Finally got a power supply in, and started playing with the box. It's a solid server class box, and for $30 - $40 bucks, I think it's a steal. My two came with the 4 core Xeons, and 4G of ECC RAM (2x2G). I was able to enable hyperthreading and pci passthrough in the BIOS, and installed Proxmox. PCI passthrough of the NICs worked perfectly. I also did a bare metal install of vyos, and pfsense. Both saw and worked with the NICs of of the box. I tried esxi, but my usb boot media didn't support booting from serial, so I'll have to add a video card for the install, or pxe boot esxi. I'll play with it some more this weekend.

Only negatives are the FAN speed / noise, and power consumption. Like most enterprise servers, the fans rev up to 100% on boot, but once the OS is started, it goes down to about 30%, and less noisy, but still loud enough that you don't want to be in the same room with it all day. My lab is in the basement, so it doesn't bother me at all.

You can prob swap out the fans for some noctua ones. The Xeon runs pretty cool after replacing the old thermal paste.

If you are looking for a silent / very low power server, this prob isn't for you. But it makes for a solid 1G pfsense box, or mini VM lab box. Thanks for the heads up! @hmartin
 

NachoCDN

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Apr 18, 2016
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Finally got a power supply in, and started playing with the box. It's a solid server class box, and for $30 - $40 bucks, I think it's a steal. My two came with the 4 core Xeons, and 4G of ECC RAM (2x2G). I was able to enable hyperthreading and pci passthrough in the BIOS, and installed Proxmox. PCI passthrough of the NICs worked perfectly. I also did a bare metal install of vyos, and pfsense. Both saw and worked with the NICs of of the box. I tried esxi, but my usb boot media didn't support booting from serial, so I'll have to add a video card for the install, or pxe boot esxi. I'll play with it some more this weekend.

Only negatives are the FAN speed / noise, and power consumption. Like most enterprise servers, the fans rev up to 100% on boot, but once the OS is started, it goes down to about 30%, and less noisy, but still loud enough that you don't want to be in the same room with it all day. My lab is in the basement, so it doesn't bother me at all.

You can prob swap out the fans for some noctua ones. The Xeon runs pretty cool after replacing the old thermal paste.

If you are looking for a silent / very low power server, this prob isn't for you. But it makes for a solid 1G pfsense box, or mini VM lab box. Thanks for the heads up! @hmartin
You think esxi would boot in headless mode after a successful install?
 
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mrseth1

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Madhelp

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Yeah, it SHOULD work. ESXI supports headless, and serial redirection. But I won't know for certain until I play around with it some more this weekend. Maybe somebody else has tried it already on this box.

I got my power supply yesterday as well. I had an SSD with Windows Server on it which I plugged in and it came right up. I downloaded ESXi but I didn't get a change to try it yet. I will report back when I do.
 
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mrseth1

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ESXI Works (version 7U3)! Took a look on my lunch break, and I was able to install ESXI 7 on the box. It complains about the CPU may not be supported in the future, and it didn't like the Intel DH8900CC gigabit network cards (4) (may need to manually install the driver), but the two Intel i210 gigabit worked out the box. PCI Passthrough works too. I passed through the Intel DH8900CC to a pfsense VM.

Console redirection works over the serial console as well (for those who were wondering).
 

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foureight84

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I do not have enough experience with this hardware. Do I directly connect to the console port and use Putty to get readout and install ESXI or PFSense?
 
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foureight84

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The Riverbed CX-770 doesn't seem to be picky on RAM. I was able to install some old non-ecc ddr3 1600 desktop ram into it. Booted and is using it fine.
Nice! Good to know. I have a few sticks of OCZ ram laying around that I'll try while I find good deals on some ECC UDIMM.
 
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mrseth1

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I do not have enough experience with this hardware. Do I directly connect to the console port and use Putty to get readout and install ESXI or PFSense?
You need a Cisco console cable to connect to the console port over Putty. In Putty, select the Serial option, and specify the serial com port and speed. My serial settings were (COM7 9600) but may be different on your machine. You can get the com port from device manager in Windows. 9600 is the default baud rate on the BIOS. I recommend changing it to 115200 in the BIOS since most OS use 115200 by default, so you'll have to reconnect once the OS boots if the BIOS is at 9600.

Once both are set to 115200, you can boot from USB pfsense like any other PC. Make sure you download the serial version of pfsense (a download option on the site).

This is the console cable I'm using. It has a built-in USB to serial adapter in the cable: