Riverbed CX-770 $30BO

Samir

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I remember that older Xeons weren't picky. I recalled Broadwell Xeon chipsets were not particularly strict with this either.
That's right I forgot that the e3 xeons of this era were twins of the i3/i5s of the time, so they would also support ecc while not spec'd to.
 
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foureight84

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Bummer about the ssd. I wonder if it's something with new ssd format. It sees it, but at a different size, hmmm. I have a couple of different ssds I will test out of curiosity, but they are all older type.

Also, I don't remember my CPU getting to 61C. That is kind of toasty for idle. Did you have the cover off? I think it's one of those servers that need the cover on for proper air flow. I'll get the CPU temps off mine, curious on that too.
Now that I've gotten PfSense up and running, the case fans are relatively quiet. But CPU Temp is idling pretty warm at 50C.

1659491033201.png

Are there any active coolers that fit these mounting points?
 
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anemoiac

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Just the usual ipmitool once you've gotten a distro loaded.
Force a password change with `ipmitool user set password 2 ADMIN` or your choice of password.
After that, `ipmitool lan print` to discover it's IP, and open it with a web browser to get iKVM access at up to 1280x1024. Lubuntu works fine. Gnome and KDE are laggy due to the Matrox M200 driver having acceleration disabled a while back. Performance is beyond acceptable with an AMDGPU on a riser from the PCIE slot, but you lose the network video ability. MegaRAC doesn't appear to be hobbled, and virtual media mounting works acceptably.

Howdy, y'all. long time sth listener, first time poster. Work for one of them thar ebay sellers.

We should have at least thirty units listed soon; Sitting on a pallet right now, but we've got some prep work to do first.

They refer to this unit as the "Guppy".

We've got the units, power supplies, the 4GB and 8GB 1600Mhz ECC memory modules (which will be logo debranded), the MegaRAC IPMI modules, original DOM modules, SSDs and disks. (*ATA Secure Erased already)

I've found at least five different configurations, some with lesser xeons, some with fewer (or no) bypass ports, like hmartin's (OP's).

That variant is a central controller for commanding groups of the less unusual variant, Madhelp's (Bottom of page 1).

The most abundant have a intel 160GB SSD and a hitachi 320GB spinner mounted above the MegaRAC module.

Things I know about the platform so far: The bios is customized, there are at least three different images; examination of their own bootscripts indicate they flash it using "flashrom", and I've been on the lookout for the uncustomized Advantech firmware for the NAMB-3250 motherboard to be able to debrand the units for resale. If anyone happens to successfully dump a copy with flashrom; hit me up.

All three images I examined had menu entries in the setup to alter the bypass port configuration defaults. (you should switch them to non-bypass defaults for use with BSD/Linux.)

Advantech does have the bypass control scripts available for download. They don't offer a clean firmware image. Emails to them have gone unresponded to for ~3Y.

Other than that, the firmware doesn't seem to have hidden many, if any options. The units typically do not have a bios password applied (unlike most other 1U/2U supermicro variants this vendor uses) and will attempt to boot exclusively from a 9 pin USB2.0 header in the center of the board (which typically has either an ATP 4GB or 8GB SM3257EN USB flash controller on a DOM module.) that you'll probably want to disable by finding the "Dom Boot Only" option and disabling it, which allows you to customize the boot menu as you would normally.

There is a cisco-compatible RJ45 console port on the front, it defaults to 9600 baud; but you can change it to 115200 baud in the setup menu pretty quickly. We have an abundance of the included RJ45 to DB9 cable (Grey).

The PCI-E connector is fortunately standard, and I've successfully tested a few radeons using AMDGPU without much issue.
Beware of this vendor's shorter machine, "minnow", which *appears* to have an X1 slot (but is actually for the two port SATA riser!)

So, what kinds of configuration SKUs should I set up for the ebay listings?
Do you guys want them bare bones mix and match, or ready to power on with OpenWRT 21.03.3 installed?
Do we list SKUs with disks and Ubuntu Server 22.04? Or PFSense?
Do we toss in the console cable, or are people going to frown at the DB9 needing to pair it with an old board or a messy USB-chain-of-dongles?
(I use a cisco to type-c cable from amazon to serial terminal from my android. Is nice.)

I'd expect a diskless + DOM containing openwrt + 8GB DDR3 + megarac + power supply to be in the $75-95 range (as we offer 'free' shipping from california to continental US, baked into the listing price) and disks inclusive to be more like $135-155 range.

The unit I've been experimenting with is fully loaded with a 480GB SSD, 500GB WD black spinner, and 32GB across four 8GB sticks, runs ubuntu-server 22.04 with Xen 4.16 hypervisor. (kvm works too, of course.) OpenWRT works great as a inter-VM routing switch.


If anyone else has questions about the platform, I can try answering them. You'll also find me under the same nickname on github and gmail.
lspci dumps, or anything else of the sort, ask away.

View attachment 23637
Hey, thanks for the info dump! Have you listed these yet? I'd be interested in a couple at a typical STH Deals price point.
 
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Mithril

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Man, the price on these is *way* up, wish I picked one up at the "original" price lol
 
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Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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Now that I've gotten PfSense up and running, the case fans are relatively quiet. But CPU Temp is idling pretty warm at 50C.

View attachment 23786

Are there any active coolers that fit these mounting points?
I finally found a picture of the inside of one of these and I think you can pretty much fit any fan on side/top of the heatsink if there's room and attach with a few screws. There seems to be a 4-pin fan header that you can use for power.

It also seems like the original heatsink is screwed down so you might be able to measure the distances and find some sort of cpu/gpu cooler that fits. But it's a lot easier to just attach a fan imo.
 

Samir

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Man, the price on these is *way* up, wish I picked one up at the "original" price lol
Yep, seems like rule number 3 has kicked in. :D

It's The STH Effect™ (not actually trademarked, but looks cooler this way, lol) :) Making you want to buy what you don't need! :D

But the The STH Effect™ also works in another way--wiping out inventory so that there's none to buy!

And the third way The STH Effect™ works is to raise prices on otherwise great deals to the point they're not great anymore.

You can run; you can hide--but The STH Effect™ will find you.
 

foureight84

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I finally found a picture of the inside of one of these and I think you can pretty much fit any fan on side/top of the heatsink if there's room and attach with a few screws. There seems to be a 4-pin fan header that you can use for power.

It also seems like the original heatsink is screwed down so you might be able to measure the distances and find some sort of cpu/gpu cooler that fits. But it's a lot easier to just attach a fan imo.
Yea I've thought about that. Unfortunately, the fan would have to be about 6mm thick for lid to fit and even then there's no clearance for the fan to move any air to be effective. It would probably need to be side mounted and less than 30mm or a blower style that can fit in the space between the hdd mounts and the heatsink.
 
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Samir

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Yea I've thought about that. Unfortunately, the fan would have to be about 6mm thick for lid to fit and even then there's no clearance for the fan to move any air to be effective. It would probably need to be side mounted and less than 30mm or a blower style that can fit in the space between the hdd mounts and the heatsink.
Yikes, that's not enough space for sure. If you can measure the screws for that heatsink, I bet we can find a replacement. Here's the image I've been referencing (it's a 'parts only' $100+ship listing that includes the power supply, rack ears, and power supply mount):
 

foureight84

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Yikes, that's not enough space for sure. If you can measure the screws for that heatsink, I bet we can find a replacement. Here's the image I've been referencing (it's a 'parts only' $100+ship listing that includes the power supply, rack ears, and power supply mount):
The screw points are 48mm. I've been looking for 1u active coolers for BGA1284 but no luck so far. I've bought a 40mm delta blower to see if it fits. 50c isn't a huge deal for these things but I've gone down a personal rabbit hole trying to get it to idle around 40c or below.
 
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Samir

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The screw points are 48mm. I've been looking for 1u active coolers for BGA1284 but no luck so far. I've bought a 40mm delta blower to see if it fits. 50c isn't a huge deal for these things but I've gone down a personal rabbit hole trying to get it to idle around 40c or below.
I took a different approach checking places like mouser and think this one might fit the bill depending on how much height there is:

Another approach would be to simply add a small 36mm fan to the back of the heatsink in line with the other two fans for a bit of 'boost':

What really needs to be done is the back of the box needs to be cut out so you can just add a third fan. That should do it. Or you could experiment with fan shrouds and see if that doesn't hurt temps on other components. It would be good to have a thermal imaging tool to see the changes.
 

abidu

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Jul 31, 2022
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For ESXi USB boot serial console I loosely followed this guide: Installing ESXi over serial console (headless, no video card) | vmware admins

In a nutshell, after you create the bootable esxi usb thumb drive, you need to
  1. Edit the /boot.cfg
    1. From: kernelopt=cdromBoot runweasel
    2. To: kernelopt=cdromBoot runweasel text nofb com1_baud=115200 com1_Port=0x3f8 tty2Port=com1 gdbPort=none logPort=none
  2. Do the same exact thing to /efi/boot/boot.cfg
  3. Profit
After you install ESXi and reboot, it boots in graphics mode by default. To fix that you need to redirect direct console to the serial port following this: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-v...UID-FB5146D3-A732-4523-8716-1B734E0250EE.html

In a nutshell from the vsphere web client:
  1. Change VMkernel.Boot.tty2Port under Advanced System Settings to com1
  2. Reboot
Worked for me on the latest 6.7 and 7 esxi isos.

Attached my boot.cfg for reference.
Thank you. Looks like this is working like a charm.
For some reason the putty and pfsense install is till broken and just dont get a redirect to the install page. Still using the serial image from pfsense. Very strange.
 
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foureight84

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I took a different approach checking places like mouser and think this one might fit the bill depending on how much height there is:

Another approach would be to simply add a small 36mm fan to the back of the heatsink in line with the other two fans for a bit of 'boost':

What really needs to be done is the back of the box needs to be cut out so you can just add a third fan. That should do it. Or you could experiment with fan shrouds and see if that doesn't hurt temps on other components. It would be good to have a thermal imaging tool to see the changes.
Good idea. I'll look around to see if they have any with the same mount spacing. So far no luck though.
 
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Samir

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Good idea. I'll look around to see if they have any with the same mount spacing. So far no luck though.
I think the 44mm ones are the same as the 48mm you measured because the 44mm is center to center and you probably weren't using a caliper. :D It might be good to call them up and request 'a sample for your project to make sure everything lines up correctly'. ;)
 

foureight84

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I think the 44mm ones are the same as the 48mm you measured because the 44mm is center to center and you probably weren't using a caliper. :D It might be good to call them up and request 'a sample for your project to make sure everything lines up correctly'. ;)
I measured it with a caliper. It's 48mm center to center.
 
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Samir

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I measured it with a caliper. It's 48mm center to center.
I stand corrected. :oops: That company also made some larger heatsinks, but I didn't check the spacing on those. I'm sure someone out there makes a 48mm that has a fan version. If not, I guess you could 'widen' the 44mm holes.
 

foureight84

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Alright, instead of adding another fan, I decided to model and 3d print an air duct. Here's the file should anyone want to try. The attached model is a revision of the one in the photos. This takes the shunt resistor (I think) into account and additional vent holes for better airflow. Print using a 0.4mm nozzle at 0.2mm layer height. I recommend PETG since that heatsink will get hot enough to melt PLA.

It's currently idling at 43c (old version) 36c - 39c (new version) in an office that's at 26.7c (80F) ambient temperature. The fan is a little quieter now as well.

Realistically, after 8 hours of idling, it's around 44c. Earlier numbers were too optimistic. Still not bad but not WOW as I was hoping for.

Screenshot 2022-08-04 101838.jpg

Screenshot 2022-08-03 233648.jpg

PXL_20220804_024458118 (Medium).jpg

PXL_20220804_025416330.MP (Medium).jpg
PXL_20220804_084611238 (Medium).jpg
 

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Samir

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Awesome work! Do you sense any difference on the temps for the memory or that silver heatsink under your toshiba drive?
 

foureight84

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Awesome work! Do you sense any difference on the temps for the memory or that silver heatsink under your toshiba drive?
I'll have to monitor those to see if it makes a difference. The HDD should be fine since it's sitting up front and they usually don't need much airflow anyway.
 
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