Supermicro X11SCA-F fans with ESXi

Frank Bello

New Member
Nov 14, 2018
13
4
3
Please help... I have a Supermicro X11SCA-F running ESXi 6.7 update 3. The BMC is set for fan mode "full" (which was then followed by a cold start of the BMC). I've got impitool installed and I can control the Noctua fan noise and thresholds with the following script:

Bash:
# Supermicro X11SCA-F fan control settings:
# set HD zone to 48/64 (about 75%)
/opt/ipmitool/ipmitool raw 0x30 0x70 0x66 0x01 0x01 0x48
# set CPU zone to 100%
/opt/ipmitool/ipmitool raw 0x30 0x70 0x66 0x01 0x00 0x64
# set lower thresholds for the HD zone
for i in 1 2 3; do /opt/ipmitool/ipmitool sensor thresh SYS_FAN${i} lower 0 100 200;done
#set upper thresholds for the HD zone
for i in 1 2 3; do /opt/ipmitool/ipmitool sensor thresh SYS_FAN${i} upper 1800 1900 2000;done
# set lower thresholds for the CPU zone
for i in 1 2; do /opt/ipmitool/ipmitool sensor thresh CPU_FAN${i} lower 1700 1800 1900;done
# set upper thresholds for the CPU zone
for i in 1 2; do /opt/ipmitool/ipmitool sensor thresh CPU_FAN${i} upper 2300 2400 2500;done
The case fans then run at their optimal (from a noise perspective) speed of about 1000 RPM (the CPU fan is a watercooler and runs at 100%):

Code:
CPU_FAN1         | 2000.000   | RPM        | ok    | 1700.000  | 1800.000  | 1900.000  | 2300.000  | 2400.000  | 2500.000
CPU_FAN2         | na         | RPM        | na    | na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na
SYS_FAN1         | 1000.000   | RPM        | ok    | 0.000     | 100.000   | 200.000   | 1800.000  | 1900.000  | 2000.000
SYS_FAN2         | 900.000    | RPM        | ok    | 0.000     | 100.000   | 200.000   | 1800.000  | 1900.000  | 2000.000
SYS_FAN3         | 1200.000   | RPM        | ok    | 0.000     | 100.000   | 200.000   | 1800.000  | 1900.000  | 2000.000
and the resulting temps look good:

Code:
CPU Temp         | 33.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 95.000    | 100.000   | 100.000
PCH Temp         | 44.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 85.000    | 90.000    | 105.000
System Temp      | 32.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
Peripheral Temp  | 43.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
VcpuVRM Temp     | 31.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 95.000    | 100.000   | 105.000
DIMMA1 Temp      | 33.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
DIMMA2 Temp      | 33.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
DIMMB1 Temp      | 33.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
DIMMB2 Temp      | 32.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 5.000     | 5.000     | 10.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
The problem is, after about 5 minutes, the BMC sets the fans back to full speed. I've checked various old posts on this forum, which suggest that the BMC never tries to override the ipmitool-set fan settings when in "full" mode, but that isn't the case on my motherboard.

Should I just give up and buy the Noctua NA-FC1 fan controller, or is there a possible fix that only depends on the BMC and ESXi ? I don't really want to dedicate a VM to fan control if I can avoid it. Thanks,
 

68k-dude

Member
Jan 2, 2020
50
15
8
Hello Frank Bello o/

I feel your pain. I gave up on the IPMI Fan thing entirely. I just didn't care at all for it. All I really wanted was the fans and the VRM temps. The fan control was poor and the VRM temps didn't even show on my board ( H11DSi-NT ) . This should be configurable over the BMC remote managment connection in a browser. One day, maybe.

I borrowed a Corsair Commander Pro ( don't judge ) and tentatively tried that in my system. The Corsair software seems to be geared towards people wanting to make some pretty lights. However, after poking about I did manage to get the case fan curves setup as I wanted them. After a few days I decided to try the CPU fans too. The software allows you to chose which temp sensors control which fans. It detected the CPU temperature sensors so I could assign them to my CPU fans. It came with 4 thermocouples to place around the system which you can assign names to in the software. After using it and being comfortable with it I purchased my own. It cost me $60 for the controller but it was worth it to be free of that IPMI fan rubbish.

If you have space for something like the Commander and are willing to sacrifice a core to run it, go for it. Don't feel bad either. I don't.

Good luck with your endeavour

68k
 

redeamon

Active Member
Jun 10, 2018
161
59
28
If it happens exactly every 5 minutes, just crontab your script to run every 4 minutes
 

Frank Bello

New Member
Nov 14, 2018
13
4
3
Thanks! There's no real downside even to running ipmitool once a minute as far as I can see, it uses a tiny amount of resource.