The Dell PowerEdge C6220 Thread

Oct 9, 2016
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Just got a 4 node C6220 with 1.0.14 BIOS, 1.12 BMC and FCB firmware 11.09. I had the same problem.

I could not install windows (AHCI error) so i did a RHEL 6 boot disk and updated BIOS to 2.53. After that i made a 2nd boot disk with Windows 2k8r2 and updated the BMC to 2.53 using the PEC6220IIBMC253.exe. This took quite some time and i got a BSOD at the end :)

BMC looks fine after reboot. Will try to update FCB now
Hi Xebra, I am having the same problem as you and Grichard. My machine show BANF12 as startup, same bios and BMC and FCB and same problems.
Windows 2012 R2 returns and error on install, first node an "Out of Range" on remone management and no VGA on node 1.

Have you been able to update everything and have a working machine ?
 
Oct 9, 2016
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Hi guys, first post after a lot of lurking to solve problems and see reviews of stuff.

I bought a c6220 with 4 nodes off ebay, two of the nodes work great but the other two aren't playing nice.
......
The other problematic one has no vga. At boot is shows BANFF12. I can get logged in with the bmc, it's version 1.12 and bios is 1.0.14. If I start a vitrual kvm session I get a green screen with out of range displayed there instead of seeing post stuff.
....
Any help is really appreciated
Where have you purchased this machine ? I have one which is exactly like this and the one of XEBRA.
 

GRichard

New Member
Nov 2, 2016
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Where have you purchased this machine ? I have one which is exactly like this and the one of XEBRA
Ebay from seller itinstock

original bios won't install windows server 2012. you need windows server 2008 if you are looking to do update from windows.

You can also find the bios files to install from a usb drive. On the dell site they are going to be .exe file that extract the file you'll need. install fcb (fan control board) then BMC then bios. In that exact order I didn't get any problems.

Once you've updated to latest bios you can install windows server 2012 no problem.

One of my nodes' bmc dies sometimes and resets itself to shared nic, I had it setup as dedicated but since I figured out it was always doing the same thing I just don't use the dedicated port on that one anymore.
 
Oct 9, 2016
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Ebay from seller itinstock
The world is an infinite place but internet is a small town. I have purchased my C6220 from the same seller.
I have read you were going to return your. If you did this, now your previous machine has been resold to me, otherwise it is another one of the same stock as it is the same 1 to 1 ( green screen and "out of range message" on the first node remote control)

original bios won't install windows server 2012. you need windows server 2008 if you are looking to do update from windows.

You can also find the bios files to install from a usb drive. On the dell site they are going to be .exe file that extract the file you'll need. install fcb (fan control board) then BMC then bios. In that exact order I didn't get any problems.

Once you've updated to latest bios you can install windows server 2012 no problem.
Do you suggest updating from DOS or Windows Server 2008 ?
And In case you are going to suggest "from Server 2008", should I use command prompt or windows GUI ?

One of my nodes' bmc dies sometimes and resets itself to shared nic, I had it setup as dedicated but since I figured out it was always doing the same thing I just don't use the dedicated port on that one anymore.
I'll keep and eye on mine. Thanks !
(So, it seems you still have your C6220 !)
 

GRichard

New Member
Nov 2, 2016
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I didn't return it. He sent a replacement node for the bricked bmc one I had. That one showed no bmc version at boot and didn't have settings in the bios.

I suggest you update from dos it's less hassle than installing 2008 just to update stuff then having to install 2012 when you are done.

Dell PowerEdge C | Latest Firmware

You'll find all the files you need there.

Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way

how to create a bootable usb drive.

I still have the nodes, I use them for 3d rendering, it's fast enough but it's loud and really hot so it really can't be in the same room as the workstation. I have 10gbe card in them so I bought fiber cables because I have to transfer very large files many times a day and it works liek a charm.
 
Oct 9, 2016
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I didn't return it. He sent a replacement node for the bricked bmc one I had. That one showed no bmc version at boot and didn't have settings in the bios.
It seems we have a node which is not working like your.
At startup I have an "Out of Range" on IPMI
Chassis Fan are running like hell
Removing Battery from CMOS dos not do anything
Every 7/8 minutes the node resets by itself
Attaching an USB Keyboard I see no LED blinking at power one.
 
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Oct 9, 2016
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--------------------------- update 1 --------------------------------

I have just removed every ram but 2 (both on right side of each cpu having the back of c6220 in front of you) cmos bactery.
The system was able to show system screen.
I has even recognized my Samsung EVO 850 ssd on a 3,5 adapter.
Now I am installing Windows Server 2008 R2 datacenter EVAL.

(Other updates will come in the next ours/days)

--------------------------- update 2 --------------------------------

Things discovered so far:

On Node 1 I have a BBC log full. Need to discover how to empty this log.
I have only 81920GB of ram, 80 GB instead of 96 on first node. There is some faulty ram somewhere.

I have no SAS array, only included IDE controller. My setup is made of 12 3,5 drive bays.

Node 1 has: [ 0 ][ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ]
Node 2 has: [ 0 ][ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ]
Node 4 has: [ 0 ][ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ]
Node 3 has not bay at all !

I have read there is some backplane configurator around. Thing to discover: How many disk could be connected via IDE per single node ?

Already discovered: IDE controller does not read SAS drives.

Also: Thing to discover: Purchasing a RAID board: How many disk could be connected per single node ?

Todo List:

  • Discover How to Empy BMC Log
  • Discover DELL repository for drivers/firmware utilities.
  • Update Bios on every node
  • Discover How many disk could be connected per single node in IDE mode
  • Try speed of a single Samsung 850 Evo SSD drive
  • Try Samsung 850 Evo Array on this setup
  • Discover if chipset C602 has TRIM support
  • Investigate on Dell Management Software
  • Purchase a SAS Board. Try speed of those 3,5 SAS drives I have purchased
  • Discover if SAS and IDE nodes could be mixed on the backpanel (new)
  • Discover How many disk could be connected per single node in RAID mode
  • Discover the difference between SAS 2008 and those higher level adapters
  • Purchase a SAS 2,5 to SAS 3,5 Adapter, if exists, to experiment with those spare HP and seagate drives I have
  • Discover if I can use Both SAS2008 mezzanin board and TCK99 10Gb board together
  • Try SAS 2008, Infiniband and TCK99 together
  • Discover if Windows 2016 could be instaled with newer BIOS
  • Discover if ESX 6,5 could be installed with newer BIOS
  • Discover What is C410x expansion chassis for GPU
  • Learn how to do some bios optimization
If someone has already some answers is welcome to reply !
 
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dwright1542

Active Member
Dec 26, 2015
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We have successfully done than on two chassis with 4*2.5" disk nodes, upgrade the bios if it hasnt been done, try to restore it to default and check the midplane/backplane cabling as it could be pretty "funky" on the 3.5" version.


To avoid risks of removing the wrong disk, we prefer to stick to 3 nodes per chassis and ordered another one, being able to use 4 disks per nodes instead of 3 is even better in the end.
Can you explain exactly how you are cabled for 4 drives per node in a 3 node config?
 

c6100

Member
Oct 22, 2013
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Have you used a special ISO ?

Which king of setup have you tested it ? I am specifically interested into compatibility with SAS 2008 mezzanine controller, 10 GBit Ethernet controller.
I just use the ISO from the VMW website

10 Gb works.

I am not sure on the 2008.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

c6100

Member
Oct 22, 2013
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Your question made me want to benchmark the 10 Gb performance on here and I was disappointed as it can barely hit 2 Gbps using IPerf. The way I tested was a twinax cable directly connected from host 1 to host 2 with both hosts having 1 SSD and 1 VM. I am not sure where the bottleneck is.

Does anyone else here have the C6220 running ESXi get better than 2 Gbps?
 

dwright1542

Active Member
Dec 26, 2015
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Your question made me want to benchmark the 10 Gb performance on here and I was disappointed as it can barely hit 2 Gbps using IPerf. The way I tested was a twinax cable directly connected from host 1 to host 2 with both hosts having 1 SSD and 1 VM. I am not sure where the bottleneck is.

Does anyone else here have the C6220 running ESXi get better than 2 Gbps?
Absolutely. I'm running ESX 6.0 and getting near wirespeed. BIOS update?

-D
 

c6100

Member
Oct 22, 2013
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I have 2.71 which appears to be the latest. I tried to the iperf from Esxi to Esxi and only get about 4 Gbps.
 
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GabrielHm

New Member
Feb 14, 2017
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Hi there.

Discover What is C410x expansion chassis for GPU
I recently got 2 C6620 plugged to 2 C410X. The C410X basically is a PCI extension that allows you to get 16 GPUs in one unit, that you can plug to 2 to 8 nodes through an Ipass cable and adapter card (which uses the node's PCI x16 port).
We use it for GPU computing. It's a bit old, but still support the Kepler generation GPU. And it's cheap and convenient (since you can allocate your GPUs like you want to the connected nodes).
I'll try to add a photo of the setup later.

Discover How many disk could be connected per single node in RAID mode
Not sure it's relevant, but we got 6 HDD/node wired through the backplane on a 3.5" unit. Each node is connected to 2 SAS ports ; the first one can support 4 sata drives, and the second 2. I got SAS/SATA cables from a C6100, and figured out a way to get the 3 unused sata cables per node out of the chassis and connect them to an external SSD rack. It's a bit ugly, but it works.


I saw mentions of the LSI 2008 SAS mezzanine card popping out, I was wondering : has anyone here tested it ?
I'd like to connect 4 nodes to a 60 bay JBOD through a SAS cable, but I'm not really sure if it's possible, and what I'd need for that.
Since the PCI 16x ports are used on my nodes, I was wondering if the LSI 2008 mezzanine card would allow me to get 1 SAS cable out of the chassis to connect it to the JBOD.

Or is the SAS port on the motherboard directly usable ? Could I plug the JBOD directly on it ?
 

frogtech

Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2016
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Hi there

I saw mentions of the LSI 2008 SAS mezzanine card popping out, I was wondering : has anyone here tested it ?
I'd like to connect 4 nodes to a 60 bay JBOD through a SAS cable, but I'm not really sure if it's possible, and what I'd need for that.
Since the PCI 16x ports are used on my nodes, I was wondering if the LSI 2008 mezzanine card would allow me to get 1 SAS cable out of the chassis to connect it to the JBOD.

Or is the SAS port on the motherboard directly usable ? Could I plug the JBOD directly on it ?
The SAS port on the motherboard is weird, it's more of like a passthrough, if you notice on the C6220 node, it has no interposer unlike the C6100 node which has the node connected to a small daughterboard that has SATA ports on it. The node connector 'passes through' the connections. This is inherently one of the big flaws with the system and why you're limited to only 2 SATA3 and 4 SATA2 speeds.