Replace the R510!

As mentioned last time, I’ve been considering replacing the R510. This weekend, as I had other things to do in and around Melbourne (in case we end up with another lockdown meaning I can’t get down there), I decided to go pick it up. It was a reasonably fair price, I would have liked cheaper and a few of the things in it I wouldn’t be using long-term (I really just wanted the chassis).

Supermicro 3U ServerThe full machine is an SC835 chassis, two 920w hot-swap PSUs, five screamer 80mm fans, 8 hot swap bays and two additional bays (I think they’re hot swap but haven’t confirmed this). It came with an X8DAH+-F motherboard and a pair of four core Xeons in it. I did briefly think about swapping out my six-core Xeons, but I don’t actually need that power so I think I’d rather keep the R510 closer to it’s stock configuration when I go to sell it. I figure if I do need that power by then, I’ll just replace the board with something newer.

I am going to keep the R510 for about a week before I put it up for sale, just in case there’s something wrong with this board… but I think it’s fine.

The HBA is still in the R510, as the new hot-swap backplane is direct SATA connections as opposed to a SAS expander, and I lack the cables to connect it. As I only have three drives in my pool, and one to boot from, there’s enough SATA sockets on the motherboard, so I just had to track down three SATA cables and I’m off and running.

Initial impressions: outside on my desk it’s louder than the R510! I was terribly disappointed. All racked up it doesn’t get down as quiet either, but in the heat of the day it’s about the same loudness, so I have not immediately gained anything. However with some minor modifications once I replace the board, and possibly replacing the powersupply with a very quiet one (or removing the entire hotswap contraption and swapping an SFX desktop unit in) I would be able to get significant noise gains. As we might be looking to purchase a house in the coming months, I think I will put up with it for now. If the place we move into requires keeping it in my office, I will look at shutting it up, but otherwise if it’s out in the garage or something I will preference cooling performance over noise concerns (within reason).

It took a few tries, but I got the thing all racked up, and moved the R510 up a few slots, putting the X-serve underneath everything on top of the desktop case at the bottom. I still would like to sort out rails (and a disk!) for the X-serve, but I don’t see that happening cheaply enough. As I haven’t yet figured out the IPMI console, I have to put a keyboard and monitor on it, and I have to say one of the things I will miss is having the monitor connection at the front!

On the whole though everything went quite smooth, and it’s been running without issue the last day or two.

I did have these issues at the start:

  • The main ethernet device had changed, naturally. For some reason it went from eno1 to enp1s0f0… and I’m not sure why. I had to edit netplan config to change the interface name, then netplan apply.
  • Which of course meant that as the MACs had changed, it came up on the wrong IP, so it took some finagling with the Unifi setup to get the correct IP address assigned to that MAC. Which is unfortunate, because the Unifi controller runs on Docker and…
  • Docker started before ZFS did (due to lack of drives, as I booted the machine first with only the boot disk), had to check the docker dataset wasn’t mounted, remove everything in /var/lib/docker, mount the dataset, then start docker.
  • Next, the macvlan network for unifi was broken, had to delete it and recreate it:

    docker network rm macvlan
    docker network create -d macvlan --subnet= --gateway= -o parent=enp1s0f0 macvlan

Once this was all done, I’m able to reboot the machine and everything “just works” so I think I’m home free. I do think that when I get around to upgrading the hardware, I will build with the new version of Ubuntu (or possibly FreeBSD, if Docker is working on it again by then).

What else did I get up to on the weekend? I considered stopping by to pick up a Sega Saturn, which wasn’t really cheap though it was close to home. The seller didn’t have any games or discs to test it though, and I chickened out - it was close enough in price to EBay prices where I could at least get some semblance of a warranty with, and I was extremely tired on the way home anyway.

I dropped in to see Greg from IRC, and finally left him the iMac I promised ages ago. One evil deed deserving another, I came away with a Macbook Pro to try and fix… it’s a noodle scratcher, but I think it’s terminal.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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