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Ode to the Dell C2100/FS12-TY

Stux

FreeNAS Wizard
Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
4,163
In the 3 builds I've done and each one was with SATA drives they've always been labeled daX. Hope you enjoy your new system

Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
On my completely different system (supermicro), motherboard Sata drives show as adaX and HBA Sata as daX
 

Ericloewe

Not-very-passive-but-aggressive
Moderator
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
16,110
On my completely different system (supermicro), motherboard Sata drives show as adaX and HBA Sata as daX
Disks attached to (S)ATA controllers are labeled ada, which stands for ATA Direct Attach. Anything that uses the SCSI stack (including USB Mass Storage and SAS) is labeled da for Direct Attach.
 

Cpluse2

Newbie
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
19
This is a great post. I close of going this route. But i have one question. I was looking at the Dell R510. Would that be a better system to get since it newer CPU and maybe lower energy hit and less quite because of the new fans. I only seen video on YT. Just want your input. Thank you again for everyone help on this post.
 

St KaJa

Newbie
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
16
I actually bought an R720xd first before getting the C2100. I don't have any experience with the R510, but the R720 is much, much, much nicer to work with than the C2100. However, after running the numbers for the version I have (24 2.5inch bays) and my use case (ESXi + NAS) I determined it was cheaper to buy a second server for the NAS portion than to get the desired hardware added to the main server. The C2100 can be acquired dirt cheap and the replacement components/spare parts are (generally) inexpensive. However, as noted in the original post it is also a pain to work with and basically unsupported/undocumented by Dell. What system is "better" for you is probably dependent on your use case(s) and your experience level/willingness to tinker.
 

Cpluse2

Newbie
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
19
I actually bought an R720xd first before getting the C2100. I don't have any experience with the R510, but the R720 is much, much, much nicer to work with than the C2100. However, after running the numbers for the version I have (24 2.5inch bays) and my use case (ESXi + NAS) I determined it was cheaper to buy a second server for the NAS portion than to get the desired hardware added to the main server. The C2100 can be acquired dirt cheap and the replacement components/spare parts are (generally) inexpensive. However, as noted in the original post it is also a pain to work with and basically unsupported/undocumented by Dell. What system is "better" for you is probably dependent on your use case(s) and your experience level/willingness to tinker.
I don't want to derail the post. But is C2100 that hard to maintain? To me R510 seem more like C2100 just a newer model. Or am I wrong.
 

St KaJa

Newbie
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
16
Like I said, I don't have any experience with the R510. However, I have been learning/fighting a lot with my C2100. Every time I have to work on my R720, it is a delight. The rails are great, the hardware is well laid out, things just work. In contrast, the C2100 (mine anways) is much lower build quality. The rails aren't as smooth, the cover is a pain a to get off, the edges are sharper and more likely to cause a cut, the USB seems wonkey, and the BMC features are limited. Part of it is learning a environment and part of it is a result of running FreeNAS nightlies (for a while), but with me opening it up multiple times per week the little things become noticeable. That being said, I paid over double for the R720 as I did for the C2100 and it wasn't kitted out to the same level. The C2100 is a great box for the price if you are willing to put up with some of its quirks. Once I have stabilized my build, the ease of working with the physical server will become a lot less important. From what I have seen online, the R510 is generally recommended over the C2100 if you can get a good deal, but they often cost quite a bit more. YMMV.
 

Comet Jo

Newbie
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
16
If I had to do it over again, I would go with a 12-bay R510 rather than any type of C2100. I bought an 8-bay R510 after buying the C2100, as well as an R410, R610, and R710 to complete my "collection" since I'm a nutter that way. (But not enough of a nutter to buy a R310, R810, or R910.) Wouldn't have even had to go down the R-series rabbit hole if the C2100 was a champ right out of the box. The The 11 generation R-series (R510, 610, 710, etc.) are far better than the C2100. Technically, the C2100 is part of the 11G series, but it's the red-headed stepchild, in my humble opinion. St KaJa summed it up with "if you can put up with the quirks". I submit that the money you save on a C2100 vs. an R510 is not really worth putting up with the quirks. Time is money, and you'll likely spend a lot more time fiddle-farting around with a C2100 to get it just right.
  • DRAC 6i of the R's beats the lame BMC "IPMI" of the C2100 hands down for remote management. The DRAC enterprise modules cost a "whopping" $25-35 on eBay if your R510 doesn't come with one.
  • R's have far better cooling design overall, and can run quieter while still maintaining good internal temps. They have a whole bank of fans spanning the entire width of the case, and the C2100 3 fans are barely adequate to maintain airflow. That's why there was such a bump in noise after the 1.70 BMC version -- Dell must have realized their mistake in hardware design and compensated for it with bumped up minimum fan speeds.
  • I recently (just tonight) re-flashed my C2100 to BMC version 1.82 since the "quiet" v. 1.66 was causing some local hot spots in the case, including the power supplies and the PCIe expansion card riser where my $pendy LSI 16-port HBA resides. I've only been running it in earnest for 10 days or so, since I was able to finally afford all the big drives for it. Fortunately the drives are in front and get the coolest air -- I would have been pissed off if my drives had overheated. None of the hardware graphs or alerts in FreeNAS Corral gave any indication that there was a problem with heat, but by touch, boy those areas were way to warm for my liking. Glad I discovered it when I did.
  • Memory modules are basically the same for the R's or C2100.
  • Legit Dell drive caddies seem far more abundant for the R series.
  • As the OP of this thread mentioned, backplanes for the C2100 FS12-TY you get on eBay are hit or miss. I had to buy a 1:1 backplane from UK before and PERC or LSI HBA would even "see" drives in my C2100. The backplane it came with was some funky undocumented SAS expander that just wouldn't recognize SAS or SATA drives that I had. Spent hours and hours messing with different cables, jumper settings, borrowed some old SAS drives from work, etc. Pissed me off something fierce.
  • Also, my first C2100 was totally jacked up from the re-seller. They had installed two CPU0 heatsinks, and of course followed the direction arrows on the heatsink. Thus, one of the heatsinks was installed backwards, and would not mate flush with the CPU and probably fried the damn thing due to lack of proper heat transfer. The R servers have no such issue with oddly shaped heat sinks.
  • Contrast that with setting up my several R series -- those just friggin' worked from the get go.
  • Once you've had a chance to work hands-on with the 11G series, the design and construction benefits of the R's over the C2100 is just so apparent.
  • R series has internal USB port(s) for running FreeNAS off of a "thumb" drive. The C2100 has no such amenity. I ended up buying an mSATA to PCI-e adapter card for my C2100 so I didn't have a stupid USB drive hanging out the back at risk of snapping off.
  • R series are like buying a car that just runs. The C2100 feels more like building one from junkyard parts and hoping they work. Or the R series was designed by seasoned well compensated engineers, and the C2100 was designed by unpaid interns.
When all was said and done, the C2100 actually cost me more real $$ than the R510, not including the extra time. This was before even buying hard drives. And that's another point. When you're shelling out well over $1000 for a pile of decent large capacity drives, what's another $100-200 you might pay for a nice R510 anyway?

Having said all that, of course I'm going to keep my C2100 until it croaks. It will be my main NAS since it has the most drive bays of any of my servers right now. It's not horrible per se, just not as good as the R series. And after all the trouble it was to get working right, I'm going to squeeze every damn bit of use out of that motha humma. I've built dozens of consumer/hobby grade PCs and servers over the years for myself, friends, and even work. The C2100 was my first real foray into the world of using Intel-based enterprise-grade hardware at home. And I gotta tell ya, it was a hell of a baptism by fire.

Your mileage my vary, but the more data points you have to make your decision, the better.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
4
Registered for this site just to partake of this thread. You guys are awesome!

I ordered an FS-12TY on fleabay the other day - couldn't pass up $750 with twelve 2tb sas drives included.

My needs are a little different - intending this to be a hyper-v replica/veeam backup server but I think it will work well, even with the perc6i it's coming with (will run raid10).

Does the basic ipmi this has have a remote KVM/power control? What software do you prefer for accessing that? My production servers are all R710/R720/R730xd boxes so I'm used to the dracs.

Thanks again for this treasure trove of information!
 

Comet Jo

Newbie
Joined
Oct 20, 2014
Messages
16
Yes, the IPMI for the FS12-TY has remote KVM (java applet), virtual media, and power control via a somewhat clunky web UI. There are also some CLI tools I think but I've never messed with those. It's OK I guess, just not as polished as the iDRAC.
 

Redcoat

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
1,370
Does the basic ipmi this has have a remote KVM/power control? What software do you prefer for accessing that?
I use Chrome to run the Java applet for IPMI. There are a couple of funky behaviors in the IPMI that are described earlier in this thread. Use of some menu selections will lock it up and required the app to be restarted - really just an annoyance ...
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
4
Registered for this site just to partake of this thread. You guys are awesome!

I ordered an FS-12TY on fleabay the other day - couldn't pass up $750 with twelve 2tb sas drives included.

My needs are a little different - intending this to be a hyper-v replica/veeam backup server but I think it will work well, even with the perc6i it's coming with (will run raid10).

Does the basic ipmi this has have a remote KVM/power control? What software do you prefer for accessing that? My production servers are all R710/R720/R730xd boxes so I'm used to the dracs.

Thanks again for this treasure trove of information!
Well the seller contacted me due to an error by their clerk and that particular unit wasn't available. Worked out though as I got a dual 2.8ghz 36gb with six 250gb drives for $325 and I've got a lot of 8gb dimms I can use in it from my old T710s. I picked up eight 4tb nearline sas drives and a 2.5" sata ssd for the OS and got it all up and running today. 1.66bcm quieted the fans down considerably, although it's a bit louder than i was hoping - doable though. KVM is passable. Is there any way to configure the H700 from within windows on these (openmanage refuses to install)?

It's no R7xx but the price sure was right. Nice and zippy on the ahci SSD which isn't an option with the poweredges of that generation. Pretty happy!
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
4
No issues with the 4TB drives or any other aspect of the system so far.

How are you guys monitoring your drive health? Openmanage refuses to load of course, so I can't use that to generate disk health alerts...
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
4
I was able to download Megaraid Storage Manager (win2016 compatible, sept 2016 release) from Lenovo. Can now configure raid and set up smtp alerts from within windoze.
 

ViciousXUSMC

Newbie
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
47
Kind of wishing i had seen and read into the C2100 more before I got my r710.

... Kinda

The big thing is storage. I have 5 external drives 5 internal drives on my desktop, and just got 4x8TB drives just for the r710.
I will only be able to use 2 of those drives I have left and I am out of slots (well also using the 2xSATA connections but thats a side story)

But the r710 got me due to being super cheap ($150 cheaper than the cheapest C2100) having the ability to manually control fan speed for noise while already being quiet on its own without override.
and I LOVE the iDRAC6 and the remote management.

Installed FreeNas on that sucker via virtual media, and never hooked it to a keyboard/monitor/mouse even once.

If I decide to save for a C2100 to transplant my r710 to once I am out of space, or simply one one as a 2nd NAS unit what kind of features does it have in that regard.

1.) Remote Management
2.) Fan speed control via IPMI
 

Mirfster

Doesn't know what he's talking about
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
3,210
Kind of wishing i had seen and read into the C2100 more before I got my r710.

... Kinda
If I decide to save for a C2100 to transplant my r710 to once I am out of space, or simply one one as a 2nd NAS unit what kind of features does it have in that regard.

1.) Remote Management
2.) Fan speed control via IPMI
First off apologies, I have been away from the forums for quite a while...

To answer your questions:
  1. It has a dedicated NIC for IPMI, while not as robust as iDRAC it will suffice IMHO
  2. In all honesty if the C2100 is louder than ~55db then there is something else going on. None of my fully populated systems are louder than that and I currently have four (4) of them in my Server Rack.
  3. *** Keep in mind I am not talking about when the unit first starts up, but once it is running. :)
 

ViciousXUSMC

Newbie
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
47
Well guess its time to start keeping an eye out for one with the right parts for me.
Also the r710 is on my desk, if I add a C2100 that means its time to start looking into a rack and rails for these guys.

Then I will want a rack switch, and rack ups....

The addiction begins...
 

Redcoat

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
1,370
First off apologies, I have been away from the forums for quite a while...

To answer your questions:
  1. It has a dedicated NIC for IPMI, while not as robust as iDRAC it will suffice IMHO
  2. In all honesty if the C2100 is louder than ~55db then there is something else going on. None of my fully populated systems are louder than that and I currently have four (4) of them in my Server Rack.
  3. *** Keep in mind I am not talking about when the unit first starts up, but once it is running. :)
Just tested my C2100 (6 by 5400rpm 4 TB Red HDD's at present, also on a desk in my office) - just under 50 dB(A) at ~4 ft.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
5
So, here is a question for everyone. Has ANYONE seen the supposed LCD screen that goes in the rack ear on the right side of the server? The documentation on this says that little black piece is suppose to be an LCD screen. Also, if not then what do you peeps think about popping a dual usb port in that spot (since the thing only has 2 ports on the back)

So not sure its been said yet but, The cables you need to connect to the 9NXC7 backplane (expander version) is the 5X8NH cables, with those cables the backplane will work!
 
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