c6100 - How does this thing work?

Nathan Milford nathan at outbrain.com
Tue Jul 20 15:59:37 CDT 2010

I had an eval unit for a while and we're about to get a few dozen of them.

Each node in the chassis can be treated like an independent node, with its'
own raid card and drives.  Each has it's own gigE ports an ipmi ethernet
port, vga, usb etc..

Think of it as four nodes sharing a single chassis and a pair of redundant
power supplies.  Depending on if you get the 2.5" or 3.5" chassis each node
get's its' fair share of drives (cannot be dynamically configured, they
split them evenly).

As for pricing, you'll want to have your dell sales rep talk to the guy's
in the DCS (Dell Cloud Services) group.  They're the only ones able to quote
the C-series machines.  Depending on your config, they'll likely be a bit
more expensive than the equivalent 1U pizza boxes.

As for not getting any info, chances are your Dell reps don't know much
about them.  DCS has been around a while making one-off custom machines for
high end and high volume customers.  They tend to want to sell a bunch in
one shot than one or two a pop.

In regards to their readiness for sale, I believe these nodes have been
around for 3 generations of Dell servers... and they hinted at them being
out longer than the SuperMicro Twins, but were kept to volume clients.  The
point of DCS is that they can work closely with the volume clients to
customize the product, down to installing components that work with a
specific Kernel, etc..

We're getting them for the power savings and density.  We (unscientifically)
found was saved about an amp and two units on one 2U 4 node chassis compared
to four equivalently configured 1U R410s (2xL5630's, 8G of RAM, 2 drives,
two PSUs) aggregated.

For our specific application and the configuration of 80% of our node-types
the cost differential was worth it :)

- n

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 4:40 PM, Katzke, Karl <kkatzke at tamu.edu> wrote:

>  I have a few questions about the c6100. We’re looking at buying one for
> some VMWare applications.
> Anyone have a manual that will tell me how the thing is configured as far
> as RAID and other partitioning goes? Is there a backplane where the system
> trays can talk to one another, or is everything via external channel
> (Ethernet, etc.)? Also, any idea of what Dell’s asking for one of these
> babies? We’ve got a higher-up that’s jazzed about having an entire server
> room in a 2u box… but there’s no detailed product info on the Dell website
> and I strangely can’t seem to get answers out of any sales reps at Dell,
> which leads me to wonder how much the thing’s really actually ready for
> sale.
> -K
> ---
> Karl Katzke
> Systems Analyst II
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