Home lab: the server
A Dell PowerEdge R900
Got a used Dell PowerEdge R900 for $300. This beast comes with:
- 4 Intel Xeon E7440 Quad Core 2.40Ghz with Intel virtualisation technology (VT-x)
- 64Go RAM
- 4 150Go 15K SAS hard drives
That makes it a good enough platform to build a virtual lab.
For the little story, R900 actually means something:
- R means Rack-mountable server
- 9 means 4 processors
- 0 means 10th generation
- 0 menas Intel CPUs
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Cheap and powerful, but big and heavy, not your average tower.
Freaking loud fans
An other problem is the noise level that thing produces.
It mounts four 120x120 fan upfront and has slots for 4 smaller fans at the back.
Popping out 2 fans already made the noise level more bearable, but this was not a sustainable solution.
Setting up IPMI
How to Configure IPMI on a Dell PowerEdge running Red Hat Enterprise Linux — The Lone Sysadmin
This is intended to help fairly knowledgeable people get IPMI working on their hosts so they can issue remote commands…
On the server (Debian):
> apt-get install ipmitool> ipmitool lan set 1 ipaddr [ip address]
> ipmitool lan set 1 defgw ipaddr [gateway ip address]
> ipmitool lan set 1 netmask [mask]
> ipmitool lan set 1 access on> ipmitool user set password 2 [password]
One the client:
> ipmitool -H [ip address] -U root -p [password] -I lan [command]> ipmitool [...] sensor reading 'FAN 3 RPM' 'FAN 4 RPM'
> ipmitool [...] sensor thresh 'FAN 3 RPM' lcr 2000
Locating sensor record 'FAN 3 RPM'...
Setting sensor "FAN 3 RPM" Lower Critical threshold to 2000.000
Error setting threshold: Command illegal for specified sensor or record type
After a bit of browsing, it appears that the BMC firmware prevent threshold value update.
Replacing the fans
Next, replacing those fans. There is lots of website and video explaining how to replace Dell server fans.
I ordered the new fans, pull out my soldering tools and switched two fans. And oh was I surprised: it went from airport noise level to “Hey, I can hear the hard drives!”.
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Many years after the introduction of PWM in 2003, there are users that are still not familiar with its advantages. In…
Fans now spin at 1500 rpm, which apparently could be an issue, their lower threshold being set at 1200 rpm. So far no problems.
If it becomes a problem: