“The Fujitsu Primergy RX200 S6 is touted for its reliability, virtualization support and ease of operation. Fujitsu also places a lot of emphasis on its power and cooling benefits,” said Colin Steele, senior site editor.
Take a look at the exterior and interior of the unit, and find out how its inside design differs from the other four 1U servers featured in our Server Month coverage.
You’ll also get a walk-through of the server’s setup and configuration, including power failure recovery, CPU and memory status, console redirection, IPMI settings and boot priority options.
Check out the rest of our Server Month tips and videos.
Read the full text transcript from this video below. Please note the full transcript is for reference only and may include limited inaccuracies. To suggest a transcript correction, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inside a Fujitsu server
Colin Steele: Hi, I'm Senior Site Editor, Colin Steele.
Stephen Bigelow: I'm Stephen Bigelow, Senior Technology Editor.
Carl Brooks: I'm Carl Brooks, Senior Technology Writer.
Colin Steele: Let's take a look at this 1U server. The Fujitsu Primer GRX-200S6 is touted for it's reliability, virtualization support and ease of operation. Fujitsu also places a lot of emphasis on the RX-200's power and cooling benefits. We are here to take a closer look and share our own observations of Fujitsu's 1U system. Stephen, let's start with an external review of the Fujitsu's system.
Stephen Bigelow: Well, there's a lot to see on the front panel, Colin. If you start at the right and work to the left, the first thing that catches your eye is the power and system ID buttons. There's also an array of LED status indicators, so you can see behaviors of the hard drive, power and other system conditions, including your network operations, and so on. Just below the status indicators you see three USB ports.
To the left of that, of course, is a standard VGA port, so it's a simple matter to connect your keyboard, video and mouse directly to the front of the server when you are setting it up, or changing its configuration, which can be very convenient. Just below that, of course, is an optical drive, so with the DVD available, you can install your operating systems, your applications, run diagnostics, or do any other software related work that needs to be done.
Just below the video port, there's a small pull-out tab with a series of barcodes, so all of your system ID data is right there. If you have a barcode app, a technician can quickly and conveniently determine exactly what hardware they are working with. Off to the left of that is your array of hard drives. The unit has bays for six drives, but four are actually installed on this particular model.
Fujitsu sent the unit equipped with four 300Gb, 10K rpm, SAS hard drives, standard 3 and 1/2 inch drives. Replacing them is equally simple: just click, move them all the way in, and close the door, and you are ready to roll. Carl, what do you see with the system?
Carl Brooks: Looking at the back of the unit, I love these bright colors, so festive. Cable management built in. These power supplies also pull right out, 450W, Delta Electronics brand, fairly standard, nice and thin, and they slide right back in there. Three USB ports, three on the front, three on the back. That's two pair, split halfway between the front and the back, who knows why? An expansion slot here, this is covered by a blank. Venting at the top, and the back of the servers. Plenty of little holes drilled in there. Onboard management port here. Video serial, for the old-fashioned onboard management. A half-height expansion network card. These are 1Gb LAN ports, here. They've covered the rest of it by a blank, but this is a full-size PCI expansion slot in the back, onboard mix just below it. That's about it for the back.
Colin Steele: Now that we've checked out the exterior of the unit, it's time to open it up, and take a look inside. Carl, can you take us through that process?
Carl Brooks: Fujitsu, this one opens like a pizza box. I kind of wished my pizza boxes opened like this. It's two parts. The first part: you can access the fans. Back plane for the front panel and hard drives. Then the back part, the main body of the server, two catches pull up. It opens right up, just like that. Very nice, plenty of instructions on the inside.
Stephen Bigelow: What's interesting about the inside of this particular unit is there's a fairly limited amount of ducting involved here. It's very clear to see how the ducting is taking the flow of air from the fans, across the two CPUs, and the array of DIMMs, out through to the back of the unit. What's interesting is that, unlike other units in this round-up, the duct work here is clear, so it's easy to see what's underneath, how the unit is configured. You don't actually have to remove the ducting to see what's inside.
But, when you do remove the ducting and set it aside, obviously, the two processors are very easy to see. This unit supports both Intel 5500 and 5600 Series Processors. Both with up to a total of 12 cores, very easy to accommodate multiple workloads if you want to virtualize the unit. With other designs that we've seen here, the air flow does go from front to back across both the processors, and the memory modules, so everything is cooled at the same time. This unit provides 12 DDR3 DIMM slots and can support up to 192Gb of memory support. This unit has, I believe, 12Gb of memory installed as six modules of 2Gb each.
Colin Steele: So, Carl, what do you see?
Carl Brooks: A couple of things, Steve. One, on this clear plastic housing, they were kind enough to put green stickers, so we don't lose it, or miss it. Green stickers on other parts of the unit, I assume, are for decoration. We've noticed on a couple of these units, we've noticed both copper and aluminum heat sinks. These are aluminum, and the choice is basically academic. When it comes to cooling efficiency, except at very, very high levels, nobody is really going to care, especially with these monster fans in the front.
These fans, by the way, this is a nice touch, are sprung. Each one of them is on a little set of grommets, so they have little, sort of gimbals, and shock absorbers there. I have no idea if that's actually going to increase the fan life or decrease wear and tear on the server, but it's a nice thought. Coming back here, I don't know if you can see on this side here, it has a monstrous RAID battery. I mean seriously, this one's bigger than the one in my car.
Then it comes back here, the onboard RAID card here. The RAID has two connectors here, one of which is connected to the front-back plane. Which again, you can access without actually taking the back part of the server case off. Although I have no idea why you'd want to mess with the front-back plane without doing something more complicated. It's kind of silly.
Notice that the banks of fans here, and here, cover two thirds of the server. We have this bi-symmetrical design. RAM, CPU; RAM, CPU, that blows straight back. This covers additional card expansion space. It does not cover the PSUs which have their own fans inside, so they are going to be sucking their own air straight back. But, they are not covered by the main bank of fans, which is cooling what's primarily the warmest, which is the hard drives and the CPUs here.
BUS connectors here, here, and the server, right behind the CMOS battery. The expansion slots here and here. These are half-height slots, so you're not going to want a full-size PCI card in here. You want to make sure you check those sizes. That's really about it. It's an interesting sort of design. You can definitely tell that it doesn't share quite the same design or engineering pedigree that HP or the Dell servers we've look at does.
Here we go, we're going to power it on. Those little orange codes you see at the back, those are diagnostic beeps. If you know what you are doing, or you were maybe a robot, you could tell exactly what the server was doing as it ran through the diagnostic checks, as it boots up. The nice thing about having these diagnostic codes on the back is that you can see if anything goes wrong, it'll get stuck there. It'll throw a beep, and you can look at that code, and maybe decode it if you have the magic decoder ring.
Phoenix, my favorite BIOS. And the megaRAID controller again. Again, standard commodity RAID hardware and a BIOS that most of us will be familiar with. I'm not really sure why it's opening up on a command screen like that. It looks like there's probably some sort of imbedded mini OS on top of the onboard management that they are possibly booting a shell that you are looking at the BIOS screen on, which is probably okay. That's just another indication of how far things have come, for both servers and onboard management.
There's more memory onboard this thing, helping keeping it running, than were in the first seven computers I owned, probably. Various diagnostics, Phoenix Secure Core Server, there we go. Phoenix Trusted Core Set-Up. Phoenix BIOS. Like I said, most of us are going to be pretty familiar with this, if you've ever built a computer or built the server and installed it. Pretty standard stuff, how to boot, what to boot, POST errors, turn them on or off.
Fast boot. That just means it does not do a full parody RAM check when it boots. POST diagnostics screen enabled. Turn it all off, it'll just boot a logo, that'll be the end of it. You won't see anything else. Advanced, peripheral configuration, standard stuff. South Bridge, USB controllers, LAN controllers you can turn, PXE boot, from one LAN to the other one if you want, so you can pick the LAN cable to boot from. Just some configuration, onboard video, etc., etc. Smart device monitoring. This monitors your hard drives onboard.
If they throw a smart error, your motherboard will pick it up, and throw an error back to you. SATA. You still need this, it's 2011. Security, power, power failure recovery. It means turn off and reboot, turn off and turn off, turn off and try and go back to what you were doing, various different options you have there. Server. Boot retry counter.
All again, fairly standard options for most servers that you see. CPU status. This is where you can tell it whether or not you want the cord to actually be working or not. Right now, there are two CPUs, multiple cores for each one. This is the actual whole CPU itself. So, you could be disabling, or enabling multiple cores here. Actual bootstrap CPU, which one do you want it to boot from? Pick one, one or two. Right now, it's number two.
Memory status, this will tell you what's in there and whether or not they're working. This is less useful; well, it's semi-useful, I mean, bad DIMMs are fairly common. But, you are going to have RAM error checking, which is going to let you know which one it is pretty quickly. Nice little feature to have, just to look at that. PCI status. Console redirection. How would you like to control your server? I would like to control it via onboard management. This is where you look at some of the things for that.
Again, Fujitsu has its own onboard controller, IMRC S2. IPMI, it does log information. It will show you that information. System event log, let's see what's in there. We booted it. Let's see, what's the number. Sensor battery, it's telling us we need to charge some of the onboard batteries; I'm betting that's the RAID battery.
Sensor specific. These are things you can look at. You probably want to go to Fujitsu and get the manual and figure out what these things are saying, if you cared. You're also probably going to be sitting at your desk, looking at these things via remote management. You're not going to be standing in front of the server doing it, unless you are having a really bad day. LAN settings. Management LAN. Turn it on or off. Because this actually has a full-on Ethernet port for its LAN management, rather than a serial over LAN, or null port, that is not an Ethernet port.
You can set this thing to your local IP address for your server here. V-LAN ID tagging, very useful feature for your V-LANs. V-LAN ID, V-LAN priority. You can make this the top of the heap if you want. You might want to do that if you've already got one. Boot order. Standard stuff. You know it's just going to boot to the right card. You can actually turn on and off various boot options, so you can have it not boot from CD, boot directly from network, boot directly from local storage, what have you. Again, that's it. I'm going to reboot. That'll pretty much be it for the Fujitsu. Nice standard set-up, lots of options.
Colin Steele: That does it for this 1U Server overview. I'm Colin Steele.
Stephen Bigelow: I'm Stephen Bigelow.
Carl Brooks: And I'm Carl Brooks.
Colin Steele: Thanks for watching.