Dell Server PowerEdge™ Gen11 ,  R710 SFF   2U rack         
  A.K.A: New video movie server, (*.MKV)

History Expelled from Calif, county government duty and auctioned off at below $100 , it is mine. (so cheap , it's really free)
ReTasked to Plex Video server duty.. (took my old Plex desktop offline)
The R710 is best to use, because it's fast, cheap and has a real RAID system H700.
The R710  is super quite unlike  my pesky R410 (1U) with fans from H3LL ! (my R410 is only turn on to backup  misc. files)
It also is GEN11 so no licenses needed just to make DRAC6 work (remote access device, super useful) as is free application Anydesk.
Mine has  24GB of RAM (DDR) 12 for each of the 2 Xeon processor. E5649's pair.
To do this act and move my videos off the old dog work station I did the following steps.
Step one is set time and date first in BIOS.

I first flashed (burned) the FIRMWARE ,the BIOS then DRAC6 and last flashed H700 RAID card last under windows. (in that order please) actual examples can help...
  • I used (Rufus) Freedos to burn newbios  , using this file R710-060600C.exe . (only the boot from DOS version works this  way and is more safe ! it is called "non Packaged' version) 
  • I use DRAC6 +setup + update to burn this IMG file (yes, drac lets you burn its self to upgrade, how cute)  iDRAC6_2.92_A00_FW_IMG.exe  (the windows burn EXE I avoided ! (awise choice) see this.
  • Last (after OS installl) is run the H700 update using this EXE  file in sever 2012 lanched.  SAS-RAID_Firmware_9FVJ2_WN64_12.10.7-0001_A13.EXE

My server has 2 riser cards  with H700 on the right.
I have one  M.2 NVME PCI-e card on the left riser (drive D:)
I have removed the DVD drive cables and extended the 2 wire power line to a standard SATA power plug (soldered and heat shrunk nice to red (5vdc) and black (ground)
That  new DIY power cord works perfectly.(with my Corsair SSD) (hidden deep inside 2U casing)
(there are no ATX spec PSUs in any real server) it has no ATX spec power plugs at all for SATA devices,  (I fact this PSU is hot swap rated and  is smart, DRAC smart)
I nextly  get the BIOS to boot to a hidden inside SSD 256GB Corsair. (and set to boot first)
This server can not boot to NVME, sadly, but  my SATA SSD works. Perfect. 


Ready to Build the SERVER AND RAID:

Loaded Windows 2012 R2 for $4.99 license fee. (google it)
I added qty. 6 , 10k  2.5" SAS 300G drives, and created a RAID 6 ARRAY that can run with 2 drives failing.  (1.2GB array RAID 6 I have now) USING OMSA you can add more drives to the RAID6 for more space, easy. (8x300 =1.8GB)[ or 7 +1 hot spare)
I tested each drive with pro grade, HDsentinel.exe program, for NO ERRORS of ANY KIND.  (using my spare LSI911 HBA card, in my Lab test bed PC)
I loaded OMSA applictaion free from DELL  (this has the powerful RAID applications inside it.) It does way more for the RAID than can never be done under, H700 boot ROM commands (Control +R)
I next set the DRAC to use NIC port 0 (Gb1) , and  I set both IPs shared and  to fixed.  (local lan IP's)  bla bla.bla.118 and 171 and in the CISCO router. reserved. (171 is DRAC and 118 is PLEX)
Host file set on remote PC as DRAC2 = IP and Plex2   = IP
I tested  DRAC 6 fully. Ok the log files show no errors. (all fans ok, and slow  , no issue at all seen here) I cleared the old log file next.

I test OMSA (wow nice this is) and free from DELL.com   D710 support pages, see this >>>> "OM-SrvAdmin-Dell-Web-WINX64-9.2.0-3142_A00.exe"
I had to pound IE11 to death to make it like SSL certificate errors,  gawd I hate IE11,  and the OSMA warns that IE11 support ends soon,, omg what does that mean?
In Windows,  Server 2012r2, go to defrag and turn off all auto defrags now.Scheduled Optimizations off  (the silly thing defaults to this and causes streaming to fail ! stall and delay)

Plex will not load on 2012 unless you do this first;.

    Make sure that the following dependency services are started: (set to auto  in services then click start)
        DNS Client
        Function Discovery Resource Publication
        SSDP Discovery
        UPnP Device Host
Now Plex installs. (on 2012 R2) but not with this  missing....
Plex also refused to run unless  KB2919355 is loaded. (and must be rebooted once) and if a success the W2012R2 , home screen has a power button (seen in photo 3 below) now and a new search button(icon)
But update engine,  only loads ~355 if all other windows updates are done, every single one must be loaded. (and you must let MS deside order, or it fails)
I copied all my MKV movies from my backup server to this live PLEX new server and all is well, (after telling Plex.tv , to accept my new server  and disabling the old one... first.)


I have A short parts list to share. for this Server here. (xls)
Some folks boot this server using the internal USB jack and with an  OS there, but finding any USB stick that can take the torture of any OS running off it , alludes me... (USB sticks are not SSD grade at all)

Photos:
Front:

Rear:  Never hot plug parts inside this chassis , but the fans. (and PSU but it is not inside it is outside extractions) pull both line cords, and then push power button to discharge all capacitors inside for NO DAMAGE  service.


The Best RAID card is the H700 here.
DRAC is "Dell Remote Access Controller)   (I set DRAC to share port 1) Gb1 (gigabit 1 Ethernet)
The SD card for DRAC, is of no use to me. 
I also have Anydesk free loaded and can run headless that way too and error free unlike silly IE11 endless certificate ,  I use Firefox v65+ with no problems remotely to drag or to Plex.
H700 has the Write back cache ram and working battery, so if A.C  power is lost , data is NOT LOST, OK? (do not run 1 PSU, use 2) If super serious use  UPS power system.




DELL Support is extra good here. (best of any maker in the world IMO)

After all windows 2012r2 , updates finish see this: See power/ and search , yes, new)


The Host file is here C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
Mine has this, DRAC2        10.10.1.171   ( so in a browser I go,,, https://drac2/login.html and it runs. (or even just DRAC2 and firefox finds it.)
My firewalls all block www access into my sub net.  (100% blocked) I only use local lan access.

DRAC has it's own ROM and it's only processor. (so is always running, sever on or off but not unplugged from wall AC)
See firefox v65 run DRAC no issues ! I clicked browse to the xxx-IMG.exe file from Dell, and it shows, file ok then I click  Upload and it burns. I can also turn the server off or on with DRAC,  DRAC uses 24watts of power server turned off.
SeaMonkey (by mozilla) runs even better.
DRAC6 Enterprise grade not express.


SOME SIMPLE RULES ON RAID. (AND THIS CHASSIS ABOVE):
  • Only the Hard disk drives (HDD) SAS are hot swappable.  (HOT means the power is turned on fully) Only you know what drives you have not me.
  • (also with power off standby power is inside, so do not disconnect things inside with just power button off) Do not hotswap internal parts but the below, with the power cords connected to 120vac service wall power.
  • Never hot swap any thing else else inside the box.  The HDD /FANS/ and PSU do hot swap, per your manual as does the inside case hidden USB port.
  • Add replacement  HDD drives  1 at a time. (and let it rebuilt, use OMSA to monitor its progress.)
  • Adding  a new 15k drive  in and array of 10k is ok but will run slower. (but a new 10k drive at Dell is $680 (300g)   and hard to find now,(new stock)
  • The control +R ROM access to the RAID card is near useless, it's only for a day 1, configuration,  say adding 1 drive that can boot. RAID0 Op.System.. Then USE OMSA to do all actions this point forward.
  • You can run HP SAS drives here or even Seagate, they all run perfectly. Dell sells fear, now, (I call it FUD) to tell you that the new drives are cyberhacker proof parnanoia bs. (Hell if they are in your system now there is no hope, hackers with root access)
  • The book on the Server covers how to add more memory or a second processor or faster processors, and I wonder why so many people can't read such a simple book (PDF) and not ask basic covered topic in the manual. (dang! me!) The best books in the business TOO!
  • What is confusing to some is lack of SATA DC power plugs, and that here are 3 types of RAID card form factors  (the most odd is the integrated slot card, that uses a kinda brain dead PCI-slot (Custom to DELL).This server has 2 RISER cards and lots of options there.
  • If you don't flash your RAID card firmware you will have  2TB limit on disks (may)
  • The RAID array can be working and not take down the web? server.  (that is its forte'   production  stays up, unlike lesser products)
  • Last is your actual model server has a  list of supported RAID cards, do not expect al 50 Dell RAID cards to work here, ok? gen 1 to gen 14.
Here is how to erase a used, SAS drive, that has old formatting on it now useless and to be rePurposed.  Click clear.  I tried hard to get OSMA to do this and failed.!  (all software here and firmware current)






version 1.   2-9-2019  (rough draft journal)  NICE quiet server,  and very near new condition too.  Dell is the best maker of PC's and Servers in the world.