Dell C6420 server

This page contains information about Dell PowerEdge C6420 servers deployed in our Niflheim cluster.

Dell OpenManage

Download the OpenManage software ISO image from the C6420_downloads page in the Systems Management download category.

Booting and BIOS configuration

Press F2 during start-up to enter the BIOS and firmware setup menus.

See How to inspect and change BIOS configurations on a PowerEdge C-Series server with SetupBIOS tool.

Minimal configuration of a new server or motherboard

At our site the following minimal settings are required for a new server or a new motherboard. Remaining settings will be configured by SYSCFG (see Dell_R640 page).

The Dell iDRAC9 (BMC) setup is accessed via the System Setup menu item iDRAC Settings:

  • In the Network page set:
    • NIC Selection: Dedicated
    • Enable IPMI over LAN to Enabled.
  • In the System Summary page read the NIC iDRAC MAC Address from this page for configuring the DHCP server.

Go to the System Setup menu item Device Settings and select the Integrated NIC items:

  • In the NIC Main Configuration Page select NIC Configuration. We use NIC port 3 (1 Gbit) as the system's NIC.
  • Read the NIC Ethernet MAC Address from this page for configuring the DHCP server.
  • Select the Legacy Boot Protocol item PXE.

Boot Sequence menu:

  • Click the Boot Sequence item to move PXE boot up above the hard disk boot.

Reconfiguring the network in BIOS

The C6420 factory default network settings has the iDRAC9 port shared with a 1 Gbit LOM Ethernet port.

Our network configuration is designed to be:

  1. A dedicated iDRAC9 port.
  2. Server Ethernet port in port 2 of 10 Gbit mezzanine card.
  3. The server Ethernet port must do PXE boot before hard disk boot.
  4. BIOS boot (not UEFI boot).

The following procedure has been tested with BIOS 1.6.11 and iDRAC9 firmware 3.21:

  1. During system boot press F2 to go to System Setup.
  2. Enter iDRAC Settings:

    • Network:
      • NIC Selection: Dedicated
    • Optional: Thermal:
      • Thermal Profile: Maximum Performance
  3. Go back and enter Device Settings:

    • Read the Ethernet MAC address of the desired port.
    • Go to NIC in Mezzanine 3 Port 2:
      • NIC Configuration:
        • Legacy Boot Protocol: PXE
        • Wake on LAN: Enabled
  4. Go back to Finish:

    • Reboot the system (mandatory).
  5. During system boot press F2 to go to System Setup.
  6. Enter System Setup:

    • Boot Settings:
      • BIOS Boot Settings:
        • Change Boot Sequence: NIC, then Hard drive C:
  7. Go back to Finish:

    • Reboot the system (mandatory).

C6400 Chassis System Management

The C6400 chassis can be managed using the Dell EMC iDRAC_Tools for Linux. Download and install this software:

tar xzf DellEMC-iDRACTools-Web-LX-9.3.0-3379_A00.tar.gz
cd iDRACTools/racadm/RHEL7/x86_64
yum install srvadmin-*

Dell documentation refers to the racadm command, so make a link under that name:

ln -s /opt/dell/srvadmin/bin/idracadm7 /usr/local/bin/racadm

Chassis information

Get the chassis information:

racadm get System.ChassisInfo

Get the chassis power information:

racadm get System.SC-BMC

Inquire the system power:

racadm get System.Power
racadm get System.ServerPwr

Inquire thermal and fan settings:

racadm get System.ThermalSettings

Inquire the Thermal Profile:

racadm get System.ThermalSettings.ThermalProfile

Values for the ThermalProfile parameter are:

0- Default Thermal Profile Settings; 1- Maximum Performance; 2- Minimum Power; 3- Sound Cap; Default - 0

Use the set command to change the values.

C6400 firmware upgrade

In the C6420_downloads page find Chassis System Management firmware. Read the firmware Release Notes file.

Verify the CM chassis firmware version by:

ipmitool raw 0x30 0x12
 01 cc 1b 01 43 01 00 00 00 04 02 00 01 2d 37 ff
 ff 08 c2 00 00 00 08 01 08 10 64 23 fa 01


  • Byte 4 - Major version (01 hex) - 01
  • Byte 5 - Minor version (66 hex) - 43

Install firmware updates by:

racadm update -f

Note: It may take 5-10 minutes after upgrading before the new firmware is active on the chassis.

C6400 Chassis Power Supplies

The C6400 chassis contains two power supplies of either 1600, 2000 or 2400 W. The C6400 factory default PSU configuration is:

Dual, HotPlug Redundant Power Supply

The PSU handle LED codes are:

  • Off: Input fail / System off
  • Solid Green: Input OK / System on
  • Blinking Amber: PSU failsafe failure
  • Blinking Green: Firmware updating
  • Blinking Amber: Firmware update failed
  • Blinking Green and Off: PSU mismatch

Internal Dell information

The 1600 W PSU is special since it can be configured in 1+1 (default) redundancy mode, as well as a non-redundant 2+0 mode.

To set non-redundant 2+0 mode:

ipmitool -I wmi 0x30 0xC7 0x30 0x2 0x0

Set back to 1+1 redundant mode:

ipmitool -I wmi 0x30 0xC7 0x30 0x1 0x1

The C6400 Chassis Manager must be reset to activate a new mode by:

ipmitool -I wmi 0x6 0x34 0x45 0x70 0x18 0xc8 0x20 0x0 0x2 0xd8

Disk firmware upgrade without RAID controller

Our C6420 servers have a SATA SSD disk connected to a simple S140 HBA controller. The Linux firmware update xxx.BIN file apparently can only update firmwares on disks connected to a PERC RAID controller.

The alternative is to upgrade the disk firmware through the iDRAC9 controller using the above racadm command together with the upgrade file in Windows 32-bit .EXE format.

For example:

racadm update -f /home/que/Dell/C6420/Serial-ATA_Firmware_8VGP8_WN32_DL63_A00.EXE --reboot

iDRAC Easy Restore

See the iDRAC9 User's Guide:

After you replace the motherboard on your server, Easy Restore allows you to automatically restore the following data:

  • System Service Tag
  • Asset Tag
  • Licenses data
  • UEFI Diagnostics application
  • System configuration settings—BIOS, iDRAC, and NIC

Easy Restore uses the Easy Restore flash memory to back up the data. When you replace the motherboard and power on the system, the BIOS queries the iDRAC and prompts you to restore the backed-up data. The first BIOS screen prompts you to restore the Service Tag, licenses, and UEFI diagnostic application. The second BIOS screen prompts you to restore system configuration settings. If you choose not to restore data on the first BIOS screen and if you do not set the Service Tag by another method, the first BIOS screen is displayed again. The second BIOS screen is displayed only once.

IT-wiki: Dell_C6420 (last edited 2019-06-03 06:28:19 by OleHolmNielsen)