Supermicro X11SBA-LN4F-O N3700 - Has anyone used this board?



  • It was suggested https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=111335.msg620109#msg620109 that the Supermicro X11SBA-LN4F-O board might be a good cost effective platform for a pfSense build.

    • What is the quality of the Supermicro boards-Especially capacitors (Chinese Caps/Japanese Caps)?

    • What is the expected lifespan of this type of hardware? I've had ASUS boards run 7-8 years… is Supermicro in the same class? Better? Worse?

    • What throughput should I expect running VPN?

    I'm targeting a 250/20 cable connection with a lot of the traffic through a OpenVPN.

    Any guidance would be much appreciated from anyone with experience with this platform.



  • It would behoove you to read this thread. It's long but worth it.

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98230.0



  • Thanks, that's an interesting read….

    It's not clear if the issue has been solved... It appears that someone may have solved the issue... 
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98230.msg620591#msg620591

    The board required an RMA to fix an issue which was likely a firmware issue somewhere in the network stack and/or support chips. 
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98230.msg594532#msg594532



  • @guardian:

    Thanks, that's an interesting read….

    It's not clear if the issue has been solved... It appears that someone may have solved the issue... 
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98230.msg620591#msg620591

    The board required an RMA to fix an issue which was likely a firmware issue somewhere in the network stack and/or support chips. 
    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98230.msg594532#msg594532

    While firmware was updated to latest, there was some sort of hardware modification.  I searched over my board and found no traces of hardware mods (no solder marks, etc).  I suppose it could have been some sort of PLD (programmable logic device).  Firmware alone has not solved this for anyone that I know of.



  • I have 3 of these in production. Worked fine until Friday when they suddenly lost Link on one or two links during a scriptkiddie-dos  :o

    My guess for the fix is a change in aspm parameters on the nics eeprom. I am testing with aspm and msix disabled now.
    Not sure if it helps though as the scriptkiddie is done w*nking  ::)



  • @Perforado:

    I have 3 of these in production. Worked fine until Friday when they suddenly lost Link on one or two links during a scriptkiddie-dos  :o

    How long was it in production before the failure? 
    Do you know what revision the boards are (or were they RMA's to receive a mod)?
    Can you please comment on:
    What case you used? / Do you have fans in the case? / What Temperature does the CPU run when under a reasonable workload?

    My guess for the fix is a change in aspm parameters on the nics eeprom. I am testing with aspm and msix disabled now.
    Not sure if it helps though as the scriptkiddie is done w*nking  ::)

    Thanks.



  • Engineer has done a lot of work to figure out what the issues are
    with this board, and based on his experience, the presence of
    ECO 18137 makes the Supermicro X11SBA-LN4F-O N3700 a stable
    and low power pfSense platform with decent performance.

    I took some of the info from the forum and approached SM Tech Support,
    and I got the following back:

    –------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------- Forwarded Message --------
    Subject: RE: X11SBA-LN4F-O - Pre-Sales Enquiry [WT]
    Date: Tue, 10 May 2016 00:02:16 +0000
    From: Technical Support support@supermicro.comTo: –---@---.ca>, Technical Support support@supermicro.comHello

    After further investigation,  the ECOs has been implemented onto
    PCB 1.02 for the aforementioned issues.  When you place an order
    with your distributor, please ensure to specify a PCB 1.02 to be
    shipped to you.

    Regards,

    Technical Support


    Assuming reasonable cost and workload match, would the above
    make the X11SBA-LN4F-O N3700 PCB 1.02 a recommended pfSense
    platform?/support@supermicro.com/support@supermicro.com



  • I use this board for 4 months now.
    I have no problems at all.

    Performance is great using ips, squid, Pfblocker.
    Power consumption can’t be lower.

    It’s a very solid board. I like the Ipmi feature.