Supermicro X11SCL-IF mITX Server Motherboard Review

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Supermicro X11SPM-TPF Management

These days, out of band management is a standard feature on servers. Supermicro offers an industry-standard solution for traditional management, including a WebGUI. This is based on the ASPEED AST2500 solution, a leader in the BMC field. The company is also supporting the Redfish management standard. Something that we wanted to highlight is that the password has changed. You can see this directly on the box.

Supermicro X11SCL IF Box With Unique Password
Supermicro X11SCL IF Box With Unique Password

The unique BMC password is printed on the MAC labels for the BMC. There is an extra label on the CPU cover that one can remove the sticker from and use it on the system chassis.

Supermicro X11SCL IF BMC Password On CPU Socket Cover
Supermicro X11SCL IF BMC Password On CPU Socket Cover

For a quick overview on why Supermicro and the rest of the industry are moving to unique BMC passwords, you can see Why Your Favorite Default Passwords Are Changing and the accompanying video:

On this server, we see similar features as we would across the Supermicro X11/H12 ranges. That means whether you are using an embedded Intel motherboard or a 4U EPYC storage server, you will have a similar look and feel to the management experience.

Supermicro BMC New User With Access Levels
Supermicro BMC New User With Access Levels

In the latest generation of Supermicro IPMI is an HTML5 iKVM. One no longer needs to use a Java console to get remote KVM access to their server.

Supermicro X11 HTML5 IKVM
Supermicro HTML5 IKVM

Currently, Supermicro allows users to utilize Serial-over-LAN, Java or HTML5 consoles from before a system is turned on, all the way into the OS. Other vendors such as HPE, Dell EMC, and Lenovo charge an additional license upgrade for this capability (among others with their higher license levels.) That is an extremely popular feature. One can also perform BIOS updates using the Web GUI but that feature does require a relatively low-cost license (around $20 street price.) That is a feature we wish Supermicro would include with their systems across product lines.

This pricing differential for a serviceable iKVM functionality is a big deal in this segment. Adding a $200 license to a server can add 10% or more in the embedded platform costs. Supermicro’s iKVM feature is extremely popular due to its inclusion with the server.

Supermicro X11SCL-IF Test Configuration

Here is the test configuration we used for the Supermicro X11SPM-TPF:

  • System: Supermicro X11SCL-IF
  • CPUs: Many Xeon E-2200, Xeon E-2100, Core i3, and Pentium
  • Memory: 2x Micron DDR4-2666 16GB RDIMMs (32GB total)
  • Boot SSD: Toshiba (now Kioxia) 512GB XG3
  • Storage HDDs: 4x 10TB Western Digital Red

Overall, these servers will most likely be deployed with 1-2 drives so our configuration is a bit of overkill.

Next, let us look at the performance before moving onto our final words.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Love the form factor, but it’s a shame that there’s no 10G. NAS and hyper-converged applications all need 10G at a minimum. If you have to use the PCI slot for a NIC you’re stuck with a single M2 slot for high-performance IO. Onboard 10GBase-T or SFP would be worth another $50.

  2. @Rob Pennoyer:
    Have a look at the ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T, it has 2x 10G connection in the mITX form factor.

  3. @Misha Engel, all my regular AsRock channels have told me that that board is not available for several more months and could not tell me a delivery date. Same issue with the X470D4U, I’ve RMAed one and waiting for a replacement since two months now.

  4. 2x Micron DDR4-266 16GB RDIMMs – are you sure it was not UDIMM ? Motherboard specs says nothing about RDIMM – which would have been great though.

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