Category: Dell

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades

The first tasks I am tackling in my home lab rebuild is to upgrade the Intel Xeon CPUs in my Dell R610 hosts. I am removing the existing Intel Xeon E5520s in one, and Intel Xeon E5504s in the other and upgrading to Intel Xeon L5630s. As a result of going with the Intel Xeon L5630s, my power usage should, hopefully, be a bit lower. Upgrading the CPUs is a pretty straight forward task.

Removing the Dell R610 heat sinks and CPUs

The first step we must take is to remove the heat sinks and old CPUs. The heat sinks are the first to go. They are held in place by two metal levers that are clipped under a clasp on each side.  Press down on the blue plastic piece at the end of each metal lever. Slide it out from under the clasp and lift it up. Once you have done that on both sides, the heat sink will now come off.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - Old CPUs

If the CPUs are still good and you might reuse or give them away, take care to clean off all of the old thermal paste. This way they go into the appropriate packaging clean.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - Cleaned CPUs

Removing the CPU is a similar process to removing the heat sink. On the CPU socket, you will find a metal lever that is also hooked under a clasp of sorts. You will need to gently press down on the lever and slide it away from the clasp/hook. Once out from under the hook, allow the lever to go upward gently. It will be under pressure so be sure to keep a finger on it so it does not spring back and hit something.

Pull back the metal ring around the CPU and remove the CPU. Be careful not to damage any of the pins on the socket when you remove the CPU.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - Removing CPUs


Cleaning the Dell R610 Heat Sinks and Applying Thermal Paste

Now that the heat sinks are off and in your hands, wipe off any thermal paste that remains on them. We will replace it with fresh thermal paste. Take a cloth and lightly dampen it with some rubbing alcohol. Then take the cloth and wipe the bottom of each heat sink. This will take the residue of the old thermal paste off and allow the new thermal paste to transfer the heat from the CPU to the heat sink better.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - Heat Sinks Cleaned


There are many different types of thermal paste to use. The product I have been using successfully is a product called Super Lube. It is a silicone heat sink compound. A tube of it will run you around $7-8 on Amazon and should last you a long time. You don’t need much of it.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - Thermal Paste


Re-installation of CPUs – Dell R610

Grab your new or replacement CPUs and unpackage them.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - New CPUs

I am using the Intel Xeon L5630 CPUs. They are a lower power CPU and are fairly cheap. I believe I paid around $5-6ea on eBay.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - New CPUs

Install your new CPUs carefully. The chips have two half circle notches cut out of them. One on each side. These notches line up with little plastic pegs within the socket. This keeps the chips aligned properly. They act as a key so you cannot put the chip in backwards.

Next, place the chips in their sockets. Fold the metal ring around the top of the chip and take the metal lever and push down. Slide the metal lever under the clasp/hook. The lever will have some pressure on it but you should not have to force it. If you have to force it, chances are you’ve installed the chip backwards.

Once the chips are installed, take a small dab of thermal paste and put a very thin layer on the top of each chip. This does not need to be very thick nor do you want gobs and gobs of thermal paste on there.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - New Thermal Paste


Once you’ve applied your thermal paste, you can go ahead and re-install the heat sinks. Next, place one on each chip. Push down on the metal levers. Finally, lock the levers in place under the hook/clasp on each side.

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades - Heat Sinks Installed

Now that you’ve successfully changed out both Intel Xeon CPUs in your Dell R610, you can power it up and enter the BIOS and confirm that it sees both CPUs.


Finally, if you are interested in my home lab rebuild, please check out my blog post titled “Homelab Rebuild – Part 1 – Intro” for more information

Please feel free to check out some of my latest blog posts or my about me page to learn more!

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Homelab Rebuild – Part 1 – Intro

Homelab Rebuild

For the last year and a half, I have been all about consolidating my gear. I got into this funk where I absolutely wanted nothing to do with enterprise equipment in my home. I wanted to go home and just be home. However, that attitude has sacrificed a lot of my personal learning and growth. I am a guy who LOVES to tinker. Doesn’t really matter what it is, I just love to tinker and I love gear.

After talking with some fellow IT guys during a meeting recently, I realized, I miss having the gear to work on at home. I missed having the resources to test something and not give a care if I break something.

I’ve also recently started this blog and am attempting to teach myself about WordPress, it’s plugins and WAFs (Web Application Firewalls). I felt re-invigorated to acquire some gear new gear. I am hoping this blog, and purchasing some new gear, will keep me interested in a hobby that has turned into a career for me.

 Hardware – Dell R510, R610


I have acquired 2 Dell PowerEdge R610s to use in my rebuilt homelab. Both are outfitted with only 16GB of RAM. Ideally, I would love to increase this to 32-48gb of RAM per host. The price was right on the two machines the way they sit so I figured I would just outfit them as needed. As low power is a slight concern for me, I ordered a pair of Xeon L5630s for each machine.

Shared Storage

I would love to have a true Dell SAN to go with the rest of my Dell stack, however, they are subtly out of my price range at the moment. Can you tell? I am a rather big Dell guy when it comes to servers. I picked up an 8 bay Dell R510, was hoping for a 12 bay, but this will give me a start. Honestly, with the size of drives these days, 8 bays should be sufficient for what I am using it for. This will allow me to install my collection of hard drives and pass them through to FreeNAS. I have also picked up a set of 10gb Mellanox cards and cables.

Mellanox Network Cards - 10GB

Dell R510 FreeNAS SAN, Dell R610 Hosts


I picked up a pair of Dell PowerConnect 5524Ps. Initially, I planned on using these as my VM switches and picking up a 48 port Cisco of some variation for my core switch. However, I’ve decided I would use both of these for the time being and forgo the Cisco idea. The 5500 series Dell switches support stacking via HDMI cable, not something I have ever tried, but I scored both switches for a song and this is homelab right?

Dell Switches Homelab Rebuild Network

I did however, purchase a Cisco WS-C2960G-8TC-L switch to hand off my modem to my firewalls. This will give me some redundancy…err at least to my firewalls. Maybe someday I will get a secondary WAN connection and setup some type of failover.

Homelab Rebuild Cisco Network Switch 2960G

VLANs, what good is a homelab without VLANs?


I will provision 3 ports on the Cisco C2960G on what I call VLAN5. Taking the link from my cable modem, I will feed the WAN into 1 port, and send it out the other 2 additional ports to my redundant firewalls. VLAN5 will only exist on the Cisco switch. By setting up the environment this way, it gives me a little bit of redundancy, at least, in my mind. Obviously my two single points of failure are my cable modem and the Cisco switch.

iSCSI Network – VLAN10

As the hosts will have no local storage, we will need to create this VLAN to handle all of the iSCSI/Storage traffic for both. This VLAN will only be present on the Dell stack.

vMotion Network – VLAN15

This VLAN will allow the movement of virtual machines back and forth between my two hosts.

Production/Home Network – VLAN25

VLAN25 is where most of the err….action…happens. This is where my end devices sit. I don’t typically try to break that stuff up in my home environment. This VLAN will be on both the Dell stack and Cisco switch. It will only be present on the Cisco switch so that I can manage the switch from my workstation.

Security Cam Network – VLAN35

My security cameras were once on VLAN25….with everything else… my network was in essence…flat. I currently have 9 cameras with the plan to add a few more (small farm, we have animals etc so we like to keep an eye on things) – I decided it was time to break them out into their own VLAN. Enter stage left, VLAN35. Some of you reading this may be asking, how does this guy pick his VLAN numbers?? Honestly, the number is in direct correlation to the 3rd octet of the VLAN. So, an example might be, – the x.x.35.x is where the number comes from. Just something I came up with and ran with.

Guest Network – VLAN45

I do not typically have a lot of guests at my house, we’re out in the woods and people don’t like to visit. I’m ok with that. However, when we do have the occasional guest, I would rather they be on their own VLAN and have no access to anything other than the internet.

Area 51 – VLAN51

This is a new one for me. VLAN51 will become my secure VLAN. It will have no access to the internet. No access to the rest of the network. Any VMs that are apart of VLAN51 will be shut down when not in use. VLAN51 will be used to network my penetration testing VMs.

Network Layout

Homelab Rebuild Network Design


Since I am moving my office to my basement, I will be working on installing two dedicated circuits for my new lab. My electrical panel is right there and access is fairly easy. Most likely these will be 2 – 20 amp circuits. I am not an electrician, I just play one on the internet. Just kidding, please if you are going to run your own circuits, be aware of the risks involved. I am fairly comfortable working with electricity.

One thing I regret selling is my UPS. That is a pricey component that I will need to re-acquire at some point. I have a couple of smaller ones, and frankly, it’s my homelab, if it goes offline, eh not the end of the world.


One item that I had a hard time selling when I was consolidating my lab, is my 25u StarTech Open Frame rack. I had advertised it locally numerous times and never had anyone actually come and buy it. So I kept it and I am glad I did. It’s one less thing I need to purchase for the this adventure. I am planning on either enclosing it or putting it in a small server closet in my shop/office. This will hopefully help keep the noise down.

Software – FreeNAS, VMWare, pfSense


Something I never needed before was a VMUG subscription. I always had access to VMWare products through work. This time around I will be purchasing the $200 subscription so that I can utilize all of the products that come with it. Both of my hosts will be running ESXi. I will also be using the vCenter appliance instead of the Windows based vCenter install since that is the way things are headed anyways.

Shared Storage

Several years ago I utilized FreeNAS as my SAN for a POC (Proof of Concept) for a previous employer. This worked out very well. FreeNAS will be once again utilized for this en-devour. It will be installed on an R510 as stated above. Then I will create an iSCSI target and present that to VMWare as a LUN. Once the LUN has been presented to VMWare, we can go to town building out the Virtual Machines. Fairly straight forward here.

Virtual Machines

As of the moment my virtual machines are…..lacking. I went from having numerous VMs to accomplish one or two tasks down to one physical host and only a couple VMs to do a lot of tasks. Some things on my list to virtualize:

Firewall – pfSense and CARP – this is something I have never tried. Never really had a reason to. I feel like in the spirit of homelab, I should attempt this. Currently I am running a single Untangle firewall on Hyper-V. I love Untangle (so far) but I do not believe there is a way to create a failover cluster. None the less, this could change at any time. I jump from UTM to UTM or Firewall to Firewall. Keeps things exciting you know?

Monitoring – Nagios, Observium (perhaps Grafana will make a debut at some point too)

Domain Controllers – Currently I am working on my Master’s in IT, so I have access to the Microsoft Imagine program, so I will more then likely be spinning up a couple DCs to work with.

File Server (either nextcloud or something)

Security related – AlienVault, Nessus, and a dedicated KALI VM. Perhaps even a couple other pentest VMs on a secure VLAN.

Patch Management – ManageEngine

Web Server – Centos 7/WordPress/MySQL

Home Automation and Security – HomeSeer

Media – Plex (and maybe iHome Media Server too)

Physical Machines

Additionally, aside from my 2 hosts and the R510 SAN, I do have several physical machines present in the lab. One of the biggest tasks will be to remove all of my VMs off my Hyper-V box and turn my Hyper-V box into a BlueIris/Nakivo backup box. I switched to BlueIris from Ubiquiti’s NVR recently, and although I am loving Blue Iris, I find it resource intensive. So I will be leaving it as a physical box. The way I figure it, I can remove all the other tasks off my SuperMicro Mini and then have room for Nakivo along side Blue Iris. That machine has plenty of oomph for those two tasks.

I have a custom built workstation that I can never figure out what to do with, so I ordered up a 2u case and will be racking that as well. This will server as my media ingest machine. By that I mean, when I buy my next lot of DVDs and Bluerays or borrow them, I will use this machine to ingest the media and flip it to my Plex server.

A secure homelab or network environment should have a jump box or jump point. For me, my Intel Skull Canyon NUC will become this. Just a versatile box that is always on. Something I can hit from the field. My NUC will also be tied to a TV or screen in my office so that I can monitor the systems in real time.


Check out my latest Home Lab rebuild posts

Dell R610 Intel Xeon CPU Upgrades – to see my progress on the two new hosts!

Add VLANs and Assign Ports on Cisco 2960G Switch – to see some configurations on my WAN switch

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Add MIB Files to Ubuntu

Adding MIB files to Ubuntu Manually

This tutorial will cover manually adding MIB, Management Information Base, files to Ubuntu. Specifically, Dell and Ubiquiti MIBs.

You can acquire the Ubiquiti MIBs here:
Ubiquiti MIBs
Ubiquiti UniFi MIBs

Dell Switch MIBs are included within the firmware when you download it from Dell. This process should work for adding just about any MIB to Ubuntu. You can see my post titled “Dell PowerConnect 5524P Firmware Upgrade” to learn how to obtain the Dell firmware.

You will need WinSCP and Putty fo this tutorial.

Launch WinSCP and navigate to the home directory for the user you logged in as. Within the home directory, right click and create a new folder. I called mine “mibs” to keep things simple. Copy all of your mib files from your computer to this location.


Now that the mibs files are located on your Ubuntu server, we need to get them into the correct directory. For this we will use Putty. Open up Putty and connect to your Ubuntu server.

Type the command “sudo cp /home/username/mibs/*.mibs /usr/share/snmp/mibs/”

Where username is, put your account username. So in my case, my command would look like this: sudo cp /home/altach/mibs/*.mibs /usr/share/snmp/mibs/

This will copy all of the files with the .mib file extension to the /usr/share/snmp/mibs/ folder.


WGET to manually add MIB files to Ubuntu

Another way to get MIB files on your Ubuntu server is to use the wget command. We will use the Ubiquiti MIBs for this example.

Open Putty and connect to your Ubuntu server. Create and/or navigate to the “tmp” folder. Navigate to it by issuing the command “cd /tmp”

This is where you can now download your Ubiquiti MIB files to.

Type: “sudo wget” and the Ubiquiti MIB file will then be downloaded to your /tmp folder. You can use any folder you wish, I just happend to use a /tmp folder. Issue the command again using the path for the UniFi MIBs if needed.

When the MIBs have been downloaded, you can now copy them to the /usr/share/snmp/mibs/ folder by issuing the command “sudo cp UBNT-* /usr/share/snmp/mibs/

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Dell PowerConnect 5524P Firmware Upgrade

Dell PowerConnect 5524P Firmware Upgrade


Upgrading the firmware on a Dell PowerConnect 5524p switch is a fairly simple task. For this tutorial, we are going to assume that you already have console and web access to the switch.


You can download the 5524’s firmware from Dell’s webpage located here: Dell Support

Steps to take

Login to the switch’s web interface.

Navigate to System > File Management > File Download.

In the “Download Protocol” section of the page, select “Download via HTTP” – This is where it is a little confusing because you are actually uploading the firmware to the switch.

Software Image Upload

Within the “Firmware Download” section, you should now see a “Browse” button. You can click this and navigate to the location you have stored your Dell firmware. There are two files to this procedure. The first one is the “Software Image” or the .ros file. Select the .ros file, hit the “Open” button on the dialogue box, then click “Activate” on the browser window.

Once the .ros file has completed it’s upload, you will see the following screen:

Click close and refresh the page. *NOTE* If you try and upload the second file without refreshing the page first, you may see a error stating “Invalid Image” or “Invalid File Type” – I ran into this on 2 separate 5524p switches that I have updated recently.

After refreshing the page, re-navigate to System > File Management > File Download. Re-select “Download via HTTP”

Boot Code Upload

In the “Firmware Download” section, click the drop down for “Destination File Type” and change it to “Boot Code” – This is the .rfb file we will be uploading. Then click on the browse button, navigate to where you have stored your Dell firmware files and select the .rfb file. Click “Open” on the dialogue box, then click “Activate” on the browser window.

You will see a box that says “Copy Finished” – Click Close

Navigate to System > File Management > Active Images. Here we will select which image to use after a reboot. This will display the current image being used by the system. Under the “After Reset” drop down, select the image which you just uploaded. Click on the “Apply” button.

Once you click “Apply” a green box will appear that says “Success” 

If you are in the console of the switch that you can issue the “Reload” command to reboot the switch.

Upon reboot, you can issue the command “show version” and see that the switch is using the new firmware version.

I hope this helped you out, thank you for reading my first blog post! Check out my links page for some awesome resources

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