[nycbug-talk] Server hardware
lists at genoverly.net
Wed Feb 22 14:03:07 EST 2006
On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 13:06:47 -0500
csnyder <chsnyder at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have been shopping server hardware recently (after many years of
> making due with repurposed workstations) and I've discovered that if
> you don't want to use Red Hat or SUSE Linux, you're pretty much on
> your own with regard to hardware compatibility.
> I'm sure this isn't news to anyone on this list.
> I know I have to do my due diligence and check the hardware notes
> against manufacturer websites, but the big three (DELL, HP, IBM) and
> retailers alike seem to take perverse delight in obscuring the info,
> forgetting to mention model numbers, or coming up with their own
> buzzwordy product names for standard parts.
> What is the common wisdom with regard to determining compatibility?
> Are there any manufacturers that you would deem "BSD-friendly"? Any
> server models/product lines that you have had consistently good luck
> with? Or am I pining for the impossible in a world driven by Microsoft
> and "enterprise" Linux?
> Chris Snyder
The previous mention of the dmesg app was a great start! (provided
people put make and model in the description).
Another comment about rocket science was pretty close. Motherboards,
memory, and harddrives are *usually* not a problem. NICs can be a
little tricky, but those brands usually include well supported
hardware. It is when you add sound and video (not usually a concern
with servers) that you can have problems. Or, when a manufacturer
quietly changes chipsets on a device.
The BSD's do a great job supporting architectures, especially the
i386 line. As proof, the NYCUG cabinet runs a wide array of brands
from Sun, Compaq, Dell, Valinux, etc.
Some people don't like Dell. But.. I've had very good luck with Dell
2650 & 2850 with OpenBSD. From what I have seen, Dell uses LSI raid
cards (another potentially sticky add-on) that are very well
supported. As a side bonus, I can also get great sesnor feedback thru
ipmi. Frankly on my last purchase, I spent a few consecutive days
surfing their refurb pages with some specific specs in mind. Great
deals pop up once in a while, but pull the trigger fast. The good ones
The projects usually have a hardware compatibility list that is
component based (vs make and model based)
The respective mailing lists are also good resources.
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