Dell vs. Silicon Mechanics vs. FreeBSD Systems
scott+lists.freebsd at fishballoon.org
Thu Apr 27 10:24:49 UTC 2006
On Wed, Apr 26, 2006 at 03:09:10PM -0500, Greg Barniskis wrote:
> Questions wrote:
> >Anyone have any opinions about the quality and/or value of these
> >respective vendors?
> >How does Dell fit into all of this? I haven't dealt with Dell in
> >years but when I have in the past, there didn't seem to be any major
> >issues. I'm looking at a Power Edge 1850 with the Embedded RAID
> >(ROMB) - PERC4e/Si Controller.
> Folks' mileage with Dell really seems to vary, so I'd guess you're
> going to get a broad range of responses on that question.
> Our experience here is pretty consistent, over a long period of
> time: Dell's low end consumer systems (e.g. Dimension models) tend
> to be flaky, to the point where we simply won't buy them anymore,
> while their high end business systems (e.g. Optiplex, PowerEdge)
> tend to be pretty reliable, to the point where we'd need a pretty
> compelling reason to change vendors.
I'll second this - the current lineup of PowerEdge servers seems to be
pretty solid, and Dell's business support (in the UK at least) is better
than most of the other vendors we deal with.
The only Dell kit I have FreeBSD on right now is a PE 1850, but that works
well, including the PERC4 RAID and DRAC4 remote management card. I believe
the serial redirection just works, although we're not using it. Haven't
really looked into the IPMI stuff yet - the DRAC sends emails when things
need attention, and that has been good enough so far. Pretty sure the serial
redirection is a BIOS thing, so you wouldn't need the DRAC for that.
Might be worth browsing through these threads:
Someone else to consider if you're keen on Opterons is Sun - we have a
couple of quad-CPU v20z boxes running Linux, they're very nice machines.
The serial console redirection seems to stop working once the OS has booted,
but I believe you can work around this. I've not tried FreeBSD on these,
so you'd want to ask around and make sure everything works. I did read that
the onboard RAID controller is a bit useless (we're only using it to protect
against drive failures, rebuilds take _ages_ but performance seems OK
otherwise), but there's an add-in RAID card available if you need it.
Scott Mitchell | PGP Key ID | "Eagles may soar, but weasels
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