Compatible hardware

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Thu Apr 22 06:06:10 PDT 2004

On Thu, Apr 22, 2004 at 12:41:28PM +0700, ????????? ??????????? wrote:
> Dear sirs!
> 	Our company working in personal and server building market in
> Tomsk, Russia over 12 years. In present time our customers more using
> Free BSD based servers than Windows or other systems. We try to find
> information about compability between Intel boards, RAID controllers and
> Free BSD but nothing find. Is there is a way to construct 100%
> compatible server  with Free BSD system? Can you provide any
> recomendations? 

Most IA32 architecture kit will work under FreeBSD.  The sort of stuff
that tends to have the best support is generally the 'quality' end of
the market -- server class motherboards, NICs with chipsets produced
by well known manufacturers, SCSI controllers, various ATA RAID
controllers and so forth.  Things that tend to be more troublesome are
the more 'consumer' oriented end of the market, particularly stuff
that is really very new on the market, stuff that is intended for use
only under Windows and so that plays fast and loose with standards.

The components that are supported under FreeBSD are documented to some
extent in the man pages for the various drivers: eg. the quite popular
3COM 3C940 gigabit ethernet adapotors are documented as working with
the sk(4) driver.  Often there will be other models using a similar
chipset that also work, but which aren't listed.  Knowing exactly what
is and is not supported is really a matter of experience.  As is
knowing what works really well, and what is a bit so-so.  These sort
of things are discussed on many of the FreeBSD mailing lists quite
regularly. As a systems integrator you should have ready access to
components from any number of suppliers: experimentation will give you
the best information about what does and does not work.
> 	We decide to use Intel 7501CW with dual xeon and Tecram TX2000
> card, but Intel techsupport says that this hardware didn't tested with
> FreeBSD and we can use it at our own risk...

Unfortunately almost all big manufacturers will say things like that.
What they mean is that *they* didn't write any drivers (because they
didn't think that FreeBSD was popular enough to justify the expense)
so don't come crying to them if 3rd party stuff doesn't work.  Some of
the more pointy-haired management class use this as a justification
for not using FreeBSD, ignoring the facts, which are that the drivers
written by the 3rd parties (in this case various FreeBSD developers)
are often more reliable and better performing than what the
manufacturers turn out themselves.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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