Anyone successfully running FreeBSD on a HP Proliant DL385?

lars lars at
Sat Aug 13 08:40:50 GMT 2005

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> No.  I assume that the HP Linux driver has this sort of functionality
> in it - but maybe not.  Not even the Windows driver for the RAID card
> can do this.
> HP has used an agent/manager model with these systems.  The drivers
> for the hardware in the system all talk to a HP management server that
> you run on a separate PC.  THAT system is what sends the
> pages/notifications.
> And of course it's Windows-only.  I would guess the Linux driver has
> been enhanced to talk to this but I don't know as I don't use Linux.
Ok, maybe I'll set up such system.
Probably I won't and instead use some other monitoring software.

>>Unfortunately we can't go through a VAR.
> Why not?  I know of no industry that is legally barred from purchasing
> from a VAR.
Right, it's not "we can't", it's "we won't".
Our company has a special relationship with HP that gives us quite a rebate
(20-30% off reseller price).
If we bought our equipment from a VAR we would lose this rebate.

>>And which VAR would guarantee us FreeBSD will run perfectly?
> Any one of them that wanted to make a sale would do so.

>>I doubt any would or could.
> You are wrong.

>>But that doesn't matter anyway.
In the situation I or my company are in, it doesn't matter.

> Yeah, right.  OK, well then listen up.  By not going through a VAR -
> which is HP's preferred channel for selling servers, by the way -
> you bear the ENTIRE responsibility for specing the Compaq server
> yourself - which also means if you buy it and it doesen't work, you
> are going to have to deal with wherever you get it from to return it
> and exchange for a different model.
> THAT is what the value of a VAR is.  A HP VAR that sells a lot of servers
> isn't going to get flack from HP if they need to exchange a server
> for a different model.
> Like I said, you need to think long and carefully before dispensing
> with a VAR to save the couple hundred bucks by buying it off the website.
Ok, I didn't know that. Thanks for explaining this to me.

But to profit from the whole rebate, we will still shun the VAR
and bear the risk of specing the server ourselves.

I specified the server according our requirement of
relatively high availability hardware
(RAID5, 4 SCSI disks, iLO, redundant fan and power supply
should provide this)
high I/O and upgradeability
(Opteron Dual CPU motherboard, Dual Core capabability should provide this).

I chose the parts according to the HP website and asked the sales
team whether I had all the right parts, I do.

It fits in our rack and we have the electricity to run it.

I have some time to give FreeBSD a test run on it, maybe a week, but then
this machine will run Windows Server 2003, because of some silly software
requirement. I reckon Windows Server 2003 will run fine.

Most probably though, we will get a second one of this model,
and on that one I'd like to run a Unix, preferrably FreeBSD, otherwise Solaris 10.

> I have booted FreeBSD on a DL360 but not extensively tested it.
> I have booted it on a ML360.  I have run it and do
> run it on the older Proliant hardware which uses the older RAID
> driver and it works fine on that.  And I run both Windows and
> Solaris x86 on the newer Proliants.  The Proliant gear is top
> notch, there is no more reliable server gear available from
> anybody.
That's reassuring to hear.

>   Others who have posted to the list before do run it on the
> Proliant hardware, most with no problems, some with a few problems,
> some with lots of problems. I do not recall a post from anyone
> running it on a DL385 on this list.  
In any case, I'll post my experience with this combination to the
freebsd-proliant at mailing list.

> The fact is that HP/Compaq
> in their server line is getting like General Motors where they
> have the same basic cars in every model line, just different brands
> on the nameplates and minor styling differences.
I guess HP is not the only one, IBM, Sun and Dell probably do the same.

> I also must point out that I run it on clone gear, and on other
> manufacturers gear like HP Netservers, Gateway, Dell, Toshiba, NEC, etc.
> Most of the time it works, some times it doesen't.
> It would of course be nice if someone setup a "system certification"
> program for FreeBSD.  The problem is that such a program is only useful
> if your certifying brand new gear.  And there is too much of it and it's
> too expensive for anyone to do this.  With the older gear, typically
> people get it very cheap, so if it doesen't run FreeBSD then they
> just move on to the next machine, thus a certification program is
> of little use to them.
> Ted
Again, thanks for your reply,

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