Dell vs. Silicon Mechanics vs. FreeBSD Systems

Greg Barniskis nalists at
Wed Apr 26 20:09:12 UTC 2006

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.

There have been exceptions (like a large percentage of GX270 mobo's
dying early due to bulging capacitors), but they've been pretty good
about providing replacement parts, once we jump through all the
hoops that their first tier phone support throws up.

> Does Dell support Serial Console Redirection without their extra
> lights out card?

Can't comment on that as we've never needed to try.

Greg Barniskis, Computer Systems Integrator
South Central Library System (SCLS)
Library Interchange Network (LINK)
<gregb at>, (608) 266-6348

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