[Opinions Wanted] Dell PowerEdge 2950 Servers ...

Marc G. Fournier scrappy at freebsd.org
Fri Jan 26 18:45:15 UTC 2007

Hash: SHA1

- --On Friday, January 26, 2007 08:59:43 -0500 Bill Moran 
<wmoran at collaborativefusion.com> wrote:

> We have 4 1950s and 3 2950s in use around here.  Only one is actually in
> production so far, the rest are still being configured, etc.
> We're mostly happy with them.  The following is a list of caveats:
> *) The version 5 DRAC is nicer than the version 4, _except_ that you have
>    to use a Windows client to connect to it.  May not be an issue for you,
>    but all our admins here use FreeBSD on their workstations :(

I use FreeBSD for my 'get real work done' desktop, and Windows for games and 
the books ... so, having to run the DRAC client on it won't be an issue ... I 
do it now for the HPs since it gives me two screens to work with ...

> *) There's an issue where the systems will hang on reboot about 50% of the
>    time.  I tried to track this down but found that if I added any debugging
>    code, the problem disappeared :(  It's not a big deal for three reasons --
>    we don't reboot servers very often, the hang occurs after the disks
>    are synced so it doesn't trigger an fsck, and we have DRAC cards in
>    all of them :)

'k, so the hang is as its coming down, not coming up, right?  If so, then that 
I can live with so same reasons as you ... will definitely have the DRAC cards 

> *) The new PERC controllers use the mfi driver, which works well as far as
>    we can tell ... unfortunately, there's no equivalent to megarc (which we
>    use with 1850 and 2950 systems) so we have been unable to come up with
>    a way to monitor the health of the RAID arrays from within the OS.

With the HP server, 'camcontrol devlist' shows:


Nothing similar with the mfi driver?

Also, are you using SAS or SATA on your 2950?

> *) Make sure you use a recent version of FreeBSD (6.2).  The NIC cards on
>    these use the bge driver, which was buggy as hell prior to 6.2.

So I've heard, but I have bge on 3 of my HP servers, and never had a problem 
with them under 6.1 ... I'm sooo unlike everywhere else, guess I had to have 
some luck somewhere :)

> The biggest benefit we noticed when moving from the x850 to the x950 systems
> is that the IPMI and DRAC cards perform much better.  It's a shame that Dell
> decided to use ActiveX for the v5 DRAC :(

If its a solid machine, how often do  you have to access the DRAC though?  :)

Can you post your 2950 configuration?

Thanks ...

- ----
Marc G. Fournier           Hub.Org Networking Services (http://www.hub.org)
Email . scrappy at hub.org                              MSN . scrappy at hub.org
Yahoo . yscrappy               Skype: hub.org        ICQ . 7615664
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