What server hardware are you buying from the big companies these days?

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Mon Jun 8 19:53:08 UTC 2009

On Mon, Jun 08, 2009 at 11:56:35AM -0600, ericr wrote:

> Hi,
> I need to buy some new servers, and mgmt has decreed that we get them from
> someplace which will provide service contracts with on-site h/w suppport,
> which means HP, Dell, Sun, IBM, etc.

Our group has a lot of Dells from Poweredge 650-s to 2950-s and
some other groups in our department also run 46xx and some other
things.   They have been successful and reliable.  We have also
run a few HP servers with FreeBSD with no major problems, though
one came with a DOA motherboard.  But they came out and replaced
it right away.


> Has anyone bought servers from one of the big manufacturers lately and had
> good luck with them?  It seems hard to get them to tell you what controllers
> and chipsets they're using in servers, to compare against the supported
> hardware list.
> What I'm looking for isn't all that exotic:
> rack mountable
> RAID-5 controller
> 4-6 or more disks (hot swappable would be nice, but not mandatory)
> dual power supplies (hot swappable would be nice, but not mandatory)
> 2 ethernet ports
> some RAM
> a video card
> an Intel or AMD CPU - single, two CPU, or multicore doesn't really matter.
> and the all-important onsite service.
> These things need to be pretty reliable, both of the data centers they're
> going into are a couple  of hours from my house, so I don't want a dead
> power supply to take out the server.  We've used SuperMicro's in the past,
> and they've been wildly variable.  Some of them have run ok for years, some
> died within weeks, and kept dying no matter what parts we put in. (yes, I
> checked the power, it was clean.  My guess is just a bad run of
> motherboards).  I've got 3 servers that have never been able to stay up for
> more than a couple of days, we don't even use them.
> Regardless, any one have suggestions on what current models of servers are
> out there that run?
> Thanks!
> - ericr
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