Dell PowerEdge 1855

Carl Makin carl at
Tue Apr 5 21:55:17 PDT 2005

Hi Robert,

Robert Blayzor wrote:

>I'd like to know if anyone has experience with the Dell PowerEdge 1855
>blade servers running on either FreeBSD_4 or FreeBSD_5.
I've just installed 5.4-RC1 on one and am testing it now.

>Apparently the 1855's integrated RAID uses the LSI (mpt) driver.  I've
>heard mixed results on this with earlier versions of 4.x and 5.x, but
>nothing in the latest releases, 4.10+ and 5.3.
Initial indications are that problems still exist.  The problem seems to 
be that when configured as mirrored drives using hardware mirroring one 
of the drives isn't configured properly and runs at 8bit narrow speeds.  
My tests so far with bonnie and iozone certainly seem to back that up as 
both the test are showing abysmal results.

The other big problem I had was actually doing the install.  These blade 
servers have no internal cdrom drive and you have to use a USB connected 
CD drive.  This works fine up to the point the kernel starts to boot and 
the system then hangs at the point where it is waiting for 15 seconds 
for SCSI devices.  Unplugging the CD drive at this point will let it 
finish the boot however even after replugging in the drive and telling 
sysinstall to redo the device probe it still can't find the drive.  I 
finally finished the install via ftp.

I'm about to try breaking the mirror into jbod, redoing the install and 
seeing if that helps disk performance any although I would much prefer 
to use the hardware mirroring.

More later...


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