Stable on Blade server

John Nielsen lists at
Fri Feb 23 14:48:17 UTC 2007

On Friday 23 February 2007 07:12, Marian Hettwer wrote:
> Hi there,
> On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 11:06:54 +0100, Martin <list at> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I work for a little web agency/isp and we are going to buy new hw to
> > sustain the growinng demand of our customers.
> >
> > We're 100% FreeBSD-only and i was looking to buy IBM blade servers: can
> > anyone reccomend any of them? models? particular hw/firmware/misc
> we have several blade centers in our datacenters. None of them were able to
> boot up 6.1-RELEASE (which was the last one I tried). In general, the IBM
> blade center is crap IMO. The management capabilites (some java / vnc
> applet speak KVM over IP) is completely borked. Debian Linux runs, but
> FreeBSD seems to have problems with the way those IBM blades are handling
> the keyboard. Dunno any details, though :) Maybe you'd like to take a look
> at HP's blades. I recall that the FreeBSD project got a HP blade donation
> and is using a fully equipped HP Bladecenter. Maybe HP is your way to go if
> you want to use FReeBSD on blades :)
> HTH,
> Marian
> PS.: If I'll find the time to do so, I'll try a pxeboot of 6.2-RELEASE on
> some different blades of us. Although this won't happen before end of next
> week (to busy right now).

I can also recommend HP blades in general. I haven't had a chance to play with 
FreeBSD on one, but the hardware is solid and the management interface is 
good. There's a JVM-based remote console that works on most platforms I've 
tried as well as the IE-only one. The IE-only one has built-in floppy/CD 
support and a couple other tricks, but there's also a standalone JVM-based 
media applet.

I'm 99% sure that the built-in SAS controller is supported by ciss(4), and 90% 
sure that the built-in ethernet controller is supported, probably by bge(4). 
I'm not sure about the fibre controllers.

I'm setting up a few of these in the next few days so I may boot to a 6.2 CD 
on one of them. I'll report what I find if so.


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