[lug] server spec

George Sexton gsexton at mhsoftware.com
Thu Jun 14 12:21:15 MDT 2007

Nate Duehr wrote:
> I remember clearly which customers came and went doing maintenance on 
> their hardware at the multiple data centers I worked at.  And the 
> people that owned racks full of PeeCee hardware, were in and out all 
> the time, swapping things.

There's no question that PC hardware sucks. Power supplies die all over 
the place, and anecdotally I've not seen any difference in performance 
between the cheaper ones and the really more expensive ones. OTOH, I 
haven't had a super-micro power supply die yet, but FWIW, I keep spares 
for each model in use in my parts closet.

Fans are a chronic problem as well and not just in Rack Mounts. Of 
course fan problems are somewhat more dependent on your environment. The 
more pristine, the fewer fan problems. My wife's computer is always 
having some kind of fan issue but then her cat lays on her desk next to 
her computer, so it's literally filled with cat fur. The colo where I 
keep my stuff is REALLY clean. I've had equipment there for two years 
now, and there is no noticeable dust on it.

Most motherboards have onboard sensors that monitor fan speeds. It would 
be pretty trivial to write a shell script that would monitor them and 
Email if a failure happened. I once wrote an SNMP module that made 
lm_sensor data available via net-snmp.

 >REAL well-engineered servers shouldn't keel over dead at the first
 >sign of an 85 degree room, or a little "hot spot" at their air intakes.

It would be interesting to put a 3 or 4 channel temperature data logger 
in my rack and see what things look like.

I've got 4 SuperMicro 1U units, and I'm pretty happy with all of them. 
Dell and IBM units are almost twice as expensive. I mean, Dell charges 
$250 for a rail kit. I don't know about IBM, but I'm dead certain the 
Dell isn't any better quality than a SuperMicro, not to mention their 
service is just horrible. I have better things to do with my time than 
speak to some guy in Bombay who's reading steps from a script.

I just bought a SuperMicro from ServersDirect.com

Intel Pentium® D 940 3.2GHz 2x2MB CPU(CP1051)
2 ea Kingston 1024MB DDR2 667MHz KVR667D2E5/1G(RM5071)
2 ea Seagate SATAII 160GB(HD1268)

delivered for $1,401.72.  A comparable Dell is around $2,300.

I admit, I had a used HP/Compaq ProLiant 1U that I was pretty impressed 
with. It almost got me over my total hatred of all things Compaq. If 
money were less of an object I would probably look at one of them.

George Sexton
MH Software, Inc.
Voice: +1 303 438 9585
URL:   http://www.mhsoftware.com/

More information about the LUG mailing list