[CentOS] SunFire X2100 and X4100

Peter Arremann loony at loonybin.org
Wed Sep 14 23:36:36 UTC 2005

On Wednesday 14 September 2005 19:00, Chris Mauritz wrote:
> Peter Arremann wrote:
> >On Wednesday 14 September 2005 13:43, Chris Mauritz wrote:
> >>Anyone seen either of these "in the wild" yet?  RHEL3/RHEL4 are install
> >>options so I'm assuming CentOS will just work out of the box, but I
> >>thought I'd ask here.  The 2100 seems like a viable alternative to
> >>whitebox 1RU boxes that we currently use, especially with the new dual
> >>core processors.
> >
> >X4100 works fine. The x2100 is basicly a very basic workstation in a
> > pizzabox and while I didn't get mine yet to test, I doubt there will be
> > issues.
> Cool.  My thoughts were that it would make a nice vanilla renderfarm box
> with the dual processor core.  It's probably also suitable for medium
> volume web/DNS/mail usage if you've got a load balancing appliance handy.
yes - but please make sure don't forget that these boxes use 2.5" drives 
internally. They are hard to come by - and the smallest configs come without 
drives (what the <censored>?) and they are also much slower than the current 
3.5" 15K rpm disks. So they are not really useful for anything more than OS 
disks and stuff like DNS or low volume traffic. If you want to really use it 
for i.e. a high traffic web server or a database you'll need to attach 
external storage. 

> In the past, I've been a fan of whitebox machines running Linux mostly
> because you can use anthill labour to solve a given problem and they're
> substantially cheaper than hp/dell/ibm/etc rackmount servers while doing
> equivalent (or superior) work.  The price delta has allowed me to pay my
> people more (we've all got to make a living, right?).  It wasn't that
> long ago that Compaq/HP would charge 5X (or more!) the street price of
> an actual processor for a processor upgrade or 3-5X the street price for
> a hard drive so eventually I just couldn't justify the silliness
> anymore, even though non-technical people were perfectly willing to pay
> whatever bill I gave them.  If I can spec Sun equipment at near whitebox
> prices and run Linux, that's a win all around.  
They are all around nice boxes. The only fault I could find is the initial IP 
configuration of the service processor. 

> Some folks would say 
> "why don't you just run Solaris?"  My answer is that Linux is perfect
> for most of our needs and we like to support OSS.  Also, when I was
> coming out of college, SunOS (and later Solaris) was the lingua franca
> for comp sci majors.  Increasingly, at least from the interviews that
> I've conducted, there has been a BIG shift to Linux.  Eventually, those
> kids are going to be running IT departments and they'll "go with what
> they know."   I hope Sun can re-invent itself to take advantage of this
> environment.
Hehe - yeah... Solaris x86 is not catching on like Sun hoped... I personally 
think sun is wasting valuable resources in pushing it so hard... Just like 
they lost the battle against windows for desktops they will loose the fight 
against Linux for volume servers. They should embrace Linux and make sure you 
can easily port to the large smp boxes.


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