[CentOS] how can I stress a server?

John R Pierce pierce at hogranch.com
Fri Nov 21 18:17:18 UTC 2008

Rudi Ahlers wrote:
> I got the components cheaper from another supplier /
> importer / retailer than from Dell directly. And really, how can
> KingMax RAM or Seagate HDD's from one supplier be better than from
> another supplier? I only use the recommended types, i.e ECC (non
> registered), and Seagate RAID edition SATAII HDD's.

I dunno about Dell, but most vendors, their own 'branded' hard drives 
have customized firmware thats been tested and validated to work in all 
their various raid systems.

its a lot of little things.  a Sun 72GB SCSI drive will always be an 
exact size, no matter what "72GB" drive is in it, while a whitebox 
generic drive from the same OEM(seagate/hitachi/etc) might be 50MB 
bigger or 10MB smaller or whatever.     this really matters when you 
replace a raid drive.    raid controllers in particular interact with 
hard drive firmware in some rather complex and subtle ways, and the 
drives really need to be tested and qualified for a specific 
application.   as an example, a seagate ST3100xxxx drive might have 100 
or more variations, indicated by different part numbers (the 9L9005-xxx 
number in the case of Seagate) to meet specific OEM requirements.   mix 
and match the generic 'whitebox' versions of the drives in systems, and 
you're the one doing the qualification testing in production.

Memory has a lot of little specs that aren't readily apparent, and 
"DDR2-533 Registered ECC" can have differing CAS timings, different 
voltages, and even if all that is identical on paper, may or may not 
work reliably in a given system due to timing subtleties..  The HP or 
Sun or whatever ram has been fully qualified to work in their systems 
and most importantly is supported by their field service people.   The 
stuff you get cheaper at mom-n-pops compuRus, who knows, you're the one 
doing the 'qualification testing' on your production systems.

since you've mentioned dell, I'd have to say, in my personal experience, 
Dell's are the cheapest and least reliable of the brand name 
servers...   their field service in the US at least is decent, but they 
have a far higher 'infant mortality' rate than about anything else I've 
used (mostly HP, Sun, IBM).

your supermicro vendor, he doesn't want anyone elses parts in the system 
he sells and warranties because he doesn't want to be be responsible for 
fixing ensuing problems.  he's selling stuff he knows works, he knows 
meets the specifications, and that he's warrantying and supporting.    
If you bought a new Volkswagen, then installed an aftermarket camshaft, 
and the engine eats a valve, you're not going to expect Volkswagen to 
repair the piston damage, are you?

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