[CentOS] Universal server hardware platform - which to choose?

Tue Jun 26 14:37:07 UTC 2012
m.roth at 5-cent.us <m.roth at 5-cent.us>

Hi, Rafal,

Rafał Radecki wrote:
> I am working for a hosting provider in Poland. We are currently
> searching for an universal, extensible hardware platform which we
> would like to use in our server infrastructure.
> The platform should have:
> - possibility to install up to 32GB of RAM and at least 4 slots for it;
> - at least 6 SATA ports;
> - the possibility to use SAS disks;
> - at least one 1Gb/s network interface and the possibility to add another
> one;
> - size of 2 or 3U;
> - hot swap for disks.
> We are looking for a solution in which we would be able to deploy a
> basic server with for example 2 SATA disks, 8GB of RAM, 1 NIC, 4 cors
> and to be able to use the same enclosure and motherboard and extend it
> to deploy a more heavy-duty server with for example 6 SATA disks, 24GB
> of RAM, 2 NICs, 8 cors.
> Which manufacturer can you recommend and why? We are looking for
> something rather not expensive but reliable which has a good support.
> All servers will be based on CentOS5/6 :)

Are you looking for full servers, or to build from parts? Someone just
recommended Supermicro; I'm not a big fan of them just now - we have a
good number of servers from Penguin Computing that use that, and the 64
core systems seem to have a lot of problems. Their 48 core servers seem

Btw, all the above are 1U, have 3 hot swap bays, and are all SATA. Their
support has been quite decent.

More expensive, Dell. An R41x, R61x, or, for heavy duty work, an R81x, are
really serious, the last two take eight, I think, SAS drives (the small
ones - 2.5"?). Their service is outstanding.

*All* of the above, both Dell and Penguin, have two NICs. All will take
well beyond 64G of memory (we have a Penguin Altus 1804 and a Dell R815, I
think it is, with (excuse me, my mind SEGVs every time I think of this)
250G of memory....

Under no circumstances should you buy Sun/Oracle. Service... here in the
Washington, DC area, about a year and a half ago, it took me a MONTH to
get one server fixed w/ on-site support. They're there to make a profit -
I mean, how do you *think* Larry Ellison pays for his fighter jet, yacht,
and Hawaiian island? - *NOT* to sell you hardware and service that serves
your purposes.