[CentOS] Install Centos 6 x86_64 on Dell PowerEdge 2970 and aSSD (hardware probing issues)

Mon Sep 8 15:25:17 UTC 2014
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On Mon, September 8, 2014 9:48 am, m.roth at 5-cent.us wrote:
> Mark Tinberg wrote:
>>> On Sat, Sep 06, 2014 at 09:46:36AM -0500, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>>>> But that is exactly what I said: if the hardware was released and sold
>>>> with this piece of crap BIOS, then you shouldn't be buying that junk
>>>> in
>>>> the first place. Or at least stop buying the crap made by _this_
>>>> manufacturer in a future. I'm still not convinced. Any better reasons?
>>> In my experience, all code has bugs.  Instead of trying to find some
>>> vendor that has magically released hardware with bug-free firmware, I
>>> choose vendors that make it relatively painless to apply the firmware
>>> updates under Linux.
>> A lack of updates can also mean that there is a lack of effort or
> competence
>> is tracking down and fixing bugs, or not a large enough customer base
>> with
>> the same bugs to generate sufficient, actionable, bug reports, it is not
>> necessarily or even primarily a signal of quality.

You may be right. But in many cases you may be wrong. I'm stealing
someone's else example (Hm.., maybe about 5-7 years old): ATI releases
driver for their boards as rarely as every 6 Months. Which confirms
careful work on debugging each released one. NVIDIA to the contrary
releases drives as often as every other Month, so they don't seem to put
enough effort into debugging each of them. Indeed, they are buggy in my
experience. You, the customer, do at least part of their job: by
discovering and reporting bugs ("artefacts" etc).

> I might also point out that there are really *not* a lot of BIOS
> manufacturers. AMI, and - is Phoenix still doing them? - and Dell claims
> it's got its own, but who knows what they've rebranded. Once you consider
> that, then you need to consider the board maker. Some seem to do a lot
> better job of qa/qc than others. For example, some folks here like
> Supermicro, where I *REALLY* don't - many of our Penguins, which are
> rebranded SuperMicro, have a *lot* of issues with the m/b.

I gave on the SiperMicro quite a while ago. Not because of BIOS, but
because of hardware engineering flaws. Which at least manifests itself
with system boards for AMD CPUs. These (AMD) boards work reliably for only
2-4 years, after that they die. Not all of them, but about 50% of
SuperMicro AMD server and mostly workstation boards (I have no experience
with their low end desktop boards if they exist) are dead after 3-4 years
- just my experience. Nothing like that with tyan boards; I may have seen
one out of 50 or 70 tyan boards died (which event I don't even care to
recollect) the rest keep working for 10+ years (during which time the box
is re-purposed twice, as I can not throw away something that still works,
so I have to find new use for now weaker machine). For Desktops we use
Dell, being same cheap on lower end as others they proved reliable for us.
And as somebody mentioned it can be any brand inside with Dell sticker on
top. One of my Linux friends who complains that they change chipsets
almost on a daily basis was calling it (not them, but what they do I
guess) D'hell ;-)


>          mark
>         mark
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247